The early morning sun created a startling rainbow effect:
Both days after we arrived at our second home in northeastern Illinois we took morning walks at nearby Nelson Lake, a Kane County Forest Preserve. On the first day we explored the eastern prairie and surrounding woodlands. The weather was pleasant but the birding was slow.
An observation deck overlooks the east side of the lake:
The view from the platform:
A Red-tailed Hawk flew towards us and passed right overhead:
A Savannah Sparrow flew up from the path and then settled on a small shrub. They are usually active and restless, but this one allowed a rather close approach.
In the wooded area, photography was a bit of a challenge because of the dense foliage and dark shadows. This Downy Woodpecker was a case in point. My photos were soft but I liked the bokeh caused by the filtered light and the different postures assumed by the woodpecker as it foraged on some low-lying branches:
Yellow-Rumped Warblers are late migrants, and their arrival signaled that the best of the season had passed. It was difficult to pick them out among the leaves:
That night a cold front passed through. In mid-morning, after the rains let up we entered the preserve from the north We were not prepared for the cold 46 degrees (~8 degrees Celsius), such a contrast from Florida's heat and humidity. A family group of Sandhill Cranes provided a nice photo opportunity. The colt lacks the red forehead which distinguishes it from its parents:
They suddenly decided they did not appreciate our intrusion:
When birding is slow there is time to observe other items of interest and beauty, including colorful Milkweed Bugs:
It was very windy and there were few butterflies but plenty of flowers, such as these rich purple New England Asters:
A honeybee collected pollen from a Heath Aster...
...and a Yellow Jacket also visited:
Our travel and temporary relocation have caused me to get terribly behind on correspondence, but rain is in the forecast and I hope to have more computer face time in the next few days. I will certainly be browsing all your great posts, and thank you for so many kind comments! (Now to make my Thursday morning deadline!)
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display