Bees

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them,

and he leaves them whole,

undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” –Saint Francis de Sales

In honor of “National Do Not Step on a Bee” Day, I thought I would share this photo I took earlier this afternoon. In my opinion, I think we need to become more active in bee preservation. The decline in bees will lead to harmful consequences for our food supply.

I hope everyone had a great day. It was beautiful here in Mid-Michigan. I enjoyed the sunshine.

Until next time…peace

My Batty Visitor

Here in Michigan, the Little Brown Bat or Myotis lucifugus is the most common. I am assuming this little guy is a Little Brown Bat with a very big mouth.  The Little Brown Bat is a relatively small mammal with an olive-brownish to dark yellowish brown colored coat. In Latin, the word Myotis means mouse ear which is great for these Little Brown Bats since they do look like they have little mouse ears.

You should hear a bat squeak; it's almost unnerving.
You should hear a bat squeak; it’s almost unnerving.

Even though I know they are only insect eating creatures; I am still cautious when approaching them.  I guess I have heard too many urban legends in my time. In fact, when I was photographing this one (yes, I brought  him in my house to use my backdrop; he was attached to the piece of wood), my mother stopped by. She was more than happy to remind me of all the myths and diseases the bat could carry. I took my few photos and returned the Little Brown bat still on the wood where I found him.

According to the Michigan DNR website, “Little brown bats use echolocation to find and capture prey. They emit pulses of high frequency sound (20-130 kHz) that bounce off nearby objects. The bats then use the echoes to determine the object’s distance, size, and shape. They feed primarily on aquatic insects, including mayflies, caddis flies, and stoneflies. They will also feed on other flies, wasps, moths, and beetles to supplement their diet. Typical summer foraging areas include forest edges, along streams and lakes, and sometimes in small cultivated fields. Young little brown bats can eat up to 1.8 grams of insects/night; lactating females can eat up to 3.7 grams of insects/hour due to increased energy demands” (2014).  Of course, I wish they would eat more mosquitoes in my area. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad these mosquitoes are right now. They are horrible in my area.

A batty visitor.
A batty visitor.

Source:  http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12205-70016–,00.html

 

Late Afternoon Fox Sighting

I was writing this afternoon. I noticed a small brown creature run across my yard to the back field. Of course, my first thought was a dog. My parents have a VERY spoiled dachshund and they live next door to me. I thought maybe she had made her way down to my house or dad was out giving her a walk. But on closer inspection, I realized the brown colored animal was a fox.

A few years ago, I photographed foxes in their natural habitat. But I have never viewed any in my immediate surroundings. I was pretty excited to see her (or him, I don’t know the difference upon first glance).  I quickly grabbed my camera and was able to take just three photos before she scurried back into the wooded area.

Wildlife has been in the area more and more over the last few years. People blame the animals. I cannot take this same point of view. We are in a farming community (Please do not take this the wrong way, I respect all the hard work farmers do. My parents did farming when I was a kid. I know the long days that were put into the fields). The problem with animals is based from the clearing of their natural habitat. Large wooded areas are being purged and burned to make room for more farm land. When this happens, animals must relocate. I believe this is the real reason why I have been able to photograph so many different species in my area.

I personally get excited be able to photograph foxes, deer, and especially the little baby bunnies.

There were actually four little ones in the rabbit hole.
There were actually four little ones in the rabbit hole.

I have been informed there are coyotes in the area. I have not had a chance to photograph one of them in the wild. So, we will see as time progresses what other forms of wildlife are going to be around. Of course, I am writing this right now as the raccoons play on my front porch. They are pesky little creatures. But I enjoy watching them interact with each other.

Until next time….peace….

 

World Environment Day

Today, June 5, 2015 is World Environment Day (WED). The theme for this year’s WED is Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. WED is about bringing a worldwide awareness to the environment.

The smallest actions can have a lasting effect on the environment. I believe in “reduce, reuse and recycle”. Of course, I say this as I stare at a large pile of magazines that need to go to the recyclers. And, I always seem to forget my grocery bags when I go to the store. But I do try. How do you try to help the environment? Any suggestions?

For me, the biggest thing I hate is when I see trash along the side of the road. I was down by the Maple River earlier today to take photographs of the local wildlife. The baby geese have really grown in the past couple of weeks. You can tell that someone threw fast food wrappings out as they drove by. Tell me how much more effort does it actually take to take the empty wrappers to your house or throw them away at the next gas station?  Littering up the road side takes away the natural beauty of the environment.

I think Dr. Jane Goodall says it best: “I dream of a world in which people learn to live in peace & harmony with each other & with the natural world”. I cannot express how much I agree with her.

Until next time…peace.

Happy World Turtle Day

Today, May 23, 2015 is World Turtle Day. I love the fact that an entire day is dedicated to turtles and tortoises. Turtle Day was established in 2000 in association with American Tortoise Rescue. The purpose of Turtle Day is to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises.

Turtle Facts

I thought I would share some turtle and tortoises facts:

  • Turtles have actually roamed the Earth for the last 200 million years.
  • Believe it or not, some of the first turtles had teeth.
  • Turtles can be found on every continent around the globe except the Antarctica.
  • Turtles can be as small as 4 inches to as large as 1500 pounds.

My Turtle Story

Since today is about celebrating turtles, I thought I would share the story of Herman (well, the little Painted Turtle could be a Jane). I honestly do not know how to tell. Anyways, Herman fell down into a ditch that was being tiled for farm use. I figured Herman was coming out of the field or wooded area to find a water source. Of course, we could not allow the little one to be buried.

I took the little Painted Turtle down to the pond. I could swear when I let little Herman go, he turned around stared at me. I know he was just swimming away. But I still like the idea that I was able to let the little one go.

The little turtle swimming away from me.
The little turtle swimming away from me.

How to Help Turtles

I think one of the most important things to help turtles is to decrease their demand. Turtles belong in the wild. If people continue to buy turtles or tortoises from a pet store, there will always be a demand. Learning to admire turtles in their natural habitat should be a priority.

Learn to advocate for turtles natural habitat. Get involved in environmental issues that may have a negative impact on turtles or tortoises. When habitats are threatened or reduced, a decline in turtle population would occur. I think the loss of turtles and tortoises would be a disgrace.

Until next time…peace

Things I Learned On My Hike Today

I love being outdoors; wandering around in the wooded areas has always been one of my favorite activities. So, here are some things I learned on my hike today.

1. In the back area, the Maple River breaks off into smaller creeks. One of these creeks are located on the back property. I love going down there to photograph wildlife.  Jumping over the small opening that leads to the creek was a lot easier when I was sixteen. I made the jump for the most part; I just got stuck in the mud. Oh well, my boots can handle it. I wouldn’t expect anything less for springtime in Michigan.

The Creek

  1. The smallest little creatures can cause me to jump if I am not paying attention to the trail. Yes, this tiny frog about gave me heart failure.

Frog in the Trail

  1. The flowers popping up all over on the dull, muddy grounds are a welcome sight. The small beauties stand tall against the last remnants of winter.

Wild Flowers

  1. The most unusual places can provide the biggest inspiration. I admit there are days where I could just spend hours sitting in the middle of the woods. (I need to remember to carry a note pad with me.) Being outdoors is good for my creative soul.

A Place in the  Woods

  1. The snakes are out. I am not really afraid of snakes especially this harmless Garter snake. But I am concerned I will accidently come across one that is just “not nice”. Growing I was always told about poisonous snakes, I think the stories are always in the back of mind. The only snake in Michigan that is poisonous is the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Or commonly known as the Michigan rattler is known to be a rare sight. But they do like the wetlands and the wooded areas which is where I frequent. I have never come across one in the wild.

Garter Snake Garter Snake

  1. I came across this wonderful pair of Canadian Geese who were not happy with my presence. They were both very vocal. I am assuming she had a nest nearby; I didn’t want to disturb her too much.

b2

  1. Even in the muddiest water, there are signs of life.

Snail

I hope everyone had a chance to get out and enjoy the sun today. Now, the sky is beginning to cloud over; there’s a 90% chance of rain for the overnight. So, I am glad I was able to get out for a couple of hours. I can fill the rainy days with writing.

Until next time….peace

Save the Frog Day

I was just informed that today, April 25, 2015 is also “Save the Frog Day”. I absolutely love frogs. During the warm months, I have all the windows open and the frogs “sing” me to sleep at night. There’s just something about listening to frogs (and crickets) on a warm summer night to remind me why I live in the country.

Why Have a Save the Frog Day?

Amphibians are considered to be one of the most endangered little creatures on the planet. In fact, over “1/3 of the world’s species are on the brink of extinction” (SavetheFrog, 2015). I cannot imagine a world without frogs. Their “voice” would be gone forever.

The Threats

Of course, the main threat to frogs comes from humans. Humans have caused reduced habitants, pollutions from various pesticides and over harvesting for food consumption. Climate change and infectious diseases also play a part in the reduction of the amphibian population. Often there is a combination of two different factors to cause a decrease in the frog population. A reduced immune system due to a pesticide can leave a frog susceptible to infectious diseases.

How to Help

One of the best ways to help is by being aware of the situation. Participate in local recycling programs; less pollutants and debris in the environment is a major step in the right direction. Properly dispose of household chemicals, unused paint, and other hazardous materials at proper collection station. When pollutants and pesticides get into the water; all wildlife is at risk.

If everything goes as planned, I am actually going to have a pond dug in my yard. There’s already a two ponds on the back property and the main creek runs through it as well. But I want a pond in my yard. Don’t get me wrong I love walking down to see all the wildlife. However, there are days were my schedule is tight; I still would live to be able to go out to view different creatures. Yes, I do plan to use the area for photography reasons.

Until next time….peace.

Source:

www.SavetheFrog.com  (they have free newsletter)