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

Spring 2014 vacation, around home, day 2

This is the second batch of the photos that I shot either around where I live, or the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve last week while I was on vacation. I don’t think that too many words are needed for these, the captions should suffice.

I’ll start with one of my favorite species of birds, even though I’ve posted many images of them lately, a grey catbird in full song.

Grey catbird singing

Grey catbird singing

I’ll still be posting photos of birds all summer, for those people who were worried that they’d see no more bird photos here, but I hope that the ones I do post will be better than this next one.

Chestnut sided warbler singing

Chestnut sided warbler singing

Or this one, the only reason I’m including this is because it was a lifer for me, but it took off before I could shoot more than this poor image, so I’m not able to ID it.

The one that got away

The one that got away

This little chickadee was making sure that it got my attention so that I would photograph it. I did, as you can see, and I have more images of the chickadee, but in the poor light of that day, those aren’t worth posting.

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

A few of the other things that I saw, no words required.

Unidentified ferns

Unidentified ferns

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush

Shelf fungi?

Shelf fungi?

Interesting tree

Interesting tree

One of the ponds at Pickerel Lake

One of the ponds at Pickerel Lake

Unidentified flowering object

Unidentified flowering object

From the viburnum family?

From the viburnum family?

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Canada goose goslings

Canada goose goslings

White campions

White campion

I found two very young fawns, the photos are only fair, as I didn’t want to get too close to them, so I had to shoot through the grass.

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Whitetail fawn

Every spring, well-meaning people think that when they find fawns alone like this that their mother has either abandoned the fawns, or been killed. That isn’t the case, the fawns have no scent that predators can pick up to lead the predator to the fawns, and the fawns are so well hidden that it’s hard for anything to spot them. Trust me on the well hidden part, if the first one hadn’t stood up, I would have walked right on past them.

Anyway, the mother will leave the fawns where they are well hidden, then move a short distance away so that no predators following her scent will find the fawns. It’s nature’s way of protecting the helpless.

Many birds and animals use similar tactics to protect their young, with the adults leaving the young, which seems cruel. But by doing so, the adults make themselves the target of any predators, leaving the young to hide motionless and soundless in cover while any predators follow the adults.

A few more that need no help from me.

Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

Apple blossom

Apple blossom

Shagbark hickory leaves

Shagbark hickory leaves

Fir tree cones

Fir tree cones

Yellow violet

Yellow violet

Fruit tree flowers

Fruit tree flowers

Leaves

Leaves

Here’s another example of a young animal that most people (or predators) would have missed, a young cottontail rabbit. If I hadn’t seen an ear twitch, I would have missed the bunny.

Baby cottontail rabbit

Baby cottontail rabbit

Blue jay

Blue jay

Another mass of miniature mallards

Another mass of miniature mallards

I didn’t get to the tulips, that’s OK, I’ll post those soon enough. I think that the photos from this post are the “weakest” of my week, other than the fawns.

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

 

Advertisements

29 responses

  1. You are so clever at spotting and photographing wild things, I specially liked the fawns.

    May 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    • Thanks Susan! I was born with excellent eyesight, inherited from my father, and I’ve trained my brain to pick out the slightest color or motion.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

  2. Fantastic batch of photos! Thanks for sharing.

    May 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    • Thank you!

      May 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

  3. avian101

    I saw a couple of Gray Catbirds twice today in my backyard… when I wasn’t ready with the camera! I was looking out the window while having lunch. Nice shots! 🙂

    May 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      May 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

  4. Not bad for a set of ‘weak’ shots. The cat bird was very nice.

    May 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    • Thanks Tom! The next batch will be better.

      May 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

  5. I’m not sure what the white flowers are, but they could be some type of viburnum. There are over 150 different ones. I don’t know what that fern is either but I’d like to because it looks interesting.
    I liked all of these photos but especially the fawns, which I’m always surprised that I don’t see more of. My eyes aren’t that great though so I probably walk right by them.

    May 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    • Thanks Allen. I may go back to Pickerel Lake this weekend, I’ll try to remember to check the ferns. For some reason, I can remember exactly where they were. Fawns are tough to spot, you’d think that brown in green grass would stand out like a sore thumb, but I’ve almost stepped on fawns before seeing them before.

      May 29, 2014 at 2:50 am

  6. Great set of pictures and information. I have trouble getting wildlife in the view finder before it has disappeared, let alone focus on it!

    May 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • Thank you! It takes a lot of practice to get the camera on something quickly without frightening what you’re trying to photograph. I’m lucky in that there’s enough wildlife around that I get that practice.

      May 29, 2014 at 2:52 am

  7. Looking at the gosling photo, it’s no wonder where the term ‘goose-stepping’ came from. Loved the fawn photos as well.

    May 29, 2014 at 7:46 am

    • Thanks Judy! I love spring in Michigan with all the new life popping up everywhere.

      May 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

  8. The hermit thrush song is one of my favorite sounds in the world, but I don’t think I’ve ever managed a photo of one, probably because I was not blessed with sharp eyesight and their brown color blends in with everything else!

    I loved the fawn photos, especially the shots of the one laying down with the grass in front. I have a book I read to the preschoolers each spring called “Lost in the Woods” about a fawn that all the other animals think is “lost” because its momma left it for its own protection. I then explain to the children about the fawns being born with no scent and tell them about the time we were hiking and found a fawn in the grass and our three beagles walked right past it because they couldn’t smell it! I still remember that hike so well. As soon as we walked into the field, we heard this snort and crash – after we found the fawn we knew it was the doe luring us away from her baby. I took a couple of photos – that was way back with my very first digital camera – and then we left so the mother could come back. The fawn was newly born, we could tell. I sent my photo to the local paper up there and they published it. 🙂

    May 29, 2014 at 8:19 am

    • Thanks Amy! You’re doing a great service in reading that story and sharing your experience with kids. I hope that the lesson stays with them, and that it moves them to start exploring nature themselves.

      May 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

      • Yes, far too many preschoolers spend their time playing Minecraft these days. :/

        May 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  9. Baby animals!!! Nothing cuter!!! BTW, are those mallard ducklings all from one pair? That’s amazing!

    May 29, 2014 at 8:33 am

    • Thanks Lori! I love spring with all the new life popping up everywhere. I don’t know if they’re all from one pair, they were with just one female. I know that older geese will “adopt” goslings from younger geese, which is why you’ll sometimes see one pair of geese with 15 to 20 goslings, but I don’t know if mallards do the same.

      May 29, 2014 at 9:32 am

  10. Beautiful series of photographs. My favorite is the fluffing-its-feathers chickadee! Wonderful! ~amy

    May 29, 2014 at 9:42 am

    • Thanks Amy, I’m glad that you enjoyed them!

      May 29, 2014 at 9:43 am

  11. Sorry to take so long to comment, but I just got back from a trip up north. The fawns were lovely, but most of all I LOVED the Lily of the Valley… thanks for the perfect shot of those!

    May 31, 2014 at 2:07 am

    • Thanks, but I had planned to jump the fence that stands in my way of getting closer to the lily of the valley for an even better photo, but I waited too long, and they are past their prime. Next year!

      May 31, 2014 at 2:33 am

      • Well, seems we’re always looking to improve our skills, but I still loved the shot in this post! Very much!

        May 31, 2014 at 2:43 am

  12. Look at the face of that fawn!!

    June 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    • Thanks, it’s a cutie, isn’t it?

      June 2, 2014 at 12:58 am

  13. And thank you ir posting the photo of the pond, it gives a sense of place.

    June 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm

  14. Some beautiful photos here! I love the light through the hickory leaves. I noticed one of your commentators asked about mallard ducklings. The mallards that nest near me often have about twenty ducklings and they look so cute following on after their mother. Most of the ducklings don’t survive for one reason or another – quite often a duckling will get left behind when the rest go off with their mother. Female ducks can’t count it seems!

    June 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    • Thanks Clare! Mother Nature can be very cruel at times, especially towards the young of many species.

      June 3, 2014 at 2:55 am