Avoiding today’s headlines

Zinnia pink

Here’s a distraction…stunning flower. Sorry the insect is out of focus.

Yellow butterfly

This one isn’t! Giant butterfly! (Well, normal sized, just looks large here.) Amazing detail—and that’s an iPhone photo!

Batty Doe, for starters


We took a mid-day jaunt to enjoy the (newly rejuvenated) AC in the pickup during the heat of the day, in a generally southerly direction. Do that far enough and you encounter: Lake Michigan.

Invasive zebras

With small beach-wash zones of aging zebra mussel shells. Invasive species, oh yeah.

Limestone dust

We poked around an eventually covered some miles on Batty Doe Lake Road. We thought the side road to the lake looked rather private, so we never saw the lake, but we spent some miles on the road including crossing a huge puddle that was larger than it was deep (we checked with long sticks), and with a good stony bottom rather than much—so: crossable, we judged, and the stalwart pickup (with street tires) crawled through without problem. Yay!

We don’t know when the road was named and could only speculate on what “batty” meant when the name was chosen. Crazy? Loony? (Wrong species). Just strange? (Like chronic wasting disease?) Yeah, we batted around a few ideas; perhaps all were batty.

Some stretches of Batty Doe Lake Road connected active limestone quarries. Limestone dust is almost white, and rather dramatic. We were lucky we encountered no mining vehicle convoys that would have intensely dusted us. Or any other vehicles.

Osprey w fish

And almost home, we watched this osprey with a fish balanced on a high branch, just looking around. We only saw it because our out-for-a-walk neighbor had spotted it, and we saw her in that looking-up/phone-up photography pose that points to Something of Interest. My theory is that the catching and flying took rather a lot of energy, and we caught the osprey in the resting-before-eating phase. [Without a cocktail, is such a pause still eligible to be called cocktail hour?]

Adventure northward


We took a drive up on the plains to throw off a building affliction of cabin-fever (hahaha). The plants have filled in so much since I began visiting decades (cough cough) ago.

We encountered pretty full campgrounds by Lake Superior, including many tenters, and goodly crowds at all parking lots we went by with foot access to the beach. That’s far more people than we saw in the early summer when the same campgrounds were almost empty; granted: some were closed at that time.


We checked out blueberry plants by the Fox River (Hemingway was here, or dreamed he was here), and, as we’ve been told: lotsa no-berries. And here: no berries. Consistency in the wild crop.


On our return, we took the wildlife drive at Seney Refuge…pretty quiet as far as other human visitors…in contrast to up by the Lake. We did spot several swans, all dirty headed/necked from the tannic waters of the refuge impoundments. Also a few Canada geese. A pair of Sandhills. Assorted ducks. A large tern with a gaudy orange beak (Caspian?). A loon we were photographing and binocularizing called as we watched; nice touch, buddy!

Everyday until late afternoon

Geese hay

First ground-flock of Canada geese I’ve spotted…preparing to fly south?

My hypothesis: the geese find the giant hay bales nurturing.

Qa lace

A fine shot of Queen Anne’s lace aka wild carrot, an invasive species from Europe and southwest Asia, to honor Joe’s VP pick: Kamala Devi Harris (October baby!, b. 1964), US Senator and former AG of CA.

Also in the news: Big Ten, Pac 12, more cancel fall football (that is: American football).

Photo distractions

Chip munk

I went out to photo the heavy morning fog and found a distracted, not-worried chipmunk, who stayed around long enough for me to capture his/her soul.


I also found some extremely local webs, not at all world-wide.


Crow trio

First, there were five crows perched on high dead tree branches.

Then, two flew off.

Then, one more left.

The answer is ___.

And they didn’t stay around long after I took this snap.

Not a…


I still don’t know what this sapsucker was up to with the wing held sideways. S/he eventually stuck the beak under the wing in a normal manner when preening, then flew off, but s/he held the wing-out position for maybe two minutes without paying attention to it. Not hurt; a yoga stretch, perhaps?


I called these harebells the other day, but I think they’re garden bluebells gone wild.

First photo: not a woodpecker; second photo: not a harebell. I’m living and learning. 🤨

Both photos qualify as snapshots and no more. The first was through the screen/window, and the second just would not expose better.

The shallows

Human made landscape

Fancy a human-made landscape? Here’s a transformation of tundra-swamp into open water…albeit shallow. When it was built in the 1930s, none of this vegetation in the water existed. Now, MaNachur is turning it back into swamp via mats of reeds and lilies and the like.

Four swan feeding

For now, trumpeter swans gracefully feeding. Shallow, no?

Power of adjectives

Black raspberries

Mighty tasty black raspberries.

Lovely lake

Lovely lake. Open sky.

Winsome woodchuck

Winsome woodchuck. [But a big eater. S/he moved on from the lawn to nab flowers. Rrrrr.]

Or maybe it’s more the images than the adjectives.

Look closely

Petunia beigeness

From a distance this group of petunias was beige, tinted beige, but beige. Now that I look closely, the flowers are quite interesting. [Self: don’t jump to conclusions.]


Look what I spotted on the window. Ten minutes after her/his photo session with meeeee, I looked, and El Moth had departed. Life in motion. [More beige variation.]