NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wild August

Getting my walking in at least twice a week in the hot and humid Midwest summer can be challenging, but the worst of the heat broke and some cloud cover helps too.

Restored prairie in Genoa City

The wildflowers are hanging in there despite the wilting heat, and a drier than normal summer has meant less mosquitoes.

I've really enjoyed using the 24-70mm Canon lens I've been trying out, but have decided that it is a little bit heavy even though they make one that is even heavier.  It is very versatile as you can see from the pictures in this post, but for someone who has to carry it for miles along with other equipment every pound counts.

So I've decided to get the 40mm lens that I enjoyed from my previous kit and I'm going to test out the 24mm pancake lens Canon makes as well.  They both weigh about a 1/3 pound each but of course it will mean that I have to switch lenses more often.  But they are so small one could easily fit in a pocket for quick access.

For a switch from the prairies I headed out to Volo Bog to see what it was like in August.  The answer was hot and humid of course, but I've never seen so much wild Bee Balm.

I had a chance to pull out the 300mm lens and get a pretty good hand held shot of a dragonfly.  Unfortunately it flew off before off before I could get a better angle.

I also spied a Monarch butterfly gathering nectar.

This is what it found so attractive.  I can see the appeal.

I didn't see any birds in the bog, but there was certainly no shortage of turtles.

One thing that was surprising was the abundance of Purple loosestrife. Purple loosestrife is a very hardy invasive perennial which can rapidly degrade wetlands, diminishing their value for wildlife habitat.  When purple loosestrife gets a foothold, the habitat where fish and wildlife feed, seek shelter, reproduce and rear young, quickly becomes choked under a sea of purple flowers.

The best time to control purple loosestrife is in late June, July and early August when it is in flower. Plants are easily recognized and it has not yet gone to seed. Once flower petals start to drop from the bottom of the spike, the plant begins to produce seed.

If you see any and you want to help out, pulling and digging the plants is the way to control the spread.  Chemical use at wetland sites is not advised!


  1. You have some great places to hike around in

  2. Nice to see an Out and About walk, hot/humid weather notwithstanding. Jimmy and I went walking yesterday morning in Mobile AL and we were drenched in sweat in no time. Not much fun.

  3. There are some amazing lenses and cameras. I just stick to my Panasonic that fits in my pocket. I am sure that I would get better pictures if I had a better one but would probably leave it at home unfortunately. You do get some great shots.

  4. Wow that flower close up is fantastic. Glad to hear the mosquitoes and the heat are down. With the horrible heat that has created heat indexes of 104 and 105 in the Mid Atlantic I think we would all be advised to give up on the show gardens and plant our gardens and maybe even our lawns with wildflowers that know how to grow in all the conditions they find and only have to be mowed once or at most twice a year. Think of the water and air pollution that would save.