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

Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

I have missed a couple of the weekly challenges, but this one is too good to let it slip by.

Mallard ducklings close together

A male mallard close-up

Many mallards close to each other

Starlings bathing together

Juvenile barn swallows

Young cottontail rabbits

That’s all for this one, I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

All photos, no words, well, except for this intro.

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


Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

This one should be right up my alley! After all, there are many things that are blue to be found in nature. Like flowers…

Blue flower in the rain

Blue flowers

Blue flowers

Blue flower

And, there are birds that are blue…

Great blue heron

Belted kingfisher in flight

Yeah, I know, I

Recycle

recycled that last shot.

Blue jays are blue, of course.

Blue jay

And, this guy is wearing a blue shirt.

A man and his puppy

But how can you be

Blue

with a cute puppy like that with you? Oh, and by the way, do you know how hard it is to get a shot of nothing but blue sky?

Blue sky

Nope, there some sun and a tree in that one.

Blue sky

Nope, still some trees.

Blue sky

OK, I’ve had my fun, thanks for stopping by!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

With as many bad photos as I take of birds when the auto-focus can’t find the bird I intended as the subject of the photo, you would think that this challenge would be a cinch, but I actually found it somewhat difficult. Here’s what I could come up with.

Flowers and frog

Good, but I think I can do better.

Flowers and frog

The moon always comes in handy for these types of photos.

The moon and leaves

Sometimes, raindrops work also, as the individual drops are next to impossible to focus on.

Rain hitting the pavement

And when the rain lets up…

Wet pavement

…and I have to do a bird or two.

Grey catbird

Baltimore oriole in the treetop

That’s my take on this challenge, hope that you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

It’s that time of year, new life is hatching out all over the place. One thing that all the newly hatched birds have in common s that they tend to stick together, so that will be my take on this week’s challenge. That, and the birds pairing up so that there will be new hatchlings.

Two young mourning doves sunning together on a cool morning

Mother Mallard and her brood

Goose family together

Another mother mallard and her brood

Sandhill cranes

Then, there is the best “Together” shot I have ever taken.

Mute swans courting

That’s it for this one, hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

I should be able to knock this one out of the park, since I love being out in the sun and taking photos. I think that the one of my photos that best represents this week’s challenge will surprise you though, but first, a few others that fit.

Sunlight playing on the raindrops of a fir tree.

Raindrops on a fir tree catching the sun

And, the sun shining through the leaves of a red maple tree.

The sun as seen through the leaves of a red maple

The sun shining through the feathers of a red-tailed hawk in flight.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

The sun shining on the back of the same hawk.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

I suppose that I have to throw in a few of the cliché shots that fit, like turtles sunning themselves.

Painted turtles basking in the sun

Or the sun shining through a dogwood blossom.

Dogwood blossom in the sun

But you haven’t been able to see the sun in any of these, so it’s time to get creative.

The sun's reflection in the eye of a mourning dove

The sun's reflection in the eye of a robin

Or, I could go really clichéd again.

The sun over a dandelion

Not great, maybe I should try that again.

The sun over a dandelion

But, the photo that I took yesterday that just screams sun to me is this one.

Young woman soaking up some sun on a cool morning

That wasn’t posed, I was “hunting” a gold-crowned kinglet in the brush along a creek, you can see the brush to the right in the frame, when I saw this young woman reading. When she looked up to let the sun shine on her face, well, I knew that one was the one.

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


Weekly Photo Challenge: Two subjects

What a timely topic for me, as you will see. But where should I begin, I guess with this one of geese and fountains.

Canada geese and fountains

The fountains seemed to confuse the geese, they were looking underwater as if they were trying to figure out what made water spray upwards, rather than rain falling as they are used to.

Canada geese and fountain

OK, seriously, I have been attempting some shots this spring trying to catch birds as they perch in the flowering trees around here. My first attempt was OK, except the flowers had already bloomed.

American robin

My second attempt worked out a little better, a chickadee in a flowering crab, but the chickadee was too bashful to have its photo taken.

Black capped chickadee in a flowering crab

But you know me, I don’t give up easily. I talked the chickadee into posing for me.

Black capped chickadee in a flowering crab apple tree

That just made try that much harder, like these next two.

Flowering tree and American robin

Maybe it would look better with the robin in focus?

American robin and flowering tree

Not too bad, I can do better.

American goldfinch in a flowering crab

Come on little guy, turn your head towards the camera, please?

American goldfinch in a flowering crab

Good, but still not great, I need a break, maybe some turtles and a gadwall duck will cooperate better for me.

Painted turtles sunning as a gadwall duck swims past

Of course, I could just take the easy way out of this.

Maple flowers and bumblebee

Or this.

Morning cloak butterfly and flowers

But if I took the easy way out, then this post wouldn’t get the Three Butts Up seal of approval from the local mallards.

Three male mallard butts pointed skyward

That’s it for this one, hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

I’ll bet you already know where I’m going with this one, don’t you? Since the challenge this week is “Journey”, it could only be one thing for me, that’s right….

Coopers hawk in flight

…birds in flight.

Migrating birds make some of the most incredible, and longest journeys, other than man. I believe that the arctic tern holds the “record” for the longest migration, 25,000 miles (40,000 Km) of any animal. There may be some species of whales that come close to that, but I don’t have any photos of whales, or arctic terns for that matter, but I do have many photos of birds in flight.

Sandhill crane in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Canada geese in flight

Canada geese in flight

The birds seem to do quite well on their own, but I would like to offer them a couple of tips based on some things that I have observed. First, you’ll find your journey much easier if you let go of the branch you were perched on before you decided to go on your journey.

Black capped chickadee

And secondly, if you’re needing a little motivation to get you started on your journey, there’s nothing like having some one trying to bite your butt and remove a few of your tail feathers to get you on your way!

Mallard taking flight

Mallards taking flight

So, to all you birds out there, it doesn’t matter if your journey is just a quick lap around a pond…

Mallards in flight

…or if your journey never seems to end…

Herring gull in flight

…I’m wishing for safe and soft landings….

Great blue heron landing

…for all of you.

That’s it for this little journey into my somewhat warped sense of humor, thanks for stopping by!


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Well, what am I going to come up with for this one?

A river flowing through the woods?

Heaven

Too easy, how about looking through the trees?

Through the trees

I might be on to something there, let’s try that again.

Looking through the trees

Good, but not quite what I had in mind.

Birds soaring through the air?

Sandhill cranes in flight

Oooo, added bonus, you can see sunlight shining through the feathers of their wings!

That may work, but, how about looking through the ice to see the plants in the water below?

Ice

Not bad, but not great either. That does give me another idea though, a bubble, you can see through a bubble. But, where am I going to find a bubble?

Soap bubble

That was convenient, I wonder what the sky looks like when viewed through a bubble?

Bubble against the sky

Imagine that, it looks blue. Kind of cool though.

Before I succeed in making you all believe that I am completely off my rocker, I had better end it there and call it good. That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Given my warped sense of humor, here are a few things I find unusual.

I find it unusual that some one would just park a helicopter in the middle of the sky and leave it.

Helicopter parked in the sky

I find it unusual that the pilots of two jets would fly close enough together to be able to wave to one another.

Jets flying close together

I find it unusual that some one would feel the need to wear waders while cooking burgers on the grill.

Why?

I find it unusual that a grown woman would try to make shadow puppets….

Shadow puppet

…for flowers…

Real puppets

…when there are real puppets available.

I find it unusual that I had enough sense to shoot a shot like this when the opportunity presented itself.

Song sparrow imprisoned

I find it unusual that I didn’t let it go at just that one shot, but continued to work with the situation.

Song sparrow imprisoned

Of course, it’s unusual that I found a subject that sat still long enough for me to make the adjustments to the camera settings I needed to make as well.

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