Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cooled down, grey skies and dragonflies

It has cooled way down, and its overcast. Here's something scary: I just took this picture of a silver maple hanging over the edge of the Portage, and its leaves are already turning color.

There's a huge snag (dead oak), maybe 80 feet tall on the bank above the river, and when there's no wind, the dragonflies sit at the tips of the dead branches. Each tiny branch end has its own dragon. What are they doing up there? No water, no females, and birds can come by and eat them. Why do they do it?
(photo by Joel Hartzell)

Here's some arrowhead (Sagittaria) on the riverbank, but I missed the flowers. They aren't as thick as they were last year.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

July 8: HOT

It's so hot that there are no boys at the Boys Dam; the kids are all inside watching TV. Instead, a family of Canada geese came out to wade, dabble, and frolic. I've never seen them below the dam before. I expect they have a picnic basket on shore.. watch out for the feral cats, guys.
Hard to photograph. The woods are so dark and the water so brilliant. It's in the nineties, but the humidity could be worse.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July, still dry

In bloom is one of my favorite Michigan wildflowers, the beautiful Asclepias incarnata, pink milkweed, also called marsh milkweed since it lives along the edge of the water.
No rain. No humidity. Drought along the Portage River. All the California relatives and friends have been here, commenting on the California-like weather.
Along the edge of the river I spotted a stand of Saururus cernuus, which is called "water dragon" and "lizard tail" among other common names. There is nothing even remotely lizardy about it, but "cernuus" means "nodding"; and in the wind, the fluffy white plumes bobbed and wagged like the tails of little animals.

Also this, another water plant. It is everywhere along the edges and in the bog-islands in the river, but I don't know what it is. Flowers are small, notice the fly for size.