Archive for the ‘Maple Bluff’ Category

As the cold weather began to settle into the Madison area, the temperature of Lake Mendota, the largest of the Chain of Lakes in Madison, was significantly warmer than the surrounding air resulting in some foggy mornings. Here are some photos from those foggy mornings.

Here is a photo of Maple Bluff (about 3/4 mile [1.2 km] across the lake from where I took this photo and about 120 feet [36.5 meters] above the lake at this point) shrouded in the fog.

Foggy Morning - 0109

Here is a photo of part of the City of Madison shore (foreground) with fog on the lake.

Foggy Morning1

Here are two views of the Tenney Park breakwater in the early morning with the fog in the background.

Foggy Morning3  Foggy Morning4

 

 

 

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Although we normally have large numbers of monarch butterflies coming through our area starting in mid- to late-August last year we had very few. I was concerned that we might have even fewer given the loud noise and clouds of dust that have been one of the primary features of Maple Bluff during all of the ongoing construction. Wrongo (no need to check your dictionary, it is a made up word meaning I was totally wrong). There are many more monarchs than there were last year  and while I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of them during the heaviest phases of construction, it may well be that they were there while I was paying attention to the construction activities.  Here are a few shots of recent monarch activity.

This monarch butterfly is flying right next to our ongoing street  s

This monarch is flying right next to our ongoing construction

 

As I was writing this it dawned on me that the flowers had not been quite so bright this year and perhaps a coating of dust had something to do with that (at least between rains).

The dust may have helped to make more muted  pastels.

Dust or not, the monarchs’ appetites remain good.

Monarch in front garden - August 25, 2014 - 0014-2

 

 

 

The infrastructure of our street in Maple Bluff has been undergoing construction for months now. The work has proceeded in fits and starts and all in all much more slowly than anticipated. It has made life rather inconvenient from time to time.  Still, I find the whole process fascinating. Part of it is probably due to the lure of the construction equipment — the big dump trucks, the excavators, the bulldozers — and the work they do. In the following photos I have tried to capture some of what has been happening during the work that has been going on here as well as some of my interest in the equipment itself. I will be posting a few construction photo galleries

 

What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.

Flight.

The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.

Self-portrait

Red-bellied Woodpecker- May 16, 2014 - 0012 Red-bellied Woodpecker- May 16, 2014 - 0015

A couple of days ago I was watching the birds at our bird feeders while enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning when a Red-bellied Woodpecker showed up. After a few desultory pecks at the bird feeder, the woodpecker headed over to our large maple tree, where it moved around the tree in a very orderly manner. It was as though it had a search map so that it could cover each part of the tree in order while it went about looking for, catching and eating the insects that were located in the rough bark of the tree. I quickly grabbed my camera and got several photos of the woodpecker, including these. These shots were taken through our windows since I knew that getting outside would scare the woodpecker away. While I enjoyed seeing the woodpecker, I was very happy that it did not decide to make a home in our maple tree.

Building Blocks (final)

A great deal of infrastructure improvement work has been occurring in my neighborhood in Maple Bluff over the past several weeks. Part of it involves sewer and water improvements and as a result the contractor staged supplies along the construction route. Some of these supplies are large concrete blocks. To me, the stacks of these concrete blocks looked a great deal like the building blocks that children use. I decided to creatively enhance a photo of these concrete blocks to emphasize this connection and in a serendipitous twist create a contribution to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Twist.

I have been following the budding process of our magnolia tree for the last few weeks. It has been excruciatingly slow, though I am hoping to post a series of photos that results in a flower before the end of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Spring. Here is a photo of one of the buds.

Magnolia Bud - May 06, 2014 - 008-Edit