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

No Internet, week two

It’s the beginning of my second week with no Internet access at home, and while the withdrawal symptoms seemed to have eased somewhat, I still miss it. I had planned to spend as much time at the community building on Saturday as I could to get caught up on everything online, that didn’t go as planned. I had just gotten set up and was reading my E-mail, when three very nice young ladies showed up to start decorating the building for a birthday party they were throwing later in the afternoon. They were gracious enough to allow me to stay long enough to do what I absolutely had to do, but they were paying for the building, and I felt like a moocher sitting there.

I want to apologize to every one who has commented or liked any of my posts here over the last week for not getting back to you quicker. I also apologize for either not leaving a comment, or only a very short one on your blogs, your photos have deserved better, thanks for sharing them!

The weather has been absolutely fantastic! After nearly two weeks of cloudy, cool, rainy weather, for the last week, it has been hard to find a cloud. We’ve had warm afternoons, it has been in the 80’s the last few days, with cool evenings, it doesn’t get any better. This has been without a doubt the best Indian Summer that I have ever experienced!

I went deer hunting Saturday evening, that didn’t go quite as planned, too many people out in the woods enjoying the weather, but I did get a few photos which will show up in a later post.

Sunday, I went to the beach at P. J. Hoffmaster State Park, and it was jammed. Not only was it crowded, but there were a few hearty souls swimming in Lake Michigan! The first weekend in October, and people were swimming in the big lake, not typical Michigan fall weather. I’ll post a few photos of that trip later as well.

I should have gone kayaking, but the only place I could have afforded to go was the Grand River, and while I know I would have enjoyed it, I wasn’t in the mood for the Grand. This summer of being broke has really but a crimp on my normal activities.

Most of my kayak trips this year have been solo, on either lakes or larger rivers, I miss the faster rivers of up north!

I only went up north a couple of times, for my vacation in May, and the Labor Day weekend, that’s disgusting! I hardly did any trout fishing at all, I could have hit the Rogue a few more times, but it was so hot all this summer that I was worried about fish mortality. When fish are already stressed from heat and lack of oxygen, the added stress of catch and release can be enough to kill them, and I don’t want to kill them. With gas just under $4 a gallon all summer, I couldn’t afford trips to my favorite rivers, to either fish or kayak, or hike for that matter.

I am accumulating a ton of fall foliage shots, I try to weed them out, but that’s hard to do. They are all so beautiful. It isn’t that those are the only shots I would be taking, but there isn’t too much else to photograph this time of year. The insects are all but gone, the wildflowers were, but with this great weather, a few hardy ones are trying to make a comeback.

Let’s see, what else has been going on. I stopped off at Batteries Plus and picked up four more eight packs of their Werker brand batteries that fit my Canon camera and my GPS unit. The Werker batteries seem to last at least half again as long as the name brands, and at less than half the price. I even fed a couple of them to the battery ravenous GPS unit of mine when I hiked Hoffmaster State Park Sunday, and they lasted the entire hike, with plenty of life left in them. That has never happened before! I didn’t go very far distance wise, it was too hot, and I was hiking a trail I had never done before. The trail map from the DNR doesn’t list the distance, so I had to estimate how far I would be hiking, and over estimated the distance somewhat.

It isn’t the distance that I travel that drains the batteries anyway, it is the amount of time the unit is on, and it was on for a lot longer than it normally would have been for a hike of the length I did Sunday, as I stopped on the beach and did some sunbathing. That has never happened before either, my sunbathing on the Lake Michigan beach in October, it sure felt good! I’ll have more details and photos in an upcoming post.

If this sounds like a shameless plug for Batteries Plus and Werker batteries, I guess it is. As I have posted a few times lately, I am tired of paying for crappy service and performance, so when I find something that works better than expected, I will share it here.

I meant to get this published on Tuesday, but when I left my apartment for my daily hike, there was a notice on the door that my water would be shutoff on Wednesday for maintenance. I thought it a good idea to make sure I was caught up on laundry, just in case. That, and I had yet another great day photography wise.

I think I shot the best series of great blue heron photos I have ever taken. No one photo is that much above and beyond what I have gotten before, but the entire series, some photos from both cameras, adds up to the best collection so far. I am going to try to get them posted before the end of the week. That is if I don’t spend hours more photographing something else before the end of the week.

I am getting behind in posting, I have many drafts almost done, then I get distracted and start a new one before I forget what I wanted to post. This no Internet at home sucks. I used to be able to multitask, download the photos from my cameras while I checked my E-mail, then sort through them, pick out the good ones, and start them on their way to being reduced in size to another folder while I did something else online. I used to do much of my research online after I got home from work, but I can’t do that anymore. I have tried writing after work, but that doesn’t go well. I am too tired to do too much writing, I end up just proofing what I have already written.

I have also decided to switch the focus of my tips on nature photography slightly. I am a good photographer, but there are others much better than I am. My forte is getting close to wildlife, so that’s where I can be the most help to budding nature photographers. I am going to add a category, I haven’t decided the name yet, then use that as a way for people to find the tips. My ability as an outdoorsman trumps my weaknesses as a photographer, so I think I should focus on the best way I can help those who wish to take wildlife photos.

I have posted my entry in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, this week’s topic was comfort, hope you like the photo I chose for it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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