Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pictures of Summer

I've been taking my  camera for walks around the farm and around the neighborhood at the height of summer. It has been a fairly wet year so things are growing well and staying pretty green. One  of the best trades for manure I ever received was last year. Perennials for poop was amazing. Here are a couple.

There is a short road behind the house that accesses some properties, most of which are for sale, but not in high demand, yet. It makes for a nice short walk unless I go off on the spur trails we cut in about twenty years ago when we were still the owners. No wildlife showed up, but a bear  (a small one) left us a sign. So you see the bear often poops in the road and not in the forest. Here is the road and the poop.

There are various plants to see along this road and some are edible.
The lupines have gone to seed.
But the raspberries are still available.
Here is a current bush which can also be seen near civilization.
The Cooker and I took a walk on the Superior Hiking Trail just down the road from the farm. Our intent was to look for chanterelles and lobster mushrooms. We found lots of fungi, but not what we were looking for. We did see this stuff, though.

This is the first Indian pipe I have seen this year. We came to a power line crossing and someone was watching us.
Click to embiggen and look at the center of the picture along the edge of the trees on the right and see if you can see her.

Someone here is looking for food or maybe considering a home.
And there are still some blueberries to be eaten! Look closely!

More evidence of our neighborhood bears. I saw a number of ant hills opened up and there are some other species of critters and birds that will take advantage of a destroyed ant hill.
One of the rare sightings are these tracks. They are cat tracks, but not your house cat type. These are three or four inches across and are likely from a bobcat. They were at least a day old and had been walked over, but these two remained visible.

  You have to look closely.

I stopped by a friend's house for a little while to talk about an upcoming trip he and some friends are making to Europe in about a month. There are six people going, with bicycles, for a six week trip starting in the Czech Republic. How cool is that? This is right near where he lives and what he will be coming back to.

Click on the second one and find the sailboats.

Meanwhile, back on the farm there is work to be done. Time to mow the pastures to keep the woods from encroaching. Some years I don't mow, but I always have to do the edges to keep the trees out. If the fields are full of grasses I will mow them and they will reseed themselves. If there are a lot of wildflowers in bloom I will mostly leave them alone for the bees and other pollinators. A lot of it is timing and conditions and every year things are a little different. Here is my lawn mower.


  1. Beautiful shots, all. You live in a wonderful place. Except for the long winter, maybe. But the summer must make up for it.

    I especially liked the cat tracks and the deer and of course the current bush :)

  2. Oooooh. And ahhh.
    I loved walking with you and learning that bears poop on the roads. Urbanisation has got us all.
    And I loved the watching bear too.
    Such a beautiful area.

  3. I have some of the orange flowers, my neighbor has the yellow flowers.

    and the lupins remind me of this:

  4. Wonderful photos! I loved them all, but the paw print was my favorite.

    Do you have a lot of bears? That's a scary thought.

  5. Great photos. You live in a wonderful area. And close enough to water to rest your eyes by looking at distant horizons.

  6. How many blogs can boast a photo of actual bear poop? Congratulations!

  7. Beautiful pictures - thanks for sharing. This time of year bears in Maine are eating blueberries and their poop is technicolor.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  8. jenny_o, Summer is short and intense and plants, humans, and other animals have to make the most of it.

    Elephant's Child, Well, the watching critter was a deer, but I don't have any bear pictures because they see me and run. I seem to have that effect on people sometimes, too. Your pics are inspiring and show me a part of the world I may never get to see.

    anne marie, Thanks! I needed a good Monty Python today!

    jennifer, Just black bears and rarely over 500 pounds. They are pretty docile and just trying to make their way in the world, but don't come between a mother and her cubs.

    Blog Fodder, I have to have some form of water nearby just to rest my spirit now and then.

    Debra, Aw shucks! I find most city people aren't familiar with identifying critters by what they leave behind. I'm just here to educate.

    Ol'Buzzard, That is always fun to see what the woodland critters have been eating. Wolf poop is another interesting one.

  9. It's all so nice and green , I wish I lived in such a wonderful place. All except the bears and the bobcats, I don't think I want to come face to face with one or the other. We used to have a 60 acre farm deep in the country. I loved living there but it was a bit too isolated once my children started arriving.
    Thats a mean looking grass cutter.

  10. In week or two you'll be getting snow, right? ;)

  11. tell them to say hi to the czech's for me..tell them to come to West, Texas for Labor Day and Westfest..lots of czech's here too.

  12. Many interesting things ... but when your friends return from the Czech Republic that water will likely be frozen, no?

  13. Shammickite, I grew up in or near the city and remembering that I always wanted to get out. Guess I did. I feel safer among the bears.

    Sioux, It would be rare, but not unheard of. With today's extreme heat (80F) and humidity it might feel good.

    JACKIESUE, I think some of the tour will be checking out the Czech beers. There should be lots of Autumn festivals at that time of year.

    Tom, There will be some frosty mornings, but it usually takes a bit longer for lake ice to form. A little longer these last couple of decades.

  14. Oh deer, I saw her. Sweet photos, Jono.
    It sounds like a brave adventure - biking through Europe.

    Hope you're feeling well and healing smoothly, friend.

  15. The flowers look beautiful.

  16. Robyn, Does the deer have any doe? Yeah, two bucks. (rimshot). Yes I am doing reasonably well and I'll be beautiful again in no time.

    healthyliving, Thanks!

  17. I love your roads and trails in the woods! I'm trying to figure out what's more dangerous, coming across a bear or coming across an alligator while out walking.

    Glad to see you walk with your camera. I consider that as aerobic and strength-training exercise, since carrying the camera counts as carrying weights.

  18. Ah, such beautiful photos! Except for the bear poop - we see enough of that at our place. ;-) The cat tracks were very cool, though. Last winter we had a bobcat in our back yard here right here in Calgary. We didn't get to see the actual cat (unfortunately), but it left tracks in the snow that look very much like the ones in your photo!

  19. Pixel Peeper, I am more used to bears, so 'gators would be more scary to me. Thanks for the encouragement in my training regimen!

    Diane, Bears poop everywhere and anywhere they feel the urge, don't they? We have an occasional lynx here and the very rare cougar (the four footed kind) sighting.

  20. Aww. A sweet doe was watching you!

    Knowing that bears and bobcats occupied the area around me would fill me with both respectful fear and wonder.

  21. Ah, the North Shore summers are so beautiful! Glad you are able to get out and about to enjoy it, and to share with the rest of us. Love the poop road sign.

  22. Ahab, We have deer in the yard almost daily, usually very early or very late. When you walk in the woods and feel like you are being watched, you probably are.

    chlost, It answers the age old question of, "Does the bear poop in the woods?"