Nature is my Teacher

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher” William Wordsworth

I cannot think of any words that ring truer for me. I have learned a lot about wildlife and nature through my viewfinder. I am not just talking about the research. I think the research of a subject of my photo is important. I want to get the facts as accurate as possible. I referring to the overall lessons I learn just by trying to get the best photo possible.

I have learned patience in trying to get the best photograph at a moment’s notice. Wildlife does not get the concept of retakes. I either get the photo in the instance or not at all.

I have learned to always be prepared. When walking around outdoors, you must be prepared. I have gotten chances to get one photo before the subject is gone. If you do not have a camera at the ready, you will not get the photo.

I have learned animals are characters. I am convinced that many wild animals deliberately turn their backside at me when I am trying to get the perfect photo. I also think certain birds get annoyed with the clicking of my camera.

I have learned that not all animals are afraid of you. The old saying, they are more afraid of you than you are of them is not true. I find this true with raccoons. I love these pesky little creatures. The other night I walked out on to my front porch; my cat kept looking upwards. I really did not think much of it. The sky was brightly lit with moon light. I just figured she was watching bats flying around or bugs. But that was not the case; she was actually watching the raccoon hang upside down from my porch roof. If I had been a couple more steps in his direction, he could have touched my hair. And trust me, the phrase “screaming like a girl” would have taking on a whole new meaning.

Oh well, I enjoy my country life. Listening to the frogs and crickets at night aid me in falling asleep; I would not have it any other way.

Until next time…peace.

 

 

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Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! I hope your extended weekend was enjoyable. I did what I loved to do this weekend. I took nature photos and spent time with family and friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Of course, I worked a little too. My mother and I went to the cemetery earlier in the week to put flowers on the grave sites. Remember those who are no longer with us, reminds me how short and precious life can be at times.

I joined a volunteer organization years ago, called Soldiers’ Angels. I have met some amazing people through this group. I took to social media to thank all the men and women who have served over the years. As well as a moment to remember those who are no longer with us. My father served in the Army. I have the utmost respect for all who have served or currently serving.

The weekend has been filled with little moments. I was standing at my kitchen sink when I viewed a Bald Eagle flying low over the field. Of course, he was too quick for me to grab a camera. But the view was spectacular.

I was out photographing a Barn Swallow. The bird sat on my weathervane; he was at the top right in the middle. When I went out to photograph him (or her), I realized the Barn Swallow was coaching the babies to fly out of the nearby bird houses. I know only a true nature nut would like the idea of standing in the yard while little birds fly around her head. I just loved how the adult Barn Swallow was so vocal to the little ones.

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Today, I was able to spend time photographing baby geese. There’s just something fun and heartwarming watching the little goslings swim around the river. The mother kept gathering them together. She would nudge them to the safety of the lily pads if she thought they were in danger. There are a lot of vehicles that travel on the road; louder ones would cause her to scurry them to safety.

And of course, I have no words to describe the the sunset this evening.

Memorial Day Sunset
Memorial Day Sunset

Until next time…peace.

 

 

 

Happy World Turtle Day

Today, May 23, 2015 is World Turtle Day. I love the fact that an entire day is dedicated to turtles and tortoises. Turtle Day was established in 2000 in association with American Tortoise Rescue. The purpose of Turtle Day is to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises.

Turtle Facts

I thought I would share some turtle and tortoises facts:

  • Turtles have actually roamed the Earth for the last 200 million years.
  • Believe it or not, some of the first turtles had teeth.
  • Turtles can be found on every continent around the globe except the Antarctica.
  • Turtles can be as small as 4 inches to as large as 1500 pounds.

My Turtle Story

Since today is about celebrating turtles, I thought I would share the story of Herman (well, the little Painted Turtle could be a Jane). I honestly do not know how to tell. Anyways, Herman fell down into a ditch that was being tiled for farm use. I figured Herman was coming out of the field or wooded area to find a water source. Of course, we could not allow the little one to be buried.

I took the little Painted Turtle down to the pond. I could swear when I let little Herman go, he turned around stared at me. I know he was just swimming away. But I still like the idea that I was able to let the little one go.

The little turtle swimming away from me.
The little turtle swimming away from me.

How to Help Turtles

I think one of the most important things to help turtles is to decrease their demand. Turtles belong in the wild. If people continue to buy turtles or tortoises from a pet store, there will always be a demand. Learning to admire turtles in their natural habitat should be a priority.

Learn to advocate for turtles natural habitat. Get involved in environmental issues that may have a negative impact on turtles or tortoises. When habitats are threatened or reduced, a decline in turtle population would occur. I think the loss of turtles and tortoises would be a disgrace.

Until next time…peace

Dryad’s Saddle Part 2

On May 5th, I wrote a blog about Dryad’s Saddle. The spores had just started to sprout. Well, I went and searched from them today. I was really surprised to see how much they have grown.

I am extremely fascinated with these fungus. I cannot believe how many are currently grown in the woods right now. I also cannot believe how many mosquitoes are out in the woods. I was hoping the frost would slow them down. But trust me, they are alive and well.

Until next time…peace

Flowers…

Even though today is my mother’s birthday, she brought me flowers. The Irises in her flower bed became too heavy with the last night’s heavy dew and light frost; the flowers were on their sides. So, she picked some for me to photograph.

The timing was perfect. I had just purchased a new lens. The flowers gave me a chance to try it out. I am not sure if I like the lens yet or not. I guess, after some practice I might feel differently.

Oh, don’t worry my mother got her birthday present. I got her the necklace; she has been admiring for the last month. I also baked a small chocolate cake for her. Since she knows how much I dislike baking, she really appreciated the cake.

Until next time…peace.

May Ray Day

Today, May 19th is considered to be May Ray Day. I had to research this “unofficial” holiday. I had never heard of May Ray Day. The purpose of celebrating the day is to get people outdoors and enjoy the sun rays. I love the idea of having an excuse just to go outdoors. For those who know me, I am advocate for unplugging and spending a little time outside each day.

Here in Michigan, the weather is not “May Ray” Day friendly. Yesterday, was warm and in the mid-eighties. Today is 20 degrees colder, cloudy, windy, and threatening rain. The weather outdoors is just gloomy all over.

At least, the upcoming Memorial weekend looks to be better which is good. Holiday weekends bring a lot of tourist travel to the entire state boosting the economy. I like the idea of families spending time together, getting outdoors and having fun.

Until next time….peace

Dandelion: Weed or Flower?

when you look at a dandelion, what do you see? A pretty little yellow flower? Or a pesky weed? Obviously, I see a pretty little flower. I cannot help but see the beauty in the small little yellow flowers. When I finally see them growing out in my yard, I can safely say that the Michigan winter is official behind me. And Spring has finally been issued in.

When I was young, I would play outdoors for hours at a time. I would make crowns out of dandelions for myself, my dolls, and if my cat was being cooperative, he would get one too. Trust me, he did not always get one. Poor old “Sambo”, he was dressed up in numerous doll clothes over his life span.

Now that I am older (notice I did not say maturer), I love seeing the little yellow flower. In my grandfather’s belongings, I came across an old handwritten recipe for dandelion wine. My mother informed me that “under no circumstances do I try that old fool’s recipe” (Yes that is her father).  Of course the warning just make me want to try the recipe that much more. I did some research, dandelions have been used in all types of recipes including wine, jelly, and in salads.

Depending on the location, the dandelion’s flower head can vary in color from bright yellow to a deep orange. The dandelion flowering head is made up of hundreds of little smaller florets almost in a rosette formation.

When the dandelion finishes shining brightly, the flower head dries out showing the seeds for new life. The seeds are dispersed by a gently breeze.  Or when you blow on the flower to a make a wish.

So, next time you see a dandelion that has gone to seed; make a good magical wish.

Until next time…peace

 

Happy Mother’s Day

A special shout out to all:

the mothers, grandmothers, foster moms, stand in moms, and fathers doing double duty.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

You are all doing a wonderful job.

My mother was over earlier. My parents live right next to me. I am able to see them both on a daily basis. Finding the right gift for my mom is difficult, she pretty much has everything she wants. But I did get her a garden ornament for her flower bed.

When I was younger, my mother made sure my siblings and I had fun times especially on summer vacation. We may not have had a lot of extra spending money but she would encourage us to be outdoors. (I think it was just so she could have peace and quiet in the house).

We (along with my cousins) would go to local play parks or head to up to go swimming in the man-made lake in our local community. Spending every day in motion filled our time off from school. Swimming, bike riding, skate boarding, or just playing on the farm filled our days. Hide and seek filled our late summer evenings. Mom knew where we all were; there was always extra kids around. Actually, there still is extras around their house on weekends.

She would build blanket tents on the clothes line. I would spend hours inside the tent.  On other occasions, she would create a treasure map for me to follow around the farm. Being outdoors fueled my imagination and gave me my start for the love of nature.

The smallest gestures have a long, lasting impact.

So for my mother, Happy Mother’s Day!

Until next time…peace.

Beautiful Evening

Tonight’s sun set was beautiful. I just wished the mosquitoes had not come out so quickly. Ugh!  Oh well… I hope everyone had a great day.  The next few days here in Michigan are suppose to be warm but a chance of rain.

At least, there’s no snow in the forecast. I always find rainy days to be inspiring.

Until next time…peace.