Plans changed, again
Well, I was thinking of going up north this Thursday on a scouting trip to check out places to photograph the fall colors in a few weeks, but it looks like it’s going to rain heavily most of the day in the area that I’m planning on going to. I may not even make it out to shoot any photos today from the looks of the radar this morning, we’ll see.
So, this post will be mostly photos that I shot last week, when my plans were also changed, in part, due to the weather. The forecast for last Thursday was for a thin layer of high clouds, which created nice, diffused light which would have been great for macro photography of flowers. To go with that, very light winds, so I wouldn’t have to chase flowers being blown around in the wind. I went to Huff Park, and quickly ran into two problems, a lack of flowers still in bloom, and hoards of hungry mosquitos. As cool as it was, there were no dragonflies or damselflies moving at the time, and with no wind, there was nothing to keep the mosquitos in check.
Here’s a few of the photos I did shoot as I was slapping at the skeeters.
Unfortunately, even though there were large numbers of spiders around…
…they had no effect on the mosquito population at all. I did shoot a few photos of this one to show how it was repairing its web.
I also shot a couple of short videos of the spider weaving its web, but they’re too shaky to post.
Here’s the rest of the images from my short time at Huff Park last week.
So, I returned to my car and thought about where I could go to shoot some photos, and I recalled seeing many bird sighting over the past few years from a park called Covell Park in Whitehall, Michigan.
Whitehall is the next city north of Muskegon, where the White River flows into Lake Michigan. It isn’t very far north of Muskegon, less than a half an hour if you take the expressway, a little longer if you take the back roads as I did.
Covell Park is for the most part a parking lot that provides access to what is a rails to trails pathway that runs north out of Whitehall. There’s a bridge over the White River, which is where I think that most of the bird sightings occur, as the area surrounding the river is marshland, which is great habitat for wading birds and shorebirds, which make up the majority of the bird sightings that I’ve been interested in from there. The bridge over the White River would be a great place to set-up a spotting scope and spend time scanning the edges of the marshes for such birds. But, for photography, there’s really no way to get close enough to the birds in the marshes by foot. It would be a great place to put a boat or kayak in the river, and slowly paddle around the marshes there though.
I did walk the section of the rail trail that passes through the marsh, but there were few openings in the vegetation where I could look into the marsh though. Here are the few images I shot there.
I should have shot a few wider photos to show the marshes and how the single path across them was the narrow, raised old railroad grade, but I didn’t. I doubt if I will return to that park unless I get really brave, and begin taking my expensive camera gear in my kayak in the future.
Since I was in the same general area, I stopped to shoot a photo of the lighthouse built where the White River meets Lake Michigan.
I should have, but couldn’t resist shooting a passing gull.
I also found a song sparrow scouring the rocks along the river channel for food.
It’s fall, and not only are birds migrating south, but so are the monarch butterflies. I may have a distorted view as far as how rare they are becoming, for I see them in large numbers near the shores of Lake Michigan every fall. I assume that they are headed southwest from across the entire state of Michigan, they get to Lake Michigan, and follow the coast south around the lake until they can fly across land in the direction that they really want to go. I saw a large number of them as I walked the short distance along the channel, and I just had to try to capture one in flight.
These photos were test shots to see if I could catch one, I may have to try this again when the skies are clear so that I get a better background than the grey skies when I shot these.
I’ve been checking the radar all morning, and moderate rain continues to fall to the north where I had planned on going today. The weather isn’t much better here, the rain did let up for a short time, but another line of thunder showers is passing overhead as I’ve been working on this post. So now, I’ll move on to the photos from last Friday.
This is why I no longer shoot many photos of waterfowl in the fall…
…when they’re such colorful birds in the spring.
On the other hand, American kestrel are pretty birds at any time of the year.
If only they’d allow me to get closer to them.
Those were shot in the late morning, as dawn was quite foggy.
Seeing a small flock of sandhill cranes in the fog…
…I decided that it would be a good test of the new 5D Mk IV to see how it would perform on a foggy day.
A little more work in Lightroom, and I came up with this one.
By the way, you can see that the cranes were eating corn that had been dropped in the road.
Some one asked about dew covered spider webs, and while I’ve shot many of them this fall, I haven’t posted them. I feel that they are a bit clichéd, and I lose track of what I have and have not posted photos of recently. And, while I’ve shot many that were better than this next one, I haven’t shot what I considered to be one that stood out among the rest. I’ve done better in the past.
And, unlike past years when I seldom saw the spiders that spun the webs, this year, I’m seeing them everywhere.
Dew does change the appearance of the things covered in it…
…so I tried two completely different takes on this example.
I wish that I could have gone slightly wider with this next one…
…but then I would have had some distractions in the frame to go with the bright leaves and berries.
I think that I post too many photos of dragonflies…
…but that was a test of depth of field and composition when it comes to close-ups of insects.
Finally, two photos of a belted kingfisher in flight.
I used to post many photos of this species that were similar, but I haven’t posted any lately.
Well, it’s now Friday morning. I did manage to make it to the Muskegon area yesterday afternoon after the morning storms had passed through the area. I shot a pitifully low number of photos though, so I’ll just end this one here, and tell the story of what happened yesterday, and what happens today, in my next post.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!