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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blue Heron Sighting!

We took a ride into the woods
looking for wildlife to take photos of,
and we were lucky!

We were by a little lake
and
spied a Blue Heron playing and eating in the reeds.

However the sun was at a bad angle
for photography
where he was standing.

But, as all of you who shoot wildlife photography know,
you can't pose them
the way you want them to be.

You go with the flow...
and capture what you can!

So, here are my photos of this beautiful creature for you to enjoy today:








He was saying:
"Whoa...! Is that a FEMALE over there across the lake?
Well, lookey here, Sweetheart...I am your type and have plenty of time today for you!":






"Maybe I'll just look coy over here, like I'm fishing or something. Yeah, that's right..that will work...
I'll look busy and nonchalent. Does she see me yet? How about now?":







"I'll pretend like I am leaving. That will get her sorry that she didn't come
meet me sooner and she'll scramble right over here!":








"I better groom up some and shake off some of this pond water! Chicks love that!":







"What?"
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"







"Wait? It worked! Is that her, flying across the lake to see me?"
(Those males of every species are all alike, aren't they?)



No female comes.




"I'm too good for her anyway. Maybe it is better just to look away and act casual!?":








"But, wait!  Maybe I'll just take one more glance her way.
Yeah. That's it...
She is NEVER going to resist this come-hither look!".....
"Man, I need heron glasses...that wasn't a female!! That's a log over there!!...

"Shucks!"

"And to make it worse: Some crazy lady got my humiliation on camera.

Now, I'm never going to get any dates."


**********************************************************************


Don't forget!!
The September 2010
FREE PHOTO CONTEST
deadline
is
TODAY!!!!

Please get your
WATERFALL
or FOUNTAIN
photo into me no later than midnight
tonight!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Princess in the Woods?

Once upon a time,
a lovely maiden and her handsome husband knight
took their humble carriage into the woods
looking for magical creatures and wonderous things.

They stopped at a lovely spot
to have a picnic amongst the enchanted forest trees.

Something sparkly caught the maiden's eye...

"No! She thought..this cannot be so!"
"I cannot really be seeing what I THINK I am seeing!"

So, she called the Knight over to see if she might be mistaken.

The Knight warned the maiden: "Do not touch them! They might be cursed!
It is surely a TRICK!".

The Maiden heeded the Knight's warning and did the only wise thing
the Maiden could have done.

She took a picture of them:
Oh, yes....Princess slippers!
Right in the MIDDLE of the enchanted forest....just sitting there!!!







Then, the Maiden decided that perhaps she should take some MORE pictures of them.
Maybe she could get some clues as to where the Princess who owned them were...
(The Maiden was a little concerned about how dirty the INSIDE of the magic Princess shoes were and wondered why the Princess shoes were missing some sparkle, but tried NOT to think about why).




But then, the Maiden noticed even something MORE strange.

It appeared that the missing Princess who lost these shoes
in the middle of the enchanted forest,
didn't know if she was COMING or GOING!:
The Maiden asked the Knight: "What do you make of this Sire?"

"Was the Princess confused as to her direction in life?"

"Was Princess life too stressful for her so she twirled in opposite directions and got all twisted up?"

"Where do you think the Princess who lost these shoes is?"

and even WORSE....
the Maiden began to really worry:
"What if the Princess has had an evil spell put on her and she has been changed into something or someone ELSE???"

The Maiden looked around the enchanted forest for clues.

And she spied the most beautiful butterfly on a nearby branch:
Could THIS be the Princess of the Missing Shoes?

But the butterfly giggled just like a butterfly giggles,
and softly flittered away.





Or, "Oh Mon Deux!" (said the Maiden who only had two years of high school French, therefore could not think anything else in French).."could the Princess of the Missing Shoes
have been turned into THIS (by an evil WITCH?)":
"Oh Gosh, I hope not!"said the Maiden. "Because WHO would want to live out the rest of a Princess life as a FUNGI?"




The Maiden saw a puddle on the side of the road then.

And she was AMAZED
to see little fish swimming in the PUDDLE!

Surely one of them was the Princess of the Missing Shoes...
because HOW ON EARTH did these fish end up in a puddle???:
So the Maiden asked the fish, one by one...
"Are you a Princess of the Missing Shoes?"
but
none of them answered her.

(Which obviously means either the fish were stuck up
or they didn't understand English.)

Either way, it didn't solve the mystery.




Just then, the Maiden heard some tapping in the Enchanted Forest.

"Perhaps that is the Princess of the Missing Shoes trying to communicate with me!", she exitedly exclaimed.

She looked everywhere to find the source of the sound.

Finally, the Mainden saw what creature was tapping:
A pileated woodpecker!!!
Or WAS it?

Was THIS the Princess of the Missing Shoes???

I mean, look at that gorgeous red crown...it was certainly FIT for a Princess!!

But the bird quit tapping and flew away.

Surely if the bird WAS the Princess of the Missing Shoes, she would have stayed and kept trying to tap out a message to get rescued by the Knight or the Maiden.

Wouldn't you think?

And, for some reason, the Knight wasn't even concerned about the Maiden and her frantic search for the Princess of the Missing Shoes....

In fact, instead, ...the Knight kept repeating to the Maiden:
"Don't TOUCH those shoes...who knows where they've BEEN??"
followed by:
"And why on earth are you taking photos of them?"

Sigh.

Non-blogging Knights just don't get it sometimes.

But it was getting dark by this time in the enchanged forest.

Besides, the Maiden had to get home (to do maidenly things)
and
the Knight had to get home (to do whatever Knights do).

It was time to get back in the carriage and do just that.

The Maiden was very sad that she could not find
the Princess of the Missing Shoes.

The Knight continued to not give a shit.

So, for the MAIDEN's SAKE----(ignore the Knight!)
whatever you do....

if you see any critters you think might be
the cursed Princess of the Missing Shoes in the woods....

please have her get in touch with the Maiden immediately
(through my blog of course)...
so the Maiden can tell the Princess of the Missing Shoes
exactly where they are.

This is most important, because after a hard winter in the U.P. of Michigan,
her sparkly slippers
are going to be
in pretty bad shape....
OR
a deer might be sporting them for attention.

And just try and explain THAT to a U.P. Hunter on November 15th!!

The END.

*******************************************************
Do you realize that you only have
TWO MORE DAYS
to enter the September
FREE PHOTO CONTEST????

September's theme is:
FOUNTAINS
or
WATERFALLS...

so get your picture into me
no later than midnight
on Sept. 30th.
Just don't sit there on YOUR royal you-know-what...
get busy!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My FAVORITE kind of Surprise in the Woods!!

So,
we headed out to the woods
again...
to see if we could find wildlife of any kind
to photograph.

It was a slow day..
a few birds...
nothing else.

Then we spotted
THESE!:
BIG...FRESH...TRACKS!!!

Oh boy!







I knew what they were the minute I saw them.


But did we see the creature?
Nope!

So we rode on, out to a really pretty little lake.

We had a little snack and then realized it was later than we thought
and figured we'd better head back home.

So we go down the winding roads, talking about how cloudy it was getting, and almost too dark for pictures...
and
what should be RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD????

What? you ask?


WHAT??!!!


THIS!:
Yes!
A big, BULL MOOSE!!!

I was so excited!!

I took the first picture through the window because I was so scared he was going to run away if I got out of the car.






Which he DID!!:
(Don't worry, I wasn't this close on his tail..I used my zoom! I said I was EXCITED,
but I'm not NUTS!)




But, then?

He did the most amazing thing!

It was almost like he wasn't sure he saw what he saw...
so he stopped
to take a second look!:






And then he put his head down to head away.
Back to Moose business.
(I wonder what Moose Business really IS?)
Hanging around the swamps, munching on tree tops,
laughing at all the puny deer?:





They always look
SO SERIOUS!!

I mean,
absolutely
no sense of humor,
at all!:
I mean..I was smiling!
A. LOT.

Because I was seeing an elusive MOOSE!!!




He gave one LAST glance towards his safe home in the woods:
And that was the last we saw of him...

He did run off into the woods then...

We drove up to where he ran into the side of the road,
and there was no sign of him...
not even a broken branch!!!
But, me?

I  have been smiling for a week!!!!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

This and That from the Woods....

I don't know about YOU,
but this week has been CRAZY.

I haven't been NEAR my computer
and I am woefully behind in reading all my friend's blogs!

But, it is autumn here, so besides meetings, and other things in life
going on,
I have been out in the gorgeous autumn leaves taking many, many pictures
of our season
for future blogposts.

What happens here, is that the leaves are in full color for a very short period of time.

If we get a lot of rain or wind, they can literally all fall off within a few days.

So I vowed this year that I would get outside
on every nice sunny day and get as many photos as possible
before we lose all that beautiful color.

Thus, I have been MIA from reading others' blogs
and from being timely
in my own posts.

Normally, now...I post on every other day by 7am..
But, today I was late.

Today, I have pictures for you of when we out in the woods about two weeks ago...
My hubby took me to a tiny, hidden waterfalls in the woods
and we drove about and found some other beauty
in the woods too.


 



This was before the leaves started changing colors
in our woods...
and we had gone out just after a light rain:








Believe it or not, this leaf was just a mile or two down the road
from where I took the last picture:

(Which told me that autumn was, indeed on it's way...and that was two weeks ago!)





The cold nights and the warm water on the lake caused morning fog.
I couldn't resist running down and snapping some photos of it.
The water is quickly getting very cold, too....





And the tiny, hidden waterfalls
that my husband told me he had to show me?

Worth every step over the rotten logs and every swat of swinging tree limbs
to climb down to!

It was heavenly!:









We found the cutest toadstool mushroom:









And, there are STILL dragonflies out and about:







And deer, still with their fawn spots:





I crawled over to the top of that little waterfalls,
just so I could take a shot
of the water going over the top:



I hope you are enjoying the beginning of autumn
where you are,
and are outside as much as you can be....
because before you know it, I will be posting SNOW photos!!!

*****************************
Speaking of
WATERFALLS....
Did you send me
your photo of a WATERFALL
or FOUNTAIN
yet for September's FREE PHOTO CONTEST????

Just follow THESE RULES.

Remember, the deadline is just around the corner!!

You have to get it to me by midnight on Sept. 30th...
so hurry!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Random Thoughts about Random Subjects: Today? Chinese Calligraphy

I have some wonderful fellow Blogger friends who occasionally write blogposts of "random thoughts" (like Kearsie from "Sounds Like Tomatoes", Lynn from "For Love or Funny" ,Brittany from "Barefoot Foodie" , Aria from "Aria'z Ink" , Kim from "A Parent's Life to Behold, full of Insanity and Bliss" and Crystal from "Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper" and they excel in their efforts.

I am often found chortling, guffawing and snorting upon reading them and thinking how crazy funny they are, and always amused on how humorous they think.

Having said this, I also, upon reading their blogposts, think to myself that I should give this free thought-flowing writing a go on my blog.  But then I stop.  Because, do I really want everybody out there to know how CRAZY I am?

To know how I really might think, mind jumping from one crazy thought to another, along with anecdotals and perhaps numbered lists of thoughts? 

Well, as of today, HELL, YEAH!

So, be prepared...because from now on you might see some blogposts entitled: "Random Thoughts about Random Subjects".

And, so that brings us to today's Random Thoughts, which won't be totally random this time in character, but rather a true story this time:

1. When I turned 50, I was on a trip away from home for two weeks straight for work training.

2. It sucked.

3. And of course, when one is turning fifty, you start bemoaning aging and getting old and all those self-defeating thoughts. Like, how long will I live, really? And will I be happy the whole dang time or will I wish I got hit by a Mac truck?  How long do I WANT to live? 80?  100?  I decided to choose 102.  It's a nice round number. And, usually, when I set out to do something, I make it happen. So.
There. It's settled. 102 it is.

 4. So, in a moment of insanity, I came up with a brilliant plan. (Because I am awesome like that in an aging crisis).

5. My plan? Go get my first tattoo to mark this momentous occasion. (Don't judge! I hear you out there clicking your tongue in disapproval). (I also hear those of you out there cheering, saying: Good for you, old girl!....heavy on the OLD).

6. Now, you had to be there.  This was in conservative Ames, Iowa...where men are men and the sheep are nervous.  I was hanging out with the medical work crew that were training me: who wouldn't swear if they had a mouthful of sh*t.  Their idea of a good time was to go for a ride to show me where all the local churches were, if you get my drift.

7. So I set out on my own, to find a TATTOO shop in Iowa. Yeah. I know.  I may have been fifty, but that does not equate being brilliant about local cultures.

8. Laugh if you will, but believe it or not, they had one! I pictured going in and maybe they'd have some samples of the type of tattoos one would want to get.  And, being in Iowa, I figured maybe things like crosses, bible verses and an occasional rose would be there to choose from.....

9. None of which I wanted tattooed to symbolize my reaching half a freaking century.

10. Before going in, I parked my car and watched who was going in and out of the shop.

11. Besides calculating how long it had been since my last tetanus shot.

12. A few people came in and out...some "hard core" and some fairly normal folks were seen.

13. I remembered that I should have had some wine first.

14. I walked in the shop.  Two long haired guys about 25 glanced over and then at each other.

15. One of them raised their right eyebrow. (I saw you do it, Dude!)

16. I nervously asked if I could see one of their (100 pound) photo albums of past tattoos given, to which they half-chuckled "sure".

17. I looked at them all, whilst glancing around their shop to assure they had a sterilizer and that it looked clean and searched for a license on the wall from the state of Iowa (check, check and check).

18. I decided what I wanted. Out of the blue.  No pictures of it existed in their book.

19. I have no idea what possessed me to decide on what I wanted. It just "came" to me. (So NOW the universe decided to give me some Divine Intervention! You know, I could have used it soooo  many other times during my long fifty years on the planet. But NO. This is the time it came.  Who was I to argue with the timing of Divine Intervention?)

20. During the search through the tattoo books,  I saw a TON of Chinese Calligraphy to choose from....which was very tempting...The calligraphy was fluid and pretty with flowing caps and lines to lure one into symbolizing one's philosophy of life.  I mean, how else to signify one making it to half a century than to slap a "forever" philosophy on one's arm, boob or thigh?

21. There were symbols of everything! "Joy", "Hope", "Charity towards Mankind", "Love", etc.  Even "Longevity" which would have been perfect upon this insane occasion of mine.

22. But, then I got to thinking.

23. How would this pastey-white, fifty yr. old U.P. woman ever know if the symbols REALLY stand for what they said they stood for?

24. I mean....I might pick the "longevity" symbol and proudly wear it on my body somewhere.....and a whole culture might be laughing their asses off....because what it really says is: "This pastey white, fifty year old U.P. woman thinks this stands for Longevity..what a dumb ass".

25. Or, it might really say: "All white people are stupid".

26. Or, it might say: "Who has the last word on Communism NOW?"

27. Or, it might say: "This stupid person actually bought the idea that this symbol means something! Gheesh what a flaming idiot...try to sell her something, she'll buy it. I guarantee it".

28. Really, people.  Who really knows what ANY of those symbols really mean?? Who is going to tell us the TRUTH? 

29. (Picture Jack Nicholson:) "you want the TRUTH? you want the TRUTH? You can't HANDLE the truth!"

30. Hey, I didn't make it to fifty by being that dumb.  So, I bypassed the Chinese Calligraphy symbols.

31. Although I did consider looking for one out there somewhere that symbolized: "Not gullible".

32. So, please take heed of my fifty-plus wisdom and bypass the Chinese Calligraphy symbols when you get your tattoo....you never know what it really means.

33. P.S. I really did get a tattoo there.

34. I didn't get any hepatitis or diseases or so much as a skin rash. They used sterile conditions and did not make fun of me when I got it.

35. At least to my face.

36. I put a small wreath of flowers shaped like a heart on my inner right ankle.

37. Can we say (all together now:) "ouch!" because needles boring on your ankle bone hurts, people!

38. My husband loved it.

39. I haven't regretted it yet. It is tastefully done and beautiful. 

40. I made an executive decision that to celebrate living so long, I will continue to get ONE small tattoo every decade beyond 50 that I am blessed with on this earth.

41. Which means 60 is coming yet....and I will have to go through the mental torture of deciding what to get next time. Not to mention the physical torture of a thousand tiny needle pricks again.

42. Which means when I turn 100, I will have a total of 5 of them somewhere on my wrinkling, sagging body. At least I will be entertaining to the younger folks at the morgue when they haul in my wrinkling, sagging, dead ass.

43. Which also means (because I watch CSI, people!) that if my body should ever become dismembered, relatives will be able to identify me by whatever body part they find. (No need to thank me, relatives...I am just thoughtful like that!)

44. Which means when I turn 100, I might just get that Chinese Calligraphy tattoo that stands for "longevity."


45. That is, if I can find some sweet Chinese person who I trust with my life to tell me the truth and guarantee to me that it really says: "Longevity"....
                                                                           
46. And who will also tell me what the other ones REALLY say............(because at 100, I am going to need some humor!)  Just talk realllly loud, Okay?

********************************************************************
Don't forget to enter your photo into the SEPTEMBER
FREE PHOTO CONTEST!!

This month's theme is:

WATERFALLS or FOUNTAIN!!!

and get your photo into me 
no later than midnight on Sept. 30th!!
That's just a little over a week, people!
Get busy!  xxoo

P.S. It's okay if you already posted your photo on your blog, I removed that old rule that you couldn't have posted it before!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Turtles and Tufts!

You never know WHAT you will find
when you go on
a photo shoot
out in the woods.

One day, we were surprised to
still see turtles.

We ordinarily see quite a few
in the springtime,
but when autumn rolls around,
we don't usually see many.

We rolled up to a beaver pond in our truck
and saw a turtle way out in the pond
on the very edge of a log.

I hopped out of the truck, expecting the turtle
to jump in the water right away, and not give me the opportunity for a shot at it.

Imagine my surprise, when not only did he STAY on the log,
but began to do some funny antics for me:
(Tell me that he is not "balancing" on that log and sticking his leg out?)
I began to laugh, at which point, he jumped in the water.
Embarrassed no doubt. haa







We found another turtle on a log sunning himself further down the road
in another pond.
Must have been a suntanning kind of day!:








Here is a plant beside the pond that had metamorphized into a seed tuft. I loved it!:









Three turtles on a log! (Gee that sounds like the name for a child's book, doesn't it?):

We saw a few more, but they immediately jumped into the water, the minute I got out of the truck.
(They must have heard from the first turtle and didn't want to embarrass themselves either!)

This time of year, one is usually disappointed
about the lack of wildflowers
(or hybrid flowers for that matter) to photograph.

Up this far north, things are dying fast due to frost and the cold night temperatures.

However, if you take the time to look close, you find seed pods that are very interesting..
or in my case,
little TUFTS in plants that you wonder what the heck they are!



So, upon gazing on these, if anyone out there knows what kind of plant or bush
this was before it went to "tufts", please share your knowledge with us in the comment section.

But, I was amazed at the artistry in these seed tufts...I found them full of texture
and wonderful to photograph due to the movement in them!!


A bush of little dustmops!!








I just loved their looks-like-I-just-woke-up-with-tousled-hair look!:








I wanted to run my fingers through their hair:








And, I loved the little seed pod centers inside all that "hair":






And...
you know ME.
I had to play with the image in black and white too.
Loved how it looks that way!
Very dramatic!:







The shaggy bush, from afar,
reminded me of something you'd see in a
Japenese garden:
(and the U.P. is pretty FAR AWAY from Japan, people!!)








Maybe next time you go into the woods
and are disappointed not to find beautiful flowers
or exotic animals....

look closer.

Because nature has beauty
everywhere, at all times.....

You just have to
let it show you....

look closer...............................................................

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mergansers!

If you are wondering
if I am smitten with birds
on my blog lately,
you
are
CORRECT!!

Autumn here is a time for migration to begin
all over again,
this time with the birds heading south
through
the U.P. of Michigan.

One of my favorite ducks to capture with my lens
is a Merganser.

There are two types of Mergansers,
a
and a
(Please click on their names above which will link you to a wonderful
website called All About Birds and will tell you about these two species!)

We saw a group of
Common Mergansers
on the lake,
and I was lucky enough
to get a few
far off shots
of them.

Enjoy!:



Here is one preening itself:
(You're so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you, about you...)



TEN!!!
That is the biggest group of Mergansers I have been able to see in one bunch for a photo!
(Color me HAPPY!):





A lovely couple:






Maybe they are the most conceited birds, EVER!
They all seem concerned about their appearance for
the camera!:






Who could blame them?
They ARE rather handsome!

One of the things I love the MOST about them
is that they have this feathery, bushy, rusty "mane" behind their heads...it really shows up
in the first bird on the right in this photo:
(I just want to take out my pick or comb and run it through it there...I know. I KNOW...
I am STRANGE. Try to forget I even said that.)





Flapping for attention:





Again with the preening!!:
(no, don't tell me it's bugs. I refuse to listen!)




Not on THESE beauties!!:
(That last one was just camera shy...he wasn't eating bugs on his back...REALLY!!)
Okay.
Okay.................
Maybe I just might want to WASH that comb
after combing those back-of-the-head feathers....

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REMINDER: All photographs on this blog are COPYRIGHTED.

REMINDER: All photographs on this blog are COPYRIGHTED.
Please do not copy any of my photographs (or narratives) without my permission! All pictures will be tracked for copyright violations.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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