Flowering Nature

As a follow up to my last post of butterflies I’ve photographed, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the flowers I’ve found. Always a nice surprise when I run across them in my travels, they offer all of us an opportunity to appreciate natural beauty. Alone Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice Flower1_MG_3926yes2bcbeatle FieldOfFlowers JoePye Sunshine Chic2 GoldenSummit daisies white violet1 Orchid1 pollination2 risingflowers spider butterflymilkweed ParkFlowers butterflybeauty pink heartshapedPink Lady Slipper OrchidJewelweedflowerJapaneseBeetle2WiltingFlowerCarpetOfColorLupinSwallowtailc1daisyStarkYellowroses

Green Day

It was another beautiful summer afternoon today. I explored a bit and was happy to find some areas I hadn’t seen before. There are so many forested areas, wetlands, lakes and parks in West Michigan, I’m determined to find new ones to enjoy and photograph. Today I did just that and have two landscape images to share :)

GreenDay

Landscape2Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

A Beautiful Day in Michigan

I enjoyed some wonderful views and landscape scenes this afternoon in Southwest Michigan. The first image is of an old shed I discovered overgrown with vegetation:

ShedPhotos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

I also found what I think were Blue Spruce trees and other evergreens in a meadow:

PineAnd of course I couldn’t resist photographing the rolling hills I found as clouds rolled along overhead:

Landscape

So this was just another beautiful summer day in Michigan I’m happy to share with you here :)

Butterfly Encounters

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the opportunity to see so many butterflies in one day. It looks like my timing was just right as I found and photographed a few today. The first I discovered was a Little Wood-Satyr shown below:

LIttle Wood SatyrPhotos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

I used my Canon 50mm Macro lens. I’ve found it rare that butterflies will allow me to approach so closely in nature, but this and others today didn’t seem to be disturbed in the least by my presence, no matter how close I was.

The next was a small butterfly enjoying butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).I spotted it at the base of a fairly steep hill about 40 feet away, but I was determined to get close enough to use my macro lens and reveal the beautiful detail I knew would be there.

butterfly_weed

Finally, I saw an area of milkweed that several Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies were busy gathering nectar from. Again, this one and others allowed me to get in as close as I liked with my macro lens:

OrangeBeauty1It was a pleasure to see the variety of these special creatures that I had encountered so closely today near Hastings, Michigan. I hope as you visit my blog and see the beauty that awaits you, it might serve as an inspiration for you to venture out yourself and enjoy nature.

Afternoon in the Country

I spent an afternoon this weekend driving a bit through the local countryside and discovered a distinct beauty the area offers. With the rich greens of the grasses, mixed with wide vistas and beautiful clouds, there were many opportunities to capture serene moments. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Farm4

Farm2

FarmLandscape1Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

Eastern Bluebird

The royal blue of the Eastern Bluebird is always a pleasure to see this time of year. Their sweet songs and vibrant colors are a welcome sign of Spring. You may notice birdhouse boxes in many parks and backyards built for them which has helped to boost their population over recent decades. This has followed a long decline due to loss of habitat.

BlueBirdBlueBird3

BlueBird1

Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

Tulip Time Begins!

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan begins this weekend. Visitors are drawn to the area’s main attraction – approximately 4.5 million tulip bulbs! They are located throughout the city. You can see a few I’ve photographed below. If you visit the area, be prepared to see parades, dutch dancers in wooden shoes, and lots of smiles :)

Learn more at http://www.tuliptime.com/

Photos by Jeffrey Foltice
Alone FireTulips Single_Purpletulip

Appreciation of Nature and the Outdoors

I recently created this video showing some of the work I’ve done. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures

Debra Toor

Debra Toor

I’m pleased to introduce you to author Debra Toor.

I was intrigued when Debra asked for permission to use one of the photos I had posted here on photonatureblog.com of a turkey vulture for her book cover. I had taken the photo in Saugatuck, Michigan of the bird as it was eating a fish. Debra’s recently published book, “Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures” had some wonderful and interesting information about this subject.

 

Turkey Vulture

Photo by Jeffrey Foltice

“The publication of a book that tells the story of turkey vultures and creates connections for readers has been emotionally rewarding. This book is a tribute to vultures. It is critical for readers to connect with vultures locally and globally.  In recent years, vultures have vaulted into prominence. Population declines of vulture species in Asia and Africa have drawn attention to their valuable ecosystem services: Purifying ecosystems and preventing the spread of diseases,” she said.

Debra spent three years researching and writing this book, interviewing biologists and ornithologists in both Canada and the United States. In addition she collected data from peer-reviewed journals and researched the work of nature photographers who have documented turkey vultures in their native habitats.

Debra has always had an interest in nature-

“A few years ago, I was conducting a farm harvest tour for students.  The farmer pointed to three soaring vultures.  He revealed that these vultures would soon begin their journey south, but would return to the area in early spring. I started to wonder about the vultures.  What motivated these birds to migrate to Canada? I began to explore books, journals, and online bird sites. I was hooked.”Toor_Cover

Debra added:

“The next time you see a vulture, observe their behavior.  Spread the word about these helpful scavengers.”

Celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day.  It is held annually on September 6.  Stay tuned for event ideas and learning activities at http://www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com/

The mother of three lives with her husband in Ontario, Canada.

For more information:

Readers can explore turkey vultures by reading the book.  It includes fun learning activities.

From the publisher: Guardian Angel Publishers

http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/turkey-vultures.htm

Digital format: $5.00

Softcover:  $10.95 + $4.95 S&H

Hardcover: $15.95 + $5.95 S&H

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Secrets-Turkey-Vultures-Debra/dp/1616335718/

Softcover: $9.86 + S&H

Hardcover: $17.95 + S&H

Website:

Her website:  http://www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com  has the following resources to supplement the book: An interactive visual glossary, and free learning activities.

The website is also packed with captivating photos, vulture facts, and much more.