Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hawk Eye

A friend was picking me up for dinner.  She said to get my camera because there was a hawk atop a nearby dead tree.  When I got back in the car, she pointed to a large nest high in a tree next to my driveway.  We wondered, might that be the hawk's nest?

By the time we got to the dead tree, and I had the chance to get my long lens in focus, the hawk had flown off.  So on we went to dinner.  Returning home to the neighborhood, we were both attuned to the surroundings, hoping to spot the hawk again.

We were barely into the neighborhood, and there it was, perched solidly to an electrical wire!
I got out of the car to shoot more easily.

It followed me with it's eyes.  I got closer and closer and it gave no signal of fear or readiness to fly off.

What eyes it has!  And with a slight downward turn of its head, how sinister it appears!

The hawk can look majestic too, as in this image.  But look at those talons.  I imagine small critters wouldn't have much of a chance in their grip.

By this time, I was nearly underneath the hawk and was hoping it would take off so I could catch it in flight.  Well, it did and this is all I got...a blur of wings.  Need more practice with birds in flight.

It settled onto a tree branch, and I wondered what kind of hawk it was.  Looking in my bird books and bird apps when I got home, its coloring and location fit the Broad-winged Hawk.  Is there anyone out there who can confirm that or come up with a more definitive identification?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Surf's Up...Leelanau Style

My first check of the weather that morning showed rip tide warnings in effect all day.  That meant there would probably be big waves on Lake Michigan.  And where there are big waves, there are surfers...even on Big Blue.

So mid-afternoon, I headed over to Leland to see if my hunches were true.  Coming out of the parking lot at Van's Beach, I could see waves crashing along the breakwater.

The waves continually churned the sand up from the Lake's bottom.

And I was not surprised to see surfers taking advantage of the waves that afternoon.  Often the biggest waves on Lake Michigan come with the gales of November.  The Lake has cooled considerably from the summer heat by then, making surfing more dangerous.

I hadn't seen this many surfers in the Lake before.  There were at least ten, and they were all waiting and watching for the right wave to come along that would carry them into shore.

Right away, a young woman caught my eye.  She seemed in clear command of her board.

But looking to her right, she became aware of a big wave unfolding behind her.  I wondered if she would be able to outrun it.

Closer and closer the wave came, ready to engulf her with its power.  She opened her mouth and let out a silent scream.

She was soon swallowed by the surf.

Exhilarated from her ride, she was all smiles as she walked past me.  It didn't take long before she was back in the water, paddling out, ready to catch another ride.

I noticed some surfers were especially adept at balancing on their boards with aplomb...

making for a smooth ride all the way to shore.

For others, who were perhaps new to the sport and were still developing their skills, the power of the waves was palpable on their faces.

 At times the danger was almost too difficult to face.

But on this day, the joy of getting up on the board for the first time was clear on this young man's face.

 Even if it ended in wipe-out!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Foggy Morning

This week I drove to Traverse City several times for Film Festival showings.

On one of the mornings, the bay was placid and completely cloaked in fog.

While the veil of haze nearly obscured the far side of the bay, some people went about their business as usual.

Sailboats remained moored, waiting silently for clear skies and brisk winds.

Like the fisherman, the ducks appeared to ignore their monochromatic surroundings and paddled along as usual.