Argiope Spider

Found this lady living among the black eyed susan flowers in the garden. Also called a garden spider or corn spider, this one was over 2 inches long from leg tip to leg tip.


This dragonfly simply sat on a branch and let me get within inches of him. At one time, he actually landed on my finger when I extended it.
Cowles Bog
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

A Walk on a Wavy Day

Waves over six feet pound the shore of Michigan City's Mt. Baldy shoreline. These fierce waves create rip currents along the shore, making wading and swimming very dangerous and often deadly.

Jumping the Waves

Chris and Dan enjoy the waves on a windy summer day along Lake Michigan- careful to stay in shallow water so they were not dragged out by the rip current.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Surf's Up

High winds kicked up Lake Michigan creating the perfect waves for surfing. Rip current warnings were in effect, and the beaches were closed to swimmers, but that didn't stop this surfer from enjoying the waves.

I watched as he floated around waiting for the right wave, he actually was floating out farther and farther due to the rip current. Many people were rescued up and down the lake as they were pulled out by the water.
Central Beach
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Look What I Found

While digging in the sand and pebbles along the shore of Lake Michigan, Danny uncovered a live cicada. It was completely buried - perhaps by the waves the previous night.

He held it for a while and then released it when he dried off. I wanted to keep it until we came across a Cicada Wasp, but we decided to let him go.

Of course, 5 minutes later, we came across dozens of Cicada Wasps. It would have been interesting to watch them try to catch the cicada.

Exploring the Rocky Shore

The boys walking through the slick, rocky shore of Lake Michigan near the Wind Point Lighthouse.
Racine County, Wisconsin.
The water near the shore is full of algae, both floating and stuck to the rocks. The odor is unpleasant, and I've discovered that some of this algae can be harmful to humans. It's a good thing that the boys didn't wade through the green water! I wonder if this only settles here because of the cove created by Wind Point.

Eastern Cicada Killer

Cicada wasps are the largest wasps in North America - females reach two inches long. They're solitary, ground burrowing wasps that hunt cicadas, drag them to their nests and lay their eggs on them for the larvae to feed upon. Late July and early August seem to be the most active times for these wasps at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, where I observed dozens on a single dune path. Because of their size, they can startle you, but left alone they ignore people. The males are territorial and may swoop down around you, but they don't have stingers. This is obviously a female - look at the size of the stinger.

Summer at Wind Point

I typically visit the Wind Point lighthouse during the winter months, but this year I decided to check it out on a hot summer day. Of course, I visited today and tours of the tower will take place next weekend!

A "coolish" breeze off of Lake Michigan was at my back as I captured this shot (a combination of 3 images stitched together), making the 90 degree temperatures seem more like 80.

Wind Point Lighthouse

In 1880, the Wind Point, Wisconsin lighthouse began guiding vessels into Racine Harbor using a kerosene lamp and a Third Order Fresnel lens.

At 108 feet tall, this lighthouse is one of the tallest on the Great Lakes, and it's light can be seen for almost 20 miles. The grounds are well maintained, and access to the rocky shore of Lake Michigan is a few steps from where this image was taken.

When we visited, the air temperature near the lighthouse was 90 degrees, but cooler on the beach just a few yards away due to the cold waters of Lake Michigan.