Last week was freezing here in mid-Michigan. The Polar Vortex gave us unbelievably frigid temperatures. Along with biting cold, the bone-chilling wind chills made me want to stay indoors. Then, we had a brief warm up to almost fifty degrees. And, now…well…we have ice everywhere. I am afraid to ask what Mother Nature has in store for us next.
I took extra care on keeping my feeders full. I had numerous winged visitors and a few furry ones.
Even though, I generally do not mind winter. I mean, the changing seasons is why I enjoy Michigan. But, I must admit, I am looking forward to Spring.
The Praying Mantis fascinates me (yes, I know all creatures fascinate me). But there’s just something about the oddly shaped head, I cannot help but love.
I took this photo a couple of years ago. Resting on the grapevine in the mid-day sun, the Praying Mantis was actually licking his leg. I had never seen this type of behavior prior to this occasion. I must have taken over 1000 photos of him (or her) that day.
During my research, I have discovered there are thousands of species of the Praying Mantis or the scientific name Mantodea. Due to the varying types, the Mantis can be found on every continent but one, Antartica.
The placement of the eyes allows the Mantis to spot movement from almost sixty feet away. Finding an abundance in my yard, the green Praying Mantis feasts on a variety of insects including mosquitoes, crickets, and flies.
White with black markings, the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar stands out against the green foliage. Slowly moving along the underside of the leaf, the caterpillar seemed to avoid detection from passing predators.
Researching the spiked tuft caterpillar was interesting. Many people have allergic reactions due to the hair like spikes. My grandfather used to say “if you are dumb enough to pick it up then it’s your own fault.” I still take this advice to heart when I am out in the woods. I am really cautious as I photograph insects and wildlife in general.
Wishing everyone Summer Solstice Blessings! Today is the perfect tribute to the first day of summer. As evening approaches, the sun is still shining brightly. I admit, being outdoors today was exactly what I needed. Often, the news and other media sources weight heavy on my soul. Spending time among nature reminds me there is beauty in the world.
Doesn’t the scene resemble a portal to another world? I imagine stepping through a veil to experience the magical world that surrounds us without our knowledge. Yes, I am writing a story right now. Take time to get off the beaten path, the inspiration may be all you need to start a new chapter.
A friend recently stated, “why haven’t you been online?” Despite the mosquitoes, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Warm sunny days, a slight breeze to the air, cooler nights, and the summer birds returning, why wouldn’t I be outside? Michigan has numerous hiking trails and scenic destinations to enjoy.
Sometimes, being outdoors and unplugging from social networks is the best way to recharge. Personally, I find being outdoors the perfect way to find inspiration for a story, a photo or art project.
Today, March 3, 2018, is World Wildlife Day. For me celebrating the day is simple…go outdoors. Stepping outside in the Michigan sun, I can hear the Sandhills Cranes and Canadian Geese in the distance. Their arrival reminds me Spring is on the way.
I can view the birds at my feeders. Each second, I am in nature reminds me of the importance of our wildlife.
So, I hope you were able to step outside and view Mother Nature at her best. If not there’s always tomorrow or consider watching a DVD on wildlife. One of my favorites is theBlue Planet series.
Right now, the water is extremely high. Leaving me to stick close to my house. One good aspect, I get to watch the birds “play” out by my feeders. I admit the little Downy woodpecker is one of my favorites. He just seems to scamper up the pole with ease.
When I am outside taking photos, I cannot help but wonder if he is watching me as much as I am watching him.