It’s early (for me) on a Sunday morning as I try to get caught up with my postings. It’s been hot and muggy here all week, with on and off rain showers, and occasional thunder showers. My plan was to get a walk in early before it became too hot, but there’s another line of showers headed this way, so I’ll work on this until the rain moves past me.
After all the whining that I did about the long, cold winter we had here, I swore that I wouldn’t whine about the summer heat. I’ll stick to that, and whine about the humidity instead. 😉 It’s been like being in a sauna around here this past week, with high temperatures approaching 85 degrees (30 C), and we had over 4 inches (100 mm) of rain.
There were at least two days when it rained the entire time I was out walking, and another day or two when it sprinkled while I walked, but I came home dripping wet every day. If it wasn’t raining, I was sweating so much that it may as well have been raining.
Yesterday was the worst so far, my plan was to visit two small nature preserves near Grand Haven, Michigan in the morning, then spend the afternoon in the shade around Lost Lake in Muskegon State Park.
My first stop was the Hofma Nature Preserve, because there have been sedge wrens spotted there, and I need photos of them for the My Photo Life List project. The Hofma Nature Preserve is a small (100 acres or so) preserve just south of the city of Grand Haven. I heard the sedge wrens, along with marsh wrens, but despite my sitting near where one was singing as I baked in the sun for a couple of hours, I can’t say for sure that I ever saw one of the wrens.
The wrens stayed down in the vegetation, and while I did see flashes of brown in the area where I heard them singing, the brown flashes may have been swamp sparrows or other species of birds. I did shoot a few pictures of flowers and insects that will appear in a later post, but my only bird of the day was a swamp sparrow singing.
Because of the haze in the air, that photo isn’t as sharp as it should have been, so maybe it’s just as well that I never had a chance to photograph the wrens.
My second stop was the Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve, which is on the north shore of the Grand River where it flows into Lake Michigan. It’s another small preserve, but I thought that I’d get photos of purple martins there, and possibly other species as well.
It was cooler there when I parked my vehicle, the breeze, what little there was of it, coming off the cool waters of Lake Michigan felt good. But, I walked just a few hundred yards, gave up, and turned around. It was just too hot and steamy for me to trudge through the loose sand of sand dunes when the dunes blocked the breeze.
I saw the purple martins, but didn’t even try to photograph them, conditions were just too bad to expect that the images would have been good enough to use. I did shoot a barn swallow…
…and these plains puccoon….
I thought about shooting a few landscape shots of the beaches there, but conditions were too bad for them to have been any good.
I had planned on going to Lost Lake, but as I thought about it, I decided not to bother, as it was just too hot and steamy anywhere but right on the Lake Michigan beaches, and they were extremely crowded with all the other people escaping the heat. The haze from all the moisture in the air would have made any photos other than close-ups unusable anyway.
It wasn’t a wasted day though, I did find those two smaller preserves, and both are worth returning to when the weather is more suitable. And, fighting the crowds in Grand Haven, I have decided not to fight the crowds over the Fourth of July weekend, I’ll stay closer to home, and avoid the traffic of a holiday weekend. There’s plenty of flowers to photograph around here, and a few birds as well.
So, the rest of this post will be of things that I saw this past week around here while I was walking, starting with the deer, turkey, and squirrel together as promised.
Mom was keeping an eye on me as she was chewing her cud, the fawns were wandering around looking for goodies to munch, as was the squirrel, while the turkey did some preening.
At one point, the turkey decided to stretch its wings, scaring the crap out of one of the fawns and the squirrel.
After that, mom kept an eye on the turkey as much as she did me.
Whitetail deer often give birth to twin fawns, when they do, they are most often one of each sex. I’m not positive, but this looks like a male to me, I’ll call him junior, and after the turkey scared him, he gave the turkey a nasty look…
…then, looked around for more goodies to munch.
Mom and sis kept a close eye on junior.
Then, mom decided it was time to head back into cover, with sis following close at her heels.
Junior had found something that must have tasted really good.
But, one soft bleat from mom, and he decided that minding mom was more important than food.
Next up are the photos of the blue jays. I spotted this one sitting on the fence.
The jay flew down to snatch an earthworm.
Then, struck a couple of poses for me.
The squeamish may want to look away as the next few photos show the jay eating the worm.
The worm fought back valiantly…
..but the worm was soon consumed.
My image of the blue jay flying may not have been good, but I did catch it hopping around while looking for more food.
The jay flew back up to the fence where it was joined by first one of its young…
…then a second offspring.
I was hoping to get photos of the jay feeding its young, but a passing jogger caused them to move back into the woods.
I hate to end this with bad photos, but I may as well use these up, a male Baltimore oriole in action.
The oriole spotted an insect on nearby vegetation, and hovered while plucking the bug.
Then, spotting an even better catch, the oriole strapped on the jet-pack….
…to catch a caterpillar before it could hide.
Oh what the heck, I’ll throw in two photos of a young cottontail rabbit to end this post. If I can’t end it with a great photo, I may as well end it with a cute one.
I still have a few photos left over, mostly flowers and insects, but I’m not sure how many of them will end up getting put into a post other than flowers I saw at the Hofma Preserve, since they are not flowers that I see everyday. The same is true of the insects, they are quite common, but I do have images of a damselfly trying to eat a mosquito, and I’m sure that I know who every one will be rooting for in that battle. 😉
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!