My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

A nice day for a change

Our cool, wet, cloudy, windy, almost spring continues. I like rain as much as anyone, but this is getting ridiculous. We’ve had a few more days of off and on rain, mostly on, over an inch in one day again on at least one day, I’ve stopped keeping track. Yesterday, it never made it out of the 50’s, with rain and wind. It wasn’t bad out, but a nice day now and then would be even better.

I know that in the long run all this rain is a good thing. Lake Michigan is rising several inches a month, and since it was very low, that’s a good thing. But, as soon as the rivers get close to being fishable, we get several more days of rain, several more inches of it, and the rivers get too high and muddy to make it worthwhile trying to fish. I still have all my gear in the explorer, ready to go, just in case the pattern breaks.

The weather is also interfering with my photography. Cloudy, rainy days usually aren’t the best for taking pictures, and some wildflowers have bloomed and the flowers have been blown apart in the wind before I get a chance to take a good picture of them. It is very hard to get good close-ups of flowers when they are being blown all around by the wind, it is close to impossible. There have been a few exceptions, such as this one.



By using the flash on a rainy day, it turned out well. There was also a breif period of sun on another day when I walked, and was able to capture this picture of a great blue heron as he was fishing.

Great Blue Heron


Yes, that’s a minnow in its beak.

I am supposed to go kayaking this weekend, the lower Rogue! The lower Rogue has some of the best whitewater in lower Michigan, just not a lot of it. The chute at Childsdale is always fun, and with all the rain we’ve had, it will be screaming on Saturday! That is, if any one else decides to go, it may be just me and Mike, and I am OK with that.

I have been working on the pages about how to take better nature photos, but getting it all arranged into some type of meaningful, readable form is turning out to be more of a chore than I thought. I should start at the beginning and go step by step, but I keep going off on tangents, as I am known to do. But trust me, I will finish it, someday.

I have been working on a couple of pages on the Hiking Places page since my vacation in the Pigeon River Country a couple of weeks ago. I am about finished with Green Timbers, I may add more to that one later, I’m not sure yet. I have added some details on the High Country Pathway and the Mason Tract, there will be more to both of them when I get a chance to return to the area. I’m not sure when that will be.

I would normally be going up north for Memorial Day weekend, but frankly, I can’t afford to this year. Between $4 a gallon gas and working for a couple of cheap-ass bastards, I have to watch what I spend for a while. I do know that after the holiday weekend that I am going to get serious in a search for a new job. I took the one I have now for one reason, it worked out very well as far as having time off to take care of business for my elderly mother who is now in a nursing home as she is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Now that she is taken care of, I can widen my job search.

 A new job may slow down my blogging, I hope not, because the more I do this, the more I like it. I am closing in on having had 2,000 people visit my blog, which is no big deal to the big time bloggers out there, but then I’m not doing this in an attempt to make money, except for my photo gallery. It would be nice to sell a few pictures to make a few bucks, but I knew that it was never going to be a real money-maker when I launched it. As far as this one, I am getting more hits through the search engines all the time, and even a few new subscribers, at big thank you to those who have signed up! I hope you find my blog informative, and maybe a little amusing at times. You can always send me questions if you have any, I will try to answer them if I can.

Getting back to photography, I have been checking out a few nature photo contests to see if maybe I would have a chance of winning, and I am coming to the conclusion that most of them are little more than a money-making scam for the promoters looking to cash in on all of us Ansel Adams wannabes out here. I may be missing something, but between the cost of prepping a print to their specifications as far as size, matting, and framing in order to qualify, and the entry fees, submitting a photo would cost more than you can win, if you do win. Then, if your picture does sell during the exhibition, they charge an outragous commission to boot.

I looked at one last night, entry fee, $50. Not bad, but the print had to be in a certain size frame, with a certain color matt, and then there is the cost of shipping it to where the contest will be held, and the cost of having it shipped back if it doesn’t sell. The top prize was $250, no one is going to get rich winning those contests. To top it off, the one last night charged a 50% commission if your photo sells! The only ones making any money are the promoters! I will admit, most of the contests don’t charge a 50% commission, but most do charge between 20%and 30%.

Looking at the past winners of these contests, I wouldn’t even call them nature photography. Most of the time the judges pick what started as a photo of a subject in nature, but then the image has been photo-shopped or altered in some other way on a computer, then printed on a non-traditional media of some sort. The winners seldom look like anything you see in nature. I’d be willing to bet that you could take an Ansel Adams photo, submit it to one of these contests, and it would be considered far to blasé for the judges nowadays. I am not going to spend three or four hundred dollars to enter a contest that only pays $250, and have the promoters take 50% if the picture were to sell.

That reminds me, still haven’t heard anything from Trout Unlimited as far as their photo contest, so there is still hope there. That one would be a good one to win, even though it pays nothing. Having one of my pictures used for the TU calendar would be reward enough, and a great way to introduce the world to my photos.

That’s about all the time I have right now, I have to do the work thing again for one more night, then a 3 day weekend! Yeah!


One response

  1. Great pics!


    May 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm