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

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

That may be the title of a song written about Christmas time, and that is a wonderful time of the year, but in my book, there’s nothing better than spring in West Michigan! As soon as you step outside, you can hear birds singing…

Savannah sparrow singing

Savannah sparrow singing

…the summer resident birds are returning…

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

…new life is already appearing…

Canada goose goslings

Canada goose goslings

…and there are flowers blooming everywhere you look!

Apple blossom

Apple blossom

But what I can’t put into my blog is how wonderful the scent from all the flowers are, or how great it is to just sit somewhere, listening to the birds, looking at the flowers, taking in the fragrances that fill the air, and enjoying a fine spring day!

A fine spring day

A fine spring day

Even in the rain, it is beautiful around here this time of year.

Green

Green

After nearly five months of snow and cold, I can’t tell you how much I love the color green right now! Or I should say, how much I love all the colors that are returning after all those months of grey and browns covered in white. Even new leaves get into the act, showing different colors as they sprout.

Shagbark hickory leaves

Shagbark hickory leaves

Oak leaves

Oak leaves

My problem right now isn’t finding things to photograph, it is finding enough time to photograph everything there is to see right now, and it doesn’t matter if I get close…

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

…or stand back at a distance.

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Crabapple blossoms

Did I mention how wonderful it smells around here right now?

Lilacs

Lilacs

Lilacs

Lilacs

Lilacs

Lilacs

Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

Even on the Biding Big Day, when I set out to photograph as many species of birds in one day that I could, I still had to pause now and then to shoot some of the other things that I saw.

Olive Shores Park in spring

Olive Shores Park in spring

Olive Shores Park in spring

Olive Shores Park in spring

Foam on a lichen covered tree

Foam on a lichen covered tree

Foam on a lichen covered tree

Foam on a lichen covered tree

Unidentified fungal object

Unidentified fungal object

Water vole?

Water vole?

I know that I promised not to talk as much about photography and the gear that goes with it, but it’s such a great feeling to know that I have the equipment, and now some of the skills, to capture the season as I should, whether the weather is bright and sunny….

Maple flowers

Maple flowers

Maple flowers

Maple flowers

Grape hyacinth

Grape hyacinth

Dandelion

Dandelion

Violet

Violet

…or damp and wet.

Oak leaves in the rain

Oak leaves in the rain

Unidentified flowering object in the rain

Unidentified flowering object in the rain

Willow catkins in the rain

Willow catkins in the rain

Bluets and other flowers in the rain

Bluets and other flowers in the rain

The same holds true with birds, come rain…

Starling

Starling

Grey catbird

Grey catbird

…or shine…

American goldfinch

American goldfinch

Song sparrow

Song sparrow

Turkey

Turkey

…I can get pretty good images of the birds, even when they’re moving…

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

I was just getting started, and I’ve already gone over my limit for photos in one post, and I’ve hardly used any of the photos that I have saved for posting, so I think that this one will have to be continued. πŸ™‚

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

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34 responses

  1. Wow – great collection of spring photos, Jerry! Very enjoyable. I like that long wooden staircase at the park.

    May 14, 2015 at 12:14 am

    • Thank you very much Lavinia! After climbing all those steps and not getting a photo of anything else, I had to at least shoot the steps to have made the climb worthwhile. πŸ˜‰

      May 14, 2015 at 12:27 am

  2. Marvelous, as always. My favorite shade of green is the new spring leaf version. So glad you’re getting out to enjoy the wonderful weather. I bet it’s all that much sweeter for the nasty winter you had.

    May 14, 2015 at 2:10 am

    • Thank you Gunta! After the last two winters we’ve had, spring is especially sweet this year.

      May 14, 2015 at 4:58 pm

  3. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful set of shots about Spring, the colours the shapes, the new life, At least those steps has a handrail! You are a great photographer and it gave me enormous pleasure to look at this post.

    May 14, 2015 at 3:48 am

    • Thank you very much Susan! I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

      May 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your favourite season with us. When I become rich and famous and travel through the US I’ll make sure I visit Michigan in spring! πŸ™‚ Your post is overflowing with beautiful shots. That fungal stuff is intriguing. I haven’t seen one like that here. We have a catbird here but it is greenish and spotty. The spring flowers are awesome. It’s so lovely to read about your happiness. Yes, I wish we could smell the fragrances too, but your pictures are a lovely gift. Keep sharing them!

    May 14, 2015 at 4:49 am

    • Thank you Jane! It could be that spring just seems better than it really is after our tough winters here, but I don’t think so, they are spectacular, and you’d be welcome to enjoy them.

      May 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  5. Thank you for of lovely celebration of spring!. The Grape hyacinth is fascinating.

    May 14, 2015 at 5:39 am

    • Thank you Bob!

      May 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  6. Nenkin Seikatsu

    I enjoy the enthusiasm of your narrative.

    May 14, 2015 at 6:49 am

    • Thank you very much!

      May 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  7. Anonymous

    You do a great great job! Pictures are beautiful and yes this is the most beautiful time of year. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

    May 14, 2015 at 7:37 am

    • Thank you for taking the time to view my post and leave a comment, glad you liked it.

      May 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm

  8. Although I’m totally fed up with all the rain we’ve had, your closeups of the flowers, pedals loaded with drops, take the bite out of some of the miserable conditions we’ve had.

    Agree with you about all the wonderful scents. It’s sad that they’re around for such a brief period, isn’t it?

    Love the singing bird shots!

    May 14, 2015 at 7:56 am

    • Thank you Judy! Yes, I could do without the rain, but the bright side is that it’s not snow! I prefer not to think about how long this will last, but will enjoy it while I can!

      May 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  9. I agree, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Your excellent photos prove it.

    May 14, 2015 at 8:04 am

    • Thank you very much! It’s certainly my favorite season.

      May 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  10. Duck, duck, duck–goslings!!! Adorbs!!!

    May 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    • Thank you Lori! A few more fulfills may appear in future posts.

      May 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm

  11. And I thought you had been just taking bird photos! I don’t know if it’s the new camera, you, Lightroom or all of the above but your photos are getting better. I can’t put my finger on why, but something is different, so whatever you’re doing, keep doing it!
    I like the singing savannah sparrow and I’m glad you got to see the shagbark hickory buds opening. One of the most beautiful things in the woods, in my opinion. I love those new oak leaves too. Such surprising colors you can find on those.
    I think your unknown white flower in the rain might be a wild strawberry.
    I agree that this is the most wonderful time of the year and you’ve captured a lot of what is wonderful about it!

    May 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    • Thank you Allen! It’s a little bit of a lot of things that are making my photos better. The new computer let’s me see them to start. Lightroom helps, I can fix the so-so images, but even better, it teaches me to capture them correctly to begin with. These were shot with all three bodies, so it isn’t the camera, although the 7D is a bit better than the 60Ds, a good deal of the improvement you’re seeing is my finally learning to get the most from the lenses and cameras I have.

      I was able to capture some of the sights of spring, but I wish that I could do the same with the sounds and smells of spring as well.

      May 15, 2015 at 12:05 am

  12. What a feast of pleasure and how well you have communicated it in both words and pictures. I could almost smell the blossom from here. I think the picture I liked most was the damp green road. That really said ‘spring’ to me.

    May 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    • Thank you very much Tom!

      May 15, 2015 at 12:06 am

  13. I agree with you, not much can beat May in Michigan!!! Perhaps it is the long, harsh, bleak winter that helps us appreciate the spring so much!

    Gorgeous photos here, especially the crabapple blossoms and the lilacs! Lilacs remain my favorite flower and scent!!

    May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    • Thanks Amy! I just wish that I could capture the scent that hangs in the air in many of the places that I go right now, and include that in my blog as well as the images.

      May 15, 2015 at 12:18 am

  14. Great set of photos, truly a celebration of the best time of year. You have captured that green colour wonderfully and a great selection of blossoms. I like the flying mallards.

    May 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    • Thank you very much Brandy!

      May 16, 2015 at 12:28 am

  15. How fortunate you are to live in such a beautiful area! πŸ™‚

    May 16, 2015 at 7:51 am

    • Thank you Zelmare! Long time, no see.

      May 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

      • Yes, indeed! I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing regularly. We’ll see how it goes… πŸ™‚

        May 17, 2015 at 3:37 am

  16. Wow! Fantastic! I love this post; thank-you so much Jerry! My daughter and I were driving to her college in the rain last week and she said that, as with the autumn colours, she thought the spring green looks greener in the rain. I think she may be right. You live in a wonderful part of the world with so much to see and we are fortunate in having your posts and that you take the time to share what you observe.

    May 16, 2015 at 10:23 am

    • Thank you Clare! Your daughter is right, the greens look greener in the rain. The rain washes the dust and grime off from the leaves which helps, and colors appear more saturated to us in lower light.

      May 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

      • Thank-you Jerry. I will let her know πŸ™‚

        May 16, 2015 at 11:37 am