Melissa Koski. wild in Michigan. naturalist

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the fall of Fall….

There are a few repeat photos in this blog, but since the last few years’ worth of photos were deleted I’m reposting the photos.

It’s a busy time of year full of dance practice until 9 and homework until 11. It’s dark by dinner and cold enough for snow. My fingers are so cold they no longer react with the touch screen on my phone.

A praying mantis with one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

A praying mantis with one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

A daddy long leg.

A daddy long leg.

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It’s a boy!!

Fall arrived in Michigan and is on its way out. It's already snowed once.

Fall arrived in Michigan and is on its way out. It’s already snowed once.

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This frog tried to hide under a log full of spider webs and ended up with web face.

This frog tried to hide under a log full of spider webs and ended up with web face.

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Elephant?

Elephant?

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A tree shaped like the state of Michigan.

A tree shaped like the state of Michigan.

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It's a boy! I'm impressed with whomever created this natural human statue.

It’s a boy! I’m impressed with whomever created this natural human statue.

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Summer’s end (…and Brad’s too)

Late summer flowers

Late summer flowers

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Flowers and invasive Japanese beetles

Flowers and invasive Japanese beetles

Making grubs, out of nothing at all.

Making grubs…. outta of nothing at all.

Black eyed Susan

Black eyed Susan

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The butterflies are starting to look beat up and bedraggled.

The butterflies are starting to look beat up and bedraggled.

I spent a week with my extended family and the girls a few hours north at a cottage on a lake. I found this on Leah's night stand the first night of our stay.

I spent a week with my extended family and the girls a few hours north at a cottage on a lake. I found this on Leah’s night stand the first night of our stay.

Sand dunes along the western shore of Lake Michigan.That black bit in the distance is my boyfriend.

Sand dunes along the western shore of Lake Michigan. That black bit in the distance is my boyfriend.

My nieces, nephews and daughters on the dunes.

My nieces, nephews and daughters on the dunes.

My Brad's booty on the dunes.

My Brad’s booty on the dunes.

Silver Lake. Lake Michigan is just on the other side of the sand dune across the lake.

Silver Lake. Lake Michigan is just on the other side of the sand dune across the lake.

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We saw beautiful sunsets.

We saw beautiful sunsets.

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And we saw a Bald Eagle cruise the lake hunting for a few days.

And we saw a Bald Eagle cruise the lake hunting for a few days.

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Large spiders waiting back home.

Large spiders waiting back home.

Spider and my ear phones.

Spider and my ear phones.

And other amazing critters like this bee in the garden.

And other amazing critters like this bee in the garden.

And this lovely preying mantis. Years ago my friend Kelly bought me a few mantis cocoons for my birthday and I get to treasure her gift every year since.

And this lovely preying mantis. Years ago my friend Kelly bought me a few mantis cocoons for my birthday and I get to treasure her gift every year since.

This one was enjoying a fly or bee when I spotted it.

This one was enjoying a fly or bee when I spotted it.

And it only has one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to see things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

And it only has one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve spotting a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

Some sort of moth on the garage door. It's pretty fancy.

Some sort of a moth on the garage door. It’s pretty fancy.

A coyote in the neighborhood.

A coyote in the neighborhood.

I saw this on my way to work and had to call in late saying I was witnessing something much better than being trapped in a stinky office.

I saw this on my way to work and had to call in late saying I was witnessing something much better than being trapped in a stinky office.

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I spotted this on my way out of my child's doctor appointment before dropping her off to dance class. I'm always glad to have my camera ride in the passenger seat.

I spotted this on my way out of my child’s doctor appointment before dropping her off to dance class. Im always glad to have my camera ride in the passenger seat.

This is from a few weeks ago. I walked through this section with my love and most of the ferns were brown and gold and flattened. Fall is here in Michigan. I plan on posting yesterday's fall photos soon.

This is from a few weeks ago. I walked through this section with my love and most of the ferns were brown and gold and flattened. Fall is here in Michigan. I plan on posting yesterday’s fall photos soon.

Fall morning light.

Fall morning light.

If it has a penis, it’s not a spider.

Green Heron Green Heron

Green Heron and a frog.

Green Heron and a frog.

The heron only had the the frog by the end of a leg and brought it to the dock for safer eating. If it dropped the frog the heron wouldn't lose it in the water.

The heron only had the the frog by the end of a leg and brought it to the dock for safer eating. If it dropped the frog the heron wouldn’t lose it in the water.

A meaty frog meal.

A meaty frog meal.

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

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Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

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Green Darner

Green Darner

This guy has a penis and spiders don't. He also doesn't have a segmented head or produce silk like spiders. It's an insect, but not a spider.

This guy has a penis and spiders don’t. He also doesn’t have a segmented head or produce silk like spiders. It’s not a spider.

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nature photography in nylons

A patch of trillium along the trails. The woods were brown and covered in leaves just two weeks ago and are now green and full of wildflowers and a lot of thorns.

A patch of trillium along the trails. The woods were brown and covered in leaves just two weeks ago and are now green and full of wildflowers and a lot of thorns.

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Trillium, the state wildflower in Michigan.

Trillium, the state wildflower in Michigan.

In the garden.

In the garden.

Forsythia

Forsythia

Redbud tree blooms.

Redbud tree blooms.

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Bleeding hearts. The next night we had a freeze that killed all these flowers.

Bleeding hearts. The next night we had a freeze that killed all these flowers.

One of my favorite trees

One of my favorite trees

A cardinal nest.

A cardinal nest.

There's finally an egg in the cardinal nest.

There’s finally an egg in the cardinal nest.

Newly hatched Cardinal

Newly hatched Cardinal

Pregnant deer.... see how the belly protrudes below her middle?

Pregnant deer…. see how the belly protrudes below her middle?

Some of the first wildflowers spotted in the woods.

Some of the first wildflowers spotted in the woods.

Michigan wildflowers

Michigan wildflowers

The last bluebird egg in the first laid clutch sits on the ground destroyed. It is now legal for me to remove the nesting material from the nest box. It's illegal to destroy a viable song bird's nest.

The last bluebird egg in the first laid clutch sits on the ground destroyed. It is now legal for me to remove the nesting material from the nest box. It’s illegal to destroy a viable song bird’s nest.

A few days later there was a new clutch of bluebird eggs laid.

A few days later there was a new clutch of bluebird eggs laid.

Female Eastern Bluebird guarding her nest.

Female Eastern Bluebird guarding her nest.

Eastern Bluebird fledgings

Eastern Bluebird fledgings

Sometimes I'm driving down the road and I'll see a horse, a donkey and a goat hanging out.

Sometimes I’m driving down the road and I’ll see a horse, a donkey and a goat hanging out.

Or catch sight of  a bird nesting on my way home from work and have to stop for a quick picture.

Or catch sight of a bird nesting on my way home from work and have to stop for a quick picture.

A leaping deer.

A leaping deer.

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Three robin eggs.

Three robin eggs.

Magnolia

Magnolia

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Catching some down time in the park.

Catching some down time in the park.

Had a great visit to the Skeba's farm on Lake Leelanau.

Had a great visit to the Skeba’s farm on Lake Leelanau.

We found some morel mushrooms.

We found some morel mushrooms.

And we found a fawn too.

And we found a fawn too.

Allium

Allium

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit

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too busy to enjoy the 100 year flood

Daffodil

Daffodil

Hyacinths

Hyacinths

Grape Hyacinths. I used to see the deer right outside the front door every morning chowing down on these flowers.

Grape Hyacinths. I used to see the deer right outside the front door every morning chowing down on these flowers.

Daffodil

Daffodil

An Eastern Bluebird nest! As of Friday there were no eggs in the nest. I can tell it's an Eastern Bluebird nest because they make tidy nests woven from uniformly shaped grass. The invasive House Sparrow uses grass, litter (like candy bar wrappers or bits of plastic) and pads the bottom of the nest with feathers from all sorts of different birds.

An Eastern Bluebird nest! As of Friday there were no eggs in the nest. I can tell it’s an Eastern Bluebird nest because they make tidy nests woven from uniformly shaped grass. The invasive House Sparrow uses grass, litter (like candy bar wrappers or bits of plastic) and pad the bottom of the nest with feathers from all sorts of different birds.

By Tuesday the Eastern Bluebird nest holds three eggs. I'm guessing there will be a total of five eggs by Thursday... then an exciting (**for a nerd) 14 day countdown begins until the eggs hatch. The begins a ten-day period of growth before the hatchlings start to fly and live outside the box.

The Eastern Bluebird nest holds three eggs by Tuesday. I’m guessing there will be a total of five eggs by Thursday… then an exciting (**for a nerd) 14 day countdown begins until the eggs hatch. The begins a ten day period of growth before the hatchlings start to fly and live outside the box.

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Miniature Iris

Miniature Iris

Despite enough rain to break our city's 100 year flood records and the snow flying in between the rain storms we have been able to see the sunset once or twice in the past month.

Despite enough rain to break our city’s 100 year flood records and the snow flying in between the rain storms we have been able to see the sunset once or twice in the past month.

wet, active and unsettled

A weather blog for the local area states the week’s weather will be spring-like and wet, active and unsettled.

I took a long and quiet run on the first day of spring...in a snow storm. I did see four bikers on the trails that day.

I took a long and quiet run on the first day of spring…in a snow storm. I did see four bikers on the trails that day.

Turkeys trying to build their harem. The hens completely ignored them and continued to eat the whole time I watched. They need to work on their game and grown their beards to more impressive lengths.

Turkeys trying to build their harem. The hens completely ignored them and continued to eat the whole time I watched. They need to work on their game. (and grow their beards to more impressive lengths.)

Turkeys and deer. The buck that had the weird shed is on the right. The shed is gone and the snow is melting- finally!

Turkeys and deer. The buck that had the weird shed is on the right. The shed is gone and the snow is melting- finally!

The streams make noise now that the ice melted.

The streams make noise now that the ice is melted.

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The floor of the woods

The floor of the woods

It's nice to be able to forget to take off your sunglasses and toss them to the side of the trail and not worry they'll be buried by snow.... or taken when you forget to pick them back up off the trail for a few days in a row.

It’s nice to be able to forget to take off your sunglasses and toss them to the side of the trail and not worry they’ll be buried by snow…. or taken when you forget to pick them back up from the trail for a few days in a row. Lookey here, they’re just where I left them.

It's warm enough for the bugs to rejoin us. I'm amazed that I can spend months accidentally inhaling bugs and spiders in the woods and completely forget about those accidental meals during the winter season. The three black dots on my lips are tiny bugs. They're way too small to have a flavor.

It’s warm enough for the bugs to rejoin us. I’m amazed that I can spend months accidentally inhaling bugs and spiders in the woods and completely forget about those accidental meals during the winter season. The three black dots on my lips are tiny bugs. They’re way too small to have a flavor.

I barely made it out of the woods by sunset because I was distracted by animals. I saw a raccoon wading in the stream and a skunk on the bank of the stream. They both went into a hollow under a tree's root system and I was hoping to catch a picture of them together in their hide out. I couldn't see them when I got closer and I didn't get sprayed by the skunk or my face eaten off by the raccoon. Disappointedly uneventful.

I barely made it out of the woods by sunset. I saw a raccoon wading in the stream and a skunk on the bank of the stream. They both went into a hollow under a tree’s root system and I was hoping to catch a picture of them together in their hide out. I couldn’t see them when I got closer and I didn’t get sprayed by the skunk or my face eaten off by the raccoon. Disappointedly uneventful.

And it’s dry enough to bike…for now!
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