So at the moment I am in Cork, Ireland but the night before I left I set this entry up, hoping to write captions and post while waiting at one of several airports (Charlotte Douglas, Chicago O’Hare or Glasgow Prestwick). So though it’s been several weeks since I’ve been back, here are my pictures from Michigan (before a real, updated post from IRELAND!).
the Upper Penninsula:
The sawmill on the West End where you may casually happen upon blue herons, unshakeable beavers, piles of garter snakes, layers of large beetles, pockmarks of ant lions, deer, hawks, and monarchs in whatever stage of metamorphosis.
I would like to get this tattooed! But not really.
Look closely & it may be somewhat more interesting. (hidden, monarch caterpillar)
Milkweed: the larval food source for monarchs.
Brian in fairyland.
Oh, a garter.
Inside the sawmill, gathering buckets of sawdust for the compost.
On the North End of the island which is full of tents and equestrians that sleep in them.
We rowed across Lake Huron to Round Island to walk around the entire perimeter. It took maybe 4 hours (with side trips like this to see if we could get somehow into Round Island Lighthouse or to explore hidden bluffs just behind the trees. I just found out they weren’t “bluffs” as they weren’t next to a river. What’s the proper terminology?) It’s rumored (and probably true) that there are Native American burial grounds within this island, that is only a nature reserve and completely uninhabited (aside from the occasional boyscout troop that takes up residence for a week or so in the lighthouse).
Mackinac Island as seen from Round Island.
P E Y O T E
I’m sure he appreciated me taking pictures of him rowing, while sitting along for the ride.
Again, how will I identify this hawk?
Tucking the day into sleep.
Brian with a sunset in his face.
Here is, I guess, my favorite mansion on Mackinac Island.
& waiting on the dock.
On one of our hikes in a No Trespassing zone. There was a sign that said, “Hunter with impaired vision, BEWARE!”, which, aside from threatening, is plausible because Michigan is one of the only states (if not the only state) that you can get a hunters license if you are legally blind.
This heron was quite nervy.
From a different heron at the beach.
I did not zoom in to take a picture of this guy. I slowly walked up to him.
& then he flew onto some driftwood.
Very clear water. This is probably 3 or more feet deep already.
With no showers at all, we stayed presentable by sort of cleaning ourselves in Lake Huron or deeply cleansing our bodies in the sauna.
Me and the parents.
This is our last night with grandma, uncle Pete, Sally and Gabe.
Mom & Gabe skipping stones.
So another way we spent quite a bit of our time was collecting insects for Brian’s upcoming Intro to Entomology class this fall. He has to turn in an insect collection at the end of the semester with 600 DIFFERENT SPECIES of perfect specimens. So, with my help, he’s done a twelfth of the project.
Brian pinning his 48 insects!
- Differential grasshopper (one of 1,000 species) – found in the sawmill around milkweed
- Spotted Cucumber Beetle (looks like a skinny, yellow ladybug) – on
the beach by a yellow blossom (goldenrod?) x 2
- Casey’s Ladybug (a ladybug without any spots – doesn’t mean it is
newborn) – sawmill, milkweed plant.
- Calosoma (Ground Beetle) – under a dry log at the sawmill, slightly shaded.
- Flat Bark Beetle (damp, rotting wood – similar to a salamander’s habitat)
- Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus Kalmii)
- Darkling Beetle – (Same place as the flat, bark beetle)
- Robber fly (house)
- Horsefly (house)
- Yellow Jacket (house)
- Plaster Bee (house)
- House fly
- Tiny, resplendent green bugs with little elephant face
17 – 48 or so: more specific books needed & such.
On this trip I read: Vol. IV 1944 – 1947 of Anais Nin’s Diary; a chunk of Walden; or Life in the Woods; Me Talk Pretty One Day & Dress Your Family in Cordoroy and Denim by David Sedaris; Bend Sinister by Nabokov; field guides for mushrooms, birds, snakes & insects; the Handy Geography Answer Book by Matt Rosenberg; many, many issues of National Geographic.
And here’s the fruit of our insect-hunting labor: