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

One for the road, a few teasers

The weather this morning was to nice not to go for a walk. I did have to go to the bank for spending cash for my vacation, then I stopped at the camera store for the spare battery for my camera bodies, and I called Cabela’s to check on the status of the tent cot that I ordered. It’s not here, things are looking grim in that respect, looks like I’ll be stuck using my big tent.

Anyway, the teasers aren’t of great landscape shots of the type I hope to get while on vacation, it was these darned flickers.

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

There was a flock of the flickers, and they all seemed to be taking a few minutes to preen their feathers. However, they all found places to do so that caused me fits, with either shadows or branches messing up what could have been great shots. As it is, they’re still very good shots, for the most part.

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

I had a great view of the last one, but as I was pressing the shutter release, it ducked its head behind the branch, darn.

I actually saw the flickers towards the middle of a very good day of walking and photography, here’s the rest of the photos from today in the order that I shot them, starting with a hen turkey. I don’t photograph the hens very often, as their colors are a little duller than that of the Toms. But, when I can get a head shot of a hen without cropping, I won’t pass it up.

Hen turkey

Hen turkey

I zoomed out for this next one.

Hen turkeys

Hen turkeys

The weather was nice, and since there were a couple of examples of the fall colors to photograph, I did so. I bought the first 60D this spring, I haven’t had a chance to try any fall foliage photos, and I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of what I saw today to zero in on the correct exposure. I was close.

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

Even though the only lens I took with me today was the Beast, I couldn’t resist photographing a few of the last of this years sweet pea flowers.

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

I’ve been trying not to fall back on shooting mallards all the time, but when this dapper dude duck posed for me, I had to photograph him.

Male mallard

Male mallard

There were a number of praying mantises around today, here’s my best shot, which I got by laying flat on my belly, hoping that the cyclists wouldn’t take advantage of my position to run over me. Notice how short the depth of field is when I zoom the Beast to 500 mm.

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

And finally, I’ve been trying all summer to get really close to a male goldfinch for a photo while they’re still in their breeding plumage. I got close to one today, but it has already molted. This one is not cropped at all.

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

I cropped this one slightly.

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

That’s it for the day.

My Forester is packed other than my food and camera gear, which I’ll pack tomorrow morning. I’ve changed my plans slightly, I’m not going to start as early as originally planned. I’ll wait until Cabela’s opens, give them a call to see if my order arrived, if it has, I’ll stop there as I head out, if not, I’m off for the week.

The weather forecast for the week is looking great! No rain at all until next Friday night and Saturday. The nights are forecast to be frosty the first few mornings, with pleasant afternoon highs, perfect as far as I’m concerned. This is going to be a great week no matter what. It was nice enough today knowing that I don’t have to worry about time or going to work for the next week, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this week!

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

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18 responses

  1. Excellent, excellent photos!!! That Praying Mantis is exquisite!!

    September 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    • Thanks, when photographing insects, it helps to get down to their level.

      September 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

  2. If all of your photos are like these it’s going to be a good week. I noticed this evening that it’s time to start getting some foliage shots here too. I hope the weather forecast holds! Have a safe and relaxing trip.

    September 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    • Thanks Allen, I appreciate that!

      I think that I’ll be a week to ten days early for peak color, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve never been to New Hampshire, but people who have say that the UP of Michigan is very similar. There’s waterfalls, mountains, and other scenery to photograph, any color at all in the trees will only be a bonus.

      September 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

  3. Excellent photos, it is hard to say I have a favorite, but the praying mantis is especially interesting.

    September 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    • Thanks Charlie, I guess that laying in the path paid off for me.

      September 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

  4. Agree that the praying mantis was great. But most of all wanted to wish you a fun filled and relaxing vacation trip! Enjoy!

    September 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    • Thanks, it will be great to get out into some real woods for a change!

      September 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

  5. Superb pictures of the Flickers- have a great trip!

    September 22, 2013 at 12:06 am

    • Thank you, I will!

      September 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

  6. They’re all great shots, as always, but that Praying Mantis! Wow!!! Have a nice, relaxing vacation, and we’ll look forward to seeing what you saw when you get back. Get a wolf shot for me, will ya’?

    September 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

    • Thanks Jan! I’ll try, but there are no promises.

      September 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

  7. That praying mantis is INCREDIBLE! Wow, what a shot. Hope you have a very very nice trip, you and your magic camera.

    September 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    • Thanks Kathy!

      September 28, 2013 at 8:09 am

  8. Darn those flickers– can’t take direction, can they?! PS, fabulous mantis shot. He looks like he’s trying to hitch a ride!

    September 23, 2013 at 7:19 am

    • Thanks Lori!

      September 28, 2013 at 8:09 am

  9. Been awhile since I’ve told you how much I love the new look. I hope you’re having a wonderful week and discovering all sorts of wonderful things. I am jealous of your week’s adventure and can’t wait ot hear about it when you return.
    Fantastic shots too Jerry ! WOW !

    September 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    • Thanks Emily, that means a lot coming from you!

      September 28, 2013 at 8:12 am