Well, here we are in the middle of a sweltering hot summer trying to convince people to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s a bit of a challenge considering that we’re ready to retreat back into our air-conditioned house by noon! Our beautiful wildlife garden has suffered from this year’s drought. We try to take advantage of the morning and evening hours as much as possible when we are selecting one of our local parks as our next outdoor destination. Some of our best photo opportunities have been early in the morning at Big Bone Lick State Park (famous for its woolly mammoth fossils) here in northern Kentucky. It has plenty of woods, a large fishing lake, naturalized meadows and walking trails. For years it’s been one of our favorite places for nature photography.
Butterflies and dragonflies are in no big hurry to fly until their wings dry off and warm up. So, we sneak up on them as they’re resting in the morning. If there are dewdrops on the ground we are almost guaranteed to get some great shots. The first and only time that we’ve ever seen a Juniper Hairstreak butterfly was at Big Bone. Look at that amazing green color! It was well worth the scraped knees and bruised elbows we got from crawling around to get our bug’s eye view of this lovely butterfly.
You should always keep your eyes open for the hidden treasures that nature has to offer. Some people would not consider a slimy little snail much of a treasure, but we love to see all that the great outdoors has to offer. Watch where you put your feet, or you might step on a baby rabbit or a tiny toad trying to hide in plain sight.
So put on a hat, grab a camera and get out there so this winter you won’t be thinking, “I sure wish that I’d spent some more time in the woods this summer”.
- Judy Burris & Wayne Richards –
siblings, authors and nature photographers
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