Thursday, September 28, 2023



I’d been shooting at the Lakeshore all morning and headed home on M-72.  It was nearly lunch time and I turned off on Bugai Road towards my favorite ice cream shop Buchan’s West.  Can you think of anything better for lunch?  Shortly after turning down Hoxie, I came upon a beautiful field of sunflowers.  The sunflowers were tall and fresh, lovely as singles or pairs and just as amazing as a whole vista.  As the ice cream shop logo says:  It was Buchan Good!

Monday, September 25, 2023



On this morning photoshoot, I saw all three crane families that inhabit the block where I typically take pictures.  Most often, I photograph them in the evening so it’s good to know my favorite birds are around in the morning too.

The first two were a non-breeding pair feeding in a small open field between two large corn fields.  One crane always stands watch while the other feeds.  

I was stopped in the middle of the road taking pictures when a Sheriff’s deputy came by and asked me what the birds were.  Whew!  Thought I was in trouble.   

I found the second pair in the wetland on the opposite corner.  They also are non-breeding and are the two cranes I photograph most.  

They were deep in the marsh grass hunting for food, one watching and one pecking.  I was lucky to get so close.  Maybe they recognize me.  😊

The third group I saw was the family with a fast-growing juvenile.   They were the same group I saw earlier this summer when the parents were teaching the youngster to dance.

The family was not happy with my presence and were hoofing it to put distance between us.  The juvenile  was especially nervous and soon overtook its parents.

The juvenile was nearly full adult size but still had mass to develop.  It also has not yet developed the distinctive red cap seen on adult cranes.  Its eyes hadn’t turned yet to the scarlet shade seen in full grown cranes.  I hope it has a safe trip with its parents when it migrates south, probably sometime in November.

Thursday, September 21, 2023


We’ll wake up Saturday morning to the official arrival of fall, following the Autumnal Equinox at 2:50 a.m.  But if you’ve been looking around, signs of the new season have been teasing us for weeks.


Monday, September 18, 2023



Gardening season is coming to a close.  We’ve already had our first frost advisory, though I don’t think it materialized in most places.  I've been taking one last look at some of the beautiful gardens I see from the roadside, tucking the images away as memories for a bleaker season yet to come.

Thursday, September 14, 2023



Many features make Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore special.  One of them is the abundant dune landforms.  On a recent morning I visited the Lakeshore capturing dune scenes from Platte River to Bohemian Road.  

My first stop was Platte River Point where you can see Empire Bluffs and Sleeping Bear Point in the distance.

Low dunes often don’t receive the oohs and aahs that the high ones get but I find their beauty just as spectacular.  These dunes are along the Platte River Point Park.

Next I moved to Empire Beach, one of my favorite Lake Michigan beaches for sunsets due to its accessibility.  To the north is Sleeping Bear Dune, which has had two sandslides this century sending large land masses plunging into Lake Michigan.

The spectacular Empire Bluffs are seen to the south from Empire Beach.  Esch Road is another place to view these bluffs, but the walking there is more difficult.

Glen Haven beach was my next stop.  Its sandy beach with views of the massive Manitou Islands tease one into thinking the islands are closer than they are.

The Dune Climb isn’t far from Glen Haven and I captured this early morning scene before too many climbers were present.

From the Glen Arbor beach, Pyramid Point Bluff is seen to the north.  It too sustained a major sandslide in 1998, sending thousands of tons of sand into the Lake.

My final stop of the day was another of my favorite Lakeshore spots, Bohemian Road Beach and Good Harbor Bay.  Its beach is expansive and you get another view of Pyramid Point to the left.

To the north you can see the Whaleback and Carp River Point.  Beautiful low dunes predominate this popular beach, which is also quite accessible and a great spot for sunset watching.

Monday, September 11, 2023


 Scenic highways are abundant in Michigan.  M-119’s Tunnel of Trees.  US-2’s Top of the Lake Scenic Byway.  US-23’s Sunrise Coast.  But none are as iconic as M-22’s Circle Tour of the Leelanau Peninsula.  A whole culture has sprung up around the M-22 meme.  The roads signs became so popular they were stolen and their replacements are now without the M to make them less inviting.  Restaurants and lodging pirated the name and mailboxes sprung up with the logo.  A new business featuring M-22 clothing, mugs, and other up north paraphernalia was born.  Perhaps the most popular item seen bearing the M-22 logo is the omnipresent bumper sticker.  Yup, that’s the one on my car. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023



Weeks ago, a poet friend sent me a poem by Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelia, who died July 1st from injuries sustained in a Russian missile strike.  Her poem was inspired by her work interviewing women who lived through the Russian occupation.  The poem stuck with me and I’ve taken a few crow pictures to illustrate.  

Poem About a Crow


In a barren springtime field

Stands a woman dressed in black

Crying her sisters’ names

Like a bird in the empty sky

She’ll cry them all out of herself

The one that flew away too soon

The one that had begged to die

The one that couldn’t stop death

The one that has not stopped waiting

The one that has not stopped believing

The one that still grieves in silence

She’ll cry them all into the ground

As though sowing the field with pain

And from pain and the names of women

Her new sisters will grow from the earth

And again will sing joyfully of life


But what about her, the crow?


She will stay in this field forever

Because only this cry of hers

Holds all those swallows in the air


Do you hear how she calls

Each one by her name?