Saying Goodbye to Summer

September 27, 2019

When I looked at the calendar to see how long it had been since Mel and I had returned from our vacation in Colorado, I was surprised to see that it hadn’t even been two weeks—It seems like forever ago!

It was so much fun being someplace else and finding new things to photograph like the elk in Estes Park, the Pelicans in Ft. Collins and the Clark’s Nutcracker in the Rocky Mountains. Coming home was a stark reminder of how quickly we are moving towards winter.

Black-legged Meadow Katydid

This Katydid was such a pleasant surprise! I rarely find them because they usually blend in so well with their environment. This one stuck out like a sore thumb!

When I go out for picture walks now, it’s much harder to find birds, butterflies and dragonflies. The birds I am seeing now are mostly Goldfinches, Eastern Phoebes and Cedar Waxwings. In the butterfly department, I’m still seeing a few of the bright orange Monarchs, an occasional Silver Spotted Skipper, some Clouded Sulphurs and Orange Sulphurs, and a plethora of the little Cabbage Whites. A small assortment of dragonflies are still hanging around, especially the beautiful red Autumn Meadowhawks– and occasionally I see a Halloween Pennant or a Slaty Blue, but the dragonflies are few and far between these days.

One very pleasant surprise this past week was a fox. I rarely see them and I’ve never gotten a picture until this one. I’ve also seen a couple of bald eagles –which is always a thrill, but I’ve not been able to get a good picture, they’re always too high in the sky!

A rare sighting for me, a beautiful Red Fox
I love seeing the Sandhill Cranes up close at Kensington Metro Park
I always enjoy finding a pile of turtles. So often they slip into the water before I can get a picture!
I don’t see these critters very often either, spiny softshell turtles.
The deer near our home are fairly used to people so I’m often able to get close enough for a good shot.
Female Wood Duck and a Blue-winged Teal
The Autumn Meadowhawks are in great abundance this time of year!
This is a giant puffball, an edible mushroom that can be found in the woods this time of year. I’ve taken these mushrooms home before and fried them up, but they don’t have much flavor.
The acorn on top of this puffball is there just to show the relative size of this giant mushroom.
It won’t be long before all my froggy friends will be going into a state of hibernation for the winter.
I just loved the background colors, the blue of the water and the crisp reflections in this picture.
There are still a few monarchs hanging around to brighten up the fading landscape.

Even though it saddens me to say goodbye to summer and its warm sunny days, there are things I look forward to with the coming of winter– like sitting in front of the fire with a cup of tea and a good book, or walking outside into the very first snowfall, or finding an unexpected bird weathering the elements in the middle of January. There’s always something to look forward to, but sometimes, on the coldest, darkest days of winter, I have to look really, really hard!!

I had no idea that Great Blue Herons hung out here in Michigan in the wintertime!
I was totally surprised to find this ‘summertime bird’ standing in the snow

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