Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

An early Halloween scare

I was rooting around in my compost pile and I heard a blood-curdling scream. I looked up and saw my wife doing the there-is-a-bug-on-me-get-it-off-get-it-off! dance. She had walked through a spider web leaving the house...then soon later noticed the big spider was crawling across her chest. Upon inspection, it was decided the spider was awesome (my be)...and gross (by my wife).

I believe this is a female Marbled Orb Weaver spider, Araneus marmoreus, a highly variable species that is not aggressive.


A thin line of webbing from the spinnerets. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The lethargic hornet

I spotted a large hornet on the steps to my house, but he was pretty slow.  Probably in the last hours of his life, he just crawled back and forth on the edge of the concrete.  This make for a nice opportunity to photos of live hornet with low risk of being stung.

Hawk Ridge Migration

The birds of prey, along with other birds, are starting to head south and along their way they won't fly over Lake Superior.  So if the wind is right, the birds focus along the shore and Hawk Ridge is an excellent vantage for seeing thousands of birds fly over. Conditions were OK this morning.  In about an hour we saw lots of Sharp-shinned hawks, a Bald Eagle, an unknown Accipiter, and some large groups of robins and blue jays.

A view of Lake Superior and Wisconsin from Hawk Ridge at Skyline Drive.

A Sharp-shinned hawk that was captured and measured--for Science!

Got to see some turkeys on the way to the ridge; a mama and youngin's.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aurora borealis

Recent solar activity lit up the skies tonight.  Faintly visible with the bright moon surrounded by a colorful corona.  Long exposures brought out the color in the northern lights.  Caribou Lake made for a nice mirror.  I had to fight with condensation on my lens as the temp dropped to 39F and humid air came off the lake.  I got to see a really great shooting star...unfortunately not captured with the camera.  I also had the pleasure of listening to 4 or 5 Barred owls calling back and forth.

Big Dipper over the aurora reflected in Caribou Lake 

Some red rays shining through

A colorful corona around the bright moon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Fury at Forty Five Fahrenheit

September blows into Duluth. 45 degrees, gusty winds, and drizzle.

As viewed from Canal Park near Canal Park Brewing

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Evening colors

The presence of Lake Superior provides us with interesting clouds on occasion. Stratocumulus undulatus coupled with a colorful sunset, it was quite a show for about 10 minutes.

Morning colors

Found some large orange mushrooms along my daycare provider's driveway.  The biggest is about 9 inches tall and 7 inches in diameter and surrounded by ground ivy that has turned for fall already.

The big guy

Two small ones hiding under the ivy

Ready to open its top

Tiny twin sugar maple leaves

I love all the colors that sugar maple turn.

Asiatic tiger lily

Asiatic tiger lilies reaching to the sky