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Wild Kingdom

Had a visit from my local Bachelor Band of bucks the other day.

There were four fine looking individuals.

The next day, a family of turkeys stopped by. They are pretty camera shy, and started moving away as soon they sensed my presence. The thrill of seeing wildlife in my own backyard never gets old!


May Morning

Rain on the way, so Carrie and I took our walk this morning. In spite of the chilly, grey morning, the Nature Conservancy offered some nice color.

Plenty of Marsh Marigolds around. They are among the first of the wildflowers to bloom and are always a welcome sight.

Orioles arrived a couple of days ago, and I had to hurry to put some grape jelly out for them. I put a small container in a dish of water to keep the ants at bay.

It’s comforting to see these signs of Spring when the dreary weather is sending a different message!


Fickle April

I was so disappointed to see snow flying past my window this first day of April that I went searching through my hard drive for something colorful to post.

These lovely Daffodils were photographed on April 20th 2020.

And this was taken on April 23rd 2020. Best not put our winter jackets away just yet.

Fortunately, Daffodils are much tougher than they look, and soldier on through frost and snow, and anything else this fickle month can throw at them!


Cold Snap

It was so cold here on Tuesday night, my icicles grew ‘fur’!

I’m not sure how cold it was overnight, but it was -14F at eight a.m. Thank goodness the sun shone, which made it seem warmer, even if it wasn’t!

It has not been above freezing here for a long time now, but where the sun reaches the roof, we are getting some very impressive icicles.

At least there are some signs of life indoors. My Christmas Cactus is blooming, and the African Violet I re-potted recently is rewarding me with a new bud.:-)


Nature’s Ice Sculptures

Our Winter has been relatively mild until recently, but now we are experiencing a prolonged cold snap. Single digit temperatures at night, and barely reaching the teens during the day.

I have been tempted to hunker down and stay indoors, but yesterday the sun shone, so I decided to take a drive to Marine City, where a friend told me, ice floes have been building up at the edge of the St. Clair River.

Had to endure some frozen fingers to get these shots, but it was well worth it!

According to my trusty field guide, these are Redhead ducks, and are probably wintering here. There must have been thousands of them. They were riding the swift current downstream, and flying back to this sheltering spot. Perhaps the exercise helped keep them warm!


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Winter Wonderland

The dreaded ‘Wintry Mix’ moved in overnight. Not good for driving, but some nice photo ops.

Took my camera down to my ‘back forty’ and found plenty to photograph.

More snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Fortunately my church services are on line because of Covid, so I don’t have to go anywhere.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!


Winding down

Now that the leaves are gone, it becomes harder to find color outdoors, but we have enjoyed some beautiful sunsets.

We have seen very little of the sun lately, and I am struggling to keep my spirits up.

We have had a couple of light snows and my bird feeder has been busy. Possible storm coming next week.

It’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of November. I don’t think anyone will be sorry to see the end of 2020!


Golden Morning

High winds have stripped most of leaves now, but I still found some color at the Conservancy.


Now we are enjoying unseasonably warm weather. It might even hit 70 by the weekend. I know it won’t last, but will enjoy it while I can!


October 2020

Abbie and I have been enjoying some beautiful walks at the Sutherland Conservancy. I am trying to make the most of the beautiful weather we have been blessed with lately.

With all the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, I feel so fortunate to be able to enjoy the outdoors at such a beautiful and peaceful place.

Today it is wet and gloomy, so I am content to find indoor activities, such as posting to my long neglected blog!


Wildflowers

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Monarch Butterflies rarely sit still long enough for good photos, but these two were much too busy to fly away. I was careful not to disturb them, as we are all entitled to some privacy at times!

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Wildflowers were putting on a lovely show by the edge of the lake last week.

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I struggle to keep thistles out of my garden, but I must admit the flowers are beautiful, and the Goldfinches love them.

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I’m always a little sad to see Goldenrod blooming, as it means Summer is coming to an end.

Just as well I made the effort to take these photos.  When I returned the next day, the rangers had cut them all down. 😦

 

 

 


Silver Linings

I love to see the cumulus clouds build on a summer afternoon.

There were storms about when I took these shots, but we missed out on the much needed rain.

We finally got a good soaking last night, along with some rumbles of thunder. As usual, Abbie crawled under my bed as if expecting a nuclear attack and was unable to get herself back out. I had to get up and help her. I may have to put my bed up on blocks to give her more room!


July Blooms

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Gathering storms gave us an interesting sunset yesterday.  Unfortunately we missed out on most of the much needed rain.

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In spite of the drought, and being eaten down by the deer this spring, my Day Lilies are blooming beautifully now.  I appreciate how hardy and undemanding they are!

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They did seem to appreciate the brief shower we had yesterday.

 

 

 


Visitors

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I often see Turkey Vultures flying over my property.  They are not the prettiest bird, but are so graceful in flight, I enjoy having them around.

They rarely come close enough to be photographed, so I was very surprised when this one landed on my line post the other day.  He did not stay long, but I managed to get a couple of shots.

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This Dragonfly rested on my window screen one chilly morning.  He stayed until the day warmed up, so I had a rare opportunity to get some closeup shots.

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At this time of year, turtles come out of the ponds to lay their eggs.  I found this one on my lawn last week.  I have come across a couple of good sized ‘snappers’ lately, but I make sure to keep my distance from them!

 


Pleasant Walks

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The last time I photographed this road in the park it was snow covered. I much prefer seeing it this way!

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Came across these lovely Michigan Irises at the Nature Conservancy a few days ago.

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Wild Geranium were blooming there too.

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Had to look this one up in my field guide (which is falling apart). It is Greater Celandine. Don’t remember coming across this before.


Orioles

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I was a little late putting jelly out for the Orioles this year.  The weather was so cold, I wasn’t even sure they were around.

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They soon showed up when I got around to it. 🙂

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A red-bellied woodpecker dropped in to see what was on the menu. I don’t know if they like grape jelly, but the Titmice and Purple Finches certainly do.


Warming Up.

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Starting to see some wildflowers on my walks.  This Marsh Marigold survived the hard frost and looks much happier than the last time I saw it.

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Bloodroot is about the first to bloom, and there is a nice patch of it in the Park.

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These Daffodils have withstood freezing temperatures, high winds and snow.  They are much tougher than they look!


Fickle April

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A few days ago I was enjoying warm sunshine as I took photos of my Forsythia in bloom.

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Yesterday it snowed almost all day, and there was a heavy frost overnight.

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Found a Marsh Marigold almost ready to bloom at the Conservancy this morning.  It did not look very happy!


Budding

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Temperatures climbed well into the sixties yesterday.  What a treat to be outside without the usual jacket, hat, scarves and gloves!

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I did not have to stray far from home to find more signs of life.

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Cats certainly know how to make the most of a little sunshine!

Today we are back in the thirties with snow squalls!  Sometimes I really hate Spring!!

 


Welcome April

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Two days in a row of sunshine and mild temperatures encouraged me to get out with my camera.

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Looks like my neighbor’s Forsythia is almost ready to bloom.

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My entire state is basically under house arrest until at least the end of April, so it was a real treat to be outside enjoying the sunshine. I have been spending far too much time in the recliner lately!

 


New Life

March is not the prettiest month here in Michigan.  As the snow melts, it leaves behind a world beaten down and devoid of color.

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But today I found the first signs of returning life.  My Day Lilies are pushing up through the dead grass and leaves.

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I don’t know the name of this shrub, but it is always the first to leaf out. It seems to happen overnight.

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The barn cats, Boo and Otis were pleased to see me outside and joined me on my walk. They appreciate the warmer temperatures as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Moon-set

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This morning the moon was setting as the sun rose, and I was ready with my camera.

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The contrast between the bright moon and dark sky makes it a difficult subject, so I waited patiently for the sky to lighten.

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It seemed to grow larger as it dropped below the trees and was partly hidden behind a cloud.

Sometimes I complain that my body clock no longer allows me to sleep in, but there are perks to being an early riser!

 

 


Day Trip

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Unpredictable weather has kept me housebound a lot lately, so when Sunday blessed us with sunshine and milder temperatures I dropped everything and drove to Port Huron.

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Lake Huron looks pretty much ice free, but I spotted quite a few ice floes floating by.

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We have had more rain than snow this winter and experts are warning that water levels on the Great Lakes are at an all time high.  I could certainly see a difference here since my last visit.

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Waves have created some interesting ice sculptures along the shore. Despite the sunshine, the wind off the lake had quite a bite to it. I would taken more photos, but frozen ears and fingers soon had me retreating to the warmth of the car!  I tend to be a fair weather photographer after all! 🙂


The Voice of the Turtledove

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After a couple of Springlike days, we are reminded it is still February! Snow overnight and bitterly cold temperatures in the forecast.

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Abbie always finds much to explore under the new snow.  Not sure what she finds down there!

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I don’t exactly welcome the snow, but I have to admit it is beautiful, and encourages me to get out with my camera.

The days are noticeably longer now and I heard a dove cooing on my walk this morning.  Our Winter has been quite mild this year, but I still welcome any sign of the coming of Spring!


December Sunrise

Nature is offering very little color these days.  Our up and down temperatures have left the snow looking ragged and dirty, and it seems an age since we have seen the sun.

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I did not have my camera with me when I saw this lovely sunrise just before Christmas, but my phone captured it quite well.

Not quite through January yet and I am longing for Spring.  Heard a woodpecker drumming in the Park this morning, which is a good sign. I read that they do this to mark their territory as the breeding season approaches.

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He may have been fooled by the milder temperatures we have enjoyed lately, but I am hoping he is predicting an early Spring!