Goodbye for 2022

Our last Monarch for 2022

We successfully raised nine (9) Monarch butterflies this season, leaving us feeling, “Let’s do more in 2023.” Today’s post cover is a portrait of the last. She flew yesterday, September 23rd, forty (40) feet up to the oak tree shading the back yard, lost to us in the leaves.

Her chrysalis is the second from right in the following family photograph.

Here are two videos of our last 2022 Monarch to emerge and the first.

Emergence of a Monarch butterfly from a chrysalis 4K UHD with relaxing music. A caterpillar attached itself with silk to hang by its two rear legs to transform to a green chrysalis. Fourteen days later the chrysalis shell becomes translucent. Inside the chrysalis the Monarch butterfly moves to shed the shell. The released insect’s abdomen pumps fluid, expanding the crumpled wings. The entire process takes twenty minutes, compressed in this video to about six (6) minutes.

A real time film of our first 2022 Monarch Butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, then expanding its wings in 4K UHD with relaxing music. The process takes twenty (20) minutes.

The butterfly emerges from the chrysalis about fourteen (14) days after setting. To the photographer needing to capture the moment a signal is the green, jewel-like chrysalis turns transparent, apparently darkening to reveal the compressed form of the butterfly. It can be hours before the insect breaks free, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr camera is used for this. I set it on a Manfrotto BeFree Carbon Fiber tripod (with ball head), a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens for optics. The Mark IV has WIFI and HD video capabilities, so I connected the camera to an Apple IPhone 7 using Canon software. Monitoring the transparent chrysalis in real time, I continually reset the video from the IPhone until the butterfly emerged. I used AVS video editor software to produce the film for YouTube publication.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Marked Saguaro

Signpost to Gold?

Lost gold mine legends tell of Saguaros bearing secret markings leading to the hidden location of rich gold mines. This specimen, perched on an ancient volcanic boulder, lives in LaBarge Canyon along the Dutchman trail.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sky Reflections

A Wall with Moss Padding

A Finger Lakes Trail footbridge crosses Fish Kill on the edge of Treman State Park.

These are images of the sky reflected on Fish Kill from that footbridge on August 24, 2022.

Robert H. Treman State Park, Enfield, Tompkins County, Finger Lakes Region, New York State

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Ominous Splendor

Why are the hills red?

This view from Dutchman Trail was taken on the red line trail (below) between Black Top Mesa (out of view, on left) and Bluff Springs Mountain (right), on the approach to White Rock Spring and LaBarge canyon (the large canyon at the north end (left) of the red line.

Looking Northwest, in the distance is Malapais Mountain behind Red Hills. Volcanic rock and Cholla cactus in foreground followed by Prickly Pear and Saguaro cactus. “Malapais” means “bad country,” an apt description for this terrain where the skull of Adolf Ruth was discovered near the Red Hills. Three fourth of a mile away, the rest of him was discovered on the slope of Black Top Mesa by a search party, January 8, 1932. Ruth walked this same trail, passing this very spot.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Contemplation II

Climb down the cliff stair, 223 of them, to this quiet place.

A sole individual views Lucifer Falls from the Gorge Trail footbridge.

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Click for a slideshow of this sequence of Lucifer Falls view from the overlook.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Contemplation I

Climb down the cliff stair, 223 of them, to this quiet place.

A place for quiet contemplation within the Treman Gorge, only accessible via a 15 minute hike. Robert H. Treman New York State Park on a late October afternoon.

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Click for a slideshow of this sequence of Lucifer Falls view from the overlook.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

From the Overlook

Autumn hills

Standing on Enfield Gorge rim above Lucifer Falls on a clear October afternoon, the slopes of the far gorge cloaked in shades of green, yellow and red.

Below, the Gorge Trail runs below a sedimentary rock cliff.

Click photographs for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Click for a slideshow of this sequence of Lucifer Falls view from the overlook.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Desert Color

Wildflowers on Dutchman Trail

Those cliffs above the Dutchman Trail (in red from the push pin “Dutchman Terrapin Trail Junction”) climb 670 feet in 0.2 mile. Fifteen minutes after starting I stopped to photograph a group of wildflowers.

The bright yellow flowers on right are a member of the pea (Fabaceae) family named Wright’s Deervetch (Acmispon wrightii) I am able to pick it out from many similar flowers due to the characteristic narrow leaves with small hairs. These start out yellow, turning to red with age eventually forming brown seed pods. Mexican Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) to the right.

The small white flowers are Chickweed (Minuartia macrantha) of the family Carnation (Caryophyllaceae).

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Connecticut Hill Retrospective

Click to view this series on Getty.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Connecticut Hill Autumn

dramatic sky

Connecticut Hill from Harvey Hill Road on a late October afternoon. Newfield of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Click to view this series on Getty.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills