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

My Week…Lucky me! Monday


I am already way behind on this week’s post, and I took close to 100 good photos today during my walk. In my long-winded way, I am saying that I have to tweak this series somewhat, start doing other posts again, and get some other things straight in my head.

Starting out, I couldn’t help but notice how large some of the buds in the maple trees are getting.

Buds on a maple tree

I believe those are flower buds, and what the fox squirrels have been feeding on in some of the photos I have posted recently.

As you can see, it was a great day, but cold when I started, the overnight low was in the teens. Because of that, much of the open water on the ponds, and even the areas with a slow flow in the creeks had frozen with a thin layer of ice.

Ice and cattails

I was so busy shooting pictures that I didn’t have time to do much thinking, as I was checking the pond for more photo-ops, three geese flew past.

Canadian geese in flight

That’s my bad action shot of the day, I did shoot a few of crows flying low, but those are too bad to post.  Then at the next pond is where the swans have been, and they are still hanging around. Each one of the pair was in its own small patch of open water.

Mute swan

Mute swan

I know they are an invasive species, but they sure are beautiful birds!

Mute swan and reflection

Mute swan and reflection

Mute swan stretching its wings

Mute swan stretching its wings

Mute swan

Then one decided to play icebreaker and plow through the ice to reach some of the other open water.

Mute swan breaking ice

It finally made it through the ice field…

Mute swan

..and started feeding.

Mute swan

A pair of mallards swam over to join the swans.

Male mallard on ice

The footing was treacherous.

Male mallard on ice

The female thought it better to stick to one spot.

Female mallard on ice

While the male continued his walk.

Male mallard on ice

I heard the ice creaking and groaning, the second swan had gotten up on the ice with the ducks.

Mute swan on ice

But, that didn’t last long, the swan was too heavy for the thin ice…

Mute swan falling through the ice

The female mallard saw that, and found a little hole in the ice to sit in.

Female mallard

The swan that fell through the ice broke its way to join the other, and they both were feeding.

Mute swan reaching under the ice for food

A closer view.

Mute swan reaching under the ice for food

That sure looks cold to me!

Next stop was the largest of the creeks here, and the mallards were behaving differently than they have in months.

Mallards nesting?

I have noted in the last few posts how the mallards have been staying back in the brush along the creeks almost 100% of the time. Suddenly, they were spread out, up on the banks of the creek, in the tall grass, flying around the ponds, everywhere I looked, I saw mallards! I think the females are looking for nesting spots. I hate to admit this, but I shot some duck porn on Sunday, I am not sure I will post the photos of that, I haven’t been able to confirm that the participants were at least 18 years of age yet. (Truth is, the photos were taken at some distance, and I haven’t had the time to get them ready to post)

Last year, we had ducklings all over the place, but it was rather sad to see the numbers in each brood drop one by one as the little fuzzballs became food for the predators that live here as well. I have said it before, nature isn’t always pretty, but it is what it is, and it is always interesting. I also shot this one at the creek.

Ice on a branch in a creek

Next up, a pair of mourning doves, and I can’t tell which is which as far as male and female.

Mourning dove

I know they are nesting, as I have been seeing them head into the evergreens around here with nest materials in their beaks.

Mourning dove

These two seemed to be taking a break to enjoy the sunshine.

Mourning dove

Next up, a downy woodpecker.

Downy woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

As I was shooting those, a flock of turkeys strolled past.


I looked up at the woodpecker again, and it was giving me the perfect pose, but it flew off before I could capture that shot. I was also hoping for better turkey photos, thinking I would run into the flock again later in my walk, but they turned off in another direction I guess.

Then it was on to one of the other creeks, and this shot of the ice covering it.

Ice covered creek

Next up, one of those things that leave me scratching my head.

Berries in the wrong tree

Those berries didn’t grow in the tree they were hanging in, they grow on these bushes.

Berries where they belong

So, I’ll keep an eye or two peeled when I am in that area to try to figure out what may have transported the berries to the other tree. It could have been a bird, or squirrel, raccoon, or who knows, even a human.

I had seen robins earlier, they are still hanging around, but when I got to the trees they normally feed in, there was a flock of cardinals there instead.

Male northern cardinal

I know I went heavy on the photos again today, but I may not be getting many for some time to come. We’re supposed to get snow changing to rain, changing to snow, changing to rain for the forecasted future. There’s no sunshine predicted at all for the next 8 days, so good photos will be hard to come by.

That’s it for this one, Tuesday’s installment will be coming up shortly, with some great action shots, you won’t want to miss it. (Boy, do I sound like a huckster or what?)

Thanks for stopping by!


11 responses

  1. Zelmare

    Beautiful pictures. I love the swans and the berries in the wrong tree! ( I think they were in the right tree – they look so good there!) 😉

    February 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

  2. Nice story and excellent pictures.

    February 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

  3. Love the photos of the swan sticking its head under the ice.

    February 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

    • Thank you! It’s all your fault that I tried starting a weekly record of my hikes, I loved the Phenology series you did, and that’s what I am trying to emulate.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

  4. Great photos!

    February 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    • Thank you, and thanks for taking the time to comment!

      February 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

      • 🙂

        February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  5. Great post and photos. Love the mute swan reflections, perfect! And reaching under the ice, I’ve never seen them do that, cool!

    February 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

  6. Pingback: My Week…Lucky me! Thursday to Saturday « Quietsolopursuits's Blog

  7. OMG Beautiful swan reflections! Great photos! Jealous you guys have buds already!

    February 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    • Thanks, I’ll bet that there are buds on the maples around you as well, just a little smaller than ours right now.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:02 am