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

Some leftovers

I think that the photos that I’m shooting this summer are going to last me well into the winter as far as getting them posted into my blog. That’s especially true because the fall bird migration has begun.

While birding in the fall isn’t as good as it is in the spring, I still hope to pick-up a few more new species for the My Photo Life List project that I’m working on. Fall birding isn’t as good as spring birding because there are still leaves on the trees making it difficult to find and photograph the birds, and, for many species, the males have molted out of their colorful breeding plumage.

I’ve skipped posting any species in the My Photo Life List project a few weeks this summer, because I’ve posted so many other posts. I’m getting near the half-way point as far as the number of species, and I’d kind of like to get past that milestone. I have photos of more than enough species to get past half-way, it’s just a matter of doing the posts. I’ve had too many other good photos that I wanted to share instead.

That’s okay, I have a feeling that I won’t be shooting many photos over the winter months. So, if I have photos left over from summer and fall, and plenty of Life List posts to do, I’ll have the time this winter, as I’d rather not post so-so photos of the same few species of birds every week.

I still have to do posts on a birding trip to the Muskegon area the weekend before last, and another on a scouting trip that I took to the Haymarsh State Game Area this weekend. I don’t want to get into too many details, but the Haymarsh SGA is just northeast of Big Rapids, Michigan, about the same distance from my apartment as Muskegon is. I used to be familiar with that area, one of my uncles lived less than ten miles from there. But, It’s been 35 years since I’ve been there.

It was hot, humid, with occasional showers and thunderstorms on Sunday, so it seemed like a good day to do a scouting trip where I’d be driving more than hiking. Being a state game area, the Haymarsh SGA is open to hunting, but it is also a great place for birding during the majority of the year when hunting season is closed. There’s even a campground there now, so I think that I’ll be spending quite a bit of time there in the future.

In the meantime, I’ve got photos to share, not all of them great, but I think that most of them are interesting, even if the quality isn’t that good.

I’ll start with this unidentified beetle on Queen Anne’s Lace.

Unidentified beetle on Queen Anne's Lace

Unidentified beetle on Queen Anne’s Lace

Future thistle flowers.

Future thistle flowers

Future thistle flowers

One day while I was getting set to photograph some flowers in a field, I noticed a turkey trying to hide in the grass.

Hiding turkey

Hiding turkey

While I was shooting the flowers, the its curiosity got the better of the turkey, and she stuck her head up to see what I was up to. I had set down the camera body with the 300 mm lens on it, and only had the Tokina 100 mm lens for this shot.

Turkey at 100 mm not cropped

Turkey at 100 mm not cropped

But, how many people can say that they shot a turkey with a macro lens. 😉 She ducked back down in the grass, I finished shooting the flowers that were my main goal, then picked up the long lens. The turkey stuck her head up again, and I was ready, she wasn’t expecting that.

Turkey at 420 mm not cropped

Turkey at 420 mm not cropped

I suppose that  I could have fooled around with her a bit more, but turkeys are a dime a dozen, and the males are more interesting, at least more colorful.

Male turkey

Male turkey

Male turkey

Male turkey

I shot this chipping sparrow with the 300 mm prime lens and 1.4 X extender….

Chipping sparrow

Chipping sparrow

…compare that one to this one shot with the Beast. (Sigma 150-500 mm lens)

Chipping sparrow

Chipping sparrow

…There’s not much difference between the two lenses, other than that the sparrow posed better for the image shot with the 300 mm.

Here’s another chipping sparrow picking up its take-out order.

Chipping sparrow

Chipping sparrow

An unidentified butterfly.

Unidentified butterfly

Unidentified butterfly

I found this insect climbing the stem of timothy grass, I wish that I had been able to get closer, and a better image.

Unidentified strange looking insect

Unidentified strange-looking insect

I wouldn’t have known that it was an insect if I hadn’t seen the legs.

Other insects are much easier to shoot.

Damselfly

Damselfly

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Japanese beetle

Japanese beetle

I found this odd whatever it is.

Unidentified unkown

Unidentified unknown

I have no clue what that is, it could be trash, but I thought that the way the grass was growing through it was cool.

I got a few other birds.

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

Female common grackle

Female common grackle

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Juvenile Baltimore oriole

Here’s a few other things that I saw.

Blue vervain

Blue vervain

Unknown pink flower

Unknown pink flower

Oak leaf

Oak leaf

I don’t think that I need to explain many of these.

Female northern cardinal in flight

Female northern cardinal in flight

Red squirrel

Red squirrel

Sumac

Sumac

Fungus that attracts flies

Fungus that attracts flies

Heal all

Heal all

Queen Anne's lace flower floating down the creek

Queen Anne’s lace flower floating down the creek

Whitetail doe

Whitetail doe

Whitetail doe watch two oblivious women walking past

Whitetail doe watching two oblivious women walking past

Male indigo bunting

Male indigo bunting

Male indigo bunting

Male indigo bunting

Male indigo bunting

Male indigo bunting

Swamp milkweed flowers

Swamp milkweed flowers

Six spotted tiger beetle eating an ant

Six spotted tiger beetle eating an ant

Six spotted tiger beetle eating an ant

Six spotted tiger beetle eating an ant

Small white flowers that look similar to Queen Anne's lace

Small white flowers that look similar to Queen Anne’s lace

Green fly

Green fly

Pokeweed flowers

Pokeweed flowers

American crow eating unidentified bread

American crow eating unidentified bread

Unidentified red beetle eating milkweed leaves

Unidentified red beetle eating milkweed leaves

Well, that’s it for the photos.

I’ve had an odd thought lately, that I need two of the 1.4 X tele-converters. I’ve been swapping the one that I have back and forth between the Tokina macro lens, the 300 mm prime, and even the Beast a couple of times. I purchased the extender to use behind the Tokina macro lens to increase the working distance and magnification, and the extender really does the trick.

Since I had an extender, it led me to purchase the 300 mm prime lens, which wouldn’t be as good for either birding or close-ups without the extender. As much as I’m switching back and forth, I could use a second extender, but I think that I’ll hold off and save up for a Canon. The Tamron works great, but I can’t help but think that the Canon would be a touch better behind the Canon 300 mm prime.

But, before I prattle on any longer about that. I think that I’ll stop here for now.

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

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25 responses

  1. Nice shots, love the close ups on the insects and the wild turkey! We have a lot of wild turkey around our home.

    July 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    • Thanks Michael!

      July 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

  2. I loved the shots of the turkey that you took though all your pictures were well worth looking at.

    July 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    • Thank you Susan!

      July 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

  3. To me, this is your best bunch of unrelated shots yet. I especially liked the blue on blue indigo bunting shots. Hope you killed the Japanese Beetle after taking its photo. It is an insect with no redeeming qualities in my book. They have decimated my yard and flowerbeds more than once.

    July 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    • Thanks Judy! I hope to get some better shots of the buntings when they quit singing from the tree tops and come down to feed on seeds from thistles. If, I tried to kill every Japanese beetle I saw everyday, I’d have no time to take photos. Besides, I sometimes see birds eating them.

      July 29, 2014 at 2:48 am

      • Well, Japanese Beetle as food source may have some value. ;-))

        July 29, 2014 at 7:46 am

  4. Great shots of the tiger beetle!

    July 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    • Thanks Bob!

      July 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

  5. That’s a really unique adaptation for your ‘unidentified strange-looking insect’. I don’t think many would have recognized it for a bug without your macro shot.

    July 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    • Thanks! I didn’t see it as a bug at first either, I had to get close with the camera before I saw the legs.

      July 29, 2014 at 2:49 am

  6. Once again I take my hat off to your photographic industry and skill.

    July 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    • Thanks Tom!

      July 29, 2014 at 2:50 am

  7. I love the variety of shots in this post – flowers, birds, insects, leaves, animals – all so good. I was amused by the oblivious women!

    July 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    • Thank you Clare. I can’t believe how many people can walk right past wildlife and never notice it.

      July 29, 2014 at 2:51 am

  8. I think the white insect on timothy grass might be a wooly aphid. This is about the time of year for them to be on the move.
    The thing with the grass growing through it looks like a slime mold waiting for rain. Some of them turn hard and wait. If you had gone back a day or two later it probably would have been gone, especially if it had rained.
    I don’t know what that fungus with the flies is. I’ve never seen one like it.
    You sound like you’re thinking about hibernating all winter. I hope not-we need to be out there on the front lines seeing what nature has to offer!
    It’s nice to see the turkeys. I haven’t seen many this year.
    I think my favorite shot is that green fly. He’s nice and metallic.

    July 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    • Thanks Allen! That “thing” was about the right size for an aphid, I should look for more of them.

      If I remember, I’ll check the spot where the possible slime mold was, we did get rain yesterday, so it may be gone. Someplace, I saw what kind of fungus that was that attracts flies, but I can’t remember where it was. I think it was in a blog I used to follow.

      I won’t be hibernating this winter, I’ll be out every day. However, I don’t know how many photos I’ll be shooting.

      July 29, 2014 at 3:09 am

  9. I didn’t think it could be done, but you may have turned me into an insect lover. Okay, just a lover of your photos of insects. 😉

    I thought of you when I opened the latest edition of the DPS e-newsletter. There was a headline about macro photography: damselfly. Here’s the link. It is a pretty cool photo, but your recent dragonfly photos have been just as good. http://digital-photography-school.com/damselfly/

    I’ve really been struck by the beauty of the leaves coming out on the tiny oak saplings and have wanted to photograph them several times, so I was really happy to see your photo.

    July 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    • Thanks Amy! I still have a few months to go when I can shoot insects and flowers, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of them, I hope. Thanks for the link also, I need to get that shot, or one close to it!

      July 29, 2014 at 3:04 am

  10. Enjoyed seeing all of your photos of birds, bugs, flowers, and things.
    I see a lot of turkey vultures around here, but I have never seen an actual turkey (male or female).

    July 29, 2014 at 12:48 am

    • Thanks Mary! We have the turkey vultures too, but they are even uglier than the turkeys.

      July 29, 2014 at 2:52 am

  11. Your male turkey photo with the lavender-colored flowers in the background is a stunner.

    July 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    • Thank you! I think the flowers are chicory or spotted knapweed if I remember correctly.

      July 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

  12. nate

    Silent viewer who admires your photos…that beetle on the milkweed is a beetle that is peculiar to that plant. I saw one and shot a photo for the Spanish Entomologist who ID’ed it for me. See http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles_red_milkweed.htm for an explanation. Keep up the great work!

    July 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment and leave the link!

      August 1, 2014 at 2:00 am