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

Taking a day off

Not from work, can’t afford that, but I’m not going for a walk today, the first time in so long that I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t. I’ve been feeling run down lately, I slept off and on for a total of about 12 hours last Saturday, I never do that! I usually sleep about six hours a night, I don’t know if my run down condition is due to the roller coaster weather we’ve had the last two weeks, of if I have come down with something. I’m odd, but I seldom know when I am sick, I keep right on going until the time my body gives up on me, then I sleep more than normal for a while, then I’m fine again. The weather is nasty as well, 13 degrees with snow and a 30 MPH wind out of the northwest, which normally doesn’t stop me from going out, but today, I hoisted the white flag and surrendered. We had a storm over the New Year’s Day weekend, then back up into the 50’s, then a three-day snow storm, then back to near 50, and now we’re in the middle of another storm. It’s been a wild ride the past two weeks!

I have some house keeping to do as far as blogging.

First, I would like to thank Bob, Cee, Emily, and Kerry for taking the time to comment and try to help me out after my post “Can some one help me out here?“. With four such talented photographers taking the time to help me out, well, I am very thankful for blogging friends like them. I have come to the conclusion that the problem I asked for help on is due to a glitch in my camera, you can click the link to the original post to see the update that I did explaining why I believe it to be a glitch in the camera. The short version is that it happened again, and I can see a pattern in the way that the camera malfunctions after it happened in so short of a time frame since the original post.

Secondly, I have fallen behind in adding links to some of the great blogs I have found out there in the blogoshere, something I am correcting. I have added links to Cee’s life photographyGardening in New HampshireKerry Mark Leibowitz’s nature photographyNorthern NarrativesFrom Moments to Memories, and Xandre Verkes. I’ll have a few more to add shortly, so I hope no one feels left out, there’s only so much I can do at one time.

A little about each of the new additions.

Cee’s life photography blog is a little of everything, backed up with some truly excellent photography. It’s hard to sum her blog up in a nutshell since she does cover such a wide range of topics, from nature to health to photography tips. I highly recommend her blog as well as all the new additions I am making to my list of links.

Gardening in New Hampshire is focused on native plants, and is always informative, even to some one such as myself who spends so much time outdoors. There are times that I think I spend too much time outdoors, and not enough time reading blogs like this one to learn about what it that I see outdoors. I have already learned the identity of several plants that I have seen and wondered about, but never took the time to research them, in the short time I have been reading Allen’s blog.

Kerry Mark Leibowitz’s nature photography is the blog of a professional landscape photographer, with some really stunning photos on display, along with helpful tips on how he goes about getting such beautiful photos. If you love beautiful landscapes, this is a blog you’ll have to check out!

Northern Narratives is a blog that also covers a range of topics, from the perspective of some one who lives in Duluth, Minnesota. I have been fortunate enough to have visited the area a few times, but not recently. It’s a beautiful area, and she does well in capturing just how beautiful it is.

From Moments to Memories is Sheila’s blog from near the twin cities in Minnesota, focused on nature photography, and how discovering nature has led her to greater self discoveries. She has a great natural eye for photography, and her blog is always a fun read as well.

Xandre Verkes is the blog of a young woman of Dutch descent I believe, I could be wrong about that, but being of Dutch stock myself, the name sounds Dutch. Her blog is a combination of travel, nature, and everyday life from Pretoria, South Africa, though she travels many places and is a very skilled photographer to boot.

OK, now for a few of my own photos, starting with a couple of the male sharp-shinned hawk that lives in the area.

Male sharp-shinned hawk

Male sharp-shinned hawk

Male sharp-shinned hawk

Then, I am going to throw in some bad photos of a muskrat collecting grass for its den, for a reason I’ll get to after the photos.

Muskrat collecting grass

I knew that the light was wrong for a good photo, so in between trips the little guy was making….

Muskrat collecting grass for its den

…I tried to work my way to a better position…..

Muskrat spotting me

But it didn’t work, it spotted me, and headed back to its den.


The reason I added these pictures is this. Just last week I read in the local paper that prices for muskrat pelts was way up, due to demand for fur from Asian countries. When will we ever learn? I hate to sound like a nut from PETA, but there’s no reason in the world for any one to be wearing a fur coat! There are few critters that I can think of that are as harmless, quiet, and unassuming as a muskrat. There’s no reason to kill them other than to feed the human ego that wants the “status symbol” of wearing a fur coat. Muskrats may not be cute and cuddly like some other critters, but they are completely harmless to us, unless we force them into defending themselves, and just go about living their quiet little lives’. Most people don’t even know what they are if they ever do see one.

I don’t have a problem with killing an animal for food, and I believe that if we do kill an animal, we should use as much of it as we can, as in making leather from the hide of cows. But, to kill an animal just for the fur, discarding the rest is just wrong!

I’m stepping off from the soapbox now. I have enough nuthatch photos that I am going to do an entire post devoted to them, and I still have the ice photos I mentioned before, that will be a post of its own, so let’s see, here’s one of a sumac branch that I like.

Sumac in the rain and fog

One of a fox squirrel attempting to stay dry on a wet dreary day.

Fox squirrel trying to stay dry

A closer view of its built-in umbrella.

Fox squirrel trying to stay dry

Then it played peek-a-boo with me.

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel

Yes, I flashed it for the last ones, it was almost like dusk that day.

Oh! I almost forgot, another bad photo!

Great horned owl in the wind and rain.

It is almost as if I live on a nature preserve around here! I love it! This was taken back behind the apartment building I live in, I have heard the owls hunting at night many times. I was out for my daily walk, and heard the owl, so of course I tried tracking it down, and I did get a few bad photos of it before it flew off. What’s remarkable about that photo is how bad the weather was that day. You can see the ear tuft of the owl is being blown by the wind, I had to time my shots trying to get ones without trees and branches in the way as they were blowing around in the wind. Considering the rain and wind, that’s not too bad.

I am going to finish with another bad photo, of ducks disappearing downstream in a creek and snow.

Cold duck(s) in the snow

I promise some better, and some worse photos for the next post. 😉 Hopefully I will get to that soon, but with the weather we’re having, it looks like another long night at work. And that reminds me, I wrote earlier that I really dropped the trailer at work, and there was an outside chance I could be fired. That didn’t happen, the driveshaft that operates the landing gear on the far side of the trailer had rotted away due to rust because the trailer is older than dirt and not maintained well. The place that made the repairs told the boss that there was nothing left to repair, everything on the landing gear was too rusted to trust, so they replaced the entire landing gear assembly.

Last year, they had to cut the rear of the trailer off and weld a new one back on because of how rusty the trailer was, they never learn! The repairs have cost them more than a new trailer would have.

That’s enough of that, I don’t even want to think about work, even though I am ending this to get ready for work.

Thanks for stopping by!


11 responses

  1. Great post and great photos of the Coopers’ Hawk. Thanks for the shout-out. I appreciate it.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    • Thank you! And thanks for the help!

      January 20, 2012 at 2:53 am

  2. Thanks for the awesome write-up and link. I sure do appreciate it. Your birds captures today are awesome, as always!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    • Thank you! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t added a link to your blog earlier, your photos are amazing!

      January 20, 2012 at 2:52 am

  3. Northern Narratives

    Thanks so much for listing my blog and for the kind words. I love your photos of the sharp-shinned hawk. What a beautiful bird 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    • Thank you, meant every word. I just wish I was better at describing other people’s blogs.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:51 am

  4. Thanks for the plug for my blog Jerry-I’m glad you enjoy it and learn from it. I learn a lot here too-especially about animals and birds. Your photos are always worth waiting for and I really like your style of writing. Hope you feel better soon.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    • Thank you! I just hope I spelled your name correctly!

      January 20, 2012 at 2:50 am

  5. You sure have a way with the nature. I love looking at your blog and all the different birds and critters you captured.

    Take it easy and I hope you feel better soon… 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    • Thank you Emily, I love critters and they seem to sense that and allow me to get closer than most people can.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:42 am

  6. Great pictures of the hawk! And the Great Horned Owl is a superb image. And I 100% agree with you on the fur issue. The Muskrat isn’t bothering anyone or being destructive, I hate unnecessary killing.

    January 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm