I spent Labor Day weekend on Lake Erie although I was only up there for a few days and we spent all day Saturday mountain biking in McCarty Hill State Forest near Holiday Valley Ski Resort. So the only chance I got to hike and take pictures was on Friday at Chautauqua Creek and I ended up exploring that area for a few hours. The mouth of the creek where it flowed into the lake was very low and barely flowing, but it definitely was still flowing. It's interesting, but even with the waves coming in, the current of the stream will take floating sticks and debris through the waves out into the lake.
This Solitary Sandpiper was busy feeding, by itself - haha, in the shallows of Chautauqua creek a few hundred yards up from the stream's mouth. It didn't seem especially concerned with me, as a matter of fact it came very close as I sat on the stream bank and ate my orange. I couldn't see what exactly it was feeding on, but it kept moving continuously and more than once I captured it in a completely different position than when I click the shutter.
This is the first I've come across White Turtlehead this year and I must say that Turtlehead is one of the few flowers named for an animal where I actually do see the resemblance. While it is really not clear in the photo, the flowers also have pink hues to them as well, but white is the dominant color.
I found this American Toad in the yard at my sisters' house and it's funny because when I got closer to it to photograph it, it flattened itself out in the short grass in an attempt to hide. I assume that must be a last resort "defense mechanism" that it uses... I know they also piss in your hand if you pick them up, which I stopped doing long ago because of that - haha.
I found this beauty of a Yellow Touch Me Not growing on a steep stream bank along a trickle of a tributary to Chautauqua Creek. The winds coming off the lake make photographing flowers extremely frustrating, but eventually I did get a few in focus pictures.
I read that Northern Catalpa was originally thought to have been native to a small area of the midwest near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, but then archaeologists found earlier evidence of the tree farther north near West Virginia's banks on the Ohio. Since the archaeological dig was dated to the 14th through 16th Centuries, it is now thought that the tree was in decline at that time and its range shrinking. But since then it has been highly cultivated for its low resistance to rot and beautiful grain and has become a common tree throughout the midwest and eastern forests.
White Wood Aster is one of the many Asters that are native to our area and one of my favorite. The yellow flower "heads" are very distinctive and the petals can be white or in some cases, even a light blue/purple. It is a hardy little plant and normally lasts well into the fall season.
I photographed this same pumpkin a few weeks ago, but it's gotten a lot bigger since then. I'm fascinated by their resilience, since the sandy "soil" and brutal winds must make survival near impossible. And now, I'm really curious if the plants are a self-sustaining population from year to year, or if someone happened to throw some pumpkin seeds on the beach last year. I guess I'll find out next year, but it would be interesting if they are self-sustaining.
I found this stand of Woodland Sunflowers growing along the bank of Chautauqua Creek just a few feet from the water. The bright yellow flowers stood out against the green and browns of the woods and now that I have identified the plants, I've noticed how common they really are. And since they're a member of the sunflower family, small birds and mammals will soon be feasting on their seeds.