Silver Beach

Umbrellas 1


Both Piers

These are the St. Joseph Lighthouses on Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan. The North Pier has 2 lighthouses, both over 100 years old, but which have replaced previous lighthouses prior to that. The South Pier, which is the one I was on, has a conduit light at the end, not in a lighthouse, but in a little lookout tower.


The city of St. Joe now owns the lights and they are fully operational, all 3 of them. They were renovated in 2015 for over $1 million. The piers at St. Joseph and Grand Haven are the only ones on the Great Lakes that retain their range lights and catwalks. The St. Joseph Pier Lights were featured on a postage stamp issued in 1995.


Lighthouses fascinate me. You can read more about the history of these lights and see what the lighthouses look like in the winter here.


Coming In


Pier Mural

Big M

Work Hard

Friends 2

This is the South Pier, where the conduit light is located, at the top of the pole above. You can see that the pier has no fencing so you have to be careful to not be swept away when the waters are rough. It happens a few times a year when people are careless or overly daring.

Waves on Pier

South Pier

Looking back to land from the end of the South Pier. The North Pier is to the left.

Triangle Trees

RB GullRing-billed Gull

No Swimming

RB Gull 2

Atlantic Look

Umbrellas 2

If I ever wanted to live in the midwest again (and I don’t), it would be in St. Joe. But, next best thing, they have a livestream going all the time so I can check out the lighthouses any time, day or night. I mostly look forward to nice Arizona winter days in the 70s, looking at the ice-covered lighthouses. You can see the livestream here.

I blogged about St. Joe a few years ago here.

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Potato Creek State Park

Forest Path 2


A variety of natural habitats await the visitor to Potato Creek State Park in northwest Indiana including the 327 acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands. I know there were a ton of birds there but I was with my 95 year old mother so my opportunities for birding were limited (plus I didn’t take my birding lens back there).

I did get 3 lifers relatively easily so I can imagine what a few hours there would yield.


Chickadee 2Black-capped Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow_edited-1

Chipping 2Chipping Sparrow

CrowAmerican Crow

Cowbird 1Brown-headed Cowbird, young

Skiers Trail

Forest Path

Trail Erosion 2

Trail Erosion

It rained 8 inches the day I got to Indiana so there was much flooding in many places. The park suffered damage to some of the trails and the lake was closed.

SwallowtailTiger Swallowtail

Green DflyEastern Pondhawk

No Vehicles


It was very lush, very humid, and pretty buggy. I’d forgotten that feeling of something cold and slimy flying right into your eye that I used to experience in midwest summers in the woods.

Years ago, I wrote about this same place.

A for Adventure

Queen 1Queen Butterfly

CW 8.10.16Cactus Wren

Ground SquirrelRound-tailed Ground Squirrel

Lizard DBG

SulphurCloudless Sulphur

WW Dove PPWhite-winged Dove

Active Bees_edited-1



I was at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday volunteering (inside) and went walking around afterwards. It was very hot and humid and not much action in the animal world. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and spending more time there doing fun volunteer things and getting some new birds.

The following photos were taken in my yard. We have a lot of hummers right now. These are at least 2 different Anna’s Hummingbirds.

Anna's 8.5.16_edited-1

Anna's 2 8.5.16

Anna's 8.7.16

I’m heading off for a mini-adventure in a couple days so hope to have some different scenery and maybe some new birds to post soon…nothing exotic like the Galapagos Islands or anything like that…


Anna's 7.30.16Anna’s Hummingbird, male

A ragbag of photos, that is. There’s no theme here. These first few photos were taken in my yard over the last couple of days.

Verdin Orange 8.2.16Verdin

Thrasher PeanutCurve-billed Thrasher

Here’s my nod to Rio ~ Olympic High Dive: Olympic_rings_without_rims.svg

Thrasher Dive

Cicada Exo 1_edited-1Cicada Exoskeleton

Blue Mud DauberBlue Mud Dauber

HBird F 8.2.16Anna’s Hummingbird, female

I went out birding twice in the last two weeks and I had a target bird each time but didn’t get either! It’s sort of hard to find one specific bird among a whole bunch of trees…at least for me.

I went to Mountain View Park in Scottsdale, where I have gone many times in the past as it is close to where I used to work. I was in search of a pair of American Robins who have been nesting there all summer. The park was much larger than I knew before and I never saw a Robin. This is the only semi-decent shot I got:

Gilded Flicker MVGilded Flicker, male

Then I went to a cemetery in Scottsdale a few days later, also another place I’ve been before. Everyday on the Maricopa Rare Bird Alert, this place is mentioned as having a Tropical Kingbird hanging out there. It would have been a lifer. But, no, I didn’t see it. All I saw was this guy/girl and its friend:

Swan 7.31.16Mute Swan

And this. Not until I looked at my photos on my computer did I see who was lurking underneath. You might have to click the photo to enlarge.

Mushroom Fairy_edited-1

Fairies are a lot hotter now than when I was growing up.

We had a monster storm last night, one of those 100 year or 500 year monsoons, whichever they decide it was. We got almost 3 inches of rain in about an hour and it made a huge mess although we didn’t sustain any actual damage. I did find this nest with an egg nearby that had fallen out of our giant pine tree. It’s now on our shed under a branch but I doubt it’s viable after falling and being out in the rain and baking sun for 18 hours before I found it. I think it must be either a House Sparrow or a House Finch.

Nest Storm

And speaking of mushrooms, this wet piece of wood has these sprouting out of it after the storm. Not for dinner.

Shrooms on Wood