Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 181 > Coming Home

It was back to the lakeshore this morning to capture the boats of the Lake Michigan fishing fleet returning en masse to the Algoma Harbor presumably with their catch of the day. It can be quite fun to watch as boats repeatedly appear far out to sea speeding toward the shore, sometimes alone, but oftentimes with other vessels following right behind. As they approach, the boats fall into formation and prepare to enter the harbor single file at the little red lighthouse.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 180 > Under A Threatening Sky / Lake Michigan

The morning began partly sunny today but by the time I reached the lakeshore at Algoma a few hours later, heavy cloud cover hung over the lake for as far as the eye could see.
However, as I set to capturing a group of gulls waiting for breakfast to swim by in the water below the pier, a ray of sun broke through the clouds illuminating the birds and highlighting the ominous dark bands stretching across the sky.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 179 > Strawberry Time!

"Pick you own" strawberries in Suamico, WI.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 178 > Summertime In The Devil's River Gorge

I returned to the Devil's River Gorge today for the first time since Spring and am I ever glad I did. Everything was perfect. I love this place.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 177 . Nature Near At Hand

"The most precious things of life are near at hand, without money and without price. Each of you has the whole wealth of the universe at your very door."

- John Burroughs from his book Signs and Seasons

As a boy I was always fascinated by the mushrooms that would appear literally overnight in the yard. Without any regard for whether or not they might be unsafe to handle I would pick them and marvel at their gilled undersides.
That childhood fascination has not diminished in the least so even now each new mushroom to pop up in the lawn causes me to pause for a moment to check it out. Of course now I refrain from picking them but from time to time I can be found spawled on the ground in the backyard getting a closer look, in this case with camera in hand. I can only imagine what the neighbors think!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 176 > Blue Flag Iris

To the delight of the mosquitoes, I returned once more to the Baird Creek lowlands determined that today would be the day I featured the wild Blue Flag Iris. I had scouted out today's subject in advance after capturing yesterday's Water Strider image so that my time spent would be minimal and would not impact the out-of-town plans I had for later in the day.
Yesterday, while hiking into the area where the iris grow, I disturbed a Wild Turkey that had evidently chosen to bed down in the thick vegetation. I had hoped to see it again today but no luck.
Today, after capturing a satisfactory image of the iris, I followed a set of deer tracks along the little stream that led back to the trail I had come in on and I wondered where the deer had gone to. As I emerged from the forest a few minutes later my question was answered...she was standing in the tall grass on the edge of the trees looking at me. Just as I became aware of her, she was gone. Maybe on a another day she will let me have a moment longer to get the camera ready but for now here's the Blue Flag.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 175 > Ripple Effect / Water Strider

As I battled my way through a bug infested lowland again this morning (yes, evidently I'm a glutton for punishment!), I came upon a bend in a little seasonal stream where the water sat perfectly calm reflecting the surrounding forest.
The calm surface was disturbed suddenly by the movements of a group of water-walking insects known as Water Striders. With each new motion a ring of ripples radiated out from the insects creating an interesting effect on the mirrored surface.
In the larger image you can better see the Strider and the points where each of it's long legs sits on the water without breaking the surface .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 174 > Mom's Favorite Rose

I'd been watching my Mother's rose bushes for the past week hoping to catch one of the yellow ones freshly in bloom. This morning I arrived there to find one had just opened. in fact, as I set up on the blossom and looked through the lens I actually saw movement as the petals toward the center continued to unfold. Cool!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 173 > Winged Assassin / Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

I again went in search of the wild iris this morning but once again my intended subject for the daily photo was not to be. As I walked the trail through a soggy lowland area bordering the creek in the Baird Creek forest, I was once again assaulted by droves of hungry mosquitoes but soon realized that today I was not alone...I had an ally!
Flitting like iridescent blue/black butterflies above the undergrowth of ferns, Marsh Marigold and Skunk Cabbage leaves were numerous Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies. Like dragonflies, this is a predatory insect that hunts other small insects and on this day they were making a feast of the plentiful mosquitoes. As I zoomed in close on several of the damselflies I actually watched them eating their prey!
In this photo I captured one of the insects stretching it's wings.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 172 / Door County Summer Morning

To any passerby this morning I was the guy submerged up to his shoulders in a sea of daisies. I'm sure I was quite a sight out there. Also, I hadn't considered what the result of an hour spent sitting in a field might be for somebody like myself with early summer allergies. I'm sure I'll stop sneezing eventually...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 171 / Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid

Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid in bloom at the Ridges Sanctuary; Bailey's Harbor, WI

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 170 / Creekside Mushrooms

I set off down the trail along Baird Creek this morning intending to check the flowering status of a single patch of Fleur de lis , the wild Yellow Iris that should be in full bloom right about now. However, as so often happens, I was not far along when something else grabbed my attention; in this case it was a single mushroom at the edge of the trail which caught my eye. Mushrooms are among my most favorite things in the woods so I paused to have a look even though it was clear there was no photo in it. As I stooped to get closer my eye was drawn farther, to the very edge of the nearby creekbank where I spotted an entire colony of the very same mushroom in a prime spot just above the water.
Prime spot as it was composition-wise, the actually shooting was rather difficult. After scrambling down the creekbank to the water, I found that the position I wanted to be in was attainable only by standing IN the creek or by (as I chose to do) balancing awkwardly on a combination of rocks and logs and the bank itself while simulataneously leaning against a tree or the bank with one shoulder in order to steady myself for the shot in fairly poor light. Swatting at the voracious swarm of mosquitoes that descended on me the moment I got into my chosen spot added greatly to the difficulty!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 169 - Hot Pink!

Peony bloom in Hot Pink. I'm having flashbacks to the 80's...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 168 > Roadside Phlox

Summer has arrived (finally!) and purple phlox is now blooming profusely along roadsides and forest edges (and gardens, and raspberry patches and under a pine tree in the back yard..) It is considered an invasive species because of it's aggressive nature but it really IS attractive to look at and on a day when I needed a quick and easy subject to shoot, I couldn't resist adding it to the project.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 167 > Hope - First Door On The Left

A symbol of hope in a decaying northside neighborhood.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 166 > Wild Rose

I took the time today to stop and smell the wild roses and I think it's safe to say that no other morning spent shooting could possibly smell so sweet...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 165 > First Methodist Courtyard Fountain

I'd been watching this fountain in the courtyard at First Methodist Church in downtown Green Bay for a month waiting for the water to be turned on and suddenly today, there it was.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 164 > Geri X At Steel Bridge Fest

And now for a very different kind of wild life! This blog has featured many wild things, both places and animals, which have long been among my most favorite things to photograph. But another subject that I LOVE to shoot has so far been completely absent from this photo project...live music.
Now, with the coming of the summer concert season, I hope to be able feature photos from time to time taken at the concerts I see whenever the venue or event allows photography.
Today, was my first outdoor festival of the season and my first opportunity to experience The Steel Bridge Fest held in downtown Sturgeon Bay, WI on the beautiful Door County Peninsula. I had several choices for live music at various weekend festivals around Northeast Wisconsin but chose this one due to it's diverse lineup of acts. There were many excellent performances but for me the standout act of the afternoon was Miss Geri X, a Bulgarian-born folk rocker based in Florida.
An excellent songwriter with a fantastic voice, Geri is a clear favorite at this festival.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 163 > Brown County Courthouse Rotunda

I'm happy to say I've never had reason to enter the county courthouse in downtown Green Bay until today so the beauty of the building's interior came as quite a surprise to me.
Shooting freehand in such a dimly lit setting can be challenging but I made sure to chose several progressively more sensitive ISO settings to insure image sharpness and added +1 exposure compensation to brighten the scene.
I do think I'm getting the hang of this photography thing...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 162 > House Wren In The Apple Tree

Having a not too shy backyard wren comes in very handy on days when I'm really reaching for a photo subject.

*Bonus Photo Of The Day*

Along the motorcade route of President Barack Obama in Green Bay, WI

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 161 > Hairy Puccoon / Point Beach

The first wildflower I've seen blooming on the dunes at Point Beach this year.
I wasn't able to identify this plant on my own but after contacting the park's naturalist via email, I learned it is known as Hairy Puccoon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 160 > Welcome To The Jungle

Only a few short months ago the forest was a frozen, lifeless place and it seemed winter would never end. But although the weather so far this spring has, more often than not, been sorely lacking in "springiness", the earth has nonetheless sprung to life once again. Today felt like the day I'd been waiting for during all those cold, snowy months since last November. The forest now, as lush and green and full of life as a tropical jungle, seems to almost wrap itself around a person as they walk along.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 159 > A Forest Spirit?

Native Ameri cans believe that all things have a spirit.. the water, the rocks, the trees...everything in nature.
I've always admired that belief even though I am skeptical of it but for just a moment this morning I was forced to reconsider the possibility of those spirits existence when I suddenly found myself staring into the eyes of this trailside rock in the forest at Baird Creek. Who knew?

Thanks to "AK" whoever you are...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 158 > Green Bay / Incoming Freighter

White Pelicans drift offshore while a Great Lakes freighter passes through the shipping channel leaving behind the islands of Green Bay on it's way to a destination up the Fox River.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 157 > Cottontail Rabbits / Bad Table Manners

My bird loving next door neighbor likes to scatter seeds on the top of the backyard picnic table but at times this attracts more than just birds.
It seems this rabbit's mother never told it that sitting on the table during dinner is considered poor manners.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 156 > Curious Whitetail Deer

As I was trying a few exploratory shots of Red-winged Blackbirds this morning something (me?) spooked this doe from her resting spot on the other side of this grassy field at Fonferek Glen County Park. As soon as I saw her, I dropped very low and stayed still with camera ready in hopes she'd stop and give me a chance to get a shot. As it turned out, she did me one better...
The deer had obviously spotted me as it bounded away in the opposite direction but as soon as I disappeared from her sight, she became curious and seemed to need to investigate my whereabouts. As I remained still, she went behind and then reappeared over the hill ahead of me then began walking back in my direction, stopping periodically, surveying the scene and then advancing again. She was staring at me but seemed unsure of what I was crouched there in the grass. After a few minutes the doe finally wandered off, presumably deciding I did not pose a threat.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 155 > Canada Goose Goslings

The adult Canada Goose may be considered a nuisance in urban areas due to their great numbers and the mess they leave in their wake but few can dispute the charm of a group of goslings in the spring.
The adults were surprisingly tolerant of my presence near their young today but I chose to stay low and let them come to me which resulted in my being surrounded several times by goslings close enough to touch and seemingly oblivious to me. (and too close for the 300mm lens to focus!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 154 > Green Bay Sunset

It's a good thing that many days end with beautiful sunsets because when all else fails, those last moments of sunlight are always a good bet for a dramatic (and desperately needed) photo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 153 > Indie Record Store

Green Bay's only independent record store advertising the new cd releases of the day.
I had a very busy day but found time to stop by the store to pick up a new release from one of my fav bands and luckily was also able to incorporate a photo into my visit. Phew!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 152 > Rockway Covered Bridge c.1865

Old covered bridge over the West Twin River in Mishicot, WI. My alternate titled for this photo was Bridges of Manitowoc County but it's only cute if you've seen the Clint Eastwood film of a similar title.