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

About


This is the blog of a 50 something male from Grand Rapids, Michigan who wishes to share his love of the great outdoors with any one who cares to stop by and read what I have to write.

I have had this blog up and running for a few months now, and while I struggle with it at times, I am already finding that going back and reading my earlier posts does help refresh the great memories I make while I am out and about.

I am in the process of adding more pages with information, like places to hike, kayaking trips, and my future trips in the planning stages. I will continue to add more information to those pages, and more pages, as time permits. I am trying to build a web site and blog that people can use to find good information on some of the great places we have here in Michigan. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions, I have spent a lifetime out-of-doors in Michigan, and it will be quite some time before I can get all the info I have stored in my head posted here.

First, a short bio about me. When I was five years old, my parents bought a house out in the country where there were few neighbors, and even fewer kids for my siblings and I to play with. I grew up in a family where my dad’s side were hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen, and my mother’s side were all farmers. When we were old enough, my younger brother and I would wander around the woods surrounding our house, to play army, or cowboys and indians, or to sneak off to the “frog ponds” as my mother called them. There were a number of small, spring fed ponds around our house, and he and I would go there to catch the frogs, turtles, snakes, and salamanders that lived in or near the ponds, just like a lot of country boys. Of course we always got in trouble for going to the ponds, coming back all muddy, and my mother was always afraid we were going to drown.

Before I was even old enough to tote a gun, my dad would sometimes take me along on his hunting trips for small game or varmints, crows and woodchucks. Not only was my dad a hunter, but he was also a shooter, and hunting varmints was a way to target practice during the summer. When I was old enough to start shooting, my dad bought me a gun, and I would join he and his friends as they hunted. I no longer hunt, I gave it up back in my mid-twenties, it isn’t that I am opposed to hunting, I still do in a way, but with a camera instead of a gun. If I lived out in the sticks and needed the food, I would have no problem taking up hunting again.

Along with hunting went fishing and camping trips. Our family went camping many times each summer, weekend trips were for my parents to relax, our vacations were most likely to be a big trip, like around Lake Superior, to the Wisconsin Dells, or out west somewhere. So I guess you could say I grew up outdoors, and that’s how my love of the outdoors and nature were formed.

Some of the other things my parents instilled in me were curiosity, and love of reading, and a love of learning. Sometimes the love of the outdoors and the love of learning were combined, like when we did the trip around Lake Superior, we spent the better part of a day in Duluth, Minnesota learning about the iron ore mining in the region, and especially the steam locomotives used to transport the ore to the docks there. Or when we went on a tour of an old mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan while we were camping nearby. Or when we watched a presentation on the history of the Trans-Canadian Railroad that was put on in the campground we stayed at while in the Canadian Rockies. Sometimes we took trips just to learn, like to the museums and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, or the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

But, that’s enough about me, you’ll find out the rest as you read my posts. So, why did I name this blog Quiet Solo Pursuits?

First the quiet, I guess the basis for that goes back to my hunting days. You have to be quiet while you’re hunting so you don’t spook the game before you get a chance to shoot. Since I still want to see the wildlife, to get pictures of them, or just to see them, and being quiet is essential to that. But there’s more. I used to own a dirt bike, I used to love going 4 wheeling, and I owned one of those fancy high-powered bass boats in my time. But as I have gotten older, those things aren’t as much fun anymore, and I appreciate the quiet of the woods and rivers more than ever. I have always loved the peace, quiet, and serenity of the great outdoors, and I don’t know if it is an age thing, something having to do with society today, or what, but the quiet of the out-of-doors has become more important to me than ever. Even back in the days when I made as much noise outdoors as any one, I would often be out with the very first light of morning, usually paddling a row-boat on a lake still shrouded in the mist of morning, but sometimes walking, listening to nature as the day began. I want to be able to hear the rustle of leaves as a deer gets up from its bed so I can get a look at it before it disappears into the brush. I want to hear the birds singing, the coyotes howling, the owls hooting, the squirrels chattering. I guess I don’t want quiet, because nature isn’t quiet, what I want is to be able to hear nature, and to listen to what it has to say to me.

Solo…well, for one thing, a lot of my friends have just moved out of my life over the years. Like Spud, who gets mentioned a lot in my posts. He was originally from the Detroit area, and he and his girlfriend moved here so she could attend Kendal Art School as it was known then. After she graduated, she found a job in Lansing, Michigan, so the two of them moved there, and that way Spud could finish his degree at MSU. My friend Dave joined the marines, then moved back to his hometown outside of Chicago when his hitch was up, so he could attend school there. My friend Randy moved back to Florida, where he was from originally. A couple of guys I used to consider friends turned out to be wife beaters, so I cut off all contact with them. That’s something I can’t abide, the strong should look out for those who are weaker, not take advantage of their strength to hurt others. And, there was all the time Shirl and I were together, her friends and family became my friends and family, but that all ended when she and I split. My ex-girlfriend, Larri, and I used to still go on fishing, hiking, and camping trips together after we split as a couple, but since she has found a new boyfriend, that doesn’t work so well, current boyfriends don’t like old boyfriends around as the third wheel…LOL.

Another reason for the solo part of the name is that I have strong opinions on a lot of things, especially the outdoors. When I am off camping somewhere, I don’t want to hear a bunch of drunks whooping it up, if that’s what I wanted to hear, I’d go to a bar. I don’t want to hear music, if I did, I would stay home and listen to music at home. I sure don’t want to hang around people who go off in the woods not to enjoy nature, but to party until they pass out. That all goes with the quiet part of the name, but there’s more as well. I go at my own pace, which tends to be slower than a lot of other people’s pace it seems. They get in the woods or on a river and seem intent on finishing as soon as possible to get back home and veg in front of the boob tube. Me, I love it outdoors, I want it to last as long as possible, I may be in a hurry to see what’s over the next hill or around the next bend, but that’s as far as it goes. I poke along at my own pace, with my eyes always moving, my ears always open, and my nose exploring the scents nature sends my way. I am out there to take in all that nature has to offer, not for exercise or whatever other reason some people have for being outdoors. And, by all nature has to offer, I mean just that, all. From the tiniest insects and plants to bears and elk, even interesting rocks, rock formations, and odd trees, I stop for all of them, and maybe snap a picture or two. I stop for history as well, whether it is an old building, a foundation where a building used to be, or some other clue into the past.

So then there are my pursuits, what are they? It is hard to rank them, but one is to learn more about nature, one is fly fishing for trout, one is learning more about the history of the State of Michigan, and history in general, and one is just to be outdoors and get away from it all. I should tell you that I am not a backpacker, my hikes are day hikes, either from home or from a base camp some place. I am not sure why, I just never got into backpacking, maybe because it limits how much time I can spend exploring. When you’re backpacking, the hike itself is the goal, not so much nature. I will go up to the Pigeon River Country, for example, and set up my tent, then drive to where a trail intersects a road, then walk in from there to see what there is to see. When I am on a trip, I play it totally by ear, with weather as the biggest factor in my decisions as far as what to do and where to go. I may wake up in the morning and find a stiff wind already blowing, so rather than go fly fishing, I’ll go explore a lake, or another access site on the river. On the other hand, if the weather is light rain and little breeze, I’ll go fishing rather than checking out something I found on a map or online that I want to explore. That’s something about me that bugs the crap out of many people, they seem to want a set itinerary, with set times for everything. Me, I go with the flow. If I am fishing and come on something to explore, like a shady hemlock grove, I’ll set my rod down where I can find it again later, and go exploring, and come back to the fishing later. I like the freedom that being by myself affords me. If I am kayaking and see something on shore that interests me, I beach the kayak and go check it out. You never know what you will find, I may be on my way to someplace I had noted that I wanted to see, and find something I didn’t know a thing about on the way to the place I had planned to go, and will spend the day there, rather than the place I was originally headed to.

And my most important pursuit is to commune with God. I consider myself to be a Christian, although I hold some very unconventional ideas about God and Christianity. I often tell people half jokingly that I worship at the Church of the Clear Flowing Water, but I am only half-joking. I have attended many churches, mostly when I was younger, and I have never felt as close to God in any church as I do when I am outdoors talking to God one on one. If you tried to pin me down, I would tell you that I am Quaker Reformed. I believe as the Quakers do, in a personal relationship with God. The reformed part comes from their stance on violence. While I am a non-violent person, and I agree in principal with their beliefs that when you do harm to others you are really harming your own soul, but, I do believe that there is evil in this world that has to be defeated, sometimes with violence if it comes to that. I can’t quote chapter and verse, but the Bible tells us that there is evil in this world, and it is our duty as Christians to defeat that evil.

Don’t worry though, this isn’t a religious blog, it is an outdoor blog, but I thought you should know where I am coming from as I spend my time in the great outdoors, it is my church, even if there isn’t any clear flowing water in sight on some days.

101 responses

  1. michigander

    Great blog! My husband and I live near Gaylord and I’d love to read more about your treks in the Pigeon River area. If you go to the DNR in Atlanta they can point you to the sink holes between Atlanta and Onoway, or check your maps. A cool place. One of my best hikes was with my brother the day after a gully-washer rainstorm when we walked down the Log Slide near Grand Marais and hiked the beach into town. We didn’t see a soul for miles. We saw an uncharted shipwreck (which apparently appear and disappear around there). We saw beautiful sand rivelets in the steep dunes where sand and water had washed down the previous day. In fact, the whole hike from Munising to Grand Marais was great.

    December 31, 2010 at 7:24 am

    • Thank you! My next extended trip to the PRC will be in May when I take my annual vaction there. I hope to get in a couple shorter trips before then though. I am aware of the sinkholes, but I do need to go back for some updated pictures and check out the new trails that are there. The Grand Marais area is beautiful, I have been there many times as well, but not lately. If you ever get a chance to visit Copper Harbor and the Keewanaw Peninsula, it is spectacular! That’s the problem with Michigan, too many places to go and see!

      December 31, 2010 at 11:32 am

  2. Terrie

    Hi,
    My husband and I just bought our first kayaks. We were wondering if you could give us some ideas where we could kayak that has fairly calm waters. We live in the Muskegon area. We are beginners and have a 6 year old. Are there any tips you can give us?

    July 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    • I’m home. There are several places I have thought of in the Muskegon area. One is Muskegon Lake near the Snug Harbor boat launch in Muskegon State Park. You will need to keep an eye on the powerboats and their wakes. You could paddle around in the Devil’s Kitchen there which is a small area, but somewhat sheltered.

      I don’t know how busy Mona Lake is as far as powerboats, but there is access to it on each end. On the west end, there is Lake Harbor Park on the north shore of the Mona Lake channel to Lake Michigan with good access and parking. On the east end, there is Veterans Memorial Park I think it is called, near the intersection of Seaway Drive and Grand Haven Road. I’ve seen the signs for the park when driving on Seaway Dr. You may be able to put in Mona Lake there at the park, and paddle up Black Creek for a way, how far I don’t know, but I am planning on doing that one of these days.

      The north end of Spring Lake would be good, there are a couple of access sites on it, and the boat traffic isn’t as bad as when you get closer to Grand Haven.

      There is Duck Lake at Duck Lake State Park, just north of Muskegon on Scenic Drive. There’s a boat ramp and a seperate kayak launching spot there.

      If you would like to try the Muskegon River, I would suggest starting near the salmon run access site and paddling down to the Maple Island Road access site.

      Muskegon County also has parks on Big Blue Lake and Twin Lakes that would be good for kayaking. http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/parks/bluelake.htm

      I hope this helps, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and congrats on the new boats! I have been promising a friend to post some stuff for beginners, so keep watching my blog for more tips and places.

      July 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

  3. WOW! I just read your bio – and if you are ever headed toward Lake Superior, give a quiet shout. How nice to “meet” someone who goes to the same church and who uses their senses to notice this beautiful place where we live! Looking forward to reading more… Thank you for subscribing to my quiet blog. 🙂

    August 3, 2011 at 5:47 am

    • Thank you. I very much liked your blog as well!

      August 3, 2011 at 10:41 am

  4. I just stumbled across your blog. I am originally from Muskegon having grown up there, but have lived here in San Angelo, Texas for the past 50 years. I remember camping with my brother and a friend on the shore line of Mackinac Straits when the bridge was under construction, back in 1955 if I remember right. We used to go to the old Berlin Raceway to watch the stock cars race.

    You might like coming to Texas and kayaking down the Rio Grande River through Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. Very exciting. About 50 yards wide with 1,500 foot walls next to your elbows. 🙂

    I am enjoying your blog about Michigan sights. They bring back memories.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    • Thank you! I would love to spend more time in Texas, especially the Big Bend area. I have only seen pictures, but it looks like my kind of place. I have only made a few trips to Texas while working, but I was impressed with the variety of birds and wildflowers there. I was told I would hate it, wrong, I loved it. But, I wasn’t there in the summer, only fall through spring.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

  5. northernnarratives

    Hello from Duluth! Just found your blog 🙂

    October 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love Duluth, even though I haven’t been there in years. Do they still have the old steam locomotives on the hill overlooking the ore docks?

      October 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      • northernnarratives

        Not exactly sure what you mean – they have the old locomotives in the train museum near downtown.

        October 2, 2011 at 12:04 am

  6. You have a wonderful blog and your photos are absolutely beautiful! I’ll definitely be following to see more of your lovely photography.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    • Thank you, and thanks for signing up!

      January 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

  7. Will add your blog to my daily reads. Maybe we’ll meet some day. I’m all about quiet outdoor rec in West Michigan. (I do several blogs)

    February 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

    • Thanks for stopping by! I spent some time reading one of your blogs this morning, good stuff!

      February 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

  8. I’ve just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award – please click on the link for all the info, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful blog!

    http://tcknextstop.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/surprise-and-gratitude/

    February 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    • Thank you very much, I do appreciate it! However, I have been nominated before, and I have chosen not participate in any of the awards. I hope that you’ll understand.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:46 am

      • No problem 🙂 Hopefully it will send some more people over to your wonderful blog 🙂

        February 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

      • Thank you again, for both the nomination, and the nice words! I am too busy getting more photos to comply with the rules of the award, sorry.

        February 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      • No problem, I understood that you wouldn’t be following up on the award, which is completely understandable. 🙂 I just hope people will click on the link from my post to come visit your blog and enjoy all your photos.

        February 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  9. I love your blog and it inspires me a lot so, I have nominated you for the “Sunshine Award” Please follow the link to your nomination by clicking this :

    http://n0ts0creative.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/sunshine-award/

    March 26, 2012 at 1:56 am

    • Thank you for nominating me for the award, I am honored, however, I made the decision long ago not to accept any awards. I hope you will understand that, part of the reason is I wouldn’t want to leave out any one by having to limit the number of other blogs to nominate.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:20 am

      • True.. its very difficult to limit the number of people.. Anyways at least I could show how much I like your blog 🙂

        March 26, 2012 at 2:43 am

      • Thanks again for the nomination, I do appreciate it when people nominate my blog.

        March 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

  10. Kim

    Wow, your paragraph about the quietness of nature really resonates with me. I can tell I’m going to enjoy exploring your older posts and keeping up with new ones. Thanks for sharing!

    May 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    • Thank you, it’s been so long ago that I wrote that, I had to go back and read it. I should touch it up a little, if I ever get the time.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:58 am

  11. Miss your posts here, my friend- hope all is well up north!

    December 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    • Thanks for the thoughts! I would have replied sooner, but I thought that I would be back online before this. Long, expensive sttory.

      December 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  12. Your blog is so beautiful, I wanted to share an award with you. Stop by to receive your award.
    http://bellaremyphotography.com/2013/01/02/accolades-are-due/

    January 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

  13. Thank you, “quietsolopursuits,” for becoming one of the newest followers of my blog, I enjoyed a few of your posts. Do you give out your name (just your first name would be great)?

    January 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

    • Thank you Jo Ann! I’m Jerry, not that it really matters, and if I explain that, you’ll know that I’m about as kooky as they come. And, so that you know, I do intend to actually follow your blog, I didn’t follow it just to improve my site stats, so thank you for posting a quality blog!

      January 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  14. Troy Buzalsky

    Jerry,
    I am creating a photo book utilizing Blurb of this years travels to Alaska’s Arolik River. I will only be sharing the book with my brother and the lodge that helped facilitate our trip. I am including quotes from Charles Orvis, Lee Wulff, and a few other noted anglers. I tripped upon a quote from you, and I would like to inscribe your name below the quote, as I have in the other quotes. All I know from your blog is Jerry. If you are in agreeance, please Email me your name. This book is not for sale…just offering your name as a courtesy.
    Here’s the quote:
    “When you pause to reflect on fishing, you often find out that the pursuit of fish has no bearing on your pursuit of fishing, or your enjoyment of the experience.”
    Thanks,
    Troy Buzalsky

    January 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    • Thank you Troy! It is a great honor for me to be even mentioned in the same paragraph as some of my heros!

      January 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  15. Thedrummerboy

    Hello Quietsolopursuits,

    I just happened on your site a few days ago,and totally love the site.My girlfriend and I go on alot of nature hikes and such and were thinking of getting into photography.What would be a good starter digital camera for nature/outdoors shots.I love the eagle action pics.Thats what I want to do is catch action shots.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.And keep up the great work.

    Thanks much,

    Thedrummerboy

    February 14, 2013 at 10:55 am

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      As far as a good stater camera, normally I recommend that people start out with a Canon Powershot. Some of the photos on my blog have been taken with the Powershot that I have. I think that that quality of photos from the Powershot is great. But, the model I have only comes with a LCD display, no viewfinder. It’s darned hard to keep anything in motion in the frame using the LCD display, or it is for me anyway. All the action shots I post are taken with my Nikon DSLR, but then you’re talking big bucks for a camera and multiple lenses. I am going to switch to a Canon DSLR as soon as I can afford to, as Canon has a better line of lenses for wildlife photographers, and I prefer Canon’s software and other aspects as far as the way that Canon cameras operate.

      Canon does make a line of Powershots with a viewfinder, they would be an excellent choice to start out with. Or, if you could find a good used DSLR and lenses, that would work also. You need either a long telephoto lens or a high zoom factor for wildlife photos. But, you need a wide angle lens for landscapes and sunsets. That’s why I recommend the Powershots, they do it all, and quite well for the price. Hope this helps.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

  16. Thanks for dropping by my blog today and liking my post on the Pentax P30

    February 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    • I have an old Pentax Spotmatic II that I’ve had for close to 40 years, and I loved that camera. The light meter quit working several years ago, if not, I would probably still be using it.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm

  17. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and liking my photo! I appreciate it very much. As a former Michigander – how can I not follow you! 😉

    February 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    • Thanks for following my blog, Jackie.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:03 am

  18. Hi Jerry, It’s seeker. Thank you for sharing your winning in Emily’s post about the Raptors. I’m thrilled you named them all, go figure. You are nature lover as well as Bella (Emily). And I am so glad this is not a religious site but I think you bring the divinity of nature in this site. Wow. I love nature!

    March 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    • Thank you Seeker. I didn’t think that it was fair of me to accept her prize offer, since I have recently done posts on all but a couple of the species she had in the “contest”. Besides, then I would have to admit that her photos are better than mine. (They are, but on’t tell her that I said that) 😉

      You’re welcome to kick back, and check out a few of my posts if you like, and thanks for stopping by!

      March 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

  19. Most definitely be flying by your site, now I found it. Danka.

    March 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

  20. Hello Jerry of Quiet Solo Pursuits,

    Thank you for the like on my blog. I can tell that I will enjoy reading yours. I like nature, too, but I prefer looking up at the sky or looking at what’s around me from high places. Of course that means birds are a part of what I like as well. But I’m not very good with naming them even though I worked in ecology for a time.

    It’s getting early now and I need to catch some shut-eye (I’m a Momma Night Owl) but I’ll be back to wander around your blog.

    Thanks again and have a nice day!

    Regards,
    Mary

    March 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    • Thank you! I actually “followed” your blog some time ago, but I never received notices of when you had posted. Since I had time on my hands today, I checked as to why that was, and fixed the problem. I am looking forward to checking your blog out as well.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:11 am

      • Wow, thanks for following it up. I had a lot on my hands lately and wasn’t able to keep up with the new folks visiting my blog. I’ve got more time now that some of my work is done and I want to go back and take care of all that.
        Thank you for the follow.
        Regards,
        Mary

        March 27, 2013 at 4:26 am

  21. Hi! Just read your About page and just love it! We have a lot in common! My husband and I are like you, day hikers. Of course, we’ve got the 3 beagles, so our hikes are sometimes limited in length, but man those dogs love to GO! We love to find a two-track somewhere, park and just go exploring. We are like you, we love the quiet. We have a cabin in Atlanta and it irks us no end when all the partiers show up on the weekends and are so loud. That’s one reason we bought a cabin and got out of camping, we got so tired of the lack of “campground etiquette”, all the noise, noise, noise. LOL I’m nearly 50, so maybe some of it is age, I don’t know. I just love to sit on my porch with a cup of coffee and my camera in the early morning hours and just watch and listen. I, too, feel closer to God in the woods than anywhere else, even though I belong to a marvelous church and love it, there’s just something about nature that brings me closer to the Creator. Anytime you want to hike the sink holes, give a shout out! We love it there. We are big into fossil hunting and I found the coolest shark tooth fossil in the lake there. It’s a great fossil hunting area. Have you been to Ocqueoc falls? They just made it into a State Park, which is sort of a bummer, because now it attracts more people and you have to pay to get in. But it’s beautiful there, especially at the peak of fall color. There are so many beautiful places to see in our great state! Happy Hiking! I’m really enjoying your blog.

    April 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

    • Thank you! There’s a ton there to reply to, I’m going to start at the end. I didn’t know that Ocqueoc Falls was now a state park, I did know that they had rebuilt the trails. I have been there twice, but never made it to the falls. Too busy one time, the other was when they had the trails closed to rebuild them. As far as it being a state park, makes no difference to me. I used to avoid state parks, since you do have to pay to get in, but then it hit me, if I want to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors, then it is only right for me to pay my fair share as far as maintaining the entire system of parks and state forests. I buy a recreational passport every year, and that way I can go where I want, when I want. I used to buy hunting and fishing licenses and stamps that I knew I’d never use for the same reason, I believe in paying my way.

      I typically camp in campgrounds so small and out of the way that I don’t have a problem with the party people, suits me just fine. I was raised to be more quiet outdoors in the woods than at home, so I was never into the party camping. But that also goes with paying my way, the state was threatening to close down some of the campgrounds I use since they don’t attract many campers. With the new funding structure and reorganization of the DNR, that should be less of a problem at least for a while.

      My personal religious beliefs run much the same as the Quakers, a personal relationship with God, and there’s no better place to build that relationship than in His great outdoors.

      I love the Atlanta Area, I consider the Pigeon River Country to be my second home. But, I have to end this here and take care of business. Thanks again for following my blog.

      April 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I believe in paying my fair share. I remember this one time we were coming back from Minnesota and we were trying to find a place to camp for the night. We were in the U.P, in a very remote area (well, like most of the U.P. LOL) and it was so late. We finally came across a state forest campground, it was wayyyyyyy back in. It was late in the year, probably the end of September I think, and we were the only people in this camp ground, and yet I still stuffed our $7 in the little pipe where you put your camping fee, even though we were the only people there and we were leaving first thing the next morning. I try to do what’s right. 🙂 We remember that night well, it was a bit creepy being in such a remote place and we heard the wolves howling, which was really cool. Funny, my husband and I have both looked at the map a hundred times since then trying to figure out where we stayed, and we never have figured it out!

        April 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

      • Just after I clicked the reply button it occurred to me that I probably came across as a bit strong, but it was too late to change it.I wasn’t trying to imply that you were cheap, but that I think that the great outdoor opportunities here in Michigan are worth going out of my way to pay extra for. I’ll lower my tax bill anyway that I can, but I don’t mind paying fees that go directly to the DNR.

        April 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

  22. You have been nominated for The Best Moment award
    Got to http://jeaninjackson.com/sunshine-award/ for details.
    Cheers !

    May 16, 2013 at 6:58 am

    • Thank you very much, I am honored! However, early on when I first began blogging, I decided not to participate in any of the awards, for many reasons. So while I do thank you for considering my blog worthy of any award, I humbly decline, sorry.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

  23. Anonymous

    Love the rotating photos on your homepage, especially the hummingbird!

    August 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    • Thank you!

      August 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm

  24. cfischephotography

    Really enjoyed your work on this site! You document nature and your time there very well. Looking forward to following and seeing more! Keep up the great work

    September 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    • Thank you! I think that lately I have been relying on photos a bit too much, but that’s because I purchased new equipment this spring. Hopefully there’ll be more travelling soon as well.

      September 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      • cfischephotography

        What did you purchase, and where are you traveling? Any trips planned?

        September 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      • When my old Nikon D50 died, I purchased a Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500 mm, Canon 70-200 mm L series, and Canon EF S 15-85mm for lenses. The Sigma is known affectionately as the Beast. I have a vacation planned for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula coming up in two weeks so I can get more use out of the short lenses shooting landscapes and waterfalls. But, if a bird happens by, I’ll shoot it too.

        September 4, 2013 at 1:26 am

  25. oureverydayadventures365

    Nice blog

    October 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    • Thank you!

      October 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm

  26. I enjoyed reading this. I agree about having the blog as a quasi diary – very useful at this stage of life, lol. It is nice going back and re-discovering all the things done, places visited. As with you, I’m a very spontaneous person. I appreciated reading your religious thoughts… as mine are rather difficult to put into words, it was great seeing how you did so with yours. ~SueBee

    December 23, 2013 at 1:27 am

    • Thank you SueBee, I was thinking of updating this page, but few people read it, so I think that I’ll leave it as is.

      December 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

      • The ‘About Us’ is the first thing I head to with any new blog – I like to see who’s writing the blog and their point of view. I found yours to be awesome!

        December 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

      • Well, thanks again!

        December 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

  27. Loved your thoughts on nature and as a place to commune with God . Spent a year in the UP and loved the area; we were in a place called Christmas.I miss the lake and the beauty of the changing leaves in Autumn.You also mentioned another one of my favorites-Duluth. We may have settled there long ago if there was anything to do for work. It still is a place of harsh beauty on the Great Lake and would hope to get a chance to visit it again. Now, I’m in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, so I cannot complain.

    March 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm

  28. Just discovered your wonderful blog through the comments you have made on Mr Tootlepedal’s blog. Lovely photos and lots of really interesting descriptions of the things you’ve seen and done. I am extremely new to blogging and not a good photographer but I admire those who are. Clare

    April 2, 2014 at 3:59 am

    • Thank you very much! I hope that my blog will live up to your expectations.

      April 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      • I am sure it will!

        April 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

  29. I’ve loving your blog, especially the photos. I’ve nominated you for a Liebster blogging award! For more details, check out this post: http://anaturefullife.com/2014/06/21/the-liebster-award/ 🙂

    June 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    • Thank you very much! I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I’ve already won that award several times, and have decided that I’ll no longer participate in any of the blogging awards. Knowing that people enjoy my blog is the only award that I care about. That, and most of the blogs that I follow have also already won that award, so I wouldn’t know who to nominate. But, thanks again for thinking that my blog deserves an award.

      June 22, 2014 at 12:55 am

  30. Very nice blog! I had to laugh when I read your Photo Life List – I thought I was the only one that wouldn’t use bait or a feeder for pictures. Glad I’m not alone! Heading out to Montague for vacation soon, looking forward to exploring your neck of the woods. Keep up the great work and good luck with your photography quest! Birds and photography seem to be made for each!

    June 23, 2014 at 6:48 am

    • Thanks Todd! Two things irk me, “wildlife” photographers that shoot over bait, and those that shoot at zoos. I understand why, they can control the lighting and other aspects of photography, but I don’t consider it true wildlife photography.

      June 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

  31. theoccidentalreader

    Quiet. Solo. Pursuits…Saw these words in comments on Mr. Tootlepedal’s blog, and was compelled to come here and check it out. I’m pleased to find that I can identify with much of what you wrote, am intrigued, AND looking forward to reading more.

    November 3, 2014 at 12:15 am

    • Thank you very much, I hope that you enjoy what you find here.

      November 3, 2014 at 12:19 am

      • theoccidentalreader

        I’m a lover of the wilderness, in fact, it is where I choose to live. “200 miles from the nearest McDonalds” has always been my favorite way to explain how rural I live 🙂

        November 3, 2014 at 12:30 am

      • Well, as good as it sounds to be 200 miles from the nearest McDonalds”, there’s no place in Michigan where I live that meet that criteria. And, I’ve gotten older and wiser since I began my blog, along with financial reasons, so my time in the deep woods is limited to my vacation time, a week per year. These days, I spend my time outdoors closer to home, since a couple of close calls convinced me that a 60 year old shouldn’t be out in the middle of nowhere by himself.

        So that you’re not disappointed in the content of my blog, most of the photos come from my daily walks in a suburban park, and on weekends, I go out and chase mainly birds somewhere in southwest Michigan. I still go off into the deep woods once a year on my vacation, and maybe for long weekends if I can afford it. But, that’s going to change as well, I’m starting a new job next week, so I’ll have more money, but I’m not sure how the schedule will fit into plans.

        November 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

  32. theoccidentalreader

    Best wishes for your new job! I’m 3 months into my current “dream job” as the first ever horticulturist for our school district. I live in rural Alaska. We are in our first year of greenhouse production, with plans to incorporate hydroponic systems here in our central location as well as in our outlying village schools. I will be turning 45 later this month, and I’m hoping this job will carry me into retirement. As for being disappointed with your content..won’t be the case. I follow blogs to stay connected with others, and am truly interested in how others live their lives, how others find joy in their surroundings, and the ups and downs they experience.

    November 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    • Well, to start with, I’m sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been very busy the past week, taking a driving test, drug test, and physical for the new job, along with using up my dental benefits before quitting the old job.

      You’re lucky, having found a job that you love! I drive truck to pay the bills, that’s the only reason I do it.

      November 5, 2014 at 2:23 am

      • theoccidentalreader

        Thank you, and I understand about busy times. I appreciate your replies. My Dad and Grandfather were truck drivers 🙂

        November 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  33. Born in Michigan, lived in Petoskey, stuck in Ohio. Enjoy your blog.I’ve been going to Pigeon River since the late 70’s and love it there. Seney Refuge is also one of my favorite places in the UP. Try the Creighton Truck Trail there. I’ve seen bears, wolves and a moose on it. Enjoy the honesty of your photographic endeavors. I traded the gun for a camera a few years ago and enjoy it . Keep up the good work.

    November 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment! I don’t get to the UP much any longer, I have a harder time driving past the Pigeon River Contry each year. I think that it will change soon though, at least I hope so.

      Southern Ohio isn’t bad, for a state that doesn’t have a single natural lake. 😉

      November 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm

  34. Love your blog. I run a nature park in WNY (www.panamarocks.com) and would like to use a picture of an American Beech nut that you took for an informational sign in our park. Is this something we could get your permission to do? I am happy to promote and share your blog on our social media pages.

    January 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    • Thanks for the comment, and thinking that one of my photos was good enough to ask permission to use! Yes, you have my permission to use that photo for promotional use for the park.

      January 24, 2015 at 6:36 pm

  35. I also “bug the hell out of people” with my spur of the minute/flexible arrangements so I am happy to read of another person who does this! I also have rather unconventional Christian beliefs and feel closest to God when I am out in nature. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog these last few months. I enjoy your enthusiasm, positivity, honesty and kind attitude. Thank you. 🙂

    January 30, 2015 at 2:01 am

    • Thanks Jane! All I can say is that I am who I am, and that’s all that I am. I’m well past the point of wanting to change anything about myself, my life isn’t what others would want to live, but I like it.

      January 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

  36. TPJ

    Found your blog by luck. Enjoying each story, thanks for sharing…a ’60’ something doing the same 🙂

    February 15, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      February 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm

  37. I spent the whole youth in a kayak. But then I haven’t done a pictures. Great passion and photos!

    May 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    • Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment!

      May 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm

  38. David M. Brown

    I am the author of the Michigan County Atlas, and the author of the Northern Tip of Michigan map, from which the map RE the High Country Pathway presented on this site was scanned, without permission. I EXPECT that the author of this blog shall immediately give me credit, clearly indicated on the image, for this site’s use of the High Country Pathway map image. I have dedicated much of my life to creating these images, and with very little financial compensation. The unauthorized use of this image is a violation of copyright law, and it is an affront to anyone involved in the creative arts.

    Giving credit where credit is due is a legal and moral obligation.

    The credit clearly presented on the map image shall read:

    “Map provided by David M. Brown, Author, Michigan County Atlas”

    David M. Brown

    September 5, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    • Mr. Brown, I am very sorry that I posted a scan of the map in question. I assumed that it was a scan from the same map that I have a printed copy of, which lists the Michigan Department of Resources as the creator of the map. But upon close inspection, I see that there are differences between the two maps. I have removed the link to the scan of the map which you rightly take offense to not being listed as the author of.

      September 6, 2015 at 1:56 am

  39. Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m so glad it led me back to yours. Your take incredible photos, looking forward to more 🙂 – Faye

    February 27, 2016 at 8:48 am

    • Thank you very much Faye!

      February 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm

  40. Anonymous

    The little orange trumpet flower that hangs from the front of the trumpet is called “Jewelweed” or “Touch-Me-Not”. Just for your info.

    August 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      August 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

  41. Hi there! I’m a writer at MLive.com and I’m seeking a photo of Landslide Overlook to run in a story. A google search brought me to your site, where I see you have several gorgeous photos of that area, and I’m wondering if you’d allow us to use one, with attribution! Please let me know: ebingham@mlive.com

    September 30, 2016 at 11:41 am

    • Thanks for thinking that my photo was worth publishing in you publication! I have sent you an email giving you permission to use any of the photos of the landslide overlook that you find on my blog.

      September 30, 2016 at 11:50 am

  42. Namaskaram Jerry – nice to find you on my own Blog – I just spent the last hour or so re-reading your ABOUT page and most of the comments by your Followers. I too could go on writing pages in response etc. but you would only be bored out of your mind; so I will try and put the main points here in a mini-version :). I am not an outdoor person (like you) – never was. Growing up in Germany I hated, and I mean hated, going with ‘friends’ camping – and so I never did. The thought of being just 24 hours with a group of people who think that ‘camping’ is equal to getting totally drunk, loud, vulgar and ….!! makes me shudder even today at my age now. As a child I was used to run around bare footed through cornfields, frog ponds :), woods, brooks with cristal clear water, sit quietly on the edge of a clearance in the woods and watch the rabbits, deer, the occasional fox and just listen to the bird songs …..where have those years gone? Memory! I was able to lie in a chair on the terrace of my (back) garden of our house on the East Coast of England, and since the garden etc. was much lower than the surrounding roads hardly any traffic noise reached us. But instead again I was able to listen to the most wonderful bird concert every single day. Looking after them and feeding them and planting things especially for them made them come on a regular basis and “sing for their supper” 🙂
    So, I enjoy going with you on some of those trips of yours through the eyes of your camera – and since, due to an accident a few years ago, I can not hold my NIKON steady anymore, all my photography for my own Blog etc. is now done with my Telephone. Carina

    November 29, 2016 at 12:47 am

    • Thank you very much Carina! I never went camping to get drunk, it’s always been, and remains to this day, a way to spend more quiet time outdoors, letting nature do the talking through the songs of birds, breezes through the leaves, the water in a brook, and so on. It’s also a chance to see all of the wildlife there is as well.

      November 29, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      • Ginni

        I post puzzles from my San Diego hikes on a free jigsaw puzzle site, jigidi. A woman in The Netherlands, schutkleur, posted a shot of a mallard with a black head, wondering why he was different than the green-headed mallards she is used to seeing. Soet posted a comment, in Dutch, with a link to this page of yours: https://quietsolopursuits.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/christmas-weekend-along-lake-michigan/ in which you show a black-headed mallard hybrid. I had not translated the Dutch comment or looked at your page, but suggested on my own that the mallard was a hybrid. Schutkleur says they don’t have any black-headed ducks over there. Soet said she couldn’t figure out a way to leave a comment for you, but I’m hoping this works. If it does, would you please click the link below, which I swear goes to a picture of three mallards at a pond in The Netherlands, and add a comment for us? Thanks!

        https://www.jigidi.com/jigsaw-puzzle/VA9OB8SF/male-mallard-with-black-head

        March 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      • I did leave a reply on the other website, it looks like a mallard X domestic species of duck hybrid to me. If you do a quick Google search for breeds of domestic ducks, you’ll see many began from mallards on one side at one time.

        March 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm

  43. Ginni

    Thanks! If the black-headed mallard was in the U.S., none of us would have questioned it being a hybrid, but it’s very unusual in The Netherlands. I bet there’s a black-headed domestic duck in the woodpile of his ancestry, though. 🙂

    March 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm

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