Ideally I would have been taking one photo per week since my last posting at the end of March when I returned from a wonderful trip to three southern states (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas) where I was able to go on many nature walks.
However, it hasn't worked out that way. Instead, I went back on nature photos that I took from April through this past weekend, and picked about two dozen photos that I liked. From those pictures, I chose 11 of them that matched the prompts.
Feather: There were two wood ducks in the backyard at my mom's home in April. The feathers on these ducks are brilliant, and the picture doesn't do them justice since it is taken through a screen and window. Had I opened the door leading to the deck and backyard, they would have flown off.
My dad used to have a wood duck house next to the lake and each year there would be a new family of ducks that would use the house. They truly are beautiful, vibrantly-colored birds that are a joy to watch.
First day of...: Beekeeping. Sophia received a scholarship from the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association to establish a hive. In April, she built a hive from a kit they provided, and then received a container of bees with a queen. We're excited to see how the bees do during their first year, and to watch the process of establishing a hive from scratch.
View: This is the view I had while walking on one of the trails at William O'Brien State Park. This one is along the St. Croix River. It's such a peaceful and quiet part of the trail. The trees provided a nice canopy along this section of the walk.
Refreshing: This spring the tulip and hyacinth bulbs came up along the driveway. After the snow and cold of winter, it was refreshing and uplifting to see a garden filled with shades of purple and magenta along with crisp white.
Stream or creek: Our 4-H club visited Koi Acres. This was the stone pathway that we crossed to get to the pond that had some of the koi.
Fish: At Koi Acres, there is a natural swimming pool/pond that has koi in it. These are big fish who were friendly and inquisitive. Each had unique markings and colors. Even in the drizzling rain, I could have spent hours just watching the fish swim in the pond.
Hidden: This heron was hiding among the tall grass at the pond at Gammelgarden to the left of the picture. All of a sudden, as we were painting the barn quilts (for part of the Barn Quilt Trail project) that afternoon, we noticed the heron slowly walking along the shoreline. It made its way out of the grasses and into this open area to turn slightly back from where it had walked. The heron stood there for a long time before continuing on its walk along the edge of the pond.
Just do it!: On the afternoon of June 5th, there was a big snapping turtle trying to cross a busy highway in the country. A woman stopped and was crossing the road to get the turtle to the other side.
We passed where she was and found a place to safely turn around so we could offer her our shovel. We stopped as did another family, and collectively each of us helped in some way to get this turtle back to a safe area and far from the road. I wondered how old it was and if it had ever come in contact with humans before.
Early: Early in the season, I enjoy watching how seeds emerge. These are beans that are about a week old. On some of them, you can still see the casing of the seed while others have pushed it away to reveal the new, young leaves. Within 60 days, we should be enjoying fresh beans from the garden.
When Olivia and I were out taking a look at the front gardens, we noticed a big bumblebee going from flower to flower on the columbine plant. It made me happy that this plant is helping the bees!
Fragile: This White Admiral butterfly was in the driveway on June 7th when we were painting barn quilts (again). The butterfly would fly around a bit, and then land on the rain-soaked sand and gravel on the driveway. Interestingly, this butterfly typically isn't spotted in our county in Minnesota. Rather, it is found to the west and north of us - mainly in the northeastern part of the state.
Now that the weather is much warmer; and things are growing and blooming, I'm hoping to spend even more time outside to notice and observe the changes each week in the plants, flowers, and world around me.