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

Trying to remain positive

It’s been a rough month for me, in so many ways that it’s hard for me to not get down in the dumps. I don’t even know where to start. The weather, yuck. People trying to rip me off almost daily, I hope that they rot in Hades, and it gets worse.

There have been a few good things happening to me lately, but they have usually come as a result of something negative in the first place. Like, I found out that I have really good auto insurance through Allstate. How do I know that? Because some one shot my brand new Subaru, leaving a dent and bare spot in the paint around the dent. I’m not positive, but it looks like the projectile came from either a pellet gun, or possibly a .22 caliber gun fired from a distance. I’m also almost positive that it was a stray shot and not intentional. The good news is that my insurance will cover it.

I also found out that I have good renters insurance, also through Allstate. How do I know this? Because on Sunday night, some one in another apartment started a grease fire in my apartment building. The fire forced us to evacuate the building, and I was forced to spend the night in a motel. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it was not a pleasant experience to say the least. I could do an entire post on what I think of the cops and the Red Cross who were supposedly here to “assist” us, all I’ll say is that their so-called assistance was worse than no help at all.

I found out (finally) that I have good dental insurance, and I have also found a new dentist. I know that a while back I wrote about the problems I was having with the dentist that took over the practice of the dentist I had been going to for years. Because of that dentist’s philosophy of extracting as much cash as possible from his patient’s pockets, and my stubbornness in resisting his attempts, I am going to have to have two teeth removed tomorrow (Thursday as I start this post), and the worst part is that one of the teeth could have been saved if the old dentist had been willing to work with me, and not been worrying about his bottom line. My sister recommended her dentist, and while I’ve only seen her once, she and her staff are much more to my liking than the previous one.

I’ve worked for the same company for almost 4 full years now, and no one could tell me whether or not we had dental insurance, it wasn’t until I pitched a bit of a fit and demanded to know that I was told by the owner, “I think so, you’ll have to check with the union”. What a place!

Anyway, we actually had two sunny days in a row! But, now we’re back to the clouds, however, instead of lake effect snow, today we received lake effect drizzle instead! Things are looking up, it is getting a little warmer, and the birds are beginning to tell me that spring is coming, even though it may not seem like it.

There are more cardinals singing everyday now, not just on days when the sun makes a rare appearance.

I saw a flock of bluebirds today, which surprised the heck out me, for we had a storm consisting of snow, rain, sleet, ice pellets, and strong winds yesterday.

Just as shocking, I saw a male red-winged blackbird today as well.

When did the bluebirds and blackbird arrive here? During the storm? I suppose they could have been in the area since this weekend when the weather was nice, but that I didn’t see or hear them until today.

Speaking of nice weather, here’s a few photos from my walk on Sunday, before the fertilizer hit the ventilator.

Sunny day!

Sunny day!

Fox squirrel enjoying the sun

Fox squirrel enjoying the sun

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

Dark eyed junco

Dark eyed junco

Dark eyed junco

Dark eyed junco

Female downy woodpecker

Female downy woodpecker

Since I didn’t have many photos of female downy woodpeckers when I did the post on them in my Photo Life List project, I’m going to add a few that I shot on Sunday to that post, Downy Woodpecker.

Creekside snow

Creekside snow

Alder seed pods

Alder seed pods

Alder catkins

Alder catkins

One of the reasons I went back to the county park where I walked last weekend was in hopes of getting better shots of the Carolina wren I saw there. I was able to track the little bugger down, but, this was the only photo I got of it. If you look closely, you can see the wren’s beak sticking out from behind the small branch in the center of the frame. Let me tell you, he’s fast! I’ll probably continue to return to the same park every weekend if the weather is good, until I get a good photo of the wren, or it moves on to another place.

Carolina wren's beak

Carolina wren’s beak

With the nice warm sunshine, the deer were in no hurry. I watched a small herd get up to stretch their legs and munch on a few buds that are beginning to appear.

Whitetail deer feeding

Whitetail deer feeding

Whitetail deer

Whitetail deer

Sycamore tree

Sycamore tree

Another sunny creek

Another sunny creek

I’ve been short on practice as far as shooting birds in flight, so when these mallards took off, I couldn’t resist.

Mallards in flight

Mallards in flight

The same holds true of this great blue heron that came winging its way past me.

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

The heron landed in a marshy area where there was some open water, and began to look for lunch. He’s hard to see, but I still like this photo for some reason.

Great blue heron in the snow

Great blue heron in the snow

Cattail

Cattail

Then, the biggest treat of the day, a house finch singing his spring song!

House finch warming up his vocal chords

House finch warming up his vocal chords

And finally, another of those shots that I like, but can’t say why.

Tree

Tree

It’s a good thing that I got as many photos on Sunday as I did, because I was forced to miss two days as far as my daily walks. One was the day after the fire of course, and the other was the day that I had the teeth pulled.

A quick housekeeping note before I continue on, Lori from What the Ducks has nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. While I don’t participate in these awards, it is always nice to learn that others find my blog worthy of any award. If you’re interested in ducks, or having a good laugh, I would suggest that you check out her blog!

Now then, for some really good local news! For the first time in months, the forecast for the next week has no snow in it! I find that quite amazing! The local meteorologists tells us that the up coming week will be our sunniest since the first part of November, I sure hope that he’s right for a change.

For the month of February, we received almost 3 feet of snow, Muskegon got almost 5 feet for the month. Maybe spring is going to get here after all. The bluebirds and red-winged blackbirds seem to think so, I spotted bluebirds again today.

It’s Friday now as I’m typing this section, and there’s a hint of sun poking through the clouds, with the promise of even more sunshine this weekend. So, I am going to make another attempt to track down and photograph the Carolina wren tomorrow, then head to Muskegon on Sunday for another duck hunt, with the added chance of spotting some Bohemian waxwings! A small flock of them has been spotted in the Muskegon area, so I’ll go searching for them, and who knows what I’ll find.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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22 responses

  1. Sorry to hear of all your problems…. but at least spring seems to be showing hints of arriving. You have some great shots in this bunch.

    March 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    • Thank you, I hope that my string of bad luck has played itself out.

      March 2, 2013 at 1:43 am

  2. plantsamazeme

    Wow, that does sound like a rough month, sometimes life is just no fun at all! When I read, “before the fertilizer hit the ventilator” in took me a second. Then I laughed, I’m slow okay.
    The Mallards in flight is a nice shot with the ducks in focus and the soft background. March will be a better month. Take care.
    🙂

    March 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    • Thank you! I refuse to lower my standards and become as coarse as our society has sunk, so I try to find creative and clean ways of saying the same thing. 😉

      March 2, 2013 at 1:47 am

  3. Thanks so much for the shout out, Dave! And hang in there!!!

    March 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    • Thank you, I think….hmmm, hang in there, no, I think I’ll stick around, at least for the time being. 🙂

      March 2, 2013 at 1:49 am

  4. Jeremiah 29:11 is what keeps me going:

    ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    March 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    • Thanks, I needed that! One of the reasons that I’m spending the entire weekend outdoors is to spend some quality time with the Big Guy!

      March 2, 2013 at 1:51 am

  5. I hope your pictures cheered you up. They certainly made me feel good when I looked at them.

    March 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    • Thank you, sunshine always cheers me up!

      March 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

  6. At least you’re seeing some sunshine and the red wing blackbirds are returning. You’ll find neither of those here. I love the shots of the flying mallards and heron. And the squirrel, even if he is looking a little frayed.

    March 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    • Thanks. There are times that I question whether I should continue to photograph squirrels, but the little buggers are so darned photogenic that I can’t stop myself.

      March 2, 2013 at 1:54 am

  7. I can see how the long winter can get to you. But in spite of all the difficulties, there has been salvation right there for you. Hang in there and good luck with the dental work. I know it hurts!

    March 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    • Thanks! I’m becoming a big wimp when it comes to my teeth for some reason. For the rest of me, the saying “No brain, no pain” seems to apply. Maybe it’s because my teeth are close to what little grey matter that I do have. 🙂

      March 2, 2013 at 2:01 am

  8. I’m sorry to hear about the contretemps you’ve had. Even as far north as you are, spring is on its way, and that should be a comforting prospect.

    March 2, 2013 at 12:23 am

    • Thanks. Here in West Michigan, it isn’t the cold or snow that gets to me, it is going for weeks at a time with out seeing any sunshine.

      March 2, 2013 at 2:04 am

  9. You’ve definitely had a rough month, and February in my opinion is the toughest month because us northerners are quite tired of winter by now and are ready to put it behind us.

    Great pictures from the park, I especially like the picture of the doe looking over the snowbank!

    I too have heard the Cardinals more lately, and saw my first Red-Winged Blackbird a couple weeks ago here in Ohio. All the signs are there, we’ll be done with winter one of these days!

    March 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    • Thanks, I know spring is coming, I just wish that it hadn’t chosen to take the scenic route to get here. 😉

      March 3, 2013 at 1:18 am

  10. So sorry to hear about your recent worries, seems like they begin to domino sometimes. I know, got my own dominos I’m trying to hold up and not let fall, lol. As for this series of shots, KUDOS Jerry, love the beauty and variety.

    March 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    • Thanks, they say that troubles come in threes, I hope that’s right, as I’ve met my quota and am ready for some good things for a change.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:44 am

  11. Feel for you mate. Shit definitely comes at you in groups. Be well, be happy. Jerry

    March 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    • Thanks, with all that’s happened to me lately, I’d be going crazy if I hadn’t already reached that goal.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm