Lake Erie in August

I've been lazy about posting for a few months, but I'm tryin to get all of my photos since August posted.  This series of photos is from my family's vacation to western NY.  We spent a little over a week swimming, paddling, and hiking in and around Lake Erie.

My canoe and our kayaks all pulled up to shore near a small waterfall that is about a mile or so down the beach from my sisters' house on Lake Erie.

The one day some ominous looking clouds rolled in with a storm front.  We eventually got some rain, but nothing too terrible.

Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) - 
I found this Daylily along the bank of Canadaway creek.  There were a few other Daylilies in the area and the oranges and reds really stood out and made for a beautiful picture.

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) - 
Great Blue Lobelia's beautiful blue flowers grow in clusters along the stalk of the plant.  It is also know as the Blue Cardinal flower, since it is closely related to Cardinal flowers which are very similar but have red flower blossoms.


Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) - 
Red Clover is not native to our area, but they do have rather pretty, red blossoms.  In the past, I often mistook Red Clover for Crown Vetch, which has a similar flower and is considered a nuisance species.

Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) - 
I've never photographed pink and white Hedge Bindweed before, I've only ever come across white blossoms around the Little Sewickley Creek area.  However, I'm pretty sure I've identified this correctly and it is a very beautiful flower.  This specimen was literally several feet from a main road.

Spotted Touch Me Not (Impatiens capensis) - 
Spotted Touch Me Nots are definitely one of my favorite wildflowers and even though we had a very dry late summer, they were in full bloom up in New York. 

Pale Touch Me Not (Impatiens pallida) -
Pale Touch Me Nots were also around and it is remarkable how similar Pale and Spotted Touch Me Nots are. Pale Touch Me Nots are also one of my favorite wildflowers and I've read that both species suffer from heavy deer predation.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) - 
I was happy to get this great photograph of a female Monarch butterfly feeding on a Queen Anne's Lace flower cluster.  Butterflies are hard to photograph since they are constantly moving so I was pleased with this shot.  Also, I recently read that Queen Anne's Lace is also known as Wild Carrot.

Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) -
We found this group of female Mergansers cleaning themselves at the mouth of Canadaway Creek.  Interestingly, there were no males in the group and they also didn't seem too bothered by our presence, which allowed us to get pretty close for pictures.

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) -
Canada Thistle is not native to our area, but can be found in great abundance some years.  Even though the plant is scrawny and tall, its flowers are rather beautiful.

Red Headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) - 
This is the first time I photographed a Red Headed Woodpecker and I was excited that I was able to capture a few good photos.  The bird's red head was visible from a good distance away and it wasn't until I zoomed in on it with my camera that we realized it was a bird. 

Lake Erie Beach -
We had pretty good weather up there for our stay and this particular day was especially sunny.  This photo was taken from the mouth of Canadaway Creek and provides a good view of the beach and lake looking to the east.

Canadaway Creek Mouth - 
I'm always amazed by how the mouth of Canadaway Creek changes each time I visit.  The interaction of the stream's flow and the lake's currents often produces large deltas of gravel and sand that seems to have a life of their own over months and even years.

Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) - 
This is the first I've photographed a "pea" wildflower and it's my understanding that there are several different species that are all very similar so I'm not 100% I've identified it correctly as Everlasting Pea.  Either way, it is rather beautiful and I found it near some driftwood where the forest was transitioning into the beach.  So the soil conditions couldn't have been very good and were most likely very sandy; a testament to the hardiness of the plant.

More Pictures:

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Heal All (Prunella vulgaris)

Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser)

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)