Posts Tagged ‘trail’

Afternoon Clouds!

Recent weather patterns created dramatic clouds …

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deciding which way to blow.

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leaving a trail to follow.

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a bird taking flight.

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 framing a waxing moon.

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   modified flying carpets.

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following the sun.

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the cloud’s spreading tail.

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Did I Take Those!

I don’t know what happened here — I actually took focused bird pictures.

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Three Canada geese stayed relatively close as Buffy and I followed the lake trail at Glen O. Jones Lake.

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 I had hoped to see a red-throated loon that was reported here Saturday. No luck.

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Loons are rarely seen in southern Illinois on their migration.

It took me 3-4 years to see my first loon after I started birding. A birding friend of mine called one afternoon, saying a common loon was at Jones Lake. Davis was in first or second grade. I called school, and they gave me permission to take him to see the loon. We ran out to the Blazer. I hurried after we got out of town. We were both on the edge of our seat. I screeched (not really) to a halt when I got where we could see the lake. And, there was the loon– not close and not far. We had no witnesses to our enthusiasm.

Under a Full Moon

I know these pictures are a tad strange and suggest leaning back to view them.

Back in the early 90’s I wrote and illustrated weekly nature articles for several local newspapers. This meant I spent a lot of time hiking and camping in nature. I illustrated each article with an ink drawing. I also own 33 acres that is now a registered land and water reserve, translating to one step below a nature preserve.

My goal was to see the different plant communities in different weather, at different times of day and in the different seasons.

One winter full moon started out cloudy, and I had planned to go to my land and paint small watercolor pictures by moonlight. The sky partially cleared. I suited up and hurried the seven miles down there.

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Water ran in the creek, and snow blanketed the ground.

No flashlight was used. This first picture was viewing across the creek, with moonlight hitting the water, and trees casting their shadows across it.

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This was painted after I crossed the creek and where a trail started up the hill.

I painted with colors I couldn’t see.

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The night was humid and the paint didn’t dry.

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I became immersed in the night, the full moon … heard a barred owl hooting and coyotes calling.

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My last painting was of the grassy barrens with the wooded ravine in the background.

That night stayed with me for a long time. These pictures hang in my bedroom, and occasionally take me back to that special night.

A Day for Celebration

Buffy and I headed for Jones Lake for our celebration hike. It’s the first hike in a little over 4 months since I was in a wreck. We’ve been on drives and stops at Ingram Hill.

I’d never heard of a bruised bone … until I ended up with a bruised left shin. It still isn’t totally healed. All other injuries were minor in comparison.

———-

Buffy knew something was up when I loaded the truck.

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We followed the trail along the lake.

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More bloomed than I expected, like this black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and

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flowering spurge (Euphorbia commutata).

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We passed the air plant dodder (Cuscuta gronovii) twice.

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The few self-heal plants (Prunella vulgaris) were past their prime.

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This view held my attention quite a while.

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Woodland sunflowers (Helianthus divaricatus) were relatively common.

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Even found queen Anne’s Lace ( Daucus carota) scattered along the trail.

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If I’ve seen this before, it’s been a LONG time. It doesn’t take a name for me to enjoy a find.

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Buffy’s 9 1/2 years old now. She acted like a relatively young whipper snapper on our  hike.

It was so wonderful to be back hiking in the woods, beside a lake with her!

Leaf Miner

(I’m BACK!!! Finally. It turned out my blog site problem was my browser. I am of the over-60 club and didn’t grow up with computers. They still intimate me on certain things. Anyway, I am celebrating today!!!)

———-moths

Leaf miner patterns on leaves always fascinate me — how could a “critter” that small even exists?

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The larvae of leaf miners feed on the cells inside the leaf, leaving a “trail” as they go. Feeding in the leaf protects them from predators.

The leaf above is off a lilac bush that I found recently.

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I photographed this cottonwood leaf in August.  If you look close, you can see where a tunnel started in the lower left side of the picture. Then you can follow it as the larva ate and grew. Leaf miners can be larvae of moths, sawfies and flies.