After a few weeks without heavy rain, things are starting to look like they usually do at the end of July. The fields are tinged with brown, the water in the marsh is receding, and the red dragons rule. Driving down dirt roads, I see a swirling vortex of dust rising up from behind the car. For weeks now the rear window has been covered with brown powder, and when I glance in the mirror I’m only looking back through a dark glass.
Things in the Allegan Forest are a bit different this year as well. I realized this last week that there has been virtually no gunfire in the woods this summer – a real change from past years. This is also a mowing year in the game area – several of my favorite fields that were last mowed three or four years ago, were mowed again this summer. Several fields off 44th Ave, plus the large fields north of the river off 125th Street have been cut. Of the places I regularly visit, only the fields off 48th Avenue remain untouched.
It will be more than a week till I return, and by then even those places may be mowed.
Anyhow, this last week I made a few desultory ventures out photographing. All things being equal, I probably should have staying in and worked on myriad other projects, but I wanted to capture the summer while it was still here.
A couple of trips to the Allegan forest were highly productive. I really worked the red meadowhawks – which I reckon now are about one third White Faced Meadowhawks with the balance being Cherry Faced, Ruby, and even a few Autumn Meadowhawks. The shot above, which was subject to some digital manipulation, is one of the more interesting dragonfly shots I’ve taken this year. I call it Jachim, Boaz, and the Red Dragon. Why not?
I also managed to get a final, goodbye shot of a Blue Dasher, below, which isn’t half bad.
Around the house, I found three or four cicada exuviae around the house this week. In one case the living cicada was on the wall of my garage, next to its abandoned larval exoskeleton. I caught it and put it on a tree, where it quickly raced towards the top – after a very frantic round of shooting (and repositioning the insect a few times) I finally called it quits when the memory card was full.
Overall, a good week and a good start to August. More photos: