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

Where is fall going so fast?

Well, I’m still way behind in my blogging, in fact, I’ve fallen even farther behind. All of the images in this post were shot on my daily walks around home, and I have too many for one post saved. I also have plenty of images from a day in Kent County’s Millenium Park, and two trips to Muskegon to get to as well, and now, a days worth of images from the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve.

I’ve been busy looking for a new job, along with visiting my dentist, the only reason that I have time to do this post is because I’m skipping my usual daily walk to do this post, so I have time to attend a job interview a little later today. So, this post will be heavy on photos, and short on words. Since I promised these in my last post, I’ll start with two images of milkweed seeds.

Milkweed seeds

Milkweed seeds

Milkweed seeds

Milkweed seeds

If any one is interested, those were shot with the Tokina 100 mm macro lens, not cropped at all, but the small size in which they appear here doesn’t do them justice.

Also in my last post, I rambled on about how some birds will pose for me, even better in some respects is catching them as they are eating. This is a terrible photo, but it is of the last rose-breasted grosbeak that I’ve seen.

Male rose-breasted grosbeak

Male rose-breasted grosbeak

The grosbeak was with a flock of cardinals, this female took a break from eating to strike a pose for me…

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

…before she went back to feeding her face.

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

This male, possibly her mate, was hanging around, I guess he had eaten his fill already.

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

But, birds aren’t the only things that I shot the past few weeks, here are a few of the other subjects.

Unidentified fungal objects

Unidentified fungal objects

I don’t recall having seen mushrooms growing from a woodpecker’s nesting hole before.

Autumn skies

Autumn skies

Aster, no extra lighting

Aster, no extra lighting

Aster, with lighting from the LED panel light

Aster, with lighting from the LED panel light

A few days later, the mushrooms from above had grown, but the lighting was poor to say the least, but I managed this shot.

Unidentified fungal objects

Unidentified fungal objects

Since it is fall, I’m seeing quite a few interesting leaves to photograph.

Grape leaf

Grape leaf

The wasps sure do build elaborate nests.

Wasp nest

Wasp nest

Okay, back to a few more birds.

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Female downy woodpecker

Female downy woodpecker

Juvenile female turkeys

Juvenile female turkeys

Juvenile male turkey

Juvenile male turkey

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Juvenile cedar waxwing

Female American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

My interesting leaf of the day on one particular day just happened to define the season quite well.

Falling fall

Falling fall

I see many blue jays, but getting a good photo of one is usually harder than this one made it.

Blue jay

Blue jay

They typically are much too wary for me to get so close to one while it’s on the ground, and they do not photograph well against a blue sky. Speaking of being on the ground, and birds looking for food, I had just sprawled out on the ground to shoot a caterpillar, when this vulture flew over me.

Turkey vulture in flight

Turkey vulture in flight

I shot that with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) then set it down, grabbed the second body with the Tokina lens on it for these.

Unidentified caterpillar

Unidentified caterpillar

Unidentified caterpillar

Unidentified caterpillar

I was still on the ground when a second vulture flew over, so I grabbed the Beast again…

Turkey vulture in flight

Turkey vulture in flight

…I didn’t like the way that the vultures were eyeing me as they flew overhead while I was laying on the ground. By the way, do you know how hard it is to shoot a bird directly overhead while laying on your back?

Turkey vulture in flight

Turkey vulture in flight

I really didn’t like the way that one was looking me over! That wasn’t cropped at all, I guess the way to bring the vultures in close is to lay down like something dead, and wait for the vultures to swoop down to look you over. 😉

Another seasonal shot.

Goldenrod going to seed

Goldenrod going to seed

And, another.

Leaves

Leaves

It’s that time of year, and I’m a sucker for leaves.

Leaves

Leaves

Lots of leaves

Lots of leaves

I’m not sure what you’d call that color, but I liked it. I’ve deleted most of the fall foliage shots from this time frame, even though some were shot on sunny days. The colors grew more intense as time went on, and I’ll have plenty of images of fall foliage from later, when the colors were more intense. However, here’s a couple for the record.

Maple tree

Maple tree

Maple tree

Maple tree

I’ve gotten to the point where I prefer to photograph fall foliage on cloudy days, it’s even better if it is raining lightly. That’s a good thing, since it has been cloudy with off and on rain for the past week. I have plenty of images from around here that are much better than the ones from earlier, when there was sunshine, so those two will do for now. Besides, it’s time to get back to the birds.

House finch

House finch

I spotted a male bluebird, but it would not come out of the shade for me to get a good photo of it.

Male bluebird

Male bluebird

This female did though.

Female bluebird

Female bluebird

I love sneaking up on turkeys!

Male Turkey

Male Turkey

I love it even more when they stop running so that I get a good photo!

Male Turkey

Male Turkey

In a recent post, I had images of a great blue heron that I named Keith, for Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones due to the way it had the feathers on its head raised. Well, this isn’t Keith…

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

…this is Keith, eyeing a flock of crows.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

The crows must have known about herons eating anything that doesn’t eat them first, for the crows took off.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

And, I got a shot of Keith, which for some reason looks fuzzy here in my blog, when it doesn’t when I look at it on my computer.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

I haven’t gotten any more photos of Keith with the feathers on his head standing up, but he’s been in the fields of the park almost every day lately, so I have plenty of images of him for later posts, when I get to them. Good old Keith is getting quite used to me photographing him, so I’m getting lots of images of him. It’s kind of weird having a heron around that let’s me walk up to it so close that I can fill the frame of the camera without cropping. What’s even weirder is that there have been days when I wasn’t going to shoot any more photos of the heron, as I have more than enough, and the heron walks over towards me so close that I don’t have to crop the images at all.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

That’s all that I have time for today, sorry for the rushed nature of this post, but I’ve been busy.

I’m sure that my next few posts will be of photos that I’ve shot at places other than around home, but here’s a hint of what’s to come. On my trip up north to photograph the colors there, I wasn’t happy with the way that I shot most of the landscapes. I’m not used to “seeing” through my shorter lenses, and knowing what the image that I shoot while using the short lenses will look like when I view them on my computer. On top of that, it was raining one day around home, so I took only the 300 mm prime lens with me, and the colors of the trees that day were almost magical because of the lighting that day. But, I couldn’t get photos of the colors that day because I had only the long lens with me.

So, for the next few days, I took the 70-200 mm lens, and my short lenses with me to learn how to use the short lenses more effectively. That has carried over while I’ve been on my longer hikes away from home on the weekends. Not only that, but I’ve also been learning how to use my longer lenses for better landscapes. For example, many of the landscape shots that I took at Pickerel Lake last weekend were shot with the Beast set at 150 mm.

But, I’ll get into the details when I have the time to work on the posts that include those images, for right now, it’s time for me to go see about a new job.

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

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34 responses

  1. Debra

    Great captures! I’ve never seen a wild trukey. Thanks so much for sharing those shots. And that vulture! heh

    October 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

    • Thank you Debra, just a typical week around home with a few of my feathered friends. 😉

      October 23, 2014 at 11:53 am

      • Debra

        As for the ‘trukey’ hahaha I think I meant TURKEY which is also a bird I have never seen.

        October 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

      • Well, thanks again, I knew what you meant, I have the same trouble at times, my fingers sometimes get ahead of themselves. 😉

        October 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

  2. Lovely shots, really enjoyed going through them.

    October 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    • Thank you very much, glad that you enjoyed them!

      October 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm

  3. Those vultures do have a way of flying low to have a good look… Nice series of photos. Thank you! Good luck on the job interview.

    October 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    • Thank you Lavinia! The interview went well, and I’m in the position where I am interviewing the employers as much as they are interviewing me. The company I talked to today was neither a turkey or a vulture, so I think that I have found my next job.

      October 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  4. Those milkweed seed shots are fab!! And those fungi growing out of the woodpecker hole are so interesting! Funny about the vultures thinking you might be road kill. 😉 LOL

    October 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    • Thank you Amy! All in all, it was a good week, but I will be keeping an eye on any nearby vultures from now on. 😉

      October 24, 2014 at 2:32 am

  5. I was glad to read that your job interview went well. A really good series of shots – I particularly like the milkweed seeds and all the autumn leaf colour photographs.

    October 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    • Thanks Clare! The colors were just getting close to their peak in this post, I’ll have far better ones coming soon.

      October 24, 2014 at 2:33 am

      • I look forward to that! But I always look forward to reading your posts!

        October 24, 2014 at 7:53 am

      • Thanks again, Clare.

        October 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

  6. I loved the mixture of shots today. Your choice of lenses must have you thinking very hard as you walk about. The falling leaf was clever.

    October 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    • Thanks Tom! Learning how to effectively use my wide-angle lenses has been a challenge, but a fun one, since I’ve never had lenses as wide before. I hope that the improvements show up in future posts.

      October 24, 2014 at 2:35 am

      • A wide angled lens is on my theoretical shopping list.

        October 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      • I wish that I were disciplined enough to have theoretical shopping lists, instead of just a plain ol’ shopping list!

        October 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      • I try my best but impulse shopping come upon me more frequently than I would like to imagine….especially when I am near éclairs.

        October 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      • That’s okay, France has a coastline on the Mediterranean Ocean, therefore éclairs fit into the Mediterranean Diet.

        October 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      • Perfectly.

        October 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      • After seeing your macro photos, I can only imagine how good your photos shot with a wide-angle lens will be.

        October 25, 2014 at 3:21 am

  7. By the way, you were right about the seed pictures. They do look better at full size.

    October 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    • Thanks, I hate to brag, but I think that I did well with those.

      October 24, 2014 at 2:36 am

      • Brag away, they are good.

        October 25, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      • Thanks!

        October 25, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  8. I wish you luck on the job hunting Jerry. I just lost my job so I know how it is!
    I think the mushrooms are honey mushrooms. They cause white rot, so any living tree with them on it won’t be living long.
    You’ve got some beautiful fall colors there. My color finding software says the maple is yellow and orange.
    I love the shots of the wasp nest, grape leaf and asters. I wish Keith would head east for a while!

    October 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    • Thank you and sorry to hear about your job. I may hate the one that I have now, but at least it pays the bills until I find something better. I hope you find something soon, it’s rough out there in the job market.

      I’ll talk to Keith about heading your way, but he really likes the fields there in the park. He’s the only heron I’ve seen that likes to have his picture taken. Two days ago, he ran up to me to show me the snake he had caught. You’ll see the photos when I get caught up, and I’ll also have some of fall leaves that will drive your color finding software crazy. 😉

      October 24, 2014 at 2:45 am

  9. Great series of shots! I’ll add my good wishes on the job search.
    Sadly, I’m falling behind on posts, comments and replies. Must be the ‘season’.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    • Thank you! Fall must be the season to fall behind. 😉

      October 24, 2014 at 2:38 am

  10. The milkweed shots are so ethereal. Truly wonderful.

    You are right about getting up and moving on when you’re getting the eye from a vulture or (in our case) a buzzard. They sense weakness, and are just waiting for you to stumble. Then, it’s all over…..;-)

    October 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    • Thank you, and thanks for the warning! I’ve had vultures flying overhead before, but they never seemed to be that interested in me before. 😉

      October 24, 2014 at 2:40 am

  11. Gorgeous shots. My favourites are the milkweed seeds though. Exquisite.

    October 24, 2014 at 3:30 am

    • Thank you Jane! Sometimes I get lucky as with the milkweed seeds. 😉

      October 24, 2014 at 10:32 am