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Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter on Lake Superior: Part ONE

Before we left for Florida on Jan. 14th,
I took a trip to Marquette, Michigan,
which is about 30 miles from where I live.

It is where I graduated from high school and college.

I love the town and always will.

I try and get out to the shores of Lake Superior, on the edge of town
every season
to take some photos.

So, today, I have some for you and since I took so many photos,
I will do two blogposts of them for you.

Here is Set ONE:



We had some very cold temperatures
along with wind,
which makes the waves fly up against the breakwater and freeze:











And,
the waves push up big ice chunks
against the shore:






This one was taken at dusk
of the Coast Guard station.
I loved the dark ominous sky:










I have taken photos of this log cabin on the shore before on this blog
during summer and fall.
But the drama comes in the winter, when the ice is on the cliffs beside it:


















My fingers felt about as icy
as this
ice clump along the shore while taking these photos!

But it was so neat, I had to take a photo of it! (Nature doesn't wait for wimps):







More ice along the shore:






There is this spot called "Pictured Rocks" in town.
It is 3 islands right off shore and there is a little park there.
There are signs in the summer warning people NOT to try and swim to them
because there are riptides.
We have had many deaths because college kids don't listen and try to do it anyway and have drowned.

This is one of the islands in winter's grip:
They are gorgeous islands, even in the winter.

Stay tuned, more photos in this Set
coming soon on the blog!

**********************************************************************
Hurry!!
THIS IS THE LAST day to send in your photo
into this month's FREE PHOTO CONTEST!!
This month's theme
is:

OLD BARNS!!


Get your photo in my midnight, TONIGHT
by following
You don't have to be a Blogger to enter. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cold Gorgeous Upper Peninsula Winters!

Upper Peninsula
can be a harsh, cold place
in the winter.

But as us Yoopers say..
the harsh winter is worth staying the rest of the year here for.

And, it is also gorgeous in the winter too.

Today, I want to show you some of what we see:






This is my front yard on a cold and frosty morning:









And later, when the sun came up farther. That is our dock pulled up from the water for storage until the lake melts this spring:









I just love it when the trees have ice and the sun sparkles on them:










Branches laden with snow:









The sun shining on the snowy branches:









Sunrise through the trees!:


















Looking at the Marquette lighthouse
on Lake Superior through the branches:









Ice cliffs on the Lake Superior shoreline:
Stay tuned....
More winter photos of Lake Superior
will be coming to you soon....

After all, the countdown for Spring has begun...and soon...
all this ice
will be melting.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A trip in the BOONIES....in the middle of winter...in the middle of NOWHERE!

The last week of January, I was missing going out into the woods.
Bad.

We had gotten a LOT of snow, so most of the wood roads we drive to find photos
or find wildlife
were snowed over and not plowed.

But, last year, I remembered one road where they plowed year-round
and where we have spotted moose before.

I begged asked
my husband if he would take me there to look for moose.

He laughed.

LAUGHED at me, people!

He said..(and I quote): "Honey, we aren't going to see any moose now....they are bedded down somewhere
deep in the woods. Besides, I don't think they even plowed the road clear this year".

But I continued to whine politely ask until I wore him down.

So we bundled up and hit the road.

We drove about a mile or two down the usual 6 mile road and came to a dead end, huge snowbank ahead.

He said: "See? I told you they didn't plow the whole thing this winter".

But I looked way to the left and saw that they had indeed continued the plowing.

It appeared that logging was going on and someone plowed it enough for our trusty four-wheel drive to get through.

It was Sunday, and the road was VERY narrow....but I cheerfully said:
"But they won't be doing any logging today...we won't meet any trucks!"

My husband, (being a very wise and patient man):
sighed.

Then said: "Ok...but we'll just drive a little ways until we see where they are logging and where we can turn around!".

That was good enough for me.

So,
off we went.

We drove and saw NOTHING for a few miles.

I mean NOTHING.

No critter with a pulse.

Not even a bird.

We came to the first turnaround spot.

He looked over at me.

And I smiled.

And he smiled.

And he said: "You don't want me to turn around yet do you?"

I said no.

He (being the loving husband he is) obliged me. (We haven't been married for almost 39 years for nothing, folks!)

I told him: "I just feel like we are going to see a Moose today. I just can't explain it".

He said nothing.
(Did I not tell you he is a wise, wise, man?).

So we kept driving.

We got about 6 miles in the deep woods. It was getting late.
He found the largest logging spot and said: "Honey, we really have to head back..I don't want to be out here in the dark". 

I agreed.
(Hey, I'm spoiled, but not dumb. I didn't want to be way out in the boonies on a cold, cold night either in the dark).

So, we turned us around....and had gone just about a half mile
and
out of the corner of my eye....

I saw movement in the woods!

STOP! I yelled.

He stopped the truck dead in its spot.

And
THIS is what I saw:

DO YOU SEE
what I saw????




The LARGEST MOOSE
I have seen to date
in the woods!!!:






I had a hard time focusing my zoom on him
due to the many many branches in front of him.

He was WAY back in the woods!
But he was HUGE.

Then....
he saw ME!:









Oh. No.
He was leaving!

Here, Bullwinkle...here Bullwinkle!:









Then he stopped again.

We got out of our truck
so I could try and get a picture through the woods from a different angle.

He was playing with me. 
But, at least he stopped again so I could take more photos:






He was sooooo gorgeous:






You can't tell it from this view, but he had buckets for antlers...
just huge "bowls" on each side!:







He was tired of us.....he wanted to leave again--







He didn't seem to like that I made him bump into a branch and
get snow on his head.
Gheesh! He is a Moose after all! What is the big deal?:

He slowly sauntered off into the deeper woods.

And me?

I teased my husband all the way home....

Guess what we are going to do again soon on a Sunday?

Oh yeah.....
we will be driving in that same spot again.
Only that big boy probably lost his antlers by now...

I will forgive him as long as he shows up
and has forgiven me for making him get snow on his head.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finally!! We have a WINNER for the January's FREE PHOTO Contest: Theme: Bridges

So sorry folks for being so slow in first showing you the entries 
for the January's 2011 FREE PHOTO CONTEST
with the BRIDGES theme....

and now for being so slow in
announcing the WINNER!!!
I just heard from the final judge 
TODAY!!

So,

Drum roll.....PLEASE!!!!!


The January 2011 winner IS:

Congratulations BILSOT!! His blog is called: "Amateur Photographer".
It is in Greek, but don't let that scare you...go to the bottom of his blogposts and there is a little box
to translate his posts into English and other languages!

A gorgeous photo!

Here is what he said about the photo:

The name of that bridge is (in GREEK) "To gephyri tis Plakas" That is " The Bridge at Plaka place ".
It was built in 1863 and the location is at the mountains of Tzoumerka , about 800 m. over the sea level.
The name of the river under it is Araxthos. It is a very nice place all over the seasons of the year.

I'd say it sure is a beautiful place and he captured it so well!!

Honorable mention also goes to:
--Sara from Greyt Days
--Eva from Wresting with Retirement
--Muffy from Muffy's Marks
and
--Connie from Far Side of Fifty Photos

Again, the judges had a VERY hard time deciding on a winning photo. I often get remarks that say that everyone of them is gorgeous and that they changed their minds several times after looking at them over and over....

So every ONE of you should be very proud....the submissions/entries just keep getting better and better and more and more creative.

I am so proud to host this wonderful contest.

Keep submitting every month...we all enjoy what you send in, sooo much!!
Thank you to my wonderful judges!!
****************************************************
Which reminds me....
PLEASE remember to send in FEBRUARY 2011's entry
for the theme of:

OLD BARNS


Send me your photo no later than midnight on Feb. 28,2011
following THESE RULES!!!!
You don't have to be a blogger to enter!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter storm and birds!

As  most of you know....

we have had a COLD winter with lots of snow this year.

Two days before we left for a three week trip to Flroida,
we had a HUGE snowstorm
that dumped TONS of snow on us.

We woke up and heard birds all over in the trees beside our deck...
I think they were telling us to hurry up and get out there and clear the snow off
the feeders.

So, today I decided to share some photos
of the bird pictures I took on that snowy day.

 




Here is an Evening Grosbeak sitting on a snow-laden branch, looking out towards our lake:










I bet he was saying: "I should've booked a trip to Florida TOO!":










THIS
is how much snow we got OVERNIGHT!

See the one tiny bird in the middle of the feeder snowdrifts?:





My hubby went out and swept all the snow off (bless him!)
and shortly after, the birds flew in for the morning goodies:










I LOVE this bird's expression.
He's saying: "Are you KIDDING me? All of this snow?  I am DEFINITELY looking
for a condo in a warmer climate NEXT winter!":










I am SURE he is dreaming of Florida or Arizona.....










In the meantime, a conference was being held at the feeder
regarding the local gossip:










And the doves just watched peacefully:












Remind me (one more time again) will you, of why we stay here for most of the winter?:











However the weather did not make HER
any less beautiful:









She was gorgeous:









Males and females at the feeder:









Even a Starling showed up:











And a rather "fluffy" woodpecker!:











Two starlings in the snowy trees:










It is amazing they could even FIND the suet feeder!:









It was SO nice to see those shots of bright yellow
amongst the white snow!
They have stayed with us all winter!:


I was really worried that when we left for our 3 week trip...
that they wouldn't come back.
Or that they would starve.

But my husband reminded me that we have neighbors around the lake that feed them too.

I bet they went through a TON of seed when we were gone,
because our buffet was closed....

To my relief, the morning we woke up after returning from our trip,
there they all were.....gobbling down the seed we put out as soon as we got back.

They seemed to have forgiven us.

Shhhhh...don't tell them I took pictures of some southern birds.

That will be our little secret.

****************************************************************************
Don't forget to enter the FEBRUARY 2011
FREE PHOTO CONTEST!!

This month's theme is:

OLD BARNS


Send me your photo by midnight, Feb. 28th, 2011
following

You don't  have to be a blogger to enter!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bond Falls: The Finale!

This the last of my Bond Falls in the Winter series of photographs.

Oh, I have MORE...
but you have  been patient enough!!

For those of you that haven't suffered through the entire series
and are masochistic enough to want to go back and see the other parts of them...
just keep scolling down, down, down through
my blogposts and if you get to the bottom of the page,
hit "OLDER" and you may get even MORE!



Here is another black and white of
that fabulous frozen foam that was gathered at one part of the river!
It looked like meringue!:






If you study the ice formations, they really are very individual
and quite spectacular:






























This was part of what we needed to get PAST
to take some of my pictures.
YIKES!
What medication was I
ON
that day, anyway???:
You can see why I couldn't go any further past this point...
there were only ICE CLIFFS without even any ICE STAIRS to help me!!
I'm NUTS, but I'm not suicidal!!







Some hikers were going to try and cross the river on this snow and ice covered logs.
Thank goodness they changed their minds~!:







Still sighing over the views we saw!:







I would have LOVED to have been able to hike over to the little viewing deck
seen at the top of this photo...
but that would've involved climbing down and back up ice cliffs to do it:







What the U.P. of Michigan must look like to the satellites in the winter
(like frozen Antartica continents!):






Frozen river hat!:














Thank you SO much for going on this journey with me.

I loved being able to share these photos with you all. 

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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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About Me

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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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