Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 239, Sadness

Doesn't Kaj look sad? Do you think he senses that summer is almost over? He loves summer. With his rather thin coat he's not so fond of the other 3 seasons.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 238, Red Admiral

From a distance, I thought this was a Monarch butterfly. I grabbed my camera and headed for the butterfly bush only to discover this beauty. I've never seen this type of butterfly before and I had no idea what it was.
I've learned that some butterflies are more easily spooked than others so I took a couple shots from some distance and then took a step closer. That was all it took to send this guy off! Fortunately, the two quick shots I got came out pretty clear. It turns out, this is a Red Admiral butterfly. It's very striking!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 237, This Week in My Garden

What am I going to do when the summer is over and my garden isn't blooming anymore? I can't even imagine what I'll post on Mondays, lol!
The garden has gotten a second wind and is in full bloom this week. These soft and deep pink shrub roses have lots of blossoms.
There were a variety of winged creatures who stopped by to visit. The butterfly bush was a very busy place...
These 2 butterflies were happily sipping nectar and along came Mr. Bee. The bee didn't seem to bother them. They just moved aside and went back to their business.
There were several daylilies blooming today.
And this plant is just beginning to flower. It's had flower buds for a couple weeks now and I've been waiting for them to open.
Oh my, the roses are really putting on a show! Here's Tropicana...
...the Peace rose (that was only a bud last week)...
...and the deep red, very fragrant, Abraham Lincoln.
After several days of no butterflies it was nice to see this Tiger Swallowtail come to visit.
There is still lots of color from the Rose of Sharon bushes, both the purple...
...and the pink!
I was just delighted to spot a Monarch on the butterfly bush. The little bugger wouldn't open his wings though.
There were finches at the neighbor's feeder. They are quite shy and spook easily.

This item is in my garden year round but I thought it was time to feature it. I'm sad to think that the growing, blooming, and butterfly season is almost over but I am excited that the college football season begins this week.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 235, Freighters and Feet

This freighter was leaving port (backing out) and heading north on Lake Michigan.
I can't decide which of these two should be my picture of the day. I like them both. Do you have a preference?

Oh, and here's my DPS theme pic for the week. The theme is "defeat" but this is the best I could do...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 234, St Julian Winery

Stopped in at the tasting room in Paw Paw. My favorites were the Moscato, and White Sangria.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 232, Harvest

From the neighborhood produce stand I bring you some of this year's harvest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 231, Wings

I checked the butterfly bush every time I had reason to walk past the window today. It had lots of visitors.
I saw butterflies elsewhere in the yard too.
And that's not all. There were lots of bees buzzing around as well.
And just across the fence I saw some finches feeding.
Ooops! Forgot one!

Lots of winged creatures in the neighborhood today!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 230, This Week In My Garden

I took a walk around the garden and saw that the pink and purple Rose of Sharon bushes are still blooming. They are such happy bushes. :-)
A few daylilies have bloomed. It's nice to see their perky yellow faces once again!
And the roses are making a come back! :-D
The deep pink and baby pink bush roses are showing their lovely colors.
And the ever lovely Peace rose has several beautiful blooms. But where was the Peace rose last week when the DPS theme was "peace", lol?

I saw both a Monarch and a Tiger Swallowtail on the butterfly bush earlier but when I came out with my camera they flew away. :-( I did photograph a couple butterflies on the bush though. These guys aren't as big or showy but they deserve to have their moment on the 'net too. The white guy...
...and the brown guy. This brown guy and his mates have been seen on the bush quite often but it was the first time I've see the white guy.
The yard still has some good spots of summer color. Hopefully it will be a long while yet before the fall color takes over!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 229, This Is What We Do

This is Lake Michigan.

This is what we do.

Borrowing the phrase from the now infamous Chrysler Super Bowl commercial, I bring you the Pure Michigan version. Swimming, kayaking, sailing, motor boating, kite boarding, paddle boarding, surfing, fishing, sunning, sand castle building, and picture taking. It was all going on at the beach and on the lake this day. There was a rip current alert issued by the NWS but most people at the beach were unaware of it. And they proceeded to have a great time on the lake anyway. Thankfully, no one drowned this day. I don't recommend going into the water when the risk of rip currents is high, but I understand the lure when the waves are up. It is such fun!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 227, World Photography Day

In honor of World Photography Day I spent the day outdoors taking pics. That's one of my favorite ways to spend a day! You don't need to ask me twice. ;-) My day started in South Haven, Michigan and ended in St Joseph, Michigan. I took 319 pictures in hopes that I'd have a dozen or so good enough (by my judgement) to post to the World Photography Day web site. I didn't realize that I'd only be able to upload ONE photo, LOL! Just as well I didn't know that or I might have stopped shooting earlier in the day and that would have been a real shame.

As it turns out, I did get a dozen pics that I'm proud of. And since I can't share them all on the WPD website, I'll share them here.

The picture I shared on the WPD web site was one of my first pictures of the day. It was taken on the South Beach at South Haven, Michigan. I love the happy colors, the simplicity and serenity, and how it speaks of lazy, carefree summer mornings.

The next pic is of a marina along the Black River. Blue skies, blue water, white sailboats. Boating is big business in Michigan and this pic captures a marina morning... boats waiting for their skippers to get off work and take them out for a sail!

A stroll through the town of South Haven gave me the next series of pics. At the farmer's market you can see this lovely colorful mural. I was hoping someone would walk by so you could get perspective on the size of this mural. But that didn't happen and I couldn't wait around. It takes up the entire side of a building and the fruit images are luscious!

I like this picture for its out-of-placeness. I came across this Christmas tree inside the Blueberry Store on Phoenix Street. I shook my head and smiled. What else could I do? A Christmas tree in August? Really?

And along those same lines... this park bench seems out of place on this sloped patio. It looks like it was made to look inviting but you just know it can't be comfortable to sit on, lol!

Shop owners in South Haven sure know how to make their storefronts look interesting and welcoming. Don't you just want to take a walk down the planked walkway to see what's inside the doors? I love the colors and details.

After the nice stroll around town I headed to North Beach. That's where I saw this scene. The playfulness of the colorful swings, and in the background the children playing on the beach, really appealed to me.

I saw many lovely flowers this day but this one was my favorite. The rich pink color of this hibiscus was striking.

A trip to South Haven isn't complete without a picture of their deep red lighthouse.

Back in St Joseph, I ended the day with sunset-on-the-lake pictures. I say this all the time but it's true, every sunset is different on Lake Michigan. You never know how the atmospheric conditions will effect the setting sun over the lake. This evening it looked like it would be a pastel sunset, soft, warm, and calming... not a high drama sunset. Pretty.

But as the sun sank lower on the horizon, the lighting changed and became much deeper. Richer. Golden.

And then it became one of "those sunsets", when the sun became a deep red ball in the sky. They are not exactly rare but you'll only see a handful of them over the course of the summer. And it's tricky to capture in pictures. In most sunset pics the sun itself comes out like a white circle even while the sky around it is full of wonderful hues. But after trying a number of different settings and snapping quite a few pics, I was able to capture that red sun! It was something I've been waiting for all summer. :-)

It was the perfect ending to World Photography Day.

Oh, and here's my gallery page on the World Photography Day web site.