Thursday, May 27, 2021



About ten days ago, I drove the length of Old Mission to photograph the cherry blossoms in full bloom.  It was a gorgeous sight in comparison to the early season blossoms I’d shot a month ago.  There were backdrops of the bay in several images.  Two-tracks beckoned me into the orchards.  I met several owners who welcomed my interest and picture-taking.  My favorite was an orchard near the tip which had tulips blooming alongside the cherries.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, May 20, 2021



I’ve been living in Traverse City for nearly three and a half years and have been searching for a field of trillium like I saw while living in Northport.  I've not yet located such a large patch here, but in the Northport area, there are actually two large hills carpeted with trillium.


 The  first site is officially known as Trillium Hill and is on Johnson Road off M-22.  The sign here is of the property owners’ land, which is private, but if you proceed down the hill you’ll see the actual trillium hill.


 This Trillium Hill is a heavily wooded hillside that is partly-shaded and borders a wetland area.  That specific habitat type is one reason why it’s difficult to transplant trillium to neighborhoods gardens.


 Trillium Hill is actually a series of hills that stretch on for perhaps an eighth of a mile.  It can be pretty dark to photograph in the morning, but in the afternoon, the sun streams through, highlighting the trillium and sending shadows throughout.


 Zooming in a bit, I was able to catch close-ups of the densely-populated trillium.


 The Great White Trillium is the most common variety.  Its solitary, waxy-white flower will turn pink with age.  


 At the base of Trillium Hill is a marshy area and Marsh Marigolds populate that area.  They are as lovely to see as the trillium.


 On the way to the second trillium site, I passed by Peterson Park and couldn’t resist popping in for the beautiful view.  The Lake Michigan water sparkled in the sunshine.


 This second location for carpets of trillium is on Peterson Park Road across from the goat farm.  It’s a little more open than Trillium Hill, which makes for easier photography.


 Since I was here last, someone has cleared a path through the trillium.  While it’s private property, I can imagine what a walk through the trillium would be like.


 Which ever trillium hill you favor, it’s worth the spring drive to see these masses of lovely flowers.  


Thursday, May 13, 2021



When I was out shooting cherry blossoms last weekend, I came across some fox pups living under a porch.  They were a ball of energy and so adorable.  Fox pups are also known as kits or cubs.


 It was hard to count the number because they were so balled up together, but I could tell there were six of them.  One was off to the side eating what appeared to be a bird.


 I figured these pups were at least eight weeks old because their coats had become largely adult in color and their faces were adult in proportion.


 The pups began breaking off individually or in pairs for their own pursuits.  These two had been wrestling and when one reared back, I was struck by the black caps on its paws.


 This little one ran around a tree and looked right at me.  What beautiful eyes it has!


 The fox continued on until it found a hole it was starting to explore, perhaps for food, such as worms or insects.  The pups are still dependent on their mother for milk and other small mammals and birds.


 Speaking of the mother, known as a vixen, I wondered where she was.  She hadn’t put in an appearance yet and I was surprised at the independence she was giving the pups.  I had a clue where she might be when the pups entered what I suspect was their den under the porch.


 Having been a dog owner and lover my whole life, I was amazed at how similar the behavior of these pups were to my dogs’ behaviors, such as how they induce play.  No wonder, both foxes and domestic dogs belong to the same biological family, The Caninae, more commonly known as canines.


 Much of the play of both species is also about establishing a dominance hierarchy, which happens within seven or eight weeks of age.


 It was time for me to move on, but it was sure a joy to watch these young fox pups play and explore the world they were living in.








Thursday, May 6, 2021



With the crazy spring weather we’ve been having, I’ve been concerned about the status of the cherry blossoms.  One day it was near seventy and the next there were freeze warnings out.  Saturday afternoon brought some sunny skies and warm temperatures so Gracie and I headed towards Elk Rapids to see whether there were some early blooming orchards.  While it was no where near peak blossom time, there were plenty of cherry trees in bloom.  I also saw the bee boxes were out and the bees were doing their pollination work.  This weekend should be nice so get out and see for yourself.