272: Getting freaky in the woods

Summer Solstice in the Woods

Yesterday evening, before the storms hit, I decided to wander back to the woods to get some Summer Solstice shots of the creek (as part of my contribution to Scott’s Assignment:  Four Seasons 2011).  I donned the appropriate clothing, including my ugly hat to keep the deer flies away, and slowly hiked to the back of the pond and down into the woods.  I got stopped along the way by a few things that caught my attention.

The dragonflies continue to show off for me.  I’m convinced that now they’re just doing it for time on the blog and their fifteen minutes of fame.  😉  This next photo is terrible in many respects, but kind of cool in others.  I caught a dragonfly that was hovering in front of me.  The sun was shining right on him, something that didn’t help as much as I thought it would.

In flight

Nevertheless, it is the first time I’ve captured a dragonfly in flight where you can tell it is a dragonfly in flight.  Maybe someday I’ll have a camera that is better at capturing this sort of thing.  In the meantime, I’ll keep practicing with what I have.

The first jewelweed flower of the season

A spot of orange under the jewelweed leaves caught my eye and I found the first jewelweed flower of the season.  They’ll probably start blooming like crazy now, but yesterday there was only one flower to be found.

I eventually made it to the woods and the creek where the sunlight was streaming through the trees from a direction and angle that was unfamiliar to me as I usually take my walks in the morning or early afternoon (mostly so I’ll have photos for the daily blog post).

Because it was so warm and humid, I gave some thought to wading into the creek, something I’ve never done.  The water looked inviting.  However, the mushiness as I got closer to the banks of the creek convinced me to wait.  It needs to dry out a little more back there.  I would also like to have my water shoes on when I go in.  I noticed once the creek receded that quite a bit of trash washed up, including broken glass.

After mucking about a little on one side of the creek, I followed the creek west for a short while.  There were a lot of deer tracks.  There were also other tracks I wasn’t expecting, that of someone’s shoes or boots (and they were not mine).  As I walked I noticed a stick standing up in what had been a vernal pool (and is now a muddy spot).  I have seen the stick there before, when there was water in the vernal pool.  What I have not seen before was this:

It took a minute for it to register in my brain that it is a skull.  A small animal skull of some kind.  Opossum?  Raccoon?  I’m not sure.  Perhaps someone is working on their own Blair Witch Project back there in the woods.  Freaky.

I wandered around a little while longer, went back to where I usually take photos of the creek, took a few more shots, and called it a day.  No other bones were found.

Today I walked in the meadow and the Future Woods, and spent a little time in the garden.  Things are growing nicely in the garden.  Last night’s storms brought us some much needed rain.  The storms also brought an amazing lightning show.  It was so bright it was almost blinding at times.

Mama Red-Winged Blackbird

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  There are more storms in the forecast for today and tomorrow, with cooler (mid 70s) weather arriving after that.

See you tomorrow!


33 Comments on “272: Getting freaky in the woods”

  1. Wow–what great shots, Robin! I love the dragonfly in flight, as well as the butterfly at the end. But I really, really think the skull photo is awesome!

  2. Marianne says:

    That would freak me out, Robin. I’d wonder whose been walking in my woods by the creek.lol! Great photos! The bird looks like she is chirping.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Marianne. 🙂

      I have been wondering whose been out walking in my woods, but I figure whomever it is is likely not spending too much time there. The mosquitoes and deer flies will chase them out. lol!

  3. Kel says:

    what an amazing little nature sculpture you came across with that skull empaled on a stick
    perhaps it’s where the forest folk celebrated solstice?

  4. Christina says:

    I got to experience the intense greens you feature here while I was in Minneapolis. Sunday’s journey to a bird sanctuary was amazing. I’ll be posting my own green green green set of pictures soon 🙂 Oddly though – not a single body of water! In the land of 1000 lakes!

  5. You let my mind get away and rejoice in the middle of a very hectic couple of weeks. Thanks, Robin! I feel like I’m in the woods enjoying freedom and nature :). But please don’t talk about the Blair witch project. That movie totally freaked me out!

  6. Dana says:

    Eep– I’m such a fraidy-cat. I’d be totally paranoid about those footprints and that skull for a long time… like forever! All cowardice aside, these are some more great shots! I always love your dragonfly photos, and I agree that they are showing off for your camera! 🙂

  7. ladyfi says:

    I’m in love with your dragonfly shots!

  8. penpusherpen says:

    Nature in the raw, and at it’s best Robin, from old skulls to Dragon flies posing for you,
    (maybe David Attenborough hopefuls?) 🙂 …. The Flutter-By shot was magnificent….such designs that stir the mind. Lovely… xPenx

  9. Kieran Hamilton says:

    Beautiful shots, I really love the pics of the river with the sunlight coming through he tree and hitting the water.

  10. It’s amazing how the right sunlight can make all the difference – very pretty! Was that the way you found the skull? It almost looks like it was put there deliberately…… a bit spooky!!

  11. Barbara says:

    The water in the creek does look inviting. It would be fun to find a comfortable spot to sit and read, with feet dipped into the water… Or string a hammock nearby… Love the dragonfly and butterfly shots! It’s cool how the spot of sunlight reflects off of the dragonfly’s back. Enjoyed your walk – you’re off to a good start finding summer’s beauty!

    • Robin says:

      A hammock would be lovely, Barbara, if it weren’t for the insects. When we first moved here I had visions of spending hot summer days in the shade of the woods, dipping my toes in the creek. It didn’t take long for reality to set in once the weather warmed up enough to produce mosquitoes and deer flies. But I have found that winters are quite magical in the woods so I don’t mind not having the summers there.

  12. Anna says:

    Oh, I really like the 2nd creek photo…. beautiful! Dragonfly in flight, well that is difficult for any photograph. Cool dragonfly in flight photo though because it is still yet conveys a kind of warp speed at the same time. Love the butterfly. 🙂

  13. CMSmith says:

    That is kind of creepy. Although I would have been tempted to depart the woods at that point, I’m glad you stayed. Just get a big German Shepherd to accompany you.

  14. SAJ says:

    cool pictures…but yes, the skull is freaky!

  15. carlaat says:

    Wow – what a great day at the creek! Who knew that dragonflies tuck their legs back like egrets when they fly!

    Love the skull too. Love them all, actually.

  16. […] the skull on a stick I found in the woods?  (See Getting Freaky in the Woods if you don’t remember or you missed it.)  Shortly after I discovered the skull sculpture, I […]

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