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

How to Have Fun When You’re Bored and Have a Fever

This is another special guest post by my friend and fellow nature stalker, Jan, and she’s thrown in some of her photos of George and Martha, the mute swans, and a few of the other visitors to the pond she frequents. So, no need for me to babble on, take it away Jan!

Apparently I didn’t duck fast enough because a flu bug slammed me right between the eyes a few days ago.  So I found myself stuck inside, bored to tears, and running a fever of about 101… and I had a small group of photos that I’d taken a couple of days before in lousy lighting.  Playtime!

I’d gone to the lake early in the evening.  It was overcast.  It was cold.  It was drizzling off and on.  It was windy.  (I think I just figured out how I got the flu.)  The swans, who are named George and Martha (not my fault), were taking a break from harassing two geese, so I started taking photos.  When I got them uploaded that night, I hated them all.  The lighting was horrible, and the backgrounds were a depressing dark gray, not to mention that I couldn’t seem to get the swans to strike any amazing poses.  For some reason I didn’t delete them.

Once the boredom hit, I started playing around with those photos, adjusting shadows and highlights.  It was a nice surprise when those one-click-away-from-the-recycling-bin photos actually started to look halfway decent!







The rest of the photos here were all taken the following day.  It was one of those days when it was alternating between cloudy and sunny so quickly that a beautiful shot could turn to a poorly lit one by the time you hit the shutter button.   But despite the cold, the wind, and impending snow showers, somehow the waterfowl were feeling spring in the air.  Personally, my numb fingers and I disagreed with them.


It’s tough trying to preen in 30 mph winds.


Coot yoga.


Young female Redhead Duck.


“Mallard, you WISH your feet were this cool!”


The wind was making this basketweave pattern on the water. I have no idea how that would happen!


Redhead Duck


Redhead Ducks are very exuberant about bathing.


Jerry said it looks like the two Mallards are laughing at the third one for showing off.


I was happy to finally get a shot of a Coot flapping its wings, but the look on that Redhead Duck is priceless!


What you don’t want to see if you’re a goose.


George, celebrating his latest goose-chasing success.

Me again, I hope that you have enjoyed Jan’s post and photos as much as I do, and will join me in encouraging her to start a blog of her own!

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


11 responses

  1. stunning photos of the swans. Beautiful

    March 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    • Thank you!

      March 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm

  2. She definitely needs to start a blog of her own. Great shots of our feathered friends. Hope the flu is gone!

    March 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    • Thanks! (And the flu is still hanging on, but I’m fighting the good fight!)

      March 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm

  3. I think you should try a blog Jan. If nothing else,it will get you outside. I like the shots of the geese with the dark background-they almost look like they were lit by a spotlight. I also like the laughing mallards!

    March 18, 2013 at 6:18 am

    • I’m normally outside taking nature photos as often as my schedule allows, but not so much this past week. The plan at this point is to start a fairly regular blog once I’m healthy again. Glad you liked a couple of the shots!

      March 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm

  4. Some really great photos!

    March 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    • Thank you!

      March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

  5. Great work and awesome captures again, Jan! Loved the funny captions, nature can have a comical twist sometimes. 😉

    March 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate the vote of confidence! (Sorry for the delay. Life gets hectic sometimes, especially when you’re trying to catch up after a flu bug!)

      April 3, 2013 at 12:33 am

  6. In my five duck experience, *all* ducks are exuberant about bathing! 🙂 Great waterfowl pix–thx for sharing!!!

    April 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm