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

What happened to spring?

I just got back from my daily walk, and I am soaked. No, it isn’t raining, there’s bright blue skies and light winds, but it is very hot already this morning. The high temperature yesterday was close to 90 degrees, and we are forecast to be in the 90’s the next two days.

It was just two weekends ago when I was at Muskegon and it was in the low 60’s, with a cold fog. Also that weekend, Mike and I went kayaking, and it was cool and cloudy that day as well. We have had a very cool, very rainy spring, until June, and now we are having a summertime heat wave. I don’t do well in the heat no matter what, but to jump from 60 to 90 in a day or two is even worse. As Mark Twain said, “Every one complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”. I’m not complaining about it too much, there’s nothing you can do but to dress accordingly and plan for what the weather will be. It would have been nice to have a week or two of weather with temperatures in the 70’s before the heat rolled in though.

The weather and the season do play a huge part in my plans for my outdoor adventures. I love spring, it is my favorite season! With the weather that we’ve had, it has taken a while, but the trees, bushes and grasses are all growing strong in the thick, vivid, green of spring, and I truly love that. It does make photography more difficult though. I hear birds singing, but it is hard to see them in the trees now, unlike a few weeks ago when there weren’t any leaves yet. The same holds true of mammals, it’s a lot easier for them to hide in the summer. Even when I do see them, it is harder to get a good photo when they are in the shade. Just this last weekend I was hiking through the Cooper Creek/Spencer Forest County parks, and while I saw some birds and animals close enough to photograph, the shade was so deep that I doubted if the subjects would even be visible in a photo.

 But, while some things become harder to photograph, other subjects emerge to fill in the void, such as flowers and insects.

Damsel fly

I know, insects aren’t every one’s favorite subject for a photo, so here’s a flower.

Wildflower

Although if you look closely, there’s a spider in the flower.

I would like to be doing more kayaking now that summer has arrived, but it looks like I’ll be doing either more hiking, or kayaking lakes and large rivers by myself this year. I have been trying to put kayaking trips together, very few people in the group even bother to reply, and even fewer can make it when I do plan something. Then there are issues as far as transportation and the spotting of vehicles. It is getting very frustrating. A couple of years ago I was organizing a group of close to 200 paddlers, and we would have 20 to 30 people show up each trip. That became a problem as far as finding access sites that could accommodate that many vehicles and boats. It would be nice to hit a happy medium, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

I don’t mind paddling by myself, I don’t even mind paddling lakes and large rivers, but then, I would rather start at dawn, and that’s hard to do since I work second shift. I haven’t won the lottery yet, so I’m still a working stiff. Evenings are OK, as long as I can find places where I’m not getting run over by power boats. I love dawns, the quiet, the wildlife, the start of a new day.

Since it looks like I won’t be kayaking again this weekend, it will give me a chance to do some fly fishing. Darn!  I’ll have to see what the weather is like the rest of this week before I decide where, and then there are the gas prices as well. I think I need a trip to the Pere Marquette. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll be on the Rogue for sure.

I’m still working on the photography pages, a little at a time. It seems like there is something that comes up when I think I will have time to work on them that limits how much I am able to write. problems at work, or my mother’s health, or something out of the blue. Two weeks ago it was having to do a random DOT drug test for work, that my boss had forgotten about until after it was due. Last week, it was the staff at the apartment complex trying to tell me I was late with last months rent, when I wasn’t. Both of those things took a while to resolve, and took time away from my work here. The heat wave doesn’t help either. It takes me more time at work to finish my run each night, and more time to cool off after work, and after my morning walk.

I’ll keep plugging away at it, it may take me a while to finish the project, but I will eventually finish it.

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