June’s end

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June ended last night in spectacular fashion over Lake Michigan. I don’t recall a month before with so many incredible cloud formations. Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten luckier this month, being at the right place at the right time to see just the perfect cloud formation in just the right light. This luck isn’t lost on me.

I’ve also seen more animals this month than I ever remember. More deer, in fields and roadside and in our driveway. More rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, birds, foxes (three this month!). And more plant life, and more butterflies. More of everything. It’s a healthy ecosystem here, I suppose. I’m lucky to see it.

But the animals are harder to capture in images. The deer don’t wait for me to get my camera ready. The foxes are even less accommodating. I’m not so inclined to wait in the meadow with the ticks and mosquitoes for an opportunity to photograph the wildlife.

The lake and sky? Maybe easy targets, but so satisfying, and different every day.

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Little things on a big beach

I didn’t have high hopes for the beach recovering after such an awful spring, but like many things this summer, it surprised me.

Three weeks ago there was no beach to traverse. Well, not no beach at all, but the tiniest sliver of walkable beach existed and you could really walk it only when the lake was calm. Otherwise, you could walk if you didn’t mind getting battered by the waves, getting your feet tangled and scraped in the branches and grasses that twisted and matted on the shoreline like discarded rope.

Today, there is plenty of beach to roam, to throw a ball for the dog, to run barefoot. Lovely, big stretches of it.

Why would I be surprised? I know this lake and these sands and the constant drifting and redepositing of shoreline.

Last evening in long shadows just before the sun slipped into the shrouded, cloudy horizon above the lake I walked the beach with my camera in search of the things that get overlooked.

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small feather from gull, pebble, drift marks in the sand
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oak leaf, blown in from the woods
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pebble, indentation, lines from the waves

I still tuck the gull feathers into my ponytail or behind my ear or into a cap.

I still fill my pockets with pretty stones.

I still gaze at the patterns the waves make on the shore–I think they look like mountain ranges.

I still chase the leaves and small feathers and dead bugs down the beach as they travel with the wind.

I still pluck the struggling butterflies and bumblebees out of the water.

Why shouldn’t I?

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fossil, under just a bit of water
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same fossil, post-wave
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mountain range
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lines from the waves moving the sand around