Spiders, Insects And Other Late Summer Cool Stuff

We have had some remarkably  beautiful late summer weather here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this past week. Sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures are not good for the wild mushrooms but have made for some pleasant hiking conditions. I took advantage of them with a few hikes with my macro lens. 

There are not many flowers in bloom now but the ones that are sure are attracting a lot of insects. yellow wild flowers in bloom

The ragweed, a nuisance to many, is a major sources of late season pollen for many species of bees,

wasps,

yellow jackets and even flies.fly sitting on ragweed

And insects attract spiders. I ran into a few of them on my walks this week, ranging in size from the tiny,gray spider on web

to the large,large spider

and some quite pretty when contrasted with the vivid colors of  the changing leaves,small spiders and shadow on leaf

or on the milkweed pods.long legged spider of milkweed pod

I also saw a lot of species of grasshoppers grasshopper on yellow flower

and ants busy preparing for their long winter sleep. 

There were still a few moth and butterflies fluttering about too, and they also were attracted to the common ragweed.

Most of the photos of the insects shown above where on paths in open woodlands. I also took a few walks in the deeper woods where I found many signs of Fall, including a very good crop of acorns.

I even found an unusual blackish one. 

There were a few mushrooms growing despite the dry weather including this poison pigskin puffball, 

and I believe these  are the beautiful, but deadly destroying angel mushrooms. 

I have come to really enjoy walking with my camera and macro lens. It has allowed me to explore nature from a new perspective. Even a simple leaf has such a complex beauty. close up of leaf

And, with the invention of the internet and social media, I am so glad I can share my discoveries  with so many people here on my blog. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes this week.  Macro photographs. 

close up of spiders eyes

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible”Oscar Wilde

close up of butterflies eye

 

 

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Insects And Some Other Cool September Stuff

I was out searching for wild mushrooms everyday this past week. It has been a cool and rainy Summer which has resulted in an abundance of wild mushrooms. I have found many hen of the woods, or, as they are called in my area, rams head mushrooms. hen of the woods mushroom

I have found many other species too and have been including  them in   some of my favorite dishes, such as shrimp, scallops, wild mushrooms sauteed with onions and garlic served over whole wheat pasta.dinner meal of shrimp, scallops, hen of woods mushrooms over pasta

I took my macro lens on some of my hikes and, in addition to wild mushrooms, uncovered some more of the beauty of nature up close. 

One of the most unique was this creature. I found it sitting on a milkweed pod.  heel bug insect on milkweed pod

It kept facing me, in this defensive pose,  as I approached from all sides. I have learned it is a wheel bug  ,  a member of the assassin bug family, and is know for it’s painful sting. Here is a link to some more photographs of the wheel bug.close up wheel bug on milkweed pod

There were many signs of the coming of  Fall on my walk. Many of the leaves are now changing color, especially members of the heath family, including the blueberry bushes. bright red bluebery leaves

And some of the red maples.bright red maple leaves

The woods are a lot quieter now, many of the song birds have already begun their migration south. And many of the insects, dragonflies and butterflies  are now gone. I still saw a few wasps and bees and this butterfly. moth or butterfly on tree

And some other insects I haven’t seen before.unidentified insect on leaf

I found this caterpillar suspended from a silk thread as it dangled it’s way to the ground in search of food before the cold weather sets in. caterpillar dangling from silk thread

Even though I only had my macro lens I was still able to get a photograph of this deer watch me walk by,deer in woods

and a photograph of this interesting reflection of the sun in the clouds. 

I don’t believe I have ever taken a walk in the forest  and woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania without seeing something new, beautiful or interesting.

I enjoy every one of my walks, and even more so during mushroom season, since I can take some of nature home with me and  add it to a delicious  meal. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes. 

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. Marie Curielady bug beetle on white flower

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September Hikes With My Macro Lens. More Of Nature Up Close

It’s hard to believe it’s September already. It seems we were just anxiously awaiting the return of the song birds and the first flowers of Spring.  Seasons change so quickly it seems. It is almost fall now and here in Northeastern Pennsylvania late summer brings mushrooms. red top or aspen scaber bolete mushroom

I was out looking for red tops. or aspen scaber bolete,  (a nice specimen shown above)  these past few days. Like most mushroom foragers, I don’t  reveal my favorite spots, so rather than give hints to where I was,  I took took my camera with a macro lens to share some more of nature close up. close up of yellow jacket on leaf

The first thing I noticed, due to the cool weather we’ve been having, it was in the low 40’s a couple of mornings,  was the reduced activity of the insects.close up of wasp on leaf

I found many wasps, bees and yellow jackets almost motionless on the leaves and flowers on my walk. And I noticed many ladybug beetles also almost in a dormant state in the early morning cold. close up of lady bug beetle on leaf

But  many, including yellow jackets  are still active as the day warms up, especially when you step on their nest, as I did and got stung on my shin. Ouch!close up of yellow jacket on leaf

 My search for red tops mushrooms brought me to areas of new forest growth with younger, pine, aspen and birch trees. And, what my dad called  ‘mushroom bushes” also know as sweet fern. Here is a close up of a sweet fern leaf already changing colors as the summer ends. . sweet fern leaf

It has been dry and I was disappointed to find only a few mushrooms growing, mainly pigskin puffballs, or what my dad called, “shoe polish”. This one was too old to cut in half and explain the reason for that name, but, stay tuned, I will demonstrate in a future posts. close up of poison pigskin mushroom

I also found some more unusual objects on my walks, including this oak gall, created from hormones injected by a wasp when it lays it’s eggs on a oak leaf. Pretty fascinating. oak gall

And not sure if I should get into this, but it is part of nature, I found, what I think is bear do do on the ground. Not positive but if any one knows please comment.possibly bear droppings

I do know this is deer do do and deer droppings

and this white substance on this leaf was droppings left by an unknown bird.bird dropping on a leaf

Well onto something more appealing, some left over blueberries,close up of blueberries

and some chokeberries. I just learned these berries, which we were taught were poisonous,  were one of the staple foods of Shoshone Native American tribe. chokeberries up close

And the oaks also had plenty of acorns this year. close up of acorn

As I wrote in my post from my hike last week, there were still some flower in bloom or about to bloom.    close up of wild flower bud

I didn’t find a lot of mushroom but it is always nice to roam the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania with my eyes peeled, you will always uncover some of the beauty of nature.  It is raining as I type, hopefully there will be more mushroom pictures in my next post. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikes. Macro photographs. 

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einsteingrass up close

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Insects, Mushrooms And A Frog, A Mid Summer Hike With My Macro Lens

It’s mushroom season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I’ve been spending most of my free  time searching for the many edible species I like to eat. Today, I wanted to get home early to watch the Eagles football game so I decided to take a quick hike out nearby Community Park and scenic Lake Irene with my macro lens. Lake Irene and clouds

It’s mid summer now the many insects that are found in our area are at their peak.  Dragonflies were darting along the lake and perched on the rocks, branches and plants on the shores. dragonfly perched on branch

There are not many flowers in bloom now, but the ones that are blooming attract a wide variety of insects, including a lot of bees, bee on flower

and beetles.beetle on flower

Most of the butterflies are now gone but I did find one of their offspring this caterpillar.green caterpillar on ground

And there were many types of grasshoppers and crickets jumping through the brush. grasshopper on ground

I walked around the lake, sampling some of the many, now ripe, blackberries. close up of blackberry

And found the tea berries in bloom. There bright red berries will be found throughout the fall and winter. tea berry flowers

And the jewel weed or touch me not  was still in bloom jewel weed flower

as well as some other flowers I was unfamiliar with. flower in bloom

I didn’t see any turtles today but did find the leopard frog sitting near on of the many puddles and ponds along the trail. 

And I did find some mushrooms, which have been growing everywhere because of the plentiful rain we have had in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 

including this unusual one, an old man of the woods, 

and this milker mushroom. 

I wasn’t out long but, as I always do, I enjoyed exploring the trails along lake Irene , especially in the Summer. There is always something to see if you keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hikehttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Macro-walk-Community-Park-August-17-2017-

Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing.
~Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

 

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Mushroom Hunting With My Macro Lens

It’s August, and we have had plenty of rain this past month, and that means mushrooms,  here,  in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  king bolete mushroom

My dad taught me and my bothers how to pick two species of bolete mushrooms from an early age. I was about three when he first took me searching for red tops and cozie mushrooms.  Some of my most cherished childhood memories were on these mushroom hunts.red yellow or bi color bolete mushroom

I  have continued the tradition,  and hope to write more about it in a future blogs, check the archives search for past blogs about mushrooms. Today I will just quickly share some photographs of mushrooms I found, on my hike last weekend.  Some of which like this old man of the woods bolete mushroom I can identify. old man of the woods mushroom

I now eat over 50 species of wild mushrooms but will not identify which are edible and which are not here on my blog since many mushrooms are poisonous and can make you very sick or even kill you. These jack ‘ o ‘ lantern mushrooms are very poisonous.jack o lantern mushrooms

I would advise you not to eat any wild mushroom unless you are 100% it is edible.  Having provided that warning I not only enjoy eating them, I love the many colors, shapes and sizes that are found here in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. This is a milker or milky mushroom,milker mushrooms

so named because of the white latex like substance that oozes from the mushroom when cut or broken. milker mushroom

Some, like these coral mushrooms are shaped differently then the common mushroom.coral mushroom

The color range from bright reds like this species of russula mushrooms rusulla mushrooms

to the bright yellow chanterelle mushroom chanterelle mushroom

or the black trumpets. black trumpet mushrrom

I also came across some jewel weed or touch me not flowers and, as always is the case the insects found them too. bee in jewel weed flower

I again spent more time that I had planned photographing the many colorful insects attracted to the flowers.  beetle on jewel weed leaf

Like mushrooms, I am always amazed by the many  species, and their different sizes and color. macro of fly on jewel weed leaf

I also came across this tiny toad,young toad

this newt or red eft newt or red eft in leaves

and found this late season recently hatched egg shell but I am not familiar with the  birds that would best this late in the season. 

I gathered a nice variety of wild mushrooms , and enjoyed them for dinner. I love the summer and my hikes searching for wild mushrooms. Here is a link to some more photographs of mushrooms, insects and some other stuff I observed on my hike. Sorry but I am not going to tell you where I hiked, mushroom hunters don’t share that information. lol  http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/mushroom-macro-hike-August-6-2017

Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it’s the real thing until it’s too late.– Bill Balance

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Insects And Other Stuff Up Close, A Hike With My Macro Lens At The PPL Wetlands.

It was another busy week, between work and looking for wild mushrooms,  and I’m  just now getting some time to throw together this quick blog post from one of my hikes last weekend at the PPL Wetland were I took some photographs of some insects. . tree lined path in PPL wetlands

It is now mushroom season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania so I spend much of my time exploring the woods looking for edible  wild mushrooms. Sorry but I am not going to share those locations here on my blog. like most mushroom hunters we keep those spots secret. I spent most of my Saturday looking for mushrooms, and found some, but also had some time to get a quick hike in the PPL Wetlands with my macro lens.dark green duck weed covered pond in wetlands

 I am continually amazed every time I get to walk with my macro lens, since it   always   allows me to see  beauty in almost everything in nature. close up of grape vine

The waters of the wetland are now warm and covered in a deep green layer of duckweed.  The frogs and turtles are harder to find since they can now stay hidden in the warm waters but occasionally I would still see a turtle or frog one a log or along the banks of one of the ponds or canals. turtle on log in duckweed covered water

It is now mid summer and the blackberries are now becoming ripe. 

And the black walnut trees,close up of black walnut

 and hickory nut trees will soon be providing food for the wildlife in the wetlands. I may gather a few of the hickory nuts myself, if I can get them before the squirrels. hickory nuts

I again took some photographs of the many dragonflies and damselflies that are now darting above the waters of the wetlands. dragonfly on reed

It seems, like snowflakes, no two, even of the same species are alike. Here is a link to some more photographs of the dragonflies I saw on my walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-dragonflies-July-22-2017-dragonfly on reed

Two weeks ago  I found the milkweed in bloom and visited by a wide variety of butterflies. Last week I found the thistle blooming and, like the milkweed, it too attracts a wide range of butterflies, bees and wasp and other insects. thistle flower in bloom

I took some close up photographs of this eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.  closeup of eatern tiger swallowtail butterfly

The delicate and intricate wings are amazing seen up close.close up of butterfly wing

There were also a number of different wasps, and bees  of all sizes and shapes visiting the bright purple flowers. yellow jacket on thistle flower

I spent much more time then I had planned observing, and photographing the many insects that visited this one thistle plant. Here is a link to some of the photographs. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-thistle-July-22-2017butterfly on thistle flower

I also encountered a lot of insect on my hike, including this large wasp.wasp on ground

And. with so many insects in the wetlands there were plenty of flycatchers and other birds perched on the branches waiting for an easy meal. flycatcher bird on tree branch

I also saw a few birds including the usual catbirds, robins red winged blackbirds and this great blue heron who heard me coming this week and didn’t wait around for a picture. 

And these elusive young wogreat blue heron in flight od ducks. wood ducks swimming in water

I wish I could have spent more down exploring this wonderful place but I was off to my mushroom woods to look for dinner. It was another great summer day, they all are. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlandshttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-July-22-2017-

 

 

“Around a flowering tree, one finds many insects.”
–  Proverb from Guinea 

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Summer, And The Insects, Return To The PPL Wetlands.

 

It was Saturday, and, of course, it rained as usual  here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   We were lucky this past  weekend, the first of this Summer.  The rains ended early,  by 9 a.m., soon the clouds departed, and the  sun was  shining. And  I was off to visit the PPL Wetlands. 

The woods at the Wetlands  still have their deep green Spring color but there are many signs that Summer is here. One of the most noticeable was the increase in insects. The ponds, lakes and canals of the wetlands now had swarms of dragonflies and damselflies hovering along their  duckweed covered shores. 

I love watching them dart about, defending their territory, looking for a meal or  looking for a mate.

There are so many species each with their distinctive colors and patterns. They are complex and beautiful creatures. 

And there were also hoards of some not so beautiful insects, the mosquitoes, deer flies and gnats. I have many itching bites to prove it. There were also a lot more bees , wasps and some moths and butterflies. I think this is a common buckeye butterfly. 

As I walked through the trails of the wetlands I founds many other signs that Summer is here including quite a few wild raspberry bushes which provided me with a few handfuls of delicious berries. 

The high bush, or ‘swamper” blueberries are still green but it looks like they will produce a good crop in a few weeks. 

A lot of the plants of early Spring such as the mandrake or may apple and skunk cabbage have already started  to decay, 

But, like everything in nature they are quickly replaced, They are now overgrown with ferns, vines and other plants such as the elderberries which are now in full bloom. 

And these plants also are producing berries but I wouldn’t recommend eating them, these were produced by a large and old poison ivy vine. 

Even though the waters are now warm, and, in most areas, covered in duckweed, a lot of the turtles still enjoy basking in the intense June sun. 

As I  watched the turtles I saw this green heron on a log, stalking some prey, maybe a fish, frog or young  turtle.

I walked toward the Riverlands and Lake Took-A- While  and saw a few birds along the way, including this shy and elusive  a wood duck and a few of her ducklings. 

The trees were filled with the sounds of the song birds but it is so hard to find them in the thick foliage, I am sure I walked under hundreds of them until I finally was able to photograph this yellow warbler. 

I also saw many of the year long residents, the cardinals, robins, sparrows and this blue bird. 

And of course the were the  noisy red-winged black birds

 

and catbirds, they seemed to be everywhere.

The lake was not as crowded as in past weeks but still a few folks were trying their luck at fishing or enjoying a walk along it’s shores. 

As I walked along it’s shores I heard the noisy chatter of a kingfisher. I have seen this bird fly overhead for weeks now but could not get a good photograph. Yesterday I was lucky, as it flew across the lake and interacted what looked like other kingfishers.

I checked the photographs when I got home, and, after  cropped them, I discovered it  was a family of kingfishers. They aren’t the best photographs but check out my next blog post to see some more. 

I also saw a few canada geese with their goslings along the lake. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw at the wetlands yesterday. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-birds-June-24-2017

The sun was heating up the water and the dragonfly activity seemed to increase with the heat. I decided to walk back to my car and get my macro lens and try to capture the intricacies of these ancient insects. 

I was able to slowly sneak up close to a few perched on a leaf or branch over the water. I was out for a few hours and the intense sun told me it was time head home. Here is a link to some more photographs of the dragonflies I sawhttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-dragonflies-June-24-2017-

I made my way back to the car under the canopy of leaves and enjoyed the sun filtering through to the woodland floor.

There is no question in my mind, I love the Spring and Summer a lot more than the Winter and I am going to enjoy getting outdoors as much as I can  these next three months, And I hope to share my adventures and photographs with all of you .Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike in the wetlands. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/PPL-Wetlands-June-24-2017

 

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James

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Up Close And Far Away: Macro And The Moon. Both Perspectives Are Beautiful In Their Own Way.

I have still been busy at the office, and it has still been hot here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, so I haven’t been on any long hikes or adventures, but still a lot to see, even near  your own backyard. macro -28

I walked about a block from my house yesterday with my macro lens and was, again, amazed at the variety of insect life I was able to find. macro -25

There are not a lot of flowers in bloom this time of year, but the bees, wasps, flies and other insects sure found they ones that are blooming. I found hundreds of insects visiting a patch of mint flowers. macro -15

It seems every time I walk with my camera and macro lens I find a new insect I have never seen before. yesterday it was this unusual fly. Here is a link to some more photographs of the insects I saw near my house. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Macro-insects-August-18-2016-macro -27

It was a cloudy evening, and the clouds prevented me from watching the full moon rise, but I set my alarm , and awoke in the middle of the night and was treated to a cloud shrouded moon while I was serenaded by a chorus of katydids and crickets. full moon -6

It was a magical evening. Here is a link to some more photographs of the full moon. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Full-Moon-August-19-2016-full moon -12

It was cloudy and a bit cooler this morning, but the sun broke through the clouds and it got hot. I decided to leave the office a bit early and headed to the PPL Riverlands with my macro lens. macro-1

Once again I enjoyed the complexity and beauty of nature up close. It is an entirely new world.Here is a link to some more potogrpahs from my walk.  http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/PPL-Riverlands-macro-walk-August-19-2016macro-17

Here, like my yard, I found only a few flowers in bloom, but the one that were, attracted moths, butterflies and insects.macro-18

There are now more berries and seeds being produced by the many plants that bloomed earlier in the summer and in spring. macro-14

And,of course the ponds, canals and lake were active with the darting and hovering of the many species of dragonflies.macro-34

I could spend hours, probably days, watching and photographing these beautiful creatures. macro-30

They have been flying through the atmosphere of our planet before the dinosaurs walked the Earth. Here is a link to some more photographs of the dragonflies, which also can be found in my photograph albums page of my blog. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Dragonflies-PPL-Riverlands-August-19-2016-macro-36

Even though the summer heat has caused the birds, amphibians, reptiles  and mammals to become quiet and inactive there is still plenty of beauty in the warm days of summer if you look up or down and keep your eyes peeled. macro-22

 

I am the dragonfly rising on the wings of unlocked dreams on the verge of magical things.” – Aimee Stewartmacro-35

 

 

 

 

 

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The Insects Don’t Seem To Mind The Heat

It was another hazy, hot and humid day here in Northeastern Pennsylvania yesterday. Temperatures again hovered in the mid 90’s. I decided to stay close to home, and took a few shorter hikes in the heat, the first at the local Rails to Trails, with my macro lens. Insects -15

There are not many flowers in bloom now, but the many species of insects sure were able to find those that were.  It was amazing to see the many types of insects attracted to the queen anne’s lace growing along the trail.Insects -23

The most common now were the many types of grasshoppers. They seemed to be everywhere. Insects -5

The beautiful thistles are also blooming now. And they too attracted many insects, including these beautiful moths. Insects -42

It is amazing how many different types of bees and wasps there are in our area. I tried to photograph a very small, thin and unusual wasp but they would flee at the slightest move. Insects -11

And I came across these unusual insect, it seems to be some type of mantis with those large  pincers .  Here is a link to some more of the photographs from my morning hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Insects-macro-August-13-2016-Insects -31

I walked for about an hour in the heat, returned home for some water and a break, and then decided to take another hike out to one of our many local parks and lakes, this one only a few mile from my home, Lake Irena at the Community Park in Hazle Township. Insects  community Park -1

It was now midday and the heat was intense but there were still a lot of folks enjoying the shade of the old oak trees and having a picnic or just getting out of the sun. The insect, however didn’t mind the heat or sun. Insects  community Park -9

I first walked along the shore  of the lake, and found plenty of dragonflies darting about. I didn’t want  to stand in the hot sun to try and get close ups, that will wait for some cooler weather. Insects  community Park -15

Again I saw a lot of grasshoppers jumping about and this poor fellow who jumped into the lake. He was really struggling and seemed to look at me for help, well probably not, but I helped him get out of the water anyway. Insects  community Park -11

And this strange insect flew into the frame of my glasses and didn’t want to leave. Insects  community Park -8

I left the lake, to get out of the intense heat and sun, and walked along a path under some ancient oak trees. The shade was refreshing, and  the many mushrooms I found growing there, also seemed to appreciate it. Insects  community Park -2

The heat was exhausting so I left the park. I really enjoyed having an up close look at nature and the world of the insects and may do it again today. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk at Community park. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/-Community-Park-macro-August-13-2016-

Insects  community Park -3

“In summer the empire of insects spreads.”
― Adam ZagajewskiInsects -32

 

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Some Hikes With My Macro Lens: An Insects View Of Summer

It was a beautiful Fourth of July weekend here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, cooler and less humid, with a refreshing breeze and plenty of sunshine.  Perfect for the picnics and fireworks.  Also great weather for hiking and checking the wild mushrooms and blueberries or, as we call them ‘huckleberries”. macro dragonfly-27

I decided to take my  macro lens on my hikes, hoping to find some insects and dragonflies, during my search for the berries and mushrooms. .  I think the cool Spring hurt the low bush blueberry crop. There were not too many to be found.  The high bush blueberries or ‘swampers’ were plentiful and  were just beginning to ripen. They should be abundant  in a few weeks.macro dragonfly-5

The ‘swamper’ blueberries get there  name since they grow in or near water and where there is water, there are insects, especially dragonflies. They are now darting just about everywhere there is even the smallest pond or  swamp. macro -18

I love watching these  most ancient  insects. They  predated the dinosaurs.  They are very territorial and are constantly chasing other dragonflies, and even humans, from their territory. macro dragonfly-30

There were many other insects visiting the flowering thistle, milkweed and other wildflowers. Some were as common as the wasps, yellow jackets and bees. macro -3

Others were far more exotic ones I have never seen before, like this beatle. . macro -28

it is amazing the variety of life that exit in our area which we never notice unless we take the time to look. macro -12

And when you find insects there are spider like this one that I lured out on it’s web by dropping some bits of leaf. macro -12

On one of my hikes I heard the shrill cry of a kill deer. It’s amazing how the blend into the background. Try and find it in this photograph . It isn’t easy. macro dragonfly-7

These birds often lay their eggs in the open ground and when you near their nest the pretend to have a broken wing and try to lead you away from the nest. This one, thinking I was a predator, pulled this deception on me. Here is a link to a you tube video. https://youtu.be/ZuxSyc5z1Vs  Her nest must have been in the area I was walking so, after taking the video, I left her alone. Here is a link to some more photographs of the killdeer. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/kill-deer-july-2-2016-1macro dragonfly-12

We had some rain last week and I was hoping to find some of the early miler mushrooms. No luck but I did find a number of different species starting to pop up. Hopefully, with the rain we are expecting tonight there will be a lot more growing, including some of the edible species I pick. Here is a link to some more of the mushrooms I found on my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/macro-hikes-mushroom-july-2-2016macro -3

Besides the blueberries I also saw some other plants setting fruit which we will enjoy over the next few months, such as these blackberries .macro -15

And these grapes.  Here is a link to some more of the plants and young fruits i saw on my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/macro-hike-plants-and-fruits-june-30-july-4-2016macro -14

On one of my walks, I came upon some tiny newly hatched fish darting about. I never seen  them this small beforemacro -34

And, unfortunately, I also encountered way too many of these pest. I must have pulled five ticks off me on my hikes. But they must have a purpose too. macro -32

And as beautiful as the world looked up close on my hikes, the scenery of the July woods on these clear and cool days was just as spectacular.  There is just so much to see and do  this time of year. I love  the Summer.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/macro-walks-insects-june-30-july-4-2016macro -7

 

~ The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE. – Ernst Haasmacro -31

 

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