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

Some blasts from the past

In preparation for the arrival of my new computer, I’ve been looking at a few of my old photos, shot a few years ago with my old Nikon camera and lens.

I’ve asked around as to whether the new iMac would be able to read the image files that I have on the back-up drive that I have, and the answers have been yes, no, and maybe, so I’ll go with maybe for now. However, I think that I can transfer a few of the photos at a time to a flash drive that I have, and import them onto the new iMac that way, or so I’ve been told. So, I dug up the flash drive and found the images that I’ll use for this post, a best of the best from my old Nikon I suppose you could say.

But first, some other news, I have received my long-term visitor’s pass to the Muskegon County wastewater facility. That means that I don’t have to call ahead each time to arrange to have a pass left there for me on weekends, and can go anytime that the weather makes it worth going.

Then, there’s the weather, it seems like when I get time off from work, it’s cloudy and dreary outside. I did make it out on Sunday, not only was it dreary, but it was foggy as well, very poor for photography. I’m saving the few photos that I shot until the new computer arrives. I would have had time for a walk today, but the day dawned much as it did yesterday, although right on cue, just before I had to leave for work, the sun came out. That seems to be the way things have been going lately, if I’m working, the sun is out, if I have time off, then the weather stinks.

Now then, I have received my Federal Income Tax refund already, which bulged my checking account beyond what I needed for the new computer, and was all set to order the 21.5 inch display iMac that I had decided was the best for me. Funny thing, 1 to 3 days to build it special for me, and 2 day shipping to get it to the local Apple store became 10 to 14 days before it would arrive.

This coming weekend is going to be miserable for any outdoor activities, and I wanted the new computer here by then so I could get it set-up while the weather was too bad outdoors for even me. Wind chills down so low as to be dangerous with off and on lake effect snow is not good weather to be out in.

So, I did some more research. I thought that I could purchase the base model iMac with just 8 Gb of ram, then add more myself, no can do. The case of the 21.5 inch iMac is sealed, the ram has to be added at the factory when the computer is built, or by an authorized service center, meaning big bucks to add ram to it.

So, more research again. I found that the 27 inch display iMac can be upgraded by the user. You push a button on the back of the computer, a small door pops open, and you can add more ram yourself. Not only that, but the maximum ram for the 21.5 inch is 16 Gb, while the 27 inch will accept 32 Gb of ram.

Okay, the base 27 inch model is $300 more than the base 21.5 inch model, except that with the added ram that I wanted, and the other upgrades, it works out that the base 27 inch model is less than $100 more than the 21.5 inch model that I was going to special order.

You know what that means, I’ll be picking up the base 27 inch model this weekend. There are more advantages than just being able to add ram myself. The 27 inch comes with a faster processor, faster hard drive, and better video card as well. I’m sure that the standard 8 Gb of ram will work for me for the time being, and I can add more ram later, and for probably less than the $200 that Apple charges to do so. More ram is always good, so being able to go all the way to 32 Gb rather than 16 Gb is a good thing. Not to mention the much larger display to view my images on. πŸ˜‰

So, if things go as planned, this weekend I’ll be getting a new 27 inch display iMac set-up and ready to go in time for spring, as I look out my window and not feel guilty about not going out as the wind howls and blows the snow around. πŸ™‚

Okay then, now it’s time for some photos. A few of you may remember some of these, as I said earlier, they were shot with my old Nikon for the most part, although I may slip in a few from my Canon Powershot as well. They were taken when I still lived at the previous apartment complex where I lived at the time these were shot.

While I don’t miss those apartments, or the poor management there, I do miss the wildlife, especially my “pet” red-tailed hawks.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

Because of the way that those apartments were laid out, each summer I got to witness young hawks learning to hunt, and they grew used to my presence, allowing me to shoot some good photos despite the quirks of the Nikon.

Juvenile red-tailed hawk

Juvenile red-tailed hawk

Juvenile red-tailed hawk

Juvenile red-tailed hawk

Then, there were the man-made lakes that surrounded most of the apartment complex. The land had been a gold course at one time, built in a naturally wet area. The golf course went broke, and developers built the apartments along what had been the fairways, and left the old water hazards in place. With several small bodies of water connected by a creek that flowed between them, and eventually to the Grand River, each summer, there would be great blue herons hunting along the water edges.

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

Great blue heron in flight

During the spring and fall, migrating waterfowl would stop over at some of the lakes for short periods of time, like these mute swans.

Mute swan

Mute swan

Mute swans

Mute swans

Mute swan

Mute swan

Mute swan

Mute swan

Probably one of the most memorable and beautiful things that I have ever witnessed in nature was the courting behavior of a pair of swans.

Mute swan courtship

Mute swan courtship

Mute swan courtship

Mute swan courtship

Mute swan courtship

Mute swan courtship

The lakes attracted plenty of geese as well.

Canada geese taking flight

Canada geese taking flight

Canada goose in flight

Canada goose in flight

The trees that had once lined the fairways of the old golf course became the home for many small songbirds as well.

Juvenile barn swallow

Juvenile barn swallow

Cedar waxwing

Cedar waxwing

American robin

American robin

Male house finch

Male house finch

Tufted titmouse

Tufted titmouse

Cedar waxwing

Cedar waxwing

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

Chipping sparrow

Chipping sparrow

We also had a flock of turkeys that called the area home.

Male turkey

Male turkey

Young male turkey

Young male turkey

As you can see, I used to luck out and get a few good photos from the old Nikon before it croaked. However, I’d love to have my new Canon and my current lenses and live in an area like that with so much wildlife around.Β But, moving has worked out better for me overall, this area has plenty of wildlife also, but it’s spread out more, and critters are wilder, not as used to people. That makes it tougher to get as close as I used to be able to get where I used to live, and remember, I’m posting the best of the best, not the thousands of poor images I used to end up with while I struggled with the Nikon.

In fact, to prove that it’s not so much the camera as the person using it, here’s a few from my old Canon Powershot, a compact digital point and shoot camera.

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

Iris

Iris

Green heron

Green heron

Fall foliage

Fall foliage

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Patterns on the Lake Michigan beach

Patterns on the Lake Michigan beach

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

IMG_2032

Spring flowers

 

Green heron

Green heron

I think that this post is about done, but I have two photos from my old Nikon of a bald eagle that I’d like to share as well.

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look back in time, I know that I have. I still have a few more of the best of the best that I may post soon, when I get the time. I plan to be busy this weekend getting the new computer set-up, if everything goes as planned. But, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. πŸ˜‰

Oh, one more photo for this one.

Whitetail doe

Whitetail doe

The eagle and the doe were the only winter photos that I could tolerate posting at this time of year, I am so looking forward to spring! I want to be photographing flowers, insects, and of course, songbirds, especially as they are singing. Just a few short weeks to go, and winter should be about over with, I hope!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by, and I hope that my next post will have been written on my new computer!

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36 responses

  1. Nice shots, happy computing…

    February 11, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    • Thank you Boeta!

      February 11, 2015 at 11:01 pm

  2. Love the variety, all are outstanding and stunning captures, Jerry!

    February 11, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    • Thanks Donna! They brought back lots of memories.

      February 11, 2015 at 11:02 pm

  3. Oh those swan shots are simply remarkable! Fascinated by them~

    February 11, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    • Thank you very much Cindy!

      February 11, 2015 at 11:02 pm

  4. Jack

    You’re going to love the Mac. I’m glad to hear that you’re getting the large monitor. I have one and extra “real estate” makes a great difference. I hope that you pick up a copy of Lightroom too. It will also open up a whole new realm of possibilities.
    I’m a long time “lurker”. I discovered your blog while searching for new locations as I’m a resident of West Michigan too.

    February 11, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    • Thank you Jack! I’m sure that I’ll love the larger display, along with the ability to upgrade to even more ram as time goes on. I have already purchased a copy of Lightroom, it’s ready to be installed as soon as I get the new Mac up and running. Your comment also reminds me that I’ve become stuck in a rut again, going the same places over and over. I need to do some more exploring myself, checking out different places again.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:09 pm

  5. The hawk, the heron, the swans, the geese, what a lot of excellent photographs. It was a delight to look at them all. Good luck with the new computer, I hope it lives up to your expectations.

    February 12, 2015 at 3:00 am

    • Thank you Susan! I’m sure that the new computer will fill my needs well.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

  6. Your blog posts are always such a treat. You’d only have to have a 1/4 of the pictures and they’d still be very impressive.
    How very special to have been able to view the mute swan’s courtship. The pictures are so lovely! And being able to watch the young hawks would have been wonderful too. I really don’t get to see many birds of prey up close here except for the occasional brown goshawk that visits the yard. Most of the time the closest I get is seeing them so high in the sky I can’t identify them. The waxwings look so incredibly smooth! You had so many birds near your old place. Artificial lakes here also support a lot of birdlife which make it nice for us in the suburbs.
    I love the patterns on the sand pic and the turtle too. The irises are startling as well.
    What a shame about the way the weather goes for you but I’m glad you have the computer to play with this weekend. I’m afraid I’d probably be tearing my hair out pretty quickly if it was me as I am not tech-savvy. You have fun though! πŸ™‚

    February 12, 2015 at 7:57 am

    • Thank you Jane! If only you knew how hard that I worked and how many photos I shot with my old camera to come up with those few good images.

      Watching the swans courting was the one time that I felt as if I were intruding when it comes to nature. Anyone who is able to see the swans would know that animals have emotions just as humans do.

      I was very lucky when it came to the hawks, Wednesdays were the days when the lawn at the old apartment complex were mowed, and the young hawks would arrive like clockwork to see if they could find an easy meal in the shorter grass.

      The weather here is typically bad for a few weekends each winter, but spring, summers, and falls are fabulous, which helps us deal with the extreme cold.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:19 pm

  7. That really was an amazing place for wildlife. I remember most of your photos from when you were living there were very good, just as these are. I can’t see much of anything that I’d change about them. They don’t even really need post processing.
    That’s quite a laptop with a 27″ screen! You’re going to feel like you’re at the drive in! I’m looking forward to hearing about what you think of Lightroom. Have fun!

    February 12, 2015 at 9:01 am

    • Thanks Allen! I shot the shutter out of that old Nikon, just to get a relative handful of great photos. I do miss the wildlife there where I used to live, but that’s all. I’d love to win the lottery and build a similar area just for nature photographers.

      The new Mac isn’t a laptop, it’s a desktop, as I thought that I’d get more bang for my buck that way. My current laptop hasn’t left the desk in years now, not since I quit driving over the road. That 27 inch screen will be a huge upgrade over the current 10″ display that I’m using. I know that I’ll love Lightroom, from all the tutorials I’ve been watching. πŸ˜‰

      February 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm

  8. Wow, what a great variety of shots. What’s not to like about the swan photo right before Valentine’s Day? The cedar waxwings are always sleek and gorgeous

    Your new computer sounds like it will do everything but snatch the thoughts out of your head, and write the blog for you. Should take your mind off a spate of bad weather. Have fun.

    February 12, 2015 at 9:08 am

    • Thanks Judy! Be glad that you’re someplace warm this weekend, it may barely make it above zero here on Sunday, with a 30 MPH wind blowing the snow around. It will be a great weekend to stay inside and get the new computer set-up the way that I want. πŸ˜‰

      February 12, 2015 at 11:26 pm

  9. What an amazing selection of photos. I really like the songbirds and that picture of the blue iris is outstanding! I was particularly interested in the photos from your Canon Powershot. I can only aspire.

    I had to have a look at the specs for the 27 inch display iMac – wow it does look impressive. You will have a lot of fun setting that up and using it. Your photos will look out of this world on that.

    February 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

    • Thank you Brandy! The secret to using any camera is good light, especially with a compact digital camera. But, we get so little good light here during the winter, that I’m forced to try to get good photos in poor light.

      I’m sure that I’ll love the new iMac, anything would be better than the poor old laptop that I have now.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  10. Those are beautiful photos, and quite a varied collection. Love the Cardinals too. We don’t have them here in western Oregon. One of those species from back east I miss…

    February 12, 2015 at 11:31 am

    • Thank you Lavinia! When the male cardinals begin to sing this spring, I’m sure that I’ll post many photos of them, as I’m still looking to get THE photo of one while it’s singing.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

  11. Great post! I hadn’t seen any of these shots before and I loved them. I have a Canon Powershot too and most of my photos are taken by it. There are pros and cons of living in any home. One of my former houses had a birch tree in the garden and the branches were so close to the house we had close-up views of all the birds visiting the tree. I hope you enjoy setting up your new computer and I look forward to your next post.

    February 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    • Thanks Clare! Remember, those were the best of the best, you didn’t see all the horrible photos that I used to get with both the Nikon and Powershot. The apartment complex where I used to live was great, until they hired a new manager, and that’s all I’ll say about it as I prefer to let old (bad) memories fade. πŸ˜‰

      February 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      • I quite understand!

        February 13, 2015 at 6:23 pm

  12. Nenkin Seikatsu

    Superb!

    The photographs of the foliage and the Green Heron (I’d love to see one of those) are tops!
    Good luck with the new computer. Looking forward to seeing your forthcoming work.

    February 12, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      February 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

  13. Ah you could really take good pictures in those days before you got distracted by all these new bits of equipment.

    Seriously, it was a great place to live but I remember many vexations too.

    I hope that your new computer makes life wonderful for you. You deserve it after all the thought and research you out into your purchases.

    February 12, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    • Thanks Tom! There’s probably more than a grain of truth to your statement of my letting myself get distracted by the new gear. But, I think that the results will be worth it in the long run. The new computer may not make life wonderful for me, but it will give me something to do this weekend when it’s so cold outside that only a fool would risk frostbite for a chance of getting a photo or two. πŸ˜‰

      February 12, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      • New gear is always very exciting.

        February 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm

  14. A thoroughly delightful trip down memory lane!!

    Congrats on the new computer. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works out for you! This weekend will certainly be the perfect time for staying indoors!

    For some reason this set of photos really reminded me what incredible creatures birds are. Especially the shots of the swans. And the fact that you threw in a couple from your Powershot gives me hope for myself. πŸ™‚

    February 12, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    • Thanks Amy! This weekend is going to be brutal outside, so staying in and getting the new computer up and running makes much more sense, not that I have much sense. πŸ˜‰

      Watching the swans was one of those very special moments in time when I realized how “human” birds can be. You could feel the love between the swans, I felt as if I were intruding on them.

      February 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm

  15. Fascinating nature,these pictures are true proofs of the great artist.Thank you for visiting my blog.Jalal

    February 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      February 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm

  16. OK, I must be turning duck because those hawk pictures really freaked me out. πŸ˜‰ Some really great stuff here! The fabulous swan series and the other water birds, esp. But maybe I am a tad biased…

    February 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    • Thanks Lori! Maybe it is because I used to be a fair portrait photographer that I’m able to catch the personalities of the hawks.

      February 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

  17. What a great batch of ‘leftovers’!

    February 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      February 19, 2015 at 4:18 pm