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Winter Wonderland

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We had a brief warm-up on Friday and Saturday, and I was able to catch up on a few outside chores.

I removed my poor frozen pumpkins from the deck, and strung a few Christmas lights.  Nothing heroic, just something to brighten the long Winter evenings.

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Grateful I made the most of the break, as today we are back under Winter Storm warnings.  Bearing in mind, we are still almost a month away from official Winter!

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Heavy wet snow fell all night and into the afternoon.  Michigan is living up to its name of The Winter Wonderland.  As inconvenient as it is, I have to admit it is beautiful, so I brought my pocket camera along on my walk.

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November 10, 2018

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I was hoping my modest Fall decorations would last at least until Thanksgiving, but the weather had other ideas!

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We have had snow on the ground for over a week now, so it looks like Winter is here to stay.

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The lake in the Park is beginning to ice over.  Excited to spot two families of Tundra swans on my walk.  I expect they will be heading further south before long.

 

 

Winter Woes

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It seems we have skipped right over Fall into full-fledged Winter.  Two snowfalls already, with at least an inch of snow overnight and more in the forecast.

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 I admit this morning’s new fall of snow did present some nice photo ops, but I would rather be photographing colorful leaves against blue skies so early in the season.

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I will have to set up the heated water bucket for my horse tonight, as temperatures will drop into the teens.  More like January than November! 😦

November 7, 2018

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I have been waiting in vain to get out with my camera to photograph some Fall colors.  Sadly, wind and rain has quickly stripped most of the leaves from the trees, and gloomy skies still prevail.

I console myself by photographing visiting wildlife from the comfort of the house.

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My bird feeder has been busy, attracting this beautiful Yellow Bellied Woodpecker, and many Goldfinches.

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Titmice and Chickadees are always regular visitors.IMG_5343

I was lucky enough to catch several deer, ambling through the back yard. Quite  surprised to see them so close to the house in broad daylight, especially since we are in the middle of hunting season!

Draft Horse Show

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On Friday I drove to Lansing to see a Draft Horse Show.  I so enjoy getting up close and personal with these gentle giants!

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Having shown my own horses in the past, I can appreciate the tremendous amount of work that goes into preparing the two, four, and six-horse teams.

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As the second day of showing winds down, both horses and handlers are ready for a nap!

 

Trees and Toads

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In spite of our unusually warm, wet weather, some leaves are beginning to turn.  This lovely Maple in the Park is always among the earliest to change.

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The temperature was close to 80 when I took these shots, but will be at least 20 degrees colder tomorrow, and overnight temps will drop into the 30’s tomorrow night.

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Came across my visiting toad again on Monday night, and was able to get some better photos of him.

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I have not seen many Tree Frogs this summer.  I usually come across them in my flower pots, and they often climb up my front window on warm nights.  This one didn’t show up until recently.  Just love these little characters, and don’t even mind the sticky footprints on my window!

This and That

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I found this fine fellow in my garage when I went out to feed my horse on Tuesday.  He wasn’t too keen on having his picture taken, but I persisted.  Hope I didn’t upset him too much!

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40 degrees when I got up this morning.  The heavy dew showed up many of these intricate spider webs at the Conservancy.

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For the second time this week, had to stop the car to allow these Wild Turkeys to cross the road.  They did not seem to be in any hurry to get out of the way!  Don’t they know that Thanksgiving is coming soon? 🙂

 

 

Bright Morning

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We took a different route through the Nature Conservancy last week.  Lots of misty mornings lately, as the temperature rises and falls.  Volunteers built this boardwalk through a swampy area.  The lush vegetation almost threatens to overgrow the path.

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Cup Plants have been late to bloom this year.  They are quite sensitive to heat and drought, but have perked up with the recent rains.

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Beginning to see a few signs of Autumn here and there.

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It was foggy enough one morning to allow me to get a shot of the rising sun, looking more like a full moon! A rare opportunity.

 

 

Dark and Deep

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With the change of season, the woods are virtually free of mosquitoes and deerfly, so Abbie and I can enjoy walking the trails again.

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A few wildflowers are still blooming, and we came across this Aster this morning.

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Also found this interesting Coral Fungi.

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Chilly and quite foggy this morning, but it promises to be warm and sunny later on.  Will try to make the most of it, as Summer is dwindling fast.

 

Fungi

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Recent rains have brought out a fine selection of fungi.  I found these in the Park a few days ago.

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I have not had much luck identifying most fungi, but I believe this one could be Destroying Angel.  A rather sinister name, but appropriate, since it is poisonous.

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Found this one today in my ‘back forty’.  It is about 5″ across.

It seems for every edible mushroom that grows, there are deadly look-a-likes.  Just one reason I would never attempt to harvest wild mushrooms!  Will leave it to the experts.

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