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

A day not fit for macros, it was for the birds.

I went to Aman Park today, fully intending to really test out my relatively new Tokina 100 mm macro lens. I gave it my best shot, actually, very many shots, but few of them were turning out well because of the high winds. I shot 15 photos of Dutchman’s breeches, and don’t have a usable image to show for it. Come to think of it, I tried more than the 15 that I deleted at home, as I deleted some after I previewed them at the park.

I wasn’t into macro photography today anyway, I was up way too early, I felt like taking a nap before I even left home, and I saw some one carrying out a basket of the wildflowers that they had dug up in the park today, which put me in a bad mood.

This is also at least my third year of blogging about the early spring wildflowers at Aman Park, it’s still spectacular, but how does one come up with new angles for a blog post?

Before I forget, here’s a link to last year’s post, and it contains a link to the year before that.

Here are the photos that I was able to get.

Spring beauties

Spring beauties

Spring beauties

Spring beauties

False rue anemone

False rue anemone

Trillium

Trillium

Trillium

Trillium

Virginia bluebells about to open

Virginia bluebells about to open

Trillium with bumblebee

Trillium with bumblebee

Green double Trillium

Green double Trillium

Spring beauties

Spring beauties

Other than the trillium, many of the species of flowers have been blooming for over two weeks, and weren’t in the best of shape, like the spring beauties above.

So, since I couldn’t find a flower holding still in the wind for macro photos, I switched lenses to my 15-85 mm lens and took a couple of wide shots to show the number of trillium in bloom.

Trillium

Trillium

Trillium

Trillium

I don’t remember trying to deal with the harsh shadows from the trees in previous years. I think that I was there in late afternoon and/or days with a thin cloud cover to cut down on the shadows. I did discover a danger to crawling around on my hands and knees in the flowers, the proverbial snake in the grass, or should I say flowers.

Garter snake

Garter snake

While I was shooting those photos, I was seeing warblers and other birds overhead, but they were always gone by the time that I grabbed the other body with a long lens on it.

Proving that I can find many excuses not to do something that I’m not in the mood for, how busy the park was becoming was also starting to bug me, so I packed up and headed back to my Forester, thinking that I would drop off the tripod and macro gear, spend some time birding, and hope that the wind would die down later.

On my way back, I spotted this guy.

Pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker

Well, now you can all say that you’ve seen a photo of a pileated woodpecker with its tongue out!

When I got back to the parking lot, not only was it full, there were people parking along the road, and anyplace else that they could find. I kid you not, there were even people arriving on horseback!

I had been both enthralled and amazed by the little wetland that I had visited on Saturday, so even though I had seen warblers there at Aman Park, I decided not to fight the crowds, but to go back to the wetlands.

I had barely gotten out of my car, when I spotted my first Savannah sparrow of the year.

Savannah sparrow

Savannah sparrow

Too bad it saw me, or I may have gotten a good photo.

Savannah sparrow

Savannah sparrow

I got back to my “spot” along the creek, and it wasn’t long before I got another lifer, and Iceland gull.

Correction…..I missed identified this gull as an Iceland gull, but it is really a Glaucous gull.

Iceland gull

Glaucous gull

I got better photos of the sora.

Sora

Sora

The trumpeter swans were there.

Trumpeter swans

Trumpeter swans

That means I can delete the photos of them that I had saved, as this is the type of crap that the old Nikon produced.

Trumpeter swans as seen by my old Nikon

Trumpeter swans as seen by my old Nikon

I feel better now that I have images of the trumpeters taken with my new gear, I would have hated to have posted that last photo as anything other than a representation of how bad my old camera and lens were!

I told myself not to shoot any more photos of the same warblers as yesterday, that I should photograph the carp instead.

Carp

Carp

But, I don’t have the right lens for them, I think that a fish eye lens is what is needed. 😉

And besides, when a yellow warbler lands next to me, and checks me out….

Male yellow warbler

Male yellow warbler

…strikes a pose…

Male yellow warbler

Male yellow warbler

…then bursts into song to make my day even more enjoyable…

Male yellow warbler singing

Male yellow warbler singing

…well then, how can I resist?

The same sort of applies to the yellow-rumped warblers, when they perch so close to me that they nearly fill the viewfinder, then I just have to press the shutter release!

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

I know that this is getting long, but hang on, only a few more to go.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted photos of blue winged teal, and some one asked my how they got their name, since the commenter didn’t see any blue, so here’s a few to show how they got their name.

Blue winged teal in flight

Blue winged teal in flight

Blue winged teal in flight

Blue winged teal in flight

Blue winged teal in flight

Blue winged teal in flight

Coots aren’t very good flyers, they require a lot of speed to take off…

American coot taking off

American coot taking off

…and they flap like crazy while off the water….

American coot in flight

American coot in flight

…and many times, they say to heck with flying, I’d rather run…

American coot landing

American coot landing

Last one, coming up. I don’t know what this male northern shoveler and male mallard were up to together back in the brush, maybe I don’t want to know, but they look guilty to me.

Male northern shoveler and male mallard

Male northern shoveler and male mallard

I guess that what happens in the wetlands is supposed to stay in the wetlands, unless I’m around with my camera. 😉

Well, that’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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24 responses

  1. Thanks for showing me the blue on the wings of the teal. They are really pretty. I am so utterly jealous of all those Trilliums, too. We had six acres back at our previous house, but considered it very lucky to see two or three Trilliums. They are so rare around here that the local weekly newspaper actually runs a contest each spring for a sighting of the first Trillium. Hubby entered a few times and won (no prize, just a mention in the paper), but then would have to wait a number of years before he could enter again.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:33 am

    • PS I think it’s fantastic that your new camera gear is working so well for you. I’ve seen the Coots taking off and they ARE hilarious. 😮

      May 6, 2014 at 3:34 am

      • Thank you! There are several places that I know of in Michigan that have broad expanses of trillium, but nothing like the ones at Aman Park, it is rare. Glad you liked the blue winged teal, they’re beautiful birds, unlike the coots, which are a hoot.

        May 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

  2. Lots of excellent pictures to enjoy, the male yellow warbler was my favourite.

    May 6, 2014 at 3:42 am

    • Thanks Susan, they’re one of my favorites as well.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:16 am

  3. Well, for a day that started out to be ‘irritating’ no matter which way you turned, you ended up with a great birding day!! Gotta love those warblers!

    May 6, 2014 at 6:10 am

    • Thanks, I just wasn’t into the flowers that day, even though they were beautiful, I had to go with the flow, and go birding instead.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

  4. That park is a real gem and you’re lucky to have it. I can’t believe people are digging up the wildflowers though. They should be arrested.
    That yellow warbler is cute enough to make me wish I was a birder. I don’t remember your shots with the Nikon being that bad. I though it took great photos when you were living at your last place.

    May 6, 2014 at 6:20 am

    • Thank you Allen. It doesn’t surprise me that idiots would dig up wildflowers, they had to post either a sheriffs officer or DNR officer at some of the places that snowy owls have been seen the last couple of years to prevent idiots from stressing or shooting the birds. Some people think that they are entitled to a “trophy”, and they should be locked up.

      The old camera and lens were junk, I look back at what I thought were good photos taken with them and grimace at how bad they really were.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

  5. The Green double Trillium is not something we’ve seen in Ohio. Very interesting!

    May 6, 2014 at 6:42 am

    • Thanks, there were several of the green trillium last year, but I could only find the one this year.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

  6. These shots are wonderful! The carpet of Trillium and the Green Double Trillium are great. I love the Coot too. The Moorhens in our garden are just like this. Easily spooked, can’t fly well, silly run with knock-knees and big green feet. Their call is funny too – like a plastic trumpet you get at kid’s parties.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:21 am

  7. Love the trillium explosion. We’ve seen a few here and there in our travels, but no carpeted area like this. The comparison between old and new photos was amazing – what a great year it’s been for you.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:56 am

    • Thanks Judy! If you’re ever home the first week in May, you should see Aman Park, the wildflowers are beyond belief.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

  8. You’ll have to start carrying around a little set of folding boards so that you can protect flowers from the wind.

    May 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    • I’ll add that to my list of things that I need to carry, along with diffusers and floodlights so I can get the lighting correct. 😉

      May 7, 2014 at 2:44 am

  9. Fisheye…groan!!! Re: woodpecker pic, it’s great as long as he didn’t also say “nya, nya, nya, nya nya”! 😉 And, yup, you’re right about those drakes. Up ta sumpthin!

    May 7, 2014 at 9:42 am

    • Thanks, and sorry about the fisheye. 😉

      May 7, 2014 at 9:48 am

  10. Loved your Blue Wing Teal in flight, beautiful Jerry! Cool to actually get the Pileated Woodpecker’s tongue as he tries to snatch a bug too!

    May 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    • Thanks Donna! That’s actually my second photo of a pileated with its tongue out, but the other one was several years ago, and shot with my Powershot camera, and not as clear.

      May 8, 2014 at 2:33 am

  11. GAH – those shots of the yellow warbler – Fantastic! Loved them! So many other good photos here, including the blue-winged teal in flight. Nice to be able to see the wings. And you made me laugh over the mallard and shoveler! Funny! 😀

    May 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    • Thanks Amy, put a camera in my hands, and every once in a while, magic happens.

      May 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

      • I would say more than every once in awhile!

        May 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      • Thanks!

        May 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm