Monday, August 29, 2016

The Thrill of the Trillium

Thanks to the few people who were brave enough to answer the riddles of the Northern Sphinx. Those who responded get their way! Everybody I heard from wanted me to go ahead and post out of season photos, so I'll start with these. (Loading up the time-travel capsule to late May - early June.) About the time I let things lapse for most of the summer, trilliums were blooming all through the woods where Baloo and I walk.  

The most common one around here is the Trillium Grandiflorum.They are grand, indeed!  

One of the lovely things about these spring ephemerals is that they change color as they age, blushing a very pretty pink after going through the white phase.

Here is a picture of three blooms of different ages. Whole hillsides can be covered with these blossoms creating quite a breathtaking scene. 

In this picture, you can see the subject of June's Stampeaz invoice image. No, it isn't the big, black puppy face in the foreground - look closely for a bit of pink just to the left of his nose.  The protected pink lady slipper was one of my mother's favorite wildflowers.  I expect there will be more detailed pictures in the coming days, but Baloo had to put his two whiskers' worth into the post, right? 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Northern Sphinx

The Northern Sphinx has some burning questions to ask anyone who cares to respond.

First, have you missed the invoice image spoilers?  Do you want to see more of them revealed here on the blog or keep them as a surprise when your package arrives? 

Second, do you want me to go back in time to the photos I took during the spring, or just forget about them and go on from here?  There are some good ones, but they are totally out of season at this point so I don't know if I should prepare and share them or not.  

Here's a golden opportunity to help shape the nonsense that gets posted here for the next little while. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Another Time Lapse Event

Right about the time I fell into a black hole of posting, the cherry trees were in full bloom and absolutely magnificent.  

Whether viewed up close or as part of one of the peninsula's lovely vistas, the orchards were quite something to behold. 

Amazing, yes? 

So, now we have the fruits from all those beautiful blossoms weighing down the trees.

I'm almost inspired to make a cherry pie in spite of the hot weather - I just can't quite make myself turn the oven on in the heat, though. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Different Kind of Time Lapse

So, it's been a while since I posted on the blog, speaking of time lapses. I was doing pretty well until about the middle of May, when I took a vacation break for hanging out in the woods and hunting for tasty things to eat. Since the beautiful weather has kept enticing me out into the gardens and woods, it's hard to find a time to spend indoors working on preparing pictures and to share!

The good news about this particular lapse is that I have a fun series for this installment.  

Baloo smelled something interesting in a low growing juniper bush close to the beach.  He wanted to investigate further, but I spotted the eggs and kept him from disturbing the nest. There were eight little potential ducklings just waiting to be hatched.  

Mom Mallard was nearby dabbling in the shallows and worrying about her little ones, so we moved on to keep her from getting too nervous.

However, a few days later, we were able to catch Mom actually sitting on her nest.  If you look carefully, you can make out not just the wing feathers, but also her face and eye looking right at the camera through the greenery.  Look for the golden eye toward the top and a little left of center.  

We actually got to see the little ducklings in the nest one evening, but I didn't want Baloo to ruffle their little downy feathers, so I didn't get close enough for a picture.  They don't hang around in the nest long after they're cracked out of the eggs, so the next time we spotted them, they were already swimming out in the bay.

The whole entourage was out for an evening paddle.  I particularly like the little one in the back - doesn't it look like it's staring off into its own little wonderful world of adventure?  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More Tree Sparrows

I just love the LBBs. Little Brown Birds may seem boring and common to some, but their earnest faces and surprisingly distinctive markings make for endless fun.  

There's nothing insincere about that expression.

The tree sparrow is has that dark spot on its front, as if someone poked it in the breast with a grubby finger.  They're pretty common in small shrubs out in the fields and woods where Baloo and I wander.

This picture is taken through my sister's front window. She had just put seeds out on the porch railing and it didn't take long for someone to notice and come in for a snack.

It also gave us a wary look right back through that window, as we enjoyed watching it munch on seeds. Doesn't that almost look like a cartoon expression? It makes me smile.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


This kildeer was pretty bold and stuck around as Baloo and I crept closer, allowing me to get several pretty good photos.

It does look just a tad worried, doesn't it? I expect there's a nest nearby.

This is a different bird out in the big field we walk through most mornings. For some reason, the color is odd in this photo - it must be the lighting making the green of the grass reflect in the feathers. I liked the clear view of the face and neck markings, though. This bird was a little more shy, but didn't wander too far.  Once again, I would be willing to bet there's a nest being protected, though neither of these birds went into the full broken wing display they use to lure predators away from their nests.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Paths Through the Trees

One of my favorite walks with Baloo takes us along a ridge overlooking East Grand Traverse Bay.  It's especially dramatic when the leaves are off the trees, because the views of the water are unobstructed. 

This particular day was so lovely and clear that the sun sparkled across the water's surface leaving shimmering diamonds in its path.  

Then, a little deeper in the woods and along another path, Baloo and I found this snag with wrinkly ankles. Don't you hate it when your socks sag?

We inspected it more closely and found even more paths that had been made under the bark by bugs - the whole stump was covered with these trails.