Spring vacation 2014, the 4th day
It was raining lightly off and on when I woke up on Wednesday morning, another very dark and dreary day. As I drank my coffee, I pondered where I should go and what I should do, as I hoped that the weather would improve. I was surprised by the rain after the sunset the night before, but I was in northern Michigan, where it doesn’t take much for it to rain.
Being near the “tip of the mitt” as the area is known, a small area of land surrounded by two of the Great Lakes, it is a maritime climate there.
Anyway, I did my morning tour around the campground and came up with these photos, starting with a red squirrel’s antics.
I had seen and heard bird calls coming from a marsh behind my campsite, so checking the marsh out, I found this.
Returning to my campsite for more coffee, I found that a pair of geese were thinking of joining me.
I looked towards the river and saw a pair of common mergansers headed downstream and set off after them, hoping to get to a bend in the river before they did. On the way, I spotted this wood duck, but since he had seen me, I thought my best option was to continue after the mergansers, and then to try to sneak up on the wood duck later, after he had settled down.
In the very poor light, this was my best image of one of the mergansers.
But when I stepped into an opening for that photo, the wood duck saw me again, and took off, so I never did get a better photo.
But, the geese were still feeding in my campsite.
Here’s the rest of the photos from the morning.
While hiking the Mason Tract the day before, I learned that there is a dirt road that runs parallel to the pathway and that there are several points where there are parking areas where the pathway and road come very close together. I had chosen one of those points to turn around at the day before, and that’s where I picked up from on this day.
I did the last three miles (and back) of the Mason tract pathway, I didn’t do the Thayer’s Creek loop, as it was closed due to high water over the bridge that spans Thayer’s Creek, or at least that’s what the signs said.
Once again, I saw just one other person the entire time that I was hiking and sitting, it was if I had the entire Mason Tract to myself! I did even more sitting than on the previous day as well, since the weather had improved a little over the day before, it was almost sunny for short periods of time.
It looked like a dandelion to me, but the stem looked different, and there were no leaves at the base, so I believe that I have seen my first colt’s foot.
I think that you can see that the clouds had really thickened up again by the time that I had finished my hike for the day. On my way back to my campsite, I listened to the weather forecast for the next few days, and every station had the same forecast, rain and snow for the next three days. It even sprinkled a little on my way back to the campground.
So, I wimped out, when I arrived back at Goose Creek where I was staying, I packed up and headed home. I had already spent three days in rainy weather, and even though I don’t mind hiking in the rain, and the temperatures weren’t going to be much below freezing, three more days of gloomy weather were not what I had been looking forward to. I knew that I wasn’t going to spend the entire two weeks of my vacation camping, so it seemed like a good time to come home, shower, and resupply for my next trip north.
Which, as this is published, I will be on. I’m getting ready to leave as soon as I finish this, I’ll be spending a few days near Alpena, Michigan chasing birds, then go from there as the mood strikes me.
In fact, I feel as if I should apologize for the quality of this post, as I am rushing through it so that I can be on my way. I’ll respond to comments when I return home.
That’s all for this one, thanks for stopping by!