Met my daughter in Stratford last weekend for a mini-vacation. It was arranged at rather short notice, so we did not see one of the many wonderful plays on offer, just shopped the fascinating little stores, and explored the area.
A walk by the river almost always provides the opportunity to meet and photograph swans. It pays to approach them carefully as they are large and can do a lot of damage if frightened or angered. Most of the ones I have seen here are well used to tourists, and this one was quite happy to ignore me and my camera.
The ducks here are so tame, I was almost tripping over them!
On Sunday we made our way to nearby St. Marys, where we discovered a nice Rails to Trails hiking trail.
There is a stone quarry at St. Marys, so many of the buildings here are built with stone. I thought the architecture was quite beautiful. The Town Hall was built in 1891.
March in Michigan is such a frustrating month! The weather will smile on us with warm, sunny days, then suddenly turn and dump another load of snow on us, putting us back in the Deep Freeze again.
Suffering a bad case of Cabin Fever, I took a drive to Port Huron the other day to spend a little time enjoying Lake Michigan. I had hoped to take a nice walk by the Bluewater Bridge, but the icy wind blowing off the Lake discouraged that. I did manage to snap a few photos of a duck I did not recognize near the shore.
My trusty Field Guide identified it as a female Oldsquaw or Long-Tailed Duck. They are not native to Michigan, so must have stopped in on their way North.
The chilly temperatures help to keep my bird-feeder busy, and I managed some nice shots of this female Cardinal.
From Christmas Day on, we were in the deep freeze. Temperatures stayed near or below zero day and night. One morning I had to delay Abbie’s walk until noon, because her feet got so cold, she simply couldn’t manage it. The bitter wind cut through my many layers of clothing and seemed to reach my very bones!
Last weekend we finally got a break, and in typical Michigan fashion temperatures soared to Springlike levels. Now we are on the other part of the roller coaster as temperatures plummet and we will soon be knee-deep in snow again.
As always, when the weather is harsh, my feeder draws many birds. I was excited to see a Red Breasted Nuthatch this year. They don’t show up here very often, so I am very pleased to have this one as a regular visitor.
Just as well I didn’t have any big plans for Christmas. Snow moved in on Christmas Eve and continued through the night and most of Christmas Day. The first photo was taken early in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and the second one was taken on Christmas Day.
As if to make up for the miserable weather, my Christmas Cactus decided to bloom right on time! Last time it bloomed around Easter!
Inclement weather always brings lots of birds to my feeder, and I was able to get a couple of nice shots of this female Cardinal.
Deep snow on the deck railing was a bit of a challenge for this Titmouse!
Storm warnings are up for my area. If I had any doubts about the accuracy of the forecast, the traffic at my bird feeder would convince me! The birds always seem to know if inclement weather is on the way, and there has been a constant stream of them coming to my feeder since first thing this morning.
Not only are we expecting heavy snow, but it is bitterly cold, and this Goldfinch is puffing his feathers up against the frigid air.
My choir practice has been cancelled for tonight, so I am hunkered down for the duration. Other than feeding the horses and walking Abbie, I will not be venturing outside until tomorrow!
As Summer winds down, chilly nights often bring foggy mornings. Although I don’t look forward to the cold weather to come, I do enjoy walking in the fog. It muffles sound and gives me a feeling of privacy.
The campground in the Park was full to capacity over the holiday weekend, and even though a few stragglers remained this morning, they were hidden from my view. Abbie and I do enjoy having the Park all to ourselves!
I came across some Jewelweed growing next to the lake, and the moisture clinging to its petals really helped it live up to its colorful name.
Hummingbirds have been busy at my feeder, packing on the calories before heading south for the winter. I envy them. I have always said if I had wings and no job, I would head south for the winter too!
My offering of grape jelly has attracted at least one pair of Orioles to my deck. They are quite wary and usually fly away as soon as I pick up the camera, but I managed to catch this one the other day. I have also seen a male Hummingbird at the feeder I put out a few days ago, and business should pick up once the young ones fledge.
We have had a lot of windy days lately, which makes wildflower photography quite difficult, but I managed to snap a couple of Trillium in the woods the other day.
Oak Trees are among the last to leaf out, and the tiny new leaves are bright red.
Young Pine cones are quite colorful too, and it looks like there will be a good crop this year.
Well, we are now almost halfway through March, and there is no sign of any lambs yet! Last Wednesday falling temperatures and high winds knocked out power to a good part of the state, and I was without heat, light and water from Wednesday until Friday. I heard on the news this morning, that there are many people still out, and I really feel for them.
The lake in the Park, which was completely free of ice a couple of weeks ago, is now almost completely frozen over, and to add insult to injury, we have several inches of snow on the ground.
I finally managed a couple of shots of a male Cardinal as he waited his turn at the feeder. The feeder has been busy and I hope my offerings are helping these tiny creatures make it through the bitterly cold nights.
This Tree Sparrow was almost too quick for me, but I managed to catch him in flight.
Less than a week until the Official start of Spring. If only Mother Nature would cooperate!
I hope the old saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb holds true, because we are truly back in the deep freeze now! Wednesday night brought falling temperatures and blowing snow, and after a couple of bitterly cold days and nights, the lake, which was ice-free last week is now starting to ice over again.
My feeder is once more doing a brisk trade and I notice Goldfinches are showing signs of changing to their bright Summer plumage, which is a hopeful sign.
A couple of pairs of Cardinals have been regular visitors, but they have been hard to capture. They usually take off the minute I pick up the camera!
After about a week of unseasonably warm temperatures, we are seeing quite a few signs of Spring. The ice has retreated from the lakes and ponds, and the Canada Geese are back in force.
The Pussy Willow is beginning to bud, and the Park was full of the sound of Redwing Blackbirds this morning. Not only are the Robins back, but I actually heard one singing the other day!
I have been a little lax in refilling my bird feeder, but with the snow all gone, and the summer-like temperatures, I don’t think it is needed as much.