Category Archives: nature

The beauty of butterflies

I continue to look for butterflies whenever I’m outside. They seem to be flitting about our farm a lot. When we were driving the cart toward the woods today, one almost hit me in the face. Lucky for both of us it missed.

Lately, butterflies have not posed for my camera, so I have not been able to take photos of them. Even though I see them, the butterflies are always flying and I am not fast enough to catch them on the wing.

As a child, I chased butterflies and fireflies. I caught the fireflies but never a lively butterfly.

Today’s photos are out of my archive. Enjoy.

From the butterfly migration last fall.

I hope to see migrating butterflies again this fall. It was a special gift when they stopped here on the farm in 2018.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved

Rock hunting

Today Rebecca and Andy came for a visit. Andy grilled hot dogs for our lunch and I went rock hunting with Rebecca.

Our daughter creates beautiful copper trees. She sells them in shops and under our canopy at the Seymour Farmer’s Market.

A photo of her trees on their patio

Her trees are all mounted on rocks, most of which she found on her dad’s rock pile on the farm.

As I sat on our cart, Rebecca went rock hunting. She looks them all over and only takes the best rocks for her trees.


One by one Rebecca takes the cream of the rock pile.

Andy says Rebecca has enough rocks at home, but there will never be enough rocks for our daughter and her copper trees.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved.

Surprise visit

Bob and I haven’t had a lot of luck wildlife viewing lately. Once in a while, we’ve seen a couple of sandhill cranes and a few turkeys, but no whitetail deer.

Tonight was different. As soon as we stopped on our viewing knoll, we saw a buck in the neighbor’s cornfield. He stared at us for a little while and we stared back.

Bob then pointed out two other bucks who were hidden from me behind a tree.

When all three started moving away, a fourth showed up. At the last minute, two more came out from behind tall grass.

For a time we had a total of six to watch, but soon they all disappeared into the woods heading north.

“Who are you looking at?”

About ten minutes later, three deer ran out of the woods heading south.

Neighborhood whitetail

Some of the first? Maybe, but I added them into our notebook just the same.

I’m happy I brought my camera with tonight.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved.

Critter Cam in Action

We have a couple of spots where we attach our critter cam to trees. These are right along our lane.

One time we attached the camera to a different tree and ended up with hundreds of photos. It turned out that wind moved the tall grass and set the camera off. Hardly any animals walked into view.

With the camera set in one of the usual spots, we caught Bob cutting grass and the neighbor taking a ride toward our woods–yes, the neighbor has permission. Raccoons come by this area, too, but the best is when we get deer.

On June 20th, we had a beautiful stag cross our camera’s path.

A whitetail in a hurry.

Bob and I sure do appreciate capturing the action with a camera, even if we aren’t on the scene at the time.

Butterflies flutter by

Over the years I’ve chased butterflies with my camera. Once in a while, I was successful. More often, I ended up without the image of the butterfly. It had flown far from view.

a swallowtail butterfly

So far this year I haven’t even tried to snap a photo of a butterfly. I have just enjoyed having their beauty in the neighborhood.

Last fall’s migrating monarchs.

As children, we chased the butterflies during the day and fireflies in the evening. For us, the chase was half the fun, even when neither my sister nor I caught anything.

Today, one butterfly seemed to follow us as we rode the cart down our farm lane. My thought was, “Isn’t it nice having such beautiful company.”

I hope more come for a visit in the future. Maybe, if they rest long enough, I’ll be able to capture their beauty with my camera again. I sure hope so.