Over the holiday season, I was able to photograph a beautiful Barred Owl. The sighting in the natural habitat was absolutely remarkable. I was on my way to pick up some stuff at my nephew’s school. The roads were snowy from the recent accumulation. Of course, I was in rush. As I drove by the wooded area, I spotted the Barred Owl just sitting there on a lower branch. Obviously, the beautiful creature was searching for his next meal.
When I first drove by, I did not have a camera with me. Not even my pocket camera which I had just taken out of my purse. Since I was close to home, I immediately turned around to go get a camera. The whole time, I was thinking, “there was no way the owl would still be there”. As I was rushing out of my drive, I proceeded to get my car stuck. After some time, I managed to get my car back on the road. By this time, I was absolutely convinced the Barred Owl would be gone.
But, sitting on the lower branch right off the side of the road by the Maple River was the beautiful creature. If I would not have been in such a hurry, I could have watched the Barred Owl all day long. The owl was not skittish of me. I managed to snap a lot of pictures. We just seemed to stare at each other. His black eyes were mesmerizing.
After all the years of living in the countryside, I had only witnessed an owl once before in the wild. The last time, I was a child. And, no, I will not tell you how many years ago that occurred. At that time, the owl was flying down to retrieve a dead carcass out of the road. I cannot tell you the type of owl we saw the night. But I can tell you, the initial sighting all those years ago was one of the reasons why I enjoy nature and wildlife.
I find owls completely fascinating. Well, of course, the Harry Potter series confirmed my love for the stunning creatures.
The time when everything bursts with its las beauty,
as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Today, Thursday, September 22, 2016, is the first official day of autumn. While ushering in the fall season, the day marks the end of summer. I personally love this time of year. Even as a child, I just found the fall season fascinating.
The crisp fall air suddenly ushers in cooler nights. The sunsets occur earlier, bringing perfect weather for stargazing and bonfires.
The local football season is in full swing. Pumpkin spice is a major ingredient in various products. As the season slowly marches on, changing leaves bursts into vivid color across the Michigan landscape. Bringing one last moment of natural beauty before the blanket of winter engulfs the area.
Walking through nature, I can honestly view the signs of the wildlife preparing for the upcoming cold winter months. I love watching the squirrels and chipmunks gather acorns. The little critters scamper across the dirt paths in front of me. Of course, the chipmunks chatter loudly in my direction as if to tell me I am intruding on their personal space.
I try to enjoy these last moments of fall before winter brings nature to a quiet standstill.
My social media page was filled with negative comments about the snow storm. Yes, I know the snow is an inconvenience. But the natural occurrence is absolutely beautiful. To be honest, everyone was warned about the snow in advance. The shutdown of offices, businesses, and schools due to inclement weather is for the safety of everyone. I cannot see why people were complaining.
Personally, I think you should enjoy the extra moments with your family. Go outside, build a snowman, do a project together, etc. Enjoy the official snow day from work and school. But, that’s just my opinion.
The biggest news for my area is the snow storm. Mid-Michigan could receive between 6 to 10 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. Since I work out of my home, I find the snow beautiful. I was out in the slightly snowy covered roads earlier this morning. But they had not begun to get slippery yet. Now the roads are completely covered, state offices are closed and schools were sent home early. Safe travels to anyone who is still out and about.
Snow storms remind of childhood when schools were closed. My mother always had extra children at the house on snow days. The day would be filled with sledding, snowmen, warm cocoa and homemade entertainment. Even though some of the snow storms brought no electricity, we still enjoyed ourselves. We haven’t lost power yet. Numerous people in the area are already without power. So we will see what the night brings.
I managed to meet my writing deadline early which gives me time to write for myself and “play” with pictures.
So, I am currently watching the live stream of the Brit Awards. I am keeping notes on the artists I do not normally hear; I can see a large iTunes bill in my near future. I am always listening to music when I write. I like different genres to fit the mood of my characters. So, if anyone has any music suggestions please pass them my way.
“Beautiful But Cold” is the only way I could describe today. Even with the sun peaking through at various times throughout the day, the temps never made their way out of the teens. With the wind chill factored in, the air felt even colder.
The wild birds seem to spend extra time at the feeders which were wonderful to watch this morning.
The evening air was crisp but I could not resist the view. I with my little puppy, Gizmo in tow went out for a few minutes. I snapped about 50 pics when I decided the air was just too much for me. (I really need to invest in some new outdoor wear. Thank goodness for REI). Gizmo did not hesitate when I asked if he was ready to go in.
We both have been enjoying the rest of the evening by the fireplace.
The fog has definitely rolled into mid-Michigan this evening. I can feel a dampness in the air as the weather slowly warms above freezing. Depending on the news outlet, we will receive between 5 to 10 inches of snow within the next two days. I am wondering if the dense fog is just the prelude to the coming snow storm. I know there is an old weather tale that states, ““For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall.” But I do not know if the fog actually is an indicator of an upcoming snow storm.
Michigan has seen a mild winter so far. A really good snow storm is just a matter of time. I guess, we will find out tonight. The snow is reported to begin after 1 a.m. I have nowhere to go for the next couple of days. I can just spend extra time working on my book. And, of course, go out and take pictures of the newly fallen snow.
Until next time…..peace.
P.S. A special shout out to my father who celebrates his 70th birthday today.
Today, January 5, 2016, is National Bird Day. I love the fact that entire day is dedicated to these fine feathered little creatures. I love watching birds. I have been slowly researching the different migratory birds that frequent Michigan.
Truthfully, I enjoy watching all wildlife. But bird watching can be done from my dining room table when the Michigan temperatures drop. I have come to the conclusion they all have unique characteristics that act almost as a way to communicate with one another and all other living beings.
Right outside my porch, the tiny Sparrows are always visible. They spend most of the time at the feeder, especially in the winter. I have come to the conclusion they get their way by sitting on the nearby branch and staring at me. I know, they are probably not watching me. When the feeders are empty, I believe they sit there just to make me feel extremely guilty. Many people do not like the Sparrows, I enjoy watching them as they flutter around my feeders.
When a Bluejay arrives at the feeder, all the other birds leave. In the colder months, I put peanuts out there which seem to be one of the Bluejay’s favorite snacks. The Bluejays are usually very vocal when they are near.
Depending on the time of year, I have all types of birds at the feeder or nearby in the wooded areas. I plan to start a bird journal to document which birds are present on a specific day.
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
I really do love this quote. Today, January 1, 2016, was definitely a cold start for the first day of the New Year. I know, we have had worse here in mid-Michigan. But up until now, the weather has been mild.
The cold temperatures are just a reminder that Mother Nature is actually the one in charge.
I hope your first day of 2016 was filled with memorable moments.