Went strolling along the Lake Michigan beachfront today. I'm fortunate in that there's a relatively unmanaged stretch of beach near my house. The hill to access it is rather steep and the dirt trail to access it is frequently slippery with mud. Additionally, the terminal morraine that edges this section of the lake is slowly eroding. All of this works together to provide a shifting wealth of recently unearthed glacial till, including a few with fossils, in an area that most people aren't even aware exists. Heck, even if they knew, the hill would keep them off of it.
But today we weren't talking fossilized creatures from eons ago. Instead, the deaths were more recent. Recently deceased monarch butterflys were scattered along the beach - a wing here, a crumpled body there. There were also a couple of dead water birds. I'm not really sure what this one was. Perhaps an american bittern? Never seen it's like before. The other appeared to be a gull that lost its navigational gear and crashed into the ground. Ahhh - nobody likes gulls, anyway. Kind of a morbid post, so I'll post again soon to move this off of the top of my page.