Dawn patrol along Grand Traverse Bay

Posted on September 3, 2009


Now that Indian Summer is here, I am finally able to get up in time to see the dawn.  This is not due to character development on my part, but to the kindly tendency of dawn to sleep in right along with me.  This morning there were great rewards, especially after I went back to the house and traded the dogs for the camera. (Warning: If you have slow dialup this post is going to drive you nuts. Start it up, go make a cup of coffee, wander back. Eventually it will load. Patience will be rewarded.)

I saw the spiderwebs that are usually invisible.  At dawn they’re decked out in crystal beads.

Tangle of crystal beads


I saw lots of touch-me-not (jewelweed) frosted with dew.  You can never have too much lovely orange jewelweed to play with.  You may be sure I will go back to the patch and tickle the seedpods until they burst open with the giggles.

Dawn - Jewelweed seedpod

Orange jewelweed

I saw a praying mantis.  I would have missed him, but he was clumsy and fell off a dewy stalk of grass.  Then he was slow about clambering away.  Then he tried hiding.  He was pretty good at it, too, and a moment later he disappeared altogether, although I suspect he was still right there.

Praying Mantis 2Praying Mantis 3

Dawn - Praying MantisPraying Mantis hiding

I saw a gull hunting.  It had never occurred to me that gulls hunt.  I always thought of them as scavengers.  However, this particular gull flew back and forth along the shoreline, swooping close to inspect the shallows, then dove, suddenly and dramatically. 

Blurry triumphant gullPow!  I was so startled I couldn’t even interpret what I’d seen. 

It rose again and flew off, nothing in its beak or talons that I could see.  At the far end of the cove it made a wide turn and came back.  This time I was watching intently, tracking it through the camera lens.  I wasn’t quick enough to catch the dive—you’ll have to take my word for that—but I did get a blurry picture of the triumphant gull making off with its prize.  I’m pretty sure it had crayfish for breakfast.   

The other gulls seemed pretty blase about the whole thing.

Blase gull