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Category Archives: Alfalfa

A few more photos of flowers blooming on the farm.

Lilly

Lilly

Gloriosa Daisy

Gloriosa Daisy

Hedge Bindweed

Hedge Bindweed

The nice thing about Alfalfa is it comes in a wide variety of colors.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

It has been an early spring and summer and farmers have been harvesting legume crops for some time but for some unknown reason my legumes are just starting to bloom.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

White Clover

White Clover

The Lilies are now blooming in front of the house. I have more ready to bloom in the garden but the deer have already been checking them out so I don’t expect to see many flowers.

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The last of the first crop of Alfalfa is done blooming and has been cut. These are a few photos from the first crop. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, Alfalfa is one of my favorite flowers to photograph in the summer.

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Alfalfa-15-6-_7112

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I’ve been photographing the first of my alfalfa Alpha plants. These will bloom all summer as long as I keep cutting them.

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We were in Canal Park on a very cold November morning when the Algoma Montrealais sailed into Duluth past the North Breakwater Light.

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A short time later we were at Rice’s Point when the Algoma Montrealais docked at the Holcim Docks.

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It’s been a tough spring and summer for photography. It snowed into the second week in May followed by lots of rain. In fact, we have been averaging five sunny days per month since the end of February. In addition to the rain we have had many days of heavy winds which made flower photography difficult. When it hasn’t been snowing or raining I’ve been working to get the farm work done that should have been done in the spring.

Ox-eyed Daisy

Ox-eyed Daisy

This past week I decided enough is enough and I decided to go out into the prairie and gather some sample blooms, before it started to rain, and bring them into my indoor studio. I spent a couple of hours photographing the various blooms.

Vetch

Vetch

Common Yarrow

Common Yarrow

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

California Poppy

California Poppy

We usually think of legumes as forage crops but they also make nice subjects for photography. In the Midwest they mainly consist of alfalfa, clover and vetch. What I like about photographing them is that they start blooming around the first of June and continue to bloom until killed by frost. This year they were blooming by the middle of May. All of the above mentioned legumes are blooming in my prairie area. In order to keep them blooming I mow them periodically so there are always some blooming and always some blooms for the butterflies and bees.

The great thing about alfalfa is that it comes in a wide variety of colors. Almost every plant offers a different opportunity for photography.

White Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Monarch Butterfly

Clover really lends itself to some great photography opportunities when there is a heavy dew.

Red Clover

Honey Bee

Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Vetch is a less common legume but it still provides a nice subject for photography.

Vetch

It’s always hard to pick out a favorite photo but I decided to go through my summer photos and pick out some interesting ones that I liked.

Seney Sunset

Sunset Photo – Without a doubt this was my favorite photo of the summer. It was taken in Seney National Wildlife Area in the U.P. of Michigan. My wife and I had taken a three day weekend to drive around the U.P.. Our plan was to stop at Seney to photograph the sunset. I didn’t hold out much hope that the sunset would be any good because we had not seen a single cloud all day. In addition, we had doddled along during the day and were late in arriving at Seney. Early in the evening a few clouds appeared in the western sky along with some contrails. The contrails mixed with the clouds to create this fantastic sunset. The image of an eagle in the sky really makes the photo.

Lower Falls

Waterfall Photo – This was taken at Amnicon Falls State Park. The park had received some rain so the water levels were fairly high and there was good color in the water from the tannin giving the water a root beer appearance. The water is flowing horizontally and the trees are vertical. The steps tie the two together.

Now-and-Then Falls

Black and White Photo – My favorite B&W photo was also taken at Amnicon Falls State Park. It is a photo of the base of Now and Then Falls. It gets its name because the falls only flows when the water levels are high. Water from the main stream flows off to the side and down this beautiful falls.

Tree Swallow

Bird Photo – This photo of a fledgling Tree Swallow was taken on my farm. I had been photographing them on the nest earlier in the week. He unexpectedly turned up at my bird feeder. This was definitely a first. He seemed very confused with all of the birds flying around the feeder and he was getting buzzed by some hummingbirds.

Au Sable Point Lighthouse

Building Photo – I typically don’t take photos of buildings but this was a shot taken on one of my favorite hikes in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We love to hike along the lake shore to Au Sable Point Lighthouse. Hiking along the shore is a lot more interesting, a lot cooler and fewer bugs than hiking the inland trail.

Honey Bee

Insect Photo – This is a macro photo of a Honey Bee on a Milkweed plant. What I like is the fact that the milkweed plant is in two different stages of budding with different colors. The bee provides a transition between the two groups of buds.

Kayaker

Action Photo – Again I typically don’t photograph people but my wife and I decided to drive over to Wausau, Wisconsin to watch the Midwest Freestyle Kayak Championships. The event took place all day and offered various levels of competition. This Kayaker was in the process of doing a vertical roll.

Tiger Moth caterpillar

Studio Photo – When the weather is bad, no sun, rain, too much wind etc. I sometimes bring subjects into my studio to photograph them. On this particular day all three conditions existed. I was looking for flowers to photograph when I found this Tiger Moth Caterpillar crossing the road. I decided to borrow him for a short time and brought him into the studio.

Frog

Strangest Photo – This is a tree frog shot on my car windshield. It was taken on a drive through the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This was one of the strangest photography days I’ve ever had. I documented it in an earlier blog.  I was driving through the park when something landed on my windshield. It took a few minutes to figure out what it was. I finally found a spot to pull over and remove him from the windshield. I took his photo before I did.

Flower Photo – My favorite flower photo is also my favorite flower to photograph during the spring, summer and fall. It is a common flower in the dairy state and is the alfalfa bloom. As long as you cut the alfalfa you will get blooms from early June into the fall.

More photos can be found on my Website.

One of my favorite flowers to photograph in the summer is the common alfalfa. It seems that it is rarely thought of a flower since it is a major forage crop in Wisconsin. Photographers are missing out on a great opportunity if they don’t take a closer look at alfalfa. It usually starts blooming in early June in my area and with cutting it lasts until the first frost. It also comes in a variety of colors and shapes so there are no end of opportunities for photography.

Alfalfa

 

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

We have been remodeling the house for the past couple of weeks so most of my photography has been limited to the farm. However, there are lots of interesting things to photograph. The prairie has quite a few wildflowers, Butter-and-eggs, Canadian Goldenrod, Evening Primrose, Purple Coneflowers, Wild Catnip, Black-eyed Susans, and my favorite Alfalfa. I like Alfalfa because, with judicious mowing, I can photography it from early June until frost.

Monarch Butterfly

There are also an abundance of butterflies in the prairie. I have allowed a large number of milkweed plants to grow and I am seeing more Monarch Butterflies than I’ve seen in the past. There are also sulphurs, Red Admirals, Great Spangled Fritillaries and a few others.

Baltimore Oriole

Of course there are still summer birds around although some of them have already left. The Eastern Bluebirds and Red-breasted Grosbeaks are now gone for the season. I have at least one family of Baltimore Orioles visiting the feeder. This is the first time they have stayed around longer than a couple of weeks. In the past month they have eaten over a gallon of grape jelly. I’ve noticed several other birds partaking of the jelly as well.  I have quite a few House Finches and American Goldfinches visiting the feeder. The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are the most abundant birds at the feeders right now and they are going through about several gallons of sugar water every week. Goldfinches and the house finches have been feeding on some catnip that I planted.

More shots from the last few weeks on the farm can be found on my website.