Monday, September 24, 2018

The Days of Summer - Day Eighty-seven through Day Ninety-four

This is the final installment of my Days of Summer photography project.  I began the summer with the plan to photograph something in nature every single day and share one image from each day on this site.  The first image taken on June 21st showed trees lit by the sunrise of the Summer Solstice.  Starting with that first image I have photographed outdoors for 94 consecutive days.  I've photographed the sun and the moon, insects, birds, wildflowers, trees, and more.  I've shared photos from local parks, nature preserves, a national monument, and my own yard.  At times it has been a challenge to pick a single photo to represent each day.  Some days it was a challenge just to take a photograph. 

I think that I had become stagnant in my photography over the past few years and this project gave me a new challenge to embrace.  I do know that if I had to pick my top twenty-five photographs, several of them would come from this project.

Here are the final eight images from the project.  If you would like to see the other pictures, you can start with this link to the previous set of images.

Day 87 (15 September) - Turkey Vulture

This image was take at Forest Hill Nature Area.  A deer had been struck and killed by a car in the road on the east side of the property.  This carcass attracted several Turkey Vultures.  MY hope was to get images of one or more birds feeding on the deer, but the vultures took off when I approached.  I did manage to get several pictures of them on trees and utility poles near the carcass, but this image of one in flight was my favorite picture of the day.

Day 88 (16 September) - Give me some sugar, little honey bee...

This picture was taken in the native pollinator garden at our home in Alma.  The goldenrods and New England Aster are attracting hundreds of bees at a time, including this worker honeybee.  This image has been cropped from a horizontal to a vertical format.

If you recognize the title of this picture comes from a Tom Petty song, good for you!  If you don't, click here to learn more about one of my favorite albums.

Day 89 (17 September) - Waxing gibbous moon

This image of the moon was taken from our driveway in Alma.  The word waxing in the title means that the moon is getting larger.  The word gibbous means that more than fifty percent of the face of the moon is visible.  in other words, the moon has passed the "first quarter" phase and is nearing its "full moon" phase.

This image has been cropped as a square.  This picture is best viewed at full size to see all possible details.

Day 90 (18 September) - Milkweed seeds

I took this photograph in the field next to the Conservation District Office.  I like the contrast between the bright green of the grass, the white fluff of the milkweed, and the brown seeds.

Day 91 (19 September) - Late summer creek

This picture was taken at Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Alyce J. Peterson Natural Area near Big Rapids.  This small creek flows through the property before emptying into the nearby Muskegon River.  I was visiting Peterson Natural Area to complete an annual monitoring visit for the CWC.  During this visit I walked through the entire property and crossed this creek several times.  Most of the preserve is old field habitat, but part of the land along the creek is shaded by mature hardwood trees.

Day 92 (20 September) - Late summer colors

This picture is all about color and light.  I photographed these flowers in the native pollinator garden on the south side of our house.  If you look just above the center of the image there is Monarch butterfly.  This is one of more than sixty that we raised from caterpillars.

Day 93 (21 September) - Sunset and soybeans

This is my favorite photo of the week.  It was taken in Clinton County between DeWitt and St. Johns.  I hadn't taken a photograph all day and lucked out with a beautiful sunset as we were returning home from dinner in Lansing.  As the sunset started we pulled off the highway and began searching for a backroad with good views of the horizon.  I love how the setting sun lights up all the soybeans in the foreground and the clouds in the sky.

Day 94 (22 September) - Equinox bees

This is the final picture of the summer and again it comes from our native pollinator garden.  As summer ends our garden is more alive than at any other time of the year.  Three species of goldenrod light up the garden with approximately one million tiny flowers (maybe a slight exaggeration). New England Aster adds thousands of purple and yellow flowers of its own.  These flowers are drawing hundreds of honeybees and bumble bees that buzz from the time the sun warms them enough to fly until dark.

That's it.  One photograph for each day of the summer.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.  Someday soon I plan to create a slideshow of all the images and share it here in one post.


  1. Congratulations on completion of your photography project! I've enjoyed all the photos. Also, that moon picture is wonderful -- could I use it in conference presentations about archaeoastronomy?? What kind of lens/camera settings did you use, if I may ask?

    1. Thanks. Yes, you may use the photo. I will email you a copy of the file. The photo was taken with the camera set on an aperture value of f/8. The camera selected a time of 1/500 second and an ISO of 2000. I was using a 100-400mm lens at 400mm. I was using a tripod and a remote to trip the shutter.