I’ve enjoyed photographing butterflies and moths over the years and thought I would share some of my more favorite finds with this post. I hope you enjoy the view :)
Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice
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:
I also found what I think were Blue Spruce trees and other evergreens in a meadow:
So this was just another beautiful summer day in Michigan I’m happy to share with you here :)
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:
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.
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:
It 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.
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.
Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice
I recently created this video showing some of the work I’ve done. I hope you enjoy it. :)
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.
“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.”
“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
Digital format: $5.00
Softcover: $10.95 + $4.95 S&H
Hardcover: $15.95 + $5.95 S&H
Softcover: $9.86 + S&H
Hardcover: $17.95 + S&H
The website is also packed with captivating photos, vulture facts, and much more.
I found this lone photographer on the icy beach in South Haven near frozen Lake Michigan as the sun was beginning to set today. I also took advantage of the opportunity to capture the image below of the Lighthouse and pier that was close by. The lighthouse has been standing sentinel there since 1903.
Copyright Jeffrey Foltice
Along the icy shores of Lake Michigan today at Pier Cove, I captured the orange/yellow afterglow of the sunset. Three hikers are shown on the far left, providing a sense of scale to the beautiful scene. Ice, sand and free flowing lake waters mix to provide an amazing landscape, bringing pleasure to the eye…
Photos and Story Copyright Jeffrey Foltice
Above from left- Sable Falls, Chapel Falls, Agate Falls and Munising Falls
The waterfalls of Northern Michigan stir feelings of power, renewal, wonder, tranquility and beauty as they rush forward in their never-ending journey that is part of nature’s wonder. There are many to be seen in my home state, although driving to some near the Michigan, Wisconsin border from where I live in Southwest Michigan would be the equivalent of driving past Pittsburgh, Pa. That’s about nine hours of nonstop driving over a distance of about 500 miles. However, if you take a shortcut via Muskegon’s Lake Express Car Ferry, the drive from Milwaukee is about 300 miles or 5 1⁄2 hours of driving.
Two of the falls to visit in the far western Upper Peninsula are Agate Falls and Bond Falls. The pair are great to see in autumn with the colored trees accenting the beauty of whitewater spilling over dark rock formations.
Upstream from Bond Falls is an amazing palette of colors reflecting in the water before it travels further downstream where the water is less tranquil.
The falls themselves can be viewed from the sides or straight on with any angle being an impressive sight.
And Agate Falls is no less striking with its dark slate rocks over which a constant tumult of water cascades.
For those who enjoy a nice hike, Chapel Falls near Munising might be a great place to visit. Close to the end of a hike of 1 1⁄2 miles and through a forested trail, a distinct rumble eventually turns into a roar as the forest opens into a clearing. There the 60-foot tall waterfall presents itself surrounded by trees, which are beautifully colored in the fall.
For more easy access there are other choices in Michigan including the more modest but still beautiful Scott Falls near Au Train and Haven Falls near Lac la Belle. Both are located just off the road. Each of the falls has its own unique character.
Sable Falls near Grand Marais has a much different look than the others. With a more gentle slope over a longer area, water cascades 75 feet down several cliffs until it reaches Lake Superior.
Perhaps the most well known waterfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the renowned Tahquamenon Falls. Aside from the world famous Niagara Falls, Tahquamenon is the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River at about 200 feet wide with a 50 foot drop. Its water has a distinct brown color. About a 1 1⁄2 hour drive north of the Mackinac Bridge, Tahquamenon Falls, appropriately is located in Paradise.
Tahquamenon Falls in Winter
For those who would brave the cold and snow of winter in the Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon along with its sister waterfalls are marvelous to see in their frozen state as well. Any season is a great time to see these wonders of nature in Michigan.