Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Closer Look

As many of you know, Bruce and I own some beautiful acreage out in the country along the Indiana/Michigan border. Just 70 miles from bustling Chicago, our land is a welcome serene retreat teeming with fascinating wildlife and insects.

What especially appeals to me about our property is the variety of terrains. At one time, the front of our property was a Christmas tree nursery, thus we have rows of lush, beautiful evergreens year round. Further in, there is a large grass covered clearing which is our prairie area, a paradise for snakes, rabbits, insects and Eastern Bluebirds. Three years ago, at the highest elevation, we planted a small fruit orchard with 34 peach and apple trees and a few raspberry bushes. Moving back on the property, the land becomes more hilly (rolling) and the trees thicken with deciduous and coniferous forest growth. The shallow ravines are blanketed in green flora. A reedy marsh borders the back edge of our acreage and plays host to a variety of wildlife.

My favorite time of day is early morning, when the rising sun casts long shadows, animals seek nourishment and a chorus of beautiful bird songs are music to my ears. Our two 7 month old rambunctious puppies stir around 6:00 AM, wide awake and eager to head outside for a energizing morning walk around the property. They excitedly drag a sleepy-eyed, bed-headed woman down the cleared paths and deer trodden trails, exploring with their eyes, ears and noses all that the morning holds. When we return, I drop off the panting, thirsty pups, grab my camera and head back outside for a closer look at the lovely land that we will someday call our permanent residence. There is always something beautiful and interesting to see. I try to venture out with my camera two or three times a day as glorious Mother Nature is fascinating at all hours. Below are several images taken in the country. Part 2 will follow in a few days.

A stunning Red Admiral Butterfly clings to a sawn log

An Eastern Box Turtle, a common sight this time of year 

The many splendid colors of "maple keys"

A lovely Swamp Darner hangs from a branch (please feel free to inform me if the identification is incorrect)

A closer look

The delicate wing pattern of a Little Wood Satyr

The rosy blush of a ripening peach

I'm not sure of identification of this insect sitting on a pollen covered leaf (any assistance would be appreciated)

This American Robin must have a lot of hungry mouths to feed. I count at least 8 inchworms and 1 grasshopper


dAwN said...

Lovely post! would love to see landscapes of your land..and u walking around with crazy hair in the am..:)

Kerri said...

What a fabulous post! Sounds like a wonderful place to breathe deeply of nature!
Your images are FANTASTIC! I especially LOVE the dragonfly!

forestal said...

Wonderful post and photography

Sharon M said...

Very nice!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Beautiful place ... so many places to find treasures. All the views are gorgeous today, but I especially love the fuzzy peach and hairy scary spidery fly ... oh brave one.

Erica Lea said...

Beautiful journey - lucky you:-) Don't know how I didn't catch your blog before this, but glad I caught it go past just now on Twitter. Super photos!

cindyzlogic said...

Wonderful photography, Julie! I love the baby peach :-) (my favorite fruit)