Friday, August 18, 2017


When I lived in the woods near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, deer were a huge part of my photographic life.

They got so used to my habitat that some would come and rest just outside my fence.  This doe was a frequent visitor.

In the late spring, she would often bring her fawns to share the feed blocks at the edge of my yard.  She did this for several years.

One winter, when the snow was especially deep, the deer even jumped my fence and helped themselves to the seed at my bird feeders.  When I moved to Traverse City last December, I left behind these readily available photography subjects.  For the first time in many years, I went the entire winter without seeing a single deer.

Then in the spring, I got a welcome surprise.  I was backing out of my driveway when a doe crossed right in front of me.  I grabbed my iPhone and quickly took snapshots of the fast-moving deer.  Even though the picture wasn't to my liking, I was VERY excited to be seeing deer again.

A few days later, I was working at my computer when Gracie alerted me that there was something going on.  I grabbed my camera and caught sight of a fawn running through my backyard.  I wondered whether the fawn belonged to the doe I'd seen earlier.

Over the spring and summer, I've begun exploring rural areas that I learned were good habitats for birds and other critters.  I began to spot deer here and there.  This young buck was just beginning to sprout some velvet.

Then I caught sight of a doe entering a two-track.  She was watching me as closely as I was watching her.  I wondered if there might be a fawn or two around, but I didn't see any.

Then, on my way home from one of my photo-shoots, a big deer crossed the road in front of me, entered a field, and turned to watch me.  It was nearly dark and I felt lucky to have caught this image.  This guy was really sprouting some antlers.  It feels good to be getting my "deer fix" once again.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Most of my sunset photography has taken place on the shores of Lake Michigan.  There's something dramatic and beautiful about watching the sun seemingly sink into the water.  But, more recently, I've encountered some gorgeous sunsets while driving around farm country as I seek out critters to photograph.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I had a nondescript brown bird often visiting my deck and feeders.  I hadn't been able to figure out what kind of bird it was.

Sometimes it would stand on my deck fencing.  It wasn't fearful like some breeds, which fly off at my first move.

It visited my feeders often.  Its coloring was a subdued, streaking brown.  At first I thought it was a large dark sparrow, but the bird app pictures didn't match my bird.

It also reminded me of the female House Finch, but much larger. 

Then I heard the familiar musical trill and saw the flash of orange of a Red-winged Blackbird.  Could it be?

Yes, after consulting my sources, I learned my little brown bird is the female Red-winged Blackbird.  I never would have guessed she was related to the showy, glossy black male.  Brown and nondescript?  Yes, but she's a beauty in her own right.