Thursday, June 25, 2020
I was looking for a different habitat to photograph, so two Elk Rapids friends took me to a 314-acre nature preserve called The Seven Bridges. Located in Kalkaska County, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy describes the area as “a trail and boardwalk [that] wander through cedar trees to the bridges spanning the Rapid River and many tributaries that braid together” there. While only four bridges remain, the pristine property is now owned by the State of Michigan and managed by the GTRLC. Join me on my walk as I wander the property and photograph the trail, rustic bridges, trees, and small waterfalls that populate the river. The close-by trees and vegetation make you feel like you're walking through a private, enchanted fairyland. Oh, and yes, do visit, but bring your bug spray. I also can’t wait to visit this area in the winter on snowshoes.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
I hadn’t started out looking for scenery. I’d returned to the farmland country I so enjoy, and hoped to photograph some crane families, or a heron, or, perhaps even a fawn and its mother. But as I drove as a seeker, I was struck by the beauty of the land I was driving through. I know I’ve said before this farm country is beautiful, but I was struck more deeply by it this time. Perhaps, it was that I’ve become more attuned to the beauty of our outdoors, or more sentimental, or more appreciative, having been stuck indoors for so long.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
I was near the Boardman River at the South YMCA, when I spotted a pair of Mute Swans floating along in the current.
The riverside was choked with reeds so it was such a challenge to get the swans in focus that I almost missed the real show…three cygnets, or young swans.
The three cygnets were all fuzzy and adorable. Two were gray and one was white, but eventually they would become all-white, like their parents.
It was peaceful watching the swan family float down the river. The parents were busy dunking and foraging for aquatic plants underwater. The cygnets didn’t yet attempt that, instead, floating close beside their parents.
Now, the South Y area has become quite the habitat for birds and waterfowl so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I heard the familiar rising and falling vocalization of a Pileated Woodpecker. But I was. I guess I was concerned that it would swoop down and grab one of those baby swans.
I should’ve known from the number of holes Pileated Woodpeckers had put in my trees in Northport, that they feed on ants and insects that they get from dead trees vs. baby swans. The Pileated looked over at me clicking away with my camera and then flew off.
I took one last look at the three fuzzy cygnets, safe with their parent, and took off too.
And then, when driving the Leelanau Peninsula last weekend, I saw several geese families on the shores of Omena Beach.
Like the cygnets, the goslings were fuzzy and adorable. There were several geese families present, so I got to see chicks of all sizes.
The young ones were so busy at foraging in the shoreline grasses that I could hardly see their heads. Regardless, it's one of the joys of springtime…seeing all these young waterfowl.
Thursday, June 4, 2020
I decided to take a trip north, to the Leelanau Peninsula and Northport, my beloved old stomping grounds. I was hoping to catch the last of the cherry blossoms and maybe even a few trillium. I wasn’t disappointed in what I saw. Lilacs were abundant, as were other types of flowering trees. And, of course, there were those beautiful Leelanau views of Lake Michigan.