Kankakee Sands is a restoration area in Indiana on acres that once was covered with one of the largest lakes in the State, Beaver Lake. Around 100 years ago part of the lake was in Illinois and a businessman (from IL) who owned land on the lake decided to drain this huge body of water. And he did, effectively removing the migrating path for many water birds and did untold damage to the ecosystem as the land was turned into farmland.
The Nature Conservancy has purchased a large portion of this land and is working to return it to native prairie and marshland. They have also introduced a small herd of buffalo, which are a part of the natural prairie.
It is a beautiful work in progress. What amazed me the most were the amount of grasshoppers and crickets. Take a step and the “grass” for about two feet in front of your foot raises and flies. You can hear the wings. But the variety of butterflies and plants are amazing.
Cabbage Whites may be the most common of butterflies, but I believe this is the only time I have been able to photograph one of these little fluttery creatures to where I can see more than a blob of white. They are fast moving and the contrast is so high that it is quite a creative challenge. This little guy is stunning, in my book.
Funny that this is the week’s photo challenge because I had set my own personal challenge to attempt to capture the monarchs on the wing this season. Zigzag? I get dizzy trying to follow them with my lens as they dance around my head.
There are often 2 of them dancing together. Most of my photos turn out blurry or washed out, so I haven’t got the trick yet. Even so, I am having loads of zigzagging fun.
Silver-Spotted Skippers normally do not sit still long enough for me to capture more than one or two shots. This little guy was so cheeky and seemed to strut his stuff for the camera. Either that or he was ready to take me on, one-on-one.
After a bit, he figured I was not worth the trouble and went to feasting on the local flora.