Back again to the Oak Savanna...
One of the first things I did once returning to Kalamazoo was to head out to the Allegan forest to see what opportunities were available for insect photography. Though its just the first few days of September, the cool weather has really rolled in, and Friday was cool (around the mid 60’s) and cloudy.
It obviously rained as much here as it did in Chicago, and the woods, fields, and Oak Savannas were uncharacteristically lush and green. Unusually by this time of the season they are dry and barren.
Maybe it was the cool weather, maybe the clouds, maybe I just picked the wrong set up fields to explore. Anyway you slice it, there were slim pickings for any kind of insect photography. While I Chicago I saw monarch butterflies everywhere. (There were dozens if not hundreds in the Cancer Survivor garden alone.) But here I saw a few lonely Coppers and Blues, but no Swallowtails, Monarchs, or other larger butterflies.
There were a lot of deer around – its funny, but I don’t see as many deer in the Allegan woods are I’d expect. Maybe they keep a low profile with all the hunting going on. The deer I saw on this day were all young ones – still with their spots, some still in groups, probably wrapping up the end of their first summer. I only brought back three insect shots, two of the same subject. The Black Saddle Bag was the only interesting subject I found, and it wasn’t much for posing. It reminds me of the Widow Skimmers that were so prevalent in the spring and early summer.
Ah well – those are the glory days. September is a frenetic month coming up, with several trips and shows to prep for, and I’m not sure what opportunities for shooting dragonflies and other insects will come along. By the fall equinox, the insect populations really start to plunge, though a few hearty survivors can yet be found on warm autumn afternoons.