Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

272 > Decay And Renewal

A paper birch forest stand in succession. Given time all will be replaced by the sugar and red maples which have already begun to take hold here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 271 > Oh, The Things You'll See Down Here

Autumn arrived "in person" this morning with cool temperatures, a sky threatening rain and a gusty forty-five mile per hour wind that blew away any doubt that summer has passed. I took refuge way back in the woods where the trees and deep ravines provided somewhat of a buffer from the gale. As I ventured into a section of the woods I had not visited in quite some time I discovered some interesting views I will revisit on a calm, brighter day for even with the windbreak behind me the trees shook and swayed making sharp photos a bit difficult. As a result I thought it best to find my subject down low today and as luck would have it, I had stumbled into what could only be described as a fungi garden! Throughout a crumbling section of forest in transition from pioneer species such as Paper Birch, grew multitudes of mushrooms or shelf fungi feasting on the decaying limbs and trunks of the fallen trees as well as around the longer lived trees that will carry on.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 270 > In A Wild Sunflower Patch

A patch of wild sunflowers shine with everything they've got trying to hold Autumn at bay...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 269 > Bottle Gentian

To my surprise, one more late blooming thing to add to the project. Bottle Gentian, a flower that never opens.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 268 > Shelf Fungus

There have been a couple days of badly needed rain this week and now what do you know...more fungi! Yay!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 267 > Autumn Beneath A Creekside Maple

As if Mother Nature flipped a switch it is quite suddenly Autumn...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 266 > At The Backyard Breakfast Buffet

Circumstances have left me unable to leave home for three days now so I've been forced to make do with the things immediately around me for photo subjects.
I awoke this morning with no good ideas for the daily photo so when taking a quick look around the yard at dawn I noticed this squirrel enjoying a breakfast of (presumably) seeds from a cone of the large Norway Spruce it was perched in, I was quite relieved.

99 days to go!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 264 > Backyard Vineyard

It's no Napa Valley but I enjoy seeing my red grape vines running wild over the fence at the back of my yard.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 263 > Grass Of Parnassus

A rare little inhabitant of the Ridges Sanctuary on the Door County Peninsula that, upon inspection, is unquestionably worth a closer look. This will be one of the very last blooming things likely to appear in the project. Summer ends tomorrow... :(

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 262 > Land, Sea And Sky

View of Green Bay from the lookout tower at Potawatomi State Park on the Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 260 > Bumblebee And Blooms On Blue

One look through the lens at at this vibrant color combination and I was sold. The bumblebee was just a bonus.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 259 > That's The Ticket

One last concert to end the summer...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 258 > Time Lines

I took a new look at this old log that I often pass at one of the trailheads in the Baird Creek Parkway....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 256 > Midnight Over The Fox River

Another late night / early morning shoot.

Below me, the Fox River on it's way to the bay. And beyond it, downtown Green Bay. If my little city has any skyline to speak of then this would be it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 255 > A Path Through The Darkness

The Depere Bridge and Fox River just after midnight this morning...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 254 > Giant Puffball Mushrooms

When I came across these large puffball mushrooms at Baird Creek this morning I decided I needed to add something to the composition to help provide some perspective that would make clear how large these fungi truly are because beyond their size they are rather uninteresting. I considered the items I had with me but nothing seems appropriate. As I stood debating I glanced to my left and to my utter disbelief found the PERFECT prop just begging to be utilized. There sat a baseball, evidently an escapee from a game held in the park above the ravine. I tend to shy away from anything man made in my nature photos but this really felt like it was meant to be.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 253 > DePere Bridge / Fox River

I went off aimlessly this morning in search of ANYTHING to get through another photo day and found this intriguing reflection enhanced by a hen mallard with excellent timing... A satisfying moment that gave a little boost to my otherwise unsatisfied frame of mind...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 250 > Toft Point

The rocky lake Michigan shore at Toft Point on Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 249 > Door County Praying Mantis

I couldn't have know it when I rolled out of bed this morning but this day was to become one of those memorable ones that make the 365 day photo project all worthwhile!
I began my day with a 1 1/4 hour road trip up the Door County Peninsula with my destination being the Ridges Sanctuary in Bailey's Harbor on the shore of Lake Michigan.
My intended subject for the day was a certain wildflower I suspected I'd find growing near the beach.
I found it immediately upon arrival at the preserve and got down to business capturing the winning image.
After doing all I felt I could do with the flower and being quite satisfied with the results, I decided it was still early and being in this beautiful natural area, it would be a shame not to explore a bit more, considering I had not walked the trails there in six weeks or more.
I wanted to check out the water before headed inland to the forest so I followed a trail along the open grassy area I had been shooting in toward the nearby public beach.
I had not walked very far when a large insect took flight from a tall plant growing on the edge of the trail. I noticed immediately that it was different from anything I could recall seeing before. It had a wingspan the width a large dragonfly but milky colored wings. A grasshopper? A very large Katydid? My curiosity got the best of me and I followed the bug to the general area I had seen it fly toward and looked very closely through the vegetation but could see nothing.
Knowing it had to be near, I continued to look all around...until suddenly my eyes stopped on something I could scarcely believe...A Praying Mantis?!
I may have uttered some words I won't repeat here to express my surprise and excitement but then quickly went into photographer mode...I could not blow this chance for such a spectacular capture!! I'm happy to say I did not. :)
This is likely a rather uncommon if not rare find in the state of Wisconsin. Over the past decade I'd heard some talk of the Praying Mantis being sighting on rare occasion on the Peninsula and had considered how exciting it would be to actually see one for myself. But knowing how unlikely this would be I had never given it more than a passing thought beyond that.
So I guess it's safe to say that today was another of those very lucky days when Mother Nature decides to have mercy on me and presents me with a very unexpected and wonderful gift.
Thanks Ma!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 248 > Old Milwaukee

I took a walk around Milwaukee today...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 247 > Nice Legs!

Hideous, I know.

One of the goals of any photographer is to capture images that, in one way or another, garner a reaction from those who view them. I think I've accomplished my goal today. It was with no small amount of glee that I posted this photo in anticipation of the horrified reactions to come.

This was easily one of the largest spiders I have ever encountered in my area.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 246 > Nepenthes

A trap of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes Alata...

From Wikipedia:

The name Nepenthes was first published in 1737 in Carolus Linnaeus's Hortus Cliffortianus. It references a passage in Homer's Odyssey, in which the potion "Nepenthes pharmakon" is given to Helen by an Egyptian queen. "Nepenthe" literally means "without grief" (ne = not, penthos = grief) and, in Greek mythology, is a drug that quells all sorrows with forgetfulness. Linnaeus explained:

If this is not Helen's Nepenthes, it certainly will be for all botanists. What botanist would not be filled with admiration if, after a long journey, he should find this wonderful plant. In his astonishment past ills would be forgotten when beholding this admirable work of the Creator!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 245 > Threatened Species / Cream Gentian

During a recent plant inven tory of the Baird Creek Parkway a number of rather rare species were discovered, among them Creamed Gentian. The presence of this rare plant in the parkway is yet another indicator of just how precious a resource Baird Creek and other natural areas like it are to the preservation and protection of native plant species.
The flower is interesting because, unlike most other flowers it only opens slightly at the tip. As I shot this photo, bumblebees, undaunted by the closed petals, repeatedly forced their way into the blossoms.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 244 > Wild Grapes

Wild Grapes on an old fence in the Baird Creek Parkway.
I guess this photo is also the first appearance of what could be called "Fall Colors".
It's safe to say that things in the natural world are about to change dramatically in the next 60 days. Yikes.