Thursday, September 28, 2017


In my exploration of rural habitats, I've noticed many beautiful barns and most of them are traditional barn red in color.  There's a wide variation, however, in what barn red actually means, as you'll see illustrated in the following images. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Harvested fields plowed into interesting patterns.  Tinges of color in background trees.  Hay bales rolled and stacked.  Leftover sunflower tracks a south-moving sun.  A slower season beckons.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017


My backyard provides several rich habitats for the bird population in my area.  Let me take you on a tour of the various places where they live.

Directly behind my home is this huge stand of trees.  I see birds continually come and go from this macro-habitat all day long.  When I'm in yard, I hear birds squawking at me from there and it's where they built their nests and protect their fledglings.

At the far right end of my yard is another large stand of trees.  This second macro-environment also attracts many birds, although I only see them coming and going from a distance.

Closer to my home are several micro-environments where birds visit, but don't live.  Two Mountain Ash trees are right outside my next door neighbor's deck.  The two trees are currently lush with fruit although the birds probably won't enjoy them until either winter or spring when the berries have had more time to ferment.  Maybe I'll see a few drunken birds.  Not kidding.

Another micro-habitat is the lilac bush right next to my deck.  Here a cardinal hides as it waits its turn on the nearby feeder.

A second micro-habitat is the lovely Rose of Sharon tree on the other side of my deck.  It's in bloom now and I've really enjoyed its beauty.

Birds also use it as a hiding place before they jump off to the feeders.  Besides my regular bird visitors, I've had lots of bees, humming birds, and even a Baltimore Oriole.  I wasn't quick enough, however, to photograph any of those.

 Truth to told, I love the Rose of Sharon as much as the birds do.  I've always admired this tree and was excited to see that it was already established in my yard when I moved in.

The blossoms are lovely at all stages, from full bloom to just unfolding, as in this image.  This one reminds me of a rose.

And what about this beauty?  This female Rose-breasted Grosbeak appears to be enjoying the Rose of Sharon too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Even though the official end to summer isn't for another couple weeks, Labor Day signifies the unofficial end.  I visited the beaches and parks in both Traverse City and Empire to see how people were enjoying the waning days of summer.

Cruising the bay on a tall ship...

Dog walking and water-watching...

Sailing a huge catamaran...

Biking the many trails....


Playing beach volleyball...

And just plain relaxing.  I ended my afternoon of photography in Empire, hoping to catch the sunset.  But there were no parking spaces and the sun was becoming obscured by a low cloud cover.  I went into a nearby neighborhood to turn around and found this young deer relaxing under a fruit tree.  Wonder what she thought about summer's end.