The pleasure is all mine!
It’s finally full-blown spring here in West Michigan, there are flowers blooming…
…the trees are beginning to leaf out…
…and there are birds singing everywhere!
I don’t have very much time to work on this post, I’ve been stuck working much longer hours at work than I would like, and, I’m trying to get ready for my week up north.
It looks like the weather will be cool, with the temperature at night dropping down to near freezing the first few days. That’s okay though, it will keep the bugs at bay. The main thing is that next week looks relatively dry, with just one day of rain. I can handle that, in fact, I’ll enjoy it immensely!
I’m not going to leave until Monday, that way I’ll miss the snow and sleet in the forecast for this weekend, and I’ll be able to leisurely pack on Sunday, rather than trying to rush after having worked Saturday. I’ll probably start home next Sunday, which will give me Monday to unpack and do my laundry and other mundane tasks around home before returning to work.
By the way, the apple blossoms and leaves were shot around home here last Monday, the grosbeak was shot at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve last Sunday. Here are the photos that I also had left from Sunday. You may remember the photo of the baby bunny from my last post, I think that these next two photos are of its parents.
I saw this snail on a partially submerged log, and was hoping that a rail or other bird would find it a tasty lunchtime treat, but no luck there.
The Baltimore orioles are back!
Have I said how much I love the Canon 7D Mk II? I had been shooting the eastern phoebe from the last post, when I turned around to see this northern harrier being driven out of the area by red-winged blackbirds. By simply changing which rear auto-focus button I used, I was able to get a very good shot of the phoebe…
…and instantly switch settings to get this very good shot of the harrier, which has a full crop. It had obviously just eaten lunch and was looking for a spot where it could digest its meal in peace.
Once the hawk had passed, I went back to the portrait button to catch this cardinal that was trying to lay low while the hawk was in the area.
If I had known that this chipmunk was going to start running just as I pressed the shutter release, I could have gotten a better photo, they are very quick little critters.
Finally, the white crowned sparrows are passing through, here’s one munching on the seeds of a poplar tree.
Okay, now then, for the photos from around home on Monday.
These next flowers look to be in the viburnum family, but I’m not sure, the bush is in some one’s yard that I walk past on my way to the park.
The shagbark hickory leaves were just beginning to open, much like a flower, and every bit as beautiful.
I went for a short walk after work on Friday, and shot these next two.
The brightly colored leaves of the red osier dogwood bushes could be mistaken for flowers from a distance.
Standing close to these apple blossoms, I was able to take in their fresh, clean scent, one of the surest signs of spring to me.
In my last post, I noted that I had finally seen an adult male orchard oriole around home, when for the past three years all I had seen were females and juveniles. Well, here’s the male.
I also got to hear him singing, it’s a much different song than the Baltimore oriole’s song, much prettier.
Speaking of birds singing, here’s a goldfinch doing just that.
And, a male Baltimore oriole doing the same.
They must not fight over territories the way that some male birds do, for I saw two in the same tree, and prepared to catch the battle if it happened, it never did.
They circled each other at a distance, occasionally singing, but there was no battle.
As I was working to get that poor photo, one of our resident hawks flew overhead.
I didn’t make it to Aman Park for the trillium this spring, nor did I fight the crowds for the Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan. I did find one tulip in the park though.
And on Friday, I shot these two of another lone tulip.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this vacation next week! I keep interrupting my work on this post to check out places to go and things to see. One of the things that I’d like to do is bring my kayak and paddle the Alpena Nature Sanctuary. The Thunder Bay River flows through it, and there are marshes and islands spread out in the 500 acre lake formed by a dam on the river. I remember wishing I had my kayak with me when I visited the park on the edge of the sanctuary, and I also remember seeing and photographing several new to me species of birds there. They even have a path marked by buoys through the marshes and the channels between islands for people who are directionally challenged.
The weather forecast is looking good, after this weekend. My work schedule will play to my advantage for a change. They’re going to have lake enhanced snow showers this weekend, with it beginning to warm up on Monday. I have to work on Saturday, I’ll pack on Sunday afternoon, then head up on Monday. There’s only one day when rain is forecast, but the temperatures should be pleasantly cool, with some sunshine for all the other days. If I get really lucky, there will be a calm day when I can also paddle along the Lake Huron shore from my campsite down around the point where I saw many eagles and shorebirds, but couldn’t get to on foot.
I have some other plans, but not to the extent that I usually do. This vacation is going to be about relaxing, and getting my legs back in shape. I’m going to spend more time in the campground, and less time zipping from place to place trying to see everything that there is to see. For now though, I had better get back to the photos.
I have no idea what this next flower is, other than very pretty. For the first time, I noticed it growing along the road, and the plant looks like it is a vine.
I’d say from both the flowers and the leaves that this is a wild strawberry, but I could be wrong.
I have no idea what this is.
Well, that’s it, I have stuff to do in the next two days so that I’ll be ready to leave on Monday!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!