Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Flower fly or "beefly" on Stiff Goldenrod.  Our little prairie is blooming with Stiff and showy goldenrods;  Panicled , New England, and Smooth Asters.  We have many Bumble Bees, wasps, honey bees, and other flying insects harvesting the pollen and nectar.  But by far the most common visitor are the flower flys.  Flower flys are indeed flies.  They often imitate the bees for protection from preditors, and each and every flower will have at least one flower fly working it over.

Second species of flower fly or "beefly" that is very common on our prairie right now.  This species looks very similar to the common sweat bee, but is much larger.

A third species of flower fly or "beefly" on Panicled Asters.

Paper Wasp on goldenrod.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Found this striking colored garter snake on my lawn this morning.  It was a little over two feet long and stood its ground while I photographed it.  We have many garter snakes but this one was unusual.

This garter was more aggressive and somewhat larger than most I have encountered.  I have not seen this much red on a garter here before and makes me think this is probably a Red-sided Garter snake and not the "red phase" of the Eastern Garter snake. We live in Western Fillmore County and the ranges of the two species do seem to overlap here.

Stiff Gentian blooming on our little one acre prairie.  The prairie was planted over a decade ago and this is the first time we have had this species bloom on our prairie. TO VIEW MORE OF OUR OVER 1400 NATURE PHOTOS , GO UP AND TO THE RIGHT AND CLICK ON SEPTEMBER 2014 OR ANY OTHER MONTH DESIRED.

Looking down our driveway at the last sunset of the summer of 2014.

Found this Tri-colored Bumble Bee on our prairie-first one I have seen here. They seem slower than the other bumbles.

This Sweat Bee like my salty hand.

Still a few Monarchs left, but most have pulled our for Mexico. To see more of our over 1000 nature photos go up and to the right and click on September 2014 or any other month desired.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Bobbie, Gary, and granddaughter Elise headed west for two weeks.  The first big stop on our 5000 mile westward trek was Devils Tower Wy.  It is truly a site to behold. The leftovers of a long volcanic period, followed by millions of years of erosion.  With only the hardest of the volcanic rock left standing.

We hiked around Devils Tower.  It is easy to see why the Native Americans consider this a special place, for it is indeed special.

Prairie Dogs were common on the Prairie Dog Town site just below Devils Tower.


We stopped in Yellowstone for two days on our trip west.  Even though we have been there many times before, Yellowstone is still one of our very favorite places.  We were lucky enough to catch  Beehive Geyser.  Old Faithful Geyser is just finishing its eruption(in background) as Beehive erupts even higher than Old Faithful.  The closest you can get to Old Faithful is about 200+ feet, while you can get within 50 feet of Beehive.  Our granddaughter took a good shower in the spray of Beehive. There are many great geysers, large and small, within 1 mile of Old Faithful.

Castle Geyser.  Our favorite geyser is Castle.  It spits huge volumes of water for sometime and then goes into its"steam phase" during which it roars out huge amounts of steam for an hour or more. One can get within 75 feet of this geyser.

We were standing by the large pool for Great Fountain Geyser when in the background a geyser named White Cone went off.  Note the old style tour bus next to the geyser.  Great Fountain never did go off for us-most geysers are not totally predictable.

Sawmill Geyser.  Not all geysers are large.  Some of the small ones are fun to get very close to.
To view more photos of our trip or other nature photos , go up and to the right and click on Sept. 2014 or any other month desired.

Grand Geyser erupts 1-2 times/day.  Somewhat regular.  Can go up to 200 feet, and sometimes has multiple bursts.  A great geyser to see because of its size and how close you can get to this geyser.

Daisy Geyser.  Erupts 1-3 times/day -fairly predicatable.

Grotto Geyser.  Grotto is a splasher, and creates huge steam plumes, along with a grotto-like mineral formation.

The colors in this hot pool are created by different species of bacteria/algae that can tolerate different water temps.  The blue in the middle is the hottest water and the water quickly cools as it spreads outward.

This hotpool is so hot that life can not exist in the water and it retains its very blue color.

The  Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River as viewed from above the 300 foot waterfall.

The 300 foot waterfall of the Yellowstone River.

Yellowstone Bison are still around in August, but not in the great herds that we see when we visit in June.

The Dalles of the Columbia River.  We followed the gourge of the Columbia River for several hundred miles on our westward trip.  Much of the Columbia gourge is treeless and barren, but parts of the gourge are spectacular.

Sea Lions (males) gather by the hundreds to lounge the day away on the docks at the sea port of Astoria, Oregon.  They are big, noisy, and a bit stinky.  They were a great sight for us but the local fishermen find them a pain.

Local fisherman on his daily commute from his boat.  The Sea Lions do not seem to like bikes.


Great "haystacks" of uneroded volcanic rocks on the edge of the great Pacific Ocean in Oregon.

Classic Oregon coastal beach and eroded volcanic rock formations. Much of the coast of Oregon is public land.

Even moderate waves show the power of the Pacific Ocean.

Southern Oregon beach in the evening.

This huge beach and the vastness of the Pacific made us feel very small indeed.

The mid-central Oregon coast has many very large sand dune deposite along the coast.

One of many great views from coastal hwy #101 along the Oregon coast.

Commercial fishing, charter fishing, and crabbing are still common on the Oregon coast.

Lighthouse on the Oregon coast.  Tidal pools are exposed at low tide.

Mussel exposed at low tide.

Sea life in a tidal pool at low tide along the Oregon coast.  Anemonies, barnicles, muscles, and many creatures unfamilar to a landlubber.

Crab cages pile on the dock in an Oregon harbor.

Saw about a dozen 40+ ton Grey Whales at Depot Bay, Or.

Our granddaughter loved racing the waves at sunset on a southern Oregon beach.


A stroll through the Redwoods is a spiritual experience.  Not only does their size overwhelm you but they absorb all sound and the silence is surprising. They mute the even the most obnoxious yackers.  I love Yellowstone, I love the mountains of the west, but the Redwoods are the best of the best.  The Redwoods are a must see.

No photograph can do justice to the Redwoods.  I have never seen a photo that conveys the size or the feel that the Redwoods impart to me. My photos are no match for the reality of these 300 foot giants.

The 300 foot tall trees made me feel too small, and mortal.

Everything is big in the redwoods.  The trees, the ferns, and even the slugs are oversized.  This yellow Bannana Slug was about 8 inches long.


Sometime between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago the great volcanic mountain, Mount Mazama blew its top.  The cauldera hole, created when the lava(magma) retreated back into the earth, filled with snowmelt and became the jewel of Oregon.  Crater Lake. 

Wizard Island, a small cinder cone volcano, erupted into the caldera of the big volcano much later.