In my area of Michigan, the water is still high. The increased water levels have both negative and positive aspects. I love the fact that I get to view so many different forms of wildlife. Swimming in an over filled pond, this pair of Mallards were fun to watch. They would dive and skim insects off the top of the very murky water.
The downside of the water…. my yard looks horrible. I can only mow certain sections. The uneven grass looks as if I was trying to mow paths to each standing water area. Oh well, at least I can enjoy the wildlife.
Today was the first time I was able to photograph a Pied-billed Grebe in the wild. I loved it. I could have spent my entire day watching this unique water bird. He (or she) kept diving under the water to catch fish or bugs.
I am sure this bird has been in my area before today. But I was so happy to capture the moment on camera.
Today, January 5, 2017, is known as National Bird Day. How can you not love an entire day dedicated to our fine feathered friends? As a nature lover, I find birds fascinating. Every species seems to have a unique personalities and behavior patterns. During the colder winter months, I sit and watch the birds from the warmth of my home.
When the feeder is low or empty, the little Chickadees are very vocal.
Whereas the little Sparrows line up and stare at me from the edge of the roof or the nearby shrubbery bush, both methods get my attention. I am usually adding seeds to the feeder immediately.
After the feeders are full, the Mourning Doves cautiously gather seeds on the ground.
When the Blue Jay comes to the feeder, all the other birds fly away.The Blue Jay’s presence always seems larger in life. The site of the deep red Cardinals against the snow covered ground is always breathtaking.
The older I get, the more I love to watch the birds. Yes, I photograph them too. But there are days where I just like to observe. Of course, my observations usually end up in one of my stories. I mean, how can you not imagine little fairies or other small woodland spirits riding on the back of the birds to defend Mother Nature and the rest of the natural realm.
I am use to people not wanting to smile for photos. In fact over the weekend, I photographed a gorgeous outdoor wedding. I think I told people to smile half the day. Well, not the bride and groom, they were grinning from ear to ear as their beautiful day unfolded. Every time, I mentioned the word smile, the person I was photographing instantly grinned which made the day easier for me.
Now, I could be imagining things. But this bird looked like he (or she) did not want me to take a picture. I can’t really tell a bird to smile. Can I?
Even though, I have no way of knowing what Ralph Waldo Emerson was doing when he penned this quote. I would like to think he was observing nature. Knowing that each individual moment was a chance to be inspired by the natural environment.
I cannot write any type of poetry. But I do love to observe nature. Despite the newest mosquito invasion, I could actually get lost for hours watching the birds, Cranes and Egrets down on the river flats. Witnessing wildlife interact in a natural setting is a gift.
I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy nature in the purest form.
I have been enjoying time away from my computer. Oh, don’t get me wrong I am still meeting my article deadlines. My editor would not be happy with me if I work was not in on time. But I have also been enjoying the warm weather. One great aspect about this time of year is all the babies.
But I have also been outdoors more enjoying the warm weather. With combating the weeds and viewing the everything nature has to offer, I just seem to lose track of time. One great aspect about this time of year is all the babies.
One great aspect about this time of year is all the babies.
Baby birds, ducks, and geese are easily viewable.
And, the tadpoles are so much fun to watch along the water’s edge.
I have not been able to spot any baby deer yet. I have three does who visit my yard every night. I can tell, they are very pregnant. So, I am hoping I will soon see a couple of fawns.
I was able to take about a hundred photos of these beautiful creatures. In my opinion, the Sandhill Cranes are just amazing to watch. After a while, I just stood and observed the pair as they waded gracefully through the water’s edge in search of food.
I cannot believe how nature always finds a way to inspire and amaze me at the same time.
March 15, 2016, has been named Buzzard’s Day. Here in Michigan, we have Turkey Buzzards or otherwise known as Turkey Vultures.
When the water down on the river flats goes down, carp and other aquatic wildlife are trapped in shallow pools. As the pools dry up, the fish die leaving plenty of decaying food behind for the buzzards to enjoy.
The large black birds are fascinating to watch. I have witnessed up to 20 in my backfield at one time. The birds have up to six-foot wingspan which provides quite a sight when they are all leaving the ground. One of the most noticeable features are the reddish heads. Some seem to have a dull reddish color where others are bright red. I cannot tell you the distinction in the varying colors.
Most people find Turkey Vultures to be ugly or an unsightly bothersome bird. I find the large birds to beautifully unique. Of course…I have always been the odd one.
For most people here in mid-Michigan the return of the Robin is usually the first sign of Spring. In fact, I witnessed a Robin down by the river beds just the other day.
For me, the first sign of Spring comes with the return of the Sandhill Cranes. I absolutely love these elegant creatures.
I hear their low throttling call echoing from the river flats. I could listen to them all day. With the rising water due to the melting snow, I have not been able to get down to the flats to photograph these magnificent birds up close.
I was happy to find a pair foraging for food out in the back field. The water levels are high and the fields have numerous areas with standing water. The Sandhill Cranes were definitely enjoying themselves as they searched for a meal.
Today, January 10, 2016, is Save the Eagles Day. The day is dedicated to the conservation and protection of these majestic birds. Here in Michigan (and all of North American from what I understand), the two species of Eagles are the Golden Eagle and the Bald Eagle. I have been fortunate enough to view both of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. I have only been able to photograph the Bald Eagle. But I still have time to get more photos of both birds. I actually investing in another lens just for this reason.
These large birds of prey are beautiful to view out in the wild. Catching a glimpse of one in a tree or swooping down to catch their prey is a wonderful sight to witness. A Bald Eagle can actually reach speeds of 100 mph while trying to catch their prey. I find that fact to be absolutely amazing. Not to mention the wing span can be up to seven feet wide. I guess, you can tell why I love to watch these wonderful birds down on the river flats. In fact, my neighbor informed me of a pair down on the Maple River today.
If you get a chance, you should take the time to sit and watch the Eagles in their natural surroundings. You will find the experience breathtaking.