Critter of the Day: Mallard Ducks

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.

Until next time….peace

Critter of the Day: Pied-billed Grebe

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.

Until next time…peace

National Bird Day 2017

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.

Chickadee

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.

The little Sparrows watching me.
The little Sparrows watching me.

After the feeders are full, the Mourning Doves cautiously gather seeds on the ground.

Another Dove waiting patiently for the seeds.
Another Dove waiting patiently for the seeds.

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.

Until next time….peace

 

Unhappy Bird?

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?

Until next time….peace

Lovely Warm Days

“Each moment of the year

has its own beauty”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Until next time….peace

Babies Everywhere

“I am in favor of animal rights

as well as human rights.

That is the way of a whole human being.”

― Abraham Lincoln

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.

I believe this is a baby Sparrow. I have a hard time identifying babies.
I believe this is a baby Sparrow. I have a hard time identifying babies.

And, the tadpoles are so much fun to watch along the water’s edge.

I bet there's over a hundred of these little Tadpoles in the pond.
I bet there’s over a hundred of these little Tadpoles in the pond.

 

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.

Until next time…peace

Sandhill Cranes: Up Close and Personal

“Look deep into nature,

and then you will understand

everything better.”

~Albert Einstein~

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.

Until next time….peace

Buzzard’s Day

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.

I love how they perch themselves on top of my old barn.
I love how they perch themselves on top of my old barn.

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.

Until next time….peace

 

 

The Return of the Sandhill Cranes

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.

Until next time….peace…..

Save the Eagles Day

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.

This beautiful Eagle was in my neighbors tree. I am so happy everyone in my neighborhood does not think anything of me standing in the road while I take pictures of animals around their property.
This beautiful Eagle was in my neighbors tree. I am so happy everyone in my neighborhood does not think anything of me standing in the road while I take pictures of animals around their property.

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.

Until next time….peace