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

Still more birds, bugs, and blooms, sorry, no bunny

Yesterday’s hike in Muskegon State Park left me refreshed, but a bit stiff and sore this morning. What better way to work it out than a walk around the old homestead. As I stepped outside, the first thing that hit me was that it was cool, the second thing was that there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Why couldn’t that have been the case yesterday, my photos would have turned out so much better.

The first thing I saw worth photographing was this dragonfly.

Red dragonfly

I know, I have dozens of pictures of dragonflies, and this one is good, but not great, so why did I take it?

I have this theory, it may be bunk, but I seem to have my best photography days if I take some type of picture almost as soon as I step out the door. I don’t know if it has to do with my frame of mind, or what, but if I wait for something special before I start shooting, I never see anything special, and never take any photos. If I start out taking photos, I almost always end up with some really good ones. So it was today, as you will see later in this post, and one on dragonflies I have almost ready to post.

I played hide and seek, or ring around the rosy, which ever you prefer, with a few birds in the trees, never getting a chance for a picture. I could see them flitting around, but they never stopped in the clear long enough for a photo.

Even though it is a plentiful plant around here, I have never taken any photos of Queen Anne’s Lace, so I decided to shoot a few just to shoot something.

Queen Anne's Lace

I even switched to the macro mode for this one.

Queen Anne's Lace

As I was taking these, the white rabbit I have been chasing for months took off from not more than 4 feet from where I was standing, but I had never seen it in the tall grass. That’s the way it goes though, even if I had seen the white rabbit before it ran off, I had the camera in macro mode to shoot the flowers. Looks like I’ll be chasing it some more.

I did come across this guy though, a squirrel feeding its face.

Fox squirrel

What’s remarkable about this shot is that the squirrel is eating grass, I don’t know as if I have ever seen that before. Maybe he was pretending to be a bunny to make up for the fact that I missed the white rabbit yet again. 😉

Continuing on, I came to another of the bridges over the creeks that flow through the complex here, and there was a goldfinch feeding on the thistles that grow along the creek.

American goldfinch

As I was taking pictures, another male goldfinch came along, and the two started fighting over the thistles. I thought I had a shot of the two of them going at it, but all I got was a yellow blur in the corner of the frame, darn! They had quite a tussle in mid-air, then one flew off with the other in hot pursuit. I thought that was the end of my goldfinch photos for the day.

Looking around, I saw these two grasshoppers on a blade of grass.


There’s another type of insect where there are many species, and I can’t identify any of them. They are all grasshoppers to me.

Grasshopper 1

 And here’s the second one close-up.

Grasshopper 2

I tried to reach forward and move that dead blade of grass so I could get an even clearer picture, but that was too much for them, off they went. Turning around, I saw that one of the male goldfinches had returned, and was closer to me than before!

American goldfinch

He must have been hungry, as he kept right on eating as I kept on shooting.

American goldfinch

You can see strands of thistle-down stuck to the top of his head from tearing the seed pods apart to get at the seeds. I managed quite a few good shots before he flew off.

When I came to yet another creek crossing, I saw this butterfly.

Giant swallowtail butterfly

It is a giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest butterfly in the United States and Canada! I had never seen one before that I can remember, their range is generally south of here, so I have read.

Giant swallowtail butterfly

It never completely stopped flapping its wings, good thing there was enough light so that the camera was able to freeze the motion for the most part.

Giant swallowtail butterfly

That was my walk yesterday, I am about to head out the door for today’s walk. I can only hope it is half as productive as yesterday’s.


One response

  1. Lots of nice shots there!

    August 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm