Thursday, August 2, 2018

Crops & Clips: Flashback to August, 2015

Looking back three years brings back some vivid memories of favorite memes: critters of all kinds, skies adorned with clouds and rainbows, reflections on calm waters, signs of the season, fences, and those images which speak for themselves. Now that we have sold our second home in Illinois, this exercise also reminds us of how much we gained by spending some of the warmer months "up north."

The month started out at our Florida home. In contrast with the present year, the water levels in the lake and surrounding wet prairie had dropped. This attracted wading birds to the shallows along the lake margins and exposed areas of mud flats. Fish were trapped or exposed in pools left by the receding water. A Great Blue Heron reflected nicely from a rock that is usually submerged at this time of year:

Great Blue Heron reflection 02-20150802

On August 1st a Solitary Sandpiper foraged along the shore:

Solitary Sandpiper 4-20150801

Spotted Sandpipers searched the crevices among the rocks:

Spotted Sandpipers 20150801

Spotted Sandpiper 20150815

A Great Egret arrived to partake of the feast:

Great Egret landing 20150802

The egrets provided a nice comparison with a smaller white immature Little Blue Heron:

Great Egrets and Little Blue 20150802

Little Blue with Egret 20150802

Watching the alligator 20150803

Great Egret and Little Blue Heron 20150805

A mother Raccoon led her babies across the path in front of me:

Young Raccoons 20150805

She took a defensive posture as they scrambled to safety:

Mother Raccoon 20150805

Oh my! I'm only up to August 5th and have over 500 more photos to sift through!

On August 7th a brief shower was followed by a double rainbow over the lake in back of our home (please pardon the deliberate over-saturation):

Double Rainbow HDR 20150807

In case you missed it in the above photo, the Double-crested Cormorant returned the next day to perch on the decoy:

Double-crested Cormorant 2-20150807

A welcome sight was this Wood Stork, the first we had seen on our lake in several months. They failed to breed in south Florida for the prior two or three years because of abnormal water conditions. It hunted along the shore near a neighbor's fence:

Wood Stork 4-20150808

The stork opened its wings to reveal their feather pattern:

Wood Stork 3-20150808

Just as we are experiencing this year (2018), dust blown across the Atlantic from the Sahara Desert produced beautiful pink sunrises. One good thing about the dust cloud is that it suppresses the development of hurricanes:

Pink Saharan Dusty Dawn 20150808

Here is Mary Lou walking home before sunrise under a colorful sky (I'm so slow that I am still going the other way. We started out very early to try to find the Barn Owl which I saw the previous day. No luck!):

Before sunrise HDR 20150819

A struggling fish in the grasp of a Snowy Egret scatters water droplets:

Snowy Egret dance 13-20150817

Here is a video of the "dance" of this Snowy Egret as it chases after fish in one of the lakeside pools (WARNING: turn down the sound if you do not like the dance music):

If the video fails to load in the space above, please click HERE

Fast forward to August 24, the day after we arrived at our second home in northeastern Illinois. We visited Hannaford Woods in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Across from the entrance is this barn, which I rendered as an oil painting (click on image to enlarge):

Hannaford Barn OIL 20150824 (View Large)

At Hannaford, we saw a favorite species, the Red-headed Woodpecker:

Red-headed Woodpecker 20150824

American Goldfinch at Lippold Park, near our condo in North Aurora:

American Goldfinch 20150826

Butterflies at Aurora West preserve-- an Eastern Comma...

Eastern Comma 20150827

...and a Pearl Crescent:

Pearl Crescent 20150827

Visiting local Jones Meadow Park in North Aurora on July 31, I loved the way a neighbor had filled this bicycle's basket with flowers:

Bicycle HDR 20150831

In fact, I textured the image with enamal:

Bicycle ENAMEL 20150831

Also on  the last day of the month, I took the final photo of one of my favorite subjects. Days later, this barn was torn down to make way for a prefabricated one made of metal and vinyl:

Barn Albumen 20150831

This barn was the focal point of a landscape I photographed only the month before, through the same opening in the trees at Jones Meadow Park. It lives in memory:

 Jones Meadow Park HDR 20150709
= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Ken, this is a really lovely compilation!
    I envy you the birds you get to see "up north" in breeding plumage which we normally see in Florida only during migration.

    Again, thank you for sharing a beautiful post!

  2. Your photography is so beautiful - I'm enjoying all the shots but that first one grabbed me. The 5th one grabbed again. Love this post

  3. Beautiful post! Love the pink sky captures. So interesting that it's partially produced by dust blowing all the way from the Sahara Desert!! LOL at the bird on the decoy, and beautiful rainbow capture!

  4. Stunning photography Kenneth. I often think i will pick a favourite however with your shots that is totally impossible as they are all so wonderful. How I love the video and the music to go with it. I think the Egret must have been on speed!!! Have a lovely weekend.

  5. Lots of amazing photos and reflections. Spectacular rainbow.

  6. What a wonderful walk down memory lane. Absolutely amazing shots. I think my favorite is the cormorant standing on the decoy. Also enjoyed the video. Happy Saturday!

  7. Hello, gorgeous skies and lovely reflection captures. I love all the birds, I miss the Florida birds, all the egrets and wood storks. The Spotted Sandpiper is beautiful. Great post and awesome photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank also for the comment on my post.

  8. Really great shots! The rainbow is incredible!

  9. Wonderful images! The reflections are fantastic.

  10. Oh that Goldfinch...magnificent composition Ken! Of course you never fail to show us the beauty that surrounds your world!

    Hope you're enjoying your weekend & thanks for linking in with us at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

  11. Your photos are so amazing! Love the Great White Egret and all the other beautiful creatures you shared.

  12. So much to experience!
    Wonderful photos.

  13. Great reflection shots and sunrises! And I LOVE the egret photos! Wow!

  14. The green color in the header is a great summer surprise! Like way you tell about the receding water effecting the environment of the bird life. The sandpipers are so cute, whole the Great Egret is majestic! I cannot but smile at the Cormorant on the decoy:)
    For you it may just be sifting through your photos, but your post is of telling the story that make it so much fun to read them for All Seasons!
    Have a great week, Jesh

  15. Beautiful images! Definitely worth a second look.

  16. Great set of pictures - I really like that second racoon picture. One day I hope to see some!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  17. One day a future owner of the metal and vinyl barn will get a kick out of seeing a photo of the wooden barn. I love that photo of your wife walking during dawn. Something about that angle tells a great story about the walker. My other favorites on your post is the joyful play between the young heron and the egret.


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