Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Best of August and into September

Hope you all had a nice August! I don't think I checked in to blogger all last month, I've been so busy. So I thought it would be fun to do one of those "best of" the month posts with some photos from August and the first few days of September to show a little of what I've been up to. I'll stick with the generally spooky stuff.

So, the first thing I want to share is a series of photos from our local park. There's a nighttime concert series there in the summer and I brought my camera along to it.


That bridge pic is one of the spookier ones I think I took. You can't help thinking something is waiting down there. It's even a little spooky in the daylight because there's so much space under the bridge and plants growing under it. It's a bog type area.

These photos were taken into the woods that surround the park. I was randomly snapping pics while walking, so I wasn't even sure what I got. The camera had better eyesight than I did since I was using the flash. I half expected some animal to be looking back at me when I took a closer look, but I don't see any.

 At the bottom there, a bug?

I can't help thinking there's an animal in these woods, I just can't see it.

A little pond area that looks like a black hole

This is a park's waterfall in the dark. Don't those rocks on the walls behind it look like skulls? I never saw it that way in the daylight.

I also got a bat shot at the park! I know it's blurry, but it's hard for me to capture a bat. So this still feels like a success. They were dipping around so fast that probably the blurriness was caused by me trying to follow it.

Out of the park now... These next photos also felt like a success to me. I often hear crows but rarely see them when I have a camera handy. These crows nicely stayed put for me.

The garden spider was back again this year.

I was happy to get a pic of its web. Like bats and crows, spider webs are hard to catch at just the right time. The little droplets of water were a nice touch too.

Another little garden find was...

... an Ambush Bug! I learned that in the process of writing this blog post. This bug is much smaller than pictured, which is maybe why I never noticed one before.

So, what is an Ambush Bug you ask? Well, they earned their name by sitting and waiting for prey to come by and then ambushing it. I'm guessing they're usually better camouflaged than this one who is on a sunflower. Not that it's holding him back; he's snacking on an ant in this pic.

Also, it turns out that "Ambush Bug" is a comic book character I'd never heard of.

I took some more night shots during August. Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have seen these.

It's pretty dark around here, even with the street lights.

I was calling this "the evil cat eye moon". There's a even a "pupil" for the eye caused by a cloud that was passing by.

Besides walking around in the dark and observing creepy crawlies, the main thing that's been keeping me busy recently is genealogy research. I don't think obsession is too strong a word. I've been having a lot of success with it lately. It helps that our library lets us use for free now! If anyone wants to talk genealogy, let me know in the comments.


  1. Looks a lovely summer. Nice shot of the web with dew on it! can a be a real time sucking vortex! Making sure to link the correct Smith of Jones from 1754 also a challenge. My favorite though is generations of sons with the same first name.

    1. Old Fashion Halloween ~ It has been a nice summer! My only complaint would be the extreme heat. That's probably why you're seeing so many night photos. For a while there, it was the only comfortable time to be out! Thanks, that web shot felt like a lucky one. I try to photograph spider webs every time I see one, but they often come out blurry. The water helped it show up. And it was fun to get a pic of the spider who made it at the same time.

      A real time sucking vortex, indeed! too. Have you used that one? And did you sign up for an Ancestry account or are you using it at the library? They were probably getting used to seeing me at the local library, since I went so many evenings in a row.

      Haha! Oh yeah, Smith and Jones have got to be tedious names to sift through. It helps a lot to have a birth date when searching common names. Right now I'm looking up a couple with the first names of John and Mary, and it's like who wasn't named John or Mary? Ugh. And oh yeah, I've got a whole lot of Fredericks and Augusts going on in the German branches of my tree! Again, birth dates are crucial.

  2. I love that spider web photo. Seems like you had a nice summer! : )

    1. Midnyte Reader ~ Thank you! :) That might just be my first successful spiderweb photo. They're so hard to get clear! Yeah, summer went by really fast. How's your summer been going?

  3. Justine,

    We have an account and I really need to access the UK records to get much further with my great grandmother. She moved from the UK to Canada and then to the US. It helps to have a general in the family that has a huge collection of articles and a book about him. I haven't tried The plan was to map and then have the trees printed for family members. Its been a 4 year process.

    1. Old Fashion Halloween ~ That has to be handy to have Ancestry available any time! I don't have a lot of experience with the UK records, but I'll be getting there eventually. I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at with the U.S. research. The next step will be ship records and exploring more about where they started in Europe. I have some names, dates, and towns in the old countries, but I'd like to get to know those areas better.

      Oh, from the UK to Canada to the U.S. That's got to be interesting to investigate. I'm having enough issues looking into one branch where it seemed people were moving to different U.S. states every few years.

      Oh, that's cool about the general. I wonder if I'd know him by name? If it's not too personal, who was he? And which war was he in? I ran across a great Civil War web site if you're interested in that.

      Oh! You've got to get on FamilySearch! It's all free. I just signed up for an account on there tonight and I'm really glad I did. Now I can access even more information, like family trees other people have put together. I just went back to the 1700s with a family tree tonight!

      That's a nice idea to have the trees printed for people. I'm still trying to decide which layout to go with for my trees. There are a lot of good options out there. Yeah, it's a process, alright. I've been working at this at least a decade and that's picking up where other family members left off. I'm calling this a lifelong project. :)

  4. Good luck with the research! One of my late father's cousins did their family tree thirty years ago pre Internet, and it took him two years. Hopefully your project comes along quicker that that.

    1. Ali ~ Thank you! :) Oh, I know! My grandmother's cousin did two branches and that was in... Well, I'm not sure when he started, but the booklet he gave everyone was assembled in 1981. So yeah, that's about the time you're talking. I can only imagine how much work went into that! It's hard enough searching for information online sometimes. Oh, I've already been working on genealogy for over a decade. :) I'll probably be working on it my entire life in one way or another. But I hope this winter to finally put some of my photos and research together in scrapbook form.