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

My week, the weather yucky, but I’m so lucky

Sunday

Yuck, hot, humid, and my allergies are making the morning miserable for me. It’s one of those days when I’d like to laze around the apartment all day doing nothing. But, I know that in doing so, I would be miserable all day, while if I force myself to get moving, I’ll eventually feel better.

Right now, just the thought of lugging everything out to my Subaru is more than I would like to do. I may even have to make two trips to get everything that I’m taking today. Camera gear, backpack, small cooler with extra water and lunch, so much stuff for just a day of hiking. Oh, and I’d better not forget tissues, as my sinuses are running a marathon this morning. Time to quit whining and get moving.

Wow, what a day! My plan to escape the heat worked better than I had hoped. Today also proved that it’s better to get up and get moving than to sit around feeling miserable.

I went to Muskegon State Park, as I often do. I could feel the difference in air temperature long before I made it to the park, it was 10 to 15 degrees cooler there than in Grand Rapids. A stiff south-southwest wind coming off from the still 50 degree Farenheit waters of Lake Michigan made if feel as if I were standing in front of a refrigerator with the door open.

I hiked the Lost Lake trail to look for birds and wildflowers, I found even more.

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunks emerging from their den

Skunks emerging from their den

Skunk emerging from its den

Skunk emerging from its den

Those were shot with my 15-85 mm lens, the first one was not cropped at all. I decided that it might be better if I backed off a little way for the rest of the shots, so they are cropped. 😉

Here’s a sign with information about Lost Lake and the ecosystem there.

Interpretive sign at Lost Lake

Interpretive sign at Lost Lake

I’ve hiked that trail many times, usually just as a warm up for the longer trails. Today, I spent hours there at Lost Lake itself, watching nature, taking photos, and enjoying a grand day. There were still many wild roses blooming along the trail to Lost Lake, and the wind was carrying their scent to me, mixed with that of pine, and of the cool refreshing waters of Lake Michigan.

I got back to the new observation platform on the lake, and then took one lens at a time to see what I could find while wandering in the area. If that lens didn’t work, I made note of what and where things were that I wanted to go back for, then returned with the correct lens later.

I’ve already posted the photos of the plant life that I found around the lake here. But here are two more of the water lily anyway.

Water lily

Water lily

Water lily

Water lily

I’m sorry for so many photos of them, but it’s my way of telling the world that I’m back as a photographer. Getting the exposure just right for those can be tricky, and in my opinion, I nailed it. I had an idea in my head what I wanted my finished photos of the water lilies to look like, and I got to 95% of what I wanted to achieve.

After spending a good portion of the day around Lost Lake, I returned to the parking lot at Snug Harbor in Muskegon State Park, then wandered around there for a while, and checked out the eagle’s nest close by.

Eaglet stretching its wings

Eaglet stretching its wings

It’s tough to get a good photo of the nest and the eaglets, you’d think that the parents had built the nest in the worst possible spot on purpose. 😉

I waited for a while to see if I could catch one of the adults returning with food, but no luck there. Instead, this guy landed in the tree next to the one I was hanging out under while waiting for the eagles.

Male scarlet tanager

Male scarlet tanager

I had to make chirping sounds to get him to bend down a little and look my way, in all the other shots I took, his head is partially obscured by the branch above him in this one.

There will be a couple of more posts coming soon with more photos that I took today.

Part I

Part II

All in all, a great day! I hated to come home to the heat and humidity here, but I had to.

Monday

Still hot and humid, you’re going to get really tired of reading that this week. Relief in the form of cooler, drier air isn’t forecast to arrive until Friday, I hope that I don’t melt away before then. I’d better eat breakfast and get my walk over with before it gets too hot for me to survive. I’d also better check all the settings on my camera before I venture out as well, because I was pushing buttons and turning dials all day yesterday. No wonder my fingers are sore today. 😉

Go figure, I keep saying that serious birding is over with for the summer, and I come back with two new to me species of birds.

Eastern wood pewee

Eastern wood pewee

Great crested flycatcher

Great crested flycatcher

I saw both birds from the same spot, I shot several photos of the flycatcher, and was going to work my way around to get side and front photos,  when the pewee perched even closer, I had to shoot a few of it, by that time, the flycatcher was gone.

I’m not sure why the flycatcher is named the great crested flycatcher, the crest is hardly noticeable, not only in my photos, but in other photos that I’ve seen. Maybe it’s because of its size, It was nearly twice the size of the pewee or the alder flycatcher that I’m still chasing.

I didn’t take many other photos today, so I may as well throw them in here and get it over with now.

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

I photographed the meadowlark because I am trying to get closer to them. For the turkey and the goldfinch, they were exposure tests.

That’s about it for today, I’m still trying to catch up on other projects.

Tuesday

I almost made it home without getting wet.

As I usually do while I’m drinking my morning coffee, I checked the weather forecast online, and was surprised to learn that heavy storms had just exited the region, with more on the way. The storms hadn’t woke me up, I really can sleep through almost anything. From the looks of the flowers planted around the apartment complex, the rain had been very heavy, as all the flowers had been beaten down to the ground. The wildflowers fared slightly better.

Wild rose

Wild rose

Wild rose

Wild rose

I hate to keep harping about the cyclists around here, but I am also tired of having to get out of their way while I’m walking on the sidewalk when there’s a bike lane right there for them to use.

Rude cyclist

Rude cyclist

But in his defense, I would bet that he’s had his share of run ins with the even more rude Lance wannabes in the bike lane.

Anyway, with the cloudy damp conditions, the turkeys were out in full force. I startled the turkeys, who in turn startled a fox squirrel, as you can see in the photo, and the squirrel was running around in circles as the turkeys made their escape…

Turkeys and fox squirrel

Turkeys and fox squirrel

…pausing just long enough to cover for the squirrel.

Turkey covering squirrel's escape

Turkey covering squirrel’s escape

A little farther down the road, more turkeys.

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

I caught a crow blinking, I don’t know if you can make it out in the small version here or not.

American crows

American crows

Sorry, I guess you can’t, I was going to crop that one down, but I liked getting three of the flock in the frame at one time.

As is almost always the case during “bad” weather, there were birds everywhere.

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Eastern kingbird's butt in flight

Eastern kingbird’s butt in flight

Song sparrow

Song sparrow

Overexposed bluejay, sorry

Overexposed bluejay, sorry

Brown headed cowbirds in love

Brown headed cowbirds in love

I could have gotten many more birds, but it was growing darker by the minute, and I could hear rumbling off in the distance which could have been thunder, or trucks on the expressway. I wasn’t sure which, but I thought it best to err on the side of caution and not to dally around any longer. I missed a few shots of the young orchard oriole because by then, it was so dark that the auto-focus couldn’t get a lock on it, one of the few times that the Sigma has failed.

Luckily, I had brought a rain jacket, for a light rain began soon after that. The rain was light enough, and the temperature high enough, that I didn’t want to wear the rain jacket, so I used it to cover the camera and lens as I headed for home. It was an on and off light rain until I got about 100 yards from the entrance to my apartment, then the sky opened up, and a deluge followed. It was raining so hard that I took shelter under a tree at first, but a lightning strike close by changed my mind about that, so I ran over to the covered entrance to one of the other buildings in the complex and waited out the heavy rain there.

They have taken some of the heat out of the forecast for the next few days, and replaced it with more heavy rain and storms. They are now talking about 2 to 4 inches of rain by Thursday night/Friday morning, then cooler, but with more scattered showers over the weekend. That’s OK, I’m broke, so I wouldn’t be going anywhere no matter what the weather.

Wednesday

More heavy rain overnight, more to the south of my area than here, but we received at least some rain here. There are flood watches and warnings up for some of the counties along the Michigan, Indiana border. There’s rain in the forecast for seven of the next eight days, it will be interesting to see the next update of the Great Lakes water levels.

It’s warm and humid this morning, not as hot as it has been, so that’s a relief, but not much of one.

In looking back at the photos I took on Sunday while at Lost Lake in Muskegon State Park, two things dawned on me. One is that I’m darned lucky to have such places so close by. There may not be mountains, ocean beaches, waterfalls, or other large-scale spectacular landscapes to photograph around here, but there are places for me to go where I can extract the more subtle beauty of nature, along with the great variety of things to photograph that there are here in Michigan.

The other thing, is that I have been too intent on close-ups of everything. I didn’t zoom in all the way that I could with the Sigma 150-500 mm lens all the time on Sunday, and I left many images un-cropped, and I love them. That will be apparent in the next, and last, post I do from that day. Part of that has to do with the Canon camera, it is more faithful in reproducing colors, especially greens and blues, than the old Nikon was. In looking at the photos, I found myself liking the setting as much as the critter that I was focusing on.

So, before I babble on forever, I’m going for a walk before the next round of rain arrives.

Well, no rain, instead, the sun came out and it quickly became like a sauna out there. I think that I stayed drier in the rain yesterday, than my perspiration today.

The day started out pleasant enough, and I was seeing a few things to photograph, such as a pair of goldfinches feeding…

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

..and this insect, whatever it is…

Bug

Bug

…and a pair of yellow warblers doing their best to remain hidden.

Male yellow warbler

Male yellow warbler

Female yellow warbler

Female yellow warbler

Just about the time the sun began to burn through the clouds, I heard a ruckus overhead, and looking up, I saw one of the red-tailed hawks, a flock of starlings, and a pair of kingbirds. I had just enough time to flip the OS of the Sigma off, and start shooting. I got a few almost winners, the first, was not one of them.

Kingbird, hawk, and starlings

Kingbird, hawk, and starlings

Even though I doubted that I would get anything usable, I continued shooting, catching one of the kingbirds doing a little hawk surfing.

Kingbird hawk surfing

Kingbird hawk surfing

Hawk surfing is what my younger brother calls it when the smaller birds sink their claws into a hawk and ride along on the hawk for a while.

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

I can see that the secret of getting sharp bird in flight photos with the Sigma lens is to have two birds in the frame at one time, now if I can learn how to get the exposure right, I’ll be all set. 😉

When I got to the most heavily wooded part of the park, there were birds everywhere! I think that many of them were feeding on mulberries, which are ripe now. I missed most of the species there, but I picked off a few.

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Common grackle

Male Baltimore oriole

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

I had trouble picking out which bird to watch, as there were starlings, the grackles, orioles, robins, cowbirds, thrashers, and so many other species flitting around that I couldn’t identify them all.

In the short time that it took to shoot those, it was getting extremely hot, and I had left the windows of my apartment open, because it had been comfortable under the clouds when I left.

I didn’t want to have my apartment feel like a sauna, so I hurried home, pausing just long enough for these two.

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Eastern kingbird not hawk surfing

Eastern kingbird not hawk surfing

Well, time to shower, then head off to work, I’m sure glad that the AC in the truck works well.

Thursday

My right-wing wacko thought of the week, why is it that the same government that is keeping tabs on our phone records, Emails, and other electronic communications can not track down and put a stop to the telemarketers who are scammers?

I have a theory, it’s because the bureaucrats in the FTC are delusional enough to think that the scammers actually declare their ill-gotten gains on their tax returns and pay income taxes. Yeah, right, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell them.

I have a suggestion for the IRS, instead of targeting conservative groups for harassment to assist the Democrats in being elected, why don’t you go after the scammers who are stealing millions of dollars from hard-working American citizens?

Anyway, it’s sunny, warm, and humid today, with the threat of rain later in the afternoon. I’d better get moving now, before the heat has a chance to build up.

Too late, with the sunshine and humidity, it was uncomfortable out there again today. There are a number of flowers that are just starting to bloom, and I considered switching lenses and just shooting flowers today…

Tiger lily

Tiger lily

I should have, for there were very few birds to be seen.

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

It’s really remarkable how one day I’ll see very few birds, when the day before, I couldn’t keep track of all the birds because there were so many of them.

I think that if the weather cooperates tomorrow that I will take just the L series lens with me and photograph the early summer flowers.

By redistributing the way that I have been carrying everything, my back and shoulder pain has gone away. But, it would be nice to go a day without lugging everything around with me, especially since I seldom stop to change lenses.

It’s all the Sigma’s fault, it’s such a great birding lens to begin with. But, it also does fairly well on flowers and insects. I know that both of the shorter lenses are better for those subjects, but the slight difference makes it easy for me to get lazy and not bother changing to one of the shorter lenses. Adding to my reluctance to change lenses is the fact that I have been dripping with sweat the last few days. The last thing that I need is drip into the camera or one of the lenses.

My plan is to eventually have a second camera body with a short lens that I can carry in one of the holster like cases that are on the market, and carry one body with a long lens for birding.

That’s about it for today, I have some chores to take care of around here before work.

Friday

Slightly cooler, slightly less humid today. I took only the L series lens today, but I can’t blame the lens for the fact that I came back with very few usable photos. I had an off day, to say the least.

I had intended to shoot flowers, and that’s what I did, but I’m not happy with the results. You would think that with thousands of flowers in bloom that I looked at today, that I could have found some good specimens, in good light, with a nice background for the flowers. But, that didn’t seem to be the case, here’s the best of a bad lot.

Viburnum family?

Viburnum family?

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

Nightshade family???

Horsenettle, a member of the Nightshade family

Catalpa

Catalpa

Wild rose

Wild rose

I forgot

I forgot

Bird's foot trefoil

Bird’s foot trefoil

The breeze today, which made it almost pleasant outside, also made photographing flowers more difficult.

I know that others have made this same observation, but why is it that as soon as you point your camera at a flower, it begins to sway in the wind for as long as you keep the camera pointed at it? And, why does it stop swaying as soon as you lower the camera, only to begin again as soon as you think about raising the camera up again?

My best shot of the day was a robin, go figure.

American robin

American robin

Don’t you just love it when a bird perches in excellent light, even if their pose isn’t the best?

Let’s see, I got a bee.

Bumblebee

Bumblebee

And I like this one, even though it is only of oak leaves.

Maple leaves

Oak leaves

I tried to get artsy with some fleabane, at least that’s what I think it is, but it didn’t work as I wanted.

Fleabane

Fleabane

I caught a grackle that had just caught lunch.

Common grackle

Common grackle with moth

The past few days there have been very few people in the park, yet one day there will be many birds, on other days, not very many at all. Today was one of the days when there weren’t many birds around.

I did almost trip over a flying catbird as I crossed the bridge over the creek, that was interesting, the catbird probably thought so too.

I could bore you with the continuing saga of what they’re doing with the tennis courts here, but I think that I’ll hold off on that until I see for sure what they are doing, it still makes no sense to me.

There’s a good chance of rain tomorrow, so I’ll do the expanded version of my daily walk here. If I didn’t wait too long for the price of gas to bottom out, I think that I’ll go to the Allegan State Game area on Sunday for a change of pace.

Gas prices have dropped 70 cents a gallon in my area since the Memorial Day weekend spike, 80 cents a gallon just a few miles away from me. So, do burn a gallon of gas at $3.45 a gallon to get gas at that price, or buy here at $3.55 a gallon, when I’ll save one whole dollar on my purchase if I drive the extra miles. I think that I’ll fill up on my way to work. 😉

One other thing, the water levels of the three largest of the Great Lakes, Superior, Huron, and Michigan, have been going up about an inch per week for the last month. That puts them 13 inches above where they were when the rains came back in March.

The area rivers are also flowing at two to three times their normal volume for this time of year, so the water levels in the lakes should continue to rise.

Saturday

It’s a good thing that I didn’t make big plans for the Fourth of July weekend, as I won’t be getting a long weekend. I get Thursday off, then have to work Friday.

I did fill the gas tank of my Subaru up yesterday, as the price of gas finally dropped at the stations near me. So it looks like a trip to the Allegan State Game area is on tap for tomorrow. I’ve never hiked there before. The Kalamazoo River flows through there, and I’ve floated that stretch of river in the past, it looks like an interesting area, and is often mentioned as a great place for birding.

The weather is just a few degrees cooler than it has been this time of morning this week, but there’s still a chance of rain for later.

Last night as I was driving for work, the Lansing, Michigan area was getting dumped on with rain. Over three inches in three hours, streets were like rivers! One good thing about a big truck, that isn’t a problem as long as you slow down, and remember to “drag” the brakes to dry them out before you need them. But, the reason for mentioning the rain is that it means that the Grand River will be flowing even higher again for a while, and more water added to Lake Michigan eventually.

Well, I’m back, this may be short, as I am going to promise not to go off on rants about cyclists, brats and their parents, or people lighting firecrackers in a park. Although, I did learn that lighting firecrackers is a good way to find out where every critter was when the firecrackers started going off.

I hadn’t seen the bluebirds for a while, so it was good to see one today.

Female eastern bluebird intently looking for an insect that had escaped her

Female eastern bluebird intently looking for an insect that had escaped her

Female eastern bluebird in flight

Female eastern bluebird in flight

I did just manage to catch her, didn’t I?

I also manage so fair shots of a few flowers, although I had the same problem today as yesterday, finding good specimens in good light, with a good background. So, here’s the best of the lot.

???

Pokeweed

Blackberry???

Blackberry???

Yucca

Yucca

Yucca

Yucca

I have come up with an odd way of operating the camera while photographing flowers. I use the second finger on my right hand to operate the shutter release, my index finger to operate the dial to scroll through the exposure solutions that the camera comes up with, and my right thumb to control the dial that sets the exposure compensation. I know, it would be a lot easier to switch to aperture mode to get the depth of field that I want rather than scrolling through the exposure solutions, but I like doing things the hard way. That, and doing it my way, I don’t have to remember to switch modes after shooting the flowers. 😉

As I was finishing the first leg of my walk, a whitetail buck stepped out of the brush right in front of me again, it may be the same one as last time.

Whitetail buck

Whitetail buck

Whitetail buck

Whitetail buck

He disappeared into the woods to the left, and I continued on my way. Not long after that, the buck came bounding past me again.

Whitetail buck on the run

Whitetail buck on the run

I managed a photo of one of the few monarch butterflies that I’ve seen this year.

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Also, a young male rose-breasted grosbeak.

Male rose-breasted grosbeak

Male rose-breasted grosbeak

I saw a yellow warbler in the brush along the creek, so I stood there for a while keeping an eye out for it. I turned m head just in time to see the female feeding one of her young, but I was too slow for a photo of that. I did get the mother and young one in one shot though.

Female yellow warbler and young one

Female yellow warbler and young one

The little one stuck around for one more shot….

Juvenile yellow warbler

Juvenile yellow warbler

I think that about does it for the day, and for the week. I hoping that the humidity goes down as they are predicting starting tomorrow. It’s been no fun walking this week, and the humidity in the air doesn’t help as far as photography either. I know that it diffuses the light, but it also means that photos aren’t as sharp as if they had been taken in drier air, and the constant milky sky doesn’t make as good of a background as a blue sky does, at least not to me.

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

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24 responses

  1. I loved the butterfly picture most out of an excellent set. You really do get about.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    • Thanks, I try. I’d be posting many more butterflies and dragonflies rather than the same species of birds over and over, but I’m not having much luck finding them this year for some reason.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

  2. I like cloudy days for shooting flowers, but not for everything else. We’ve had the same heat and humidity here, but it also rains every day at 4:00 pm, which is when I get out of work.
    I think those waterlily shots are excellent and I’m wondering why the surface of the water has such a matte finish-almost as if it was a long exposure with moving water.
    That flying bee shot is great and I like the goldfinch on the teasel too. It looks like those skunks were coming out of the hole whether you were there or not!
    The unknown white flower head on Saturday looks like poke weed.
    The second shot of the turkey with the blue flowers in the background should be framed.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    • This may be just me, but I find that some clouds make it easier to photograph flowers, but that I get my best photos in full sun, if I can get the light just right, which isn’t always possible.

      The matte finish on the water comes from playing all the angles. The angle of the sun in relation to the water, where I positioned myself in relationship to the sun, and most importantly, the angle from the water’s surface to the height of the camera. I shot most of the water lilies at a very low angle, sometimes kneeling, most of the time laying on my belly on the bank of the lake. The best ones were taken with the Sigma, taking advantage of its length to shoot lilies farther from shore so that I could get the angle right. I got very good photos with the other two lenses, but I had a hard time getting low enough.

      Oh, and thanks for the compliments and ID?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

  3. And here I was thinking I was the real bag lady. I feel your pain about schlepping all of your things into the car in the morning. Bags for everything ! The 2nd water lily photo is lovely ! Can’t believe all the great birds you get to enjoy. Even in all of the heat and humidity, it’s worth to get out isn’t it?
    You can breaking out your photo expeditions – one day birds, the other flowers. This way you don’t have to carry as much. I know..it’s addictive. 🙂

    June 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    • Thanks Emily! I’ve tried to limit what I carry, and things never go as planned. I go for flowers and see birds, I go for birds and see flowers. Actually, I see a little bit of everything everyday.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm

  4. I think your nightshade is horsenettle. I just did a post on it on my blog.

    As for flowers swaying when you point a camera at them, I have noticed that too. It’s maddening! I think the camera must set up an eddy current in the air or something.

    June 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    • Thanks, at least I had the right family for a change.

      The air current eddy is an interesting theory, we’ll go with that for now.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  5. Love the kingbird sequence…I’ve never seen one let alone one in action! Hang in there with the weather…September is coming…eventually!

    June 30, 2013 at 2:09 am

    • Thanks Lori! I’m in no hurry for fall, as that means that winter won’t be far off.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

  6. I just love those shots of the skunks coming out of their den! Look like young ones, to me. Those first two shots of the buck coming out of the woods are awesome, as is the one of the monarch. I think the flower you forgot the name of is morning glory, isn’t it? It looks like a morning glory to me. (but believe me, I am no flower expert!) We’ve been having the same rain, rain, rain. I feel like I’m back to living in Florida with these afternoon thunderboomers. And the gas prices! I was doing a garage sale with a friend – Friday on my way to her house I passed a Circle K where gas was $2.97 at 7 a.m. On my way home at 5:30 it had gone up .30 cents. I don’t even want to hear their lame excuses as to why we have these big swings in prices. Your right-wing rant for the week made me laugh! 😀

    June 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

    • Thanks Amy! Gas prices below $3 a gallon? I was waiting for them to drop below $3.50 a gallon here! Being a tourist travel lane here, gas prices are always higher.

      All the rain this year makes up for the drought last year, and I’m loving that. Kayaking was becoming difficult in places because of low water levels, not just the Great Lakes.

      The “morning glory” only looks like a morning glory, some one told me what they are, but I’ve forgotten what they told me they were. I’ve been to focused on birds to remember all the names of flowers.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

      • We live on the border of Ohio, so the gas I saw that went down below $3 was in Toledo. Ohio gas taxes or lower, so they have lower prices. I shop at Kroger and so save up my fuel points and so last night was able to fill up the FJ with mid-grade for $2.09 a gallon because I got $1 off! 🙂 (They are doing this weekend special thing where if you grocery shop on Fri, Sat, or Sun you earn 2x the points on your groceries so that was my thrilling Saturday night – grocery shopping! LOL)

        That’s interesting that those flowers aren’t really morning glories! Now I will have to look it up to find out what they really are cuz I’m sure I always call them morning glories! I love learning something new!

        June 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

      • I looked up the morning glory-like flowers, they are bindweed, and no fun if they decide to take over your garden.

        July 1, 2013 at 12:31 am

  7. welshcyclist

    Really enjoyed reading your post, as you say you “nailed” the water lilly. Cheers.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

    • Thank you!

      June 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

  8. Skunks, turkeys, cowbirds, wildflowers…you’ve had a nature-filled week in the north country! I enjoyed stopping here and seeing all your sightings.

    June 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    • Thanks Kathy, just a typical week for the most part.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm

  9. plantsamazeme

    You were lucky, what a bunch of great photos! The water lilies are beautiful! Coming across the skunks cool. All the colorful birds, like a rainbow. Even the Common grackle is pretty.
    Do the little birds really sink their claws into hawks? And ride on them? Are you pulling our leg(s)? I didn’t know that, you wouldn’t make that up. Nah.
    Well I did enjoy your post and I’m glad the week turned out well. Gas prices are “down” and so is the temperature!
    🙂

    June 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    • Thanks Chris! I’m not making it up about the hawk surfing, the small birds, especially red-winged blackbirds will grab the hawk, (I think that they get all feathers) and ride the hawk for some distance, the most I’ve seen is about 100 feet.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

  10. Fantastic variety as usual, Jerry! So many awesome captures. I get the ‘need’ for a second camera body, because of the constant lens changing I had going on myself. I finally got a second one this past Christmas, so so glad I did!!

    July 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    • Thank you! A second body sure does come in handy, keeping a short lens on one, a long lens on the other, and prolonging the life of both bodies.

      July 7, 2013 at 7:01 am

  11. Great batch of photos here- especially the Kingbird attacking the Hawk!

    And that Water Lilly photo is a classic.

    Man, I’m getting tired of all of this rain and clouds. I went out when it was overcast the other day and the picture quality wasn’t very good. It’s summer, and we’re having spring-like wet weather, go figure.

    July 7, 2013 at 12:02 am

    • Thank you! I didn’t know that kingbirds were that territorial before. We’ve been on the edge of the system that has been over you this past week, an occasional shower is all we’ve gotten, not like this spring when it rained for two weeks straight.

      July 7, 2013 at 7:09 am