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On a beautiful Saturday we took a walk on the Park Point Beach from the Sky Harbor Airport to the tip of Park Point. These are some of the things we encountered along the way.

Driftwood shelters are a common sight on the beach. Duluth Minnesota is in the background.

Driftwood Shelter

Driftwood Shelter

Driftwood is also found all along the beach. On one walk we found a young couple trying to carry a large root system to their car. I would probably make a great coffee table.

Driftwood

Driftwood

This is a memorial to Luke Voigt. Luke was tragically killed in a freak accident. The family was on a sailboat trip when a violent storm approached. They headed for safety at tip of Park Point. Everyone left the sailboat for shore when large hail started to fall. They then headed back to the sailboat but before they made it a lightening bold hid the water. Seven people were injured and Luke was killed.

Luke Voigt Memorial

Luke Voigt Memorial

Park Point is mainly a sand beach but in many areas there are pebbles along the shore.

Pebbles

Pebbles

More photos from Park Point can be found on my website.

I continue to find insects on the farm.

Red-legged Grasshopper

Red-legged Grasshopper

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Dusky Stink Bug

Dusky Stink Bug

This is the first time I’ve seen the John G. Munson since early spring when it was one of the first boats to leave Duluth. We watched for about six hours as the tug boats attempted to free it from the icy grip of winter. It was in sharp contrast to a beautiful late summer day when it sailed into Duluth.

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While taking a walk along Park Point Beach in Duluth we encountered this dog and his stick. We watched as a couple and their dog walked along the beach. The dog owner was throwing this long stick out into the lake and the dog was excited to retrieve it. The stick was so long that the dog had a little trouble bringing it to shore because the end of the stick was causing him to move in circles. Never-the-less he was one happy dog.

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This time of year I’m finding a lot of insects as I walk around the farm.

Garden Spider

Garden Spider

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle

Red Milkweed Beetle

Red Milkweed Beetle

 

Heavy rains provided good water levels at Amnicon Falls State Park. When we arrived last week it was an overcast day. Overcast is good when photographing waterfalls because it eliminates the harsh light. Unfortunately the sun came out shortly after we arrived. Bright sunlight makes it more difficult to photograph waterfalls. I like to shoot at a slow speed (lower than /4 second) to smooth the water out. Fortunately I just purchased a new Variable Neutral Density Filter so I decided to give it a try. The Neutral Density Filter cuts the amount of light reaching the camera allowing for a longer exposure time. The Longer exposure time allows me to slow the flow of the water giving the smooth blurred effect that you see in my photos.

More photos from Amnicon Falls can be found on my website.

Covered Horton Bridge

Covered Horton Bridge

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

Amnicon River

Amnicon River

Last week my wife and I stopped at Amnicon Falls State Park. There had been a lot rain in northern Wisconsin earlier in the week so I expected some good water levels at Amnicon. We were not disappointed. There was plenty of water flowing over Now and Then Falls. Typically late in the summer the water levels are such that Now and Then Falls is dry.

More photos from Amnicon Falls can be found on my website.

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A walk around the farm turned up a number of late season flowers in bloom. With all of the bad weather we have been having I decided to bring them into my studio to photograph them.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

Bull-Thistle

Bull-Thistle

Cosmos

Cosmos

Rag Weed

Rag Weed

 

I’ve been photographing some of the insects that have been making use of a large patch of Black-eyed Susans that are growing in the front yard.

Orange-belted Bumble Bee

Orange-belted Bumble Bee

Two-Striped Grasshopper

Two-Striped Grasshopper

Northern Crescent

Northern Crescent

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Bee Wolfe

Bee Wolfe

Every year is different and every year a different bird species seems to provide a an better photo opportunity than the other birds. This year it was the Eastern Bluebirds that stole the show.Eastern-Bluebird-male-11-5-_2836

 

I have Eastern Bluebirds on the farm every summer but it’s not often I’m able to get a lot of great shots. In fact, 2012 was the last summer when I was able to photograph them building their nest. That year the nested in an appropriate house, one where I could easily get some photos, early in the spring.Eastern Bluebird female 12-4-_0237

 

This year they picked out the same house but were pushed out when the Tree Swallows arrived and took the house next to it. They selected another house for their first clutch. I was able to get some photos of them around the bird bath. It seems they like a good bath after a long period on the nest.Eastern-Bluebird-14-5-_1722

 

In late June I notice they were once again looking at the same house they abandoned in the spring. It seemed a little strange because The Tree Swallows were still in the next house raising their young. The swallows and bluebirds seemed to get along fine.Eastern-Bluebird-14-6-_6237

After about a week I decided they must be nesting so I setup my blind out in the yard and then waited for a few days to see it the blind disturbed the bluebirds. It didn’t so early in the morning I setup in the blind to see I could get a few shots.Eastern-Bluebird-14-6-_6346

As luck would have it they were not nesting and they picked this particular day to build their nest. They spent the entire day working on the nest.Eastern-Bluebird-14-6-_6355

The female did most of the work while the male seemed to be standing guard and following her when she went to the garden for nesting material. I had a pile of dried grass in the garden which made it easy for her to gather material.Eastern-Bluebirds-14-6-_6839

While in the middle of building the nest two fledglings from the first clutch turned up waning some attention. This was a first for me. I had never seen the adult birds with their fledgling.Eastern-Bluebird-fledglings-14-6-_6422

Once the nest was built the adults and the fledglings seemed to hang around on the same perches. The fledglings clearly wanted to be fed but the adult seemed to ignore them.Eastern-Bluebird-fledglings-14-6-_7116

While raising the second clutch the adults frequented the bird bath putting on quite a show. This one made several visits to the bath and then perched while preening.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

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