In the post, Visitors – Love Niagara Falls State Parks, I took you to all the tourist spots for those ‘postcard’ images. You know, the pretty ones everyone tries to bring home. Here, I look in the natural places fewer tourists visit to see what I could find along the trails of Niagara.
Taking a walk along the Niagara Trail at Whirlpool Park turns up some pretty ordinary finds, but when in pretty light, makes them a bit extraordinary. I took the challenge of Saxon Holt to find the better light of the golden hour.
When I want better light, I always gravitate to the forests, fields and meadows for the blue light of the morning or the golden light of the early evening. I feel peace and calm in natural settings.
In the forest where everything is in shadow, the darkness of the woods gives a splash of vibrancy to the logs and fungi with a stray beam of light streaming through the trees.
Insects are sparse in the meadows along the trail. Maybe the recent weather had a hand in this, but in my own garden there is a lot of buzzing, flapping and crawling. I do have a post coming up on the loss of butterflies. The info is from scientific papers and studies. It looks to be rather bleak for some species.
With the recent downpours, I was expecting a flush of mushrooms, but that was not the case. So few insects and scarcely any mushrooms, I keep looking and keep finding…
What you might find odd, is I am shooting as much or more for the backgrounds as I am for the object of the photo.
Usually the meadow is filled with dragonflies, but not this year. I have been wondering what has happened to all the insects? It really took looking to find those in this post.
I do have an observation though. I noticed when dragonflies and even hummingbirds enter my garden, a flurry of bees go on the attack and harass each larger creature until it leaves. Is this cause and effect with loss of feeding habitat (dry plants equals less nectar-rich bloom)? Is this why less insects are in the meadows generally?
Like I said above, I have researched this decline and weather does have a direct effect on loss of butterfly species. “Butterflies are considered to be representative indicators of trends observed for most other terrestrial insects.” Which means simply, if it is happening to butterflies, it is likely happening to other insects as well. “Butterflies are useful indicators of biodiversity and the general health of ecosystems.”
I don’t always know the names of the insects, and some are really hard to identify. This fly for instance is really gnarly looking and I could not find out exactly what it is, but that is the fun of nature walks. There is always things one does not know.
Since finding insects was not going well, I started looking for pretty bark patterns in the woods, textures and colors to make bark art. Easy to find downed trees, but finding cool stuff on them took looking. You can always find stuff then add them to the textural background too. A tip I learned and used in the turkey feather on the log below.
Fun textural finds when you look close.
Photos, a kaleidoscope of color.
This Calico Pennant Dragonfly on Hawk Weed was just too pretty of an insect.
Oh, and I had to photograph any dragonfly I saw! I was amazed he was in focus, they fly so darn fast.
Check out the trails in your backyard for some ‘extraordinary’! Find some bark art of your own. Oh, and don’t forget to look up. Stuff happens on nature walks high above.
Next nature walk has the butterflies and what is happening to them. I have been to quite a few nature preserves lately, so stay tuned. One had a seminar on bird banding.
Check out the tab Photography Tips & Thoughts. Maybe find something you yourself might try for your nature walk.