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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bird with Mohawk

It was really windy here, and I saw this little bird who didn't mind risking having a "bad hair day" to get some seed from our deck.
He decided to just sit IN the dish to eat:

And, to give us a back view of his Mohawk:

He looked like a punk rocker:

And how cool is this? He turned to show us the back view, and he definitely had A LAYERED Mohawk!!:

I am getting my hair done today...I am thinking of bringing these photos to see if they can copy it. What do you think? Paris Hilton may be a trendsetter, but not as much as this little guy!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just Ducky!!

As promised, here are the pictures of the Mallards that were swimming around the Cedar River at Michigan State University:

These two males were cruising for "chicks" on campus, I am sure!
He is saying: "Be subtle, Mack ...but slowly check out the babe downstream!":

But, the other males overheard him. They swam up to check out the action, too:

But they swam faster to her and got there first. Mack pretended he was just picking lint off his suit so that she didn't catch on that he was really flirting with her. During this shot, I heard Mack mumble to himself: "I think I am looking subtle. Ummm. I wonder if she is free Friday night to go for a swim?":

Mack gave the other guys the "guy signal" to leave the two of them alone so he could ask her out:

But, his buddy stayed just close enough to see how Mack did with his proposal. He figured he would waddle right in and try if Mack was unsuccessful in his flirting attempts:

Dang it anyway, both Mack and his buddy were ignored. They swam away, briefly depressed, but still on the look out for another chick:

But, Mack wanted a drink from being shot down first. He ordered a double:

And, he was off to find another chick. "There are plenty of chicks in the river!", I heard him quacking as he headed downstream:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring at MSU

Hi everyone!
I didn't post for a few days because I was downstate in Lansing Michigan for my neice's bridal shower since last Friday.

While there, we went to Michigan State University's campus to visit their botanical garden and take some photos.

When we got there, the Red Cedar River was high with a fast current. The campus was beautiful with the leaves just coming out.

As we approached the river, something caught my eye. There were two people in the river having fun and alot of people were watching. When I approached, at first we saw this kayaker:

He really had to fight the rapids and looked like he was having a blast. But then I looked again a few seconds later and I thought, now this CANNOT be what I think it is.....

But, I looked closer and sure enough...there he was! A guy was SURFING this river!:

Too funny.
They both entertained the spring crowd for quite a while and I saw other people snapping pictures too. It was a gorgeous spring day (in the 80's!!).
Later this week, I will post photos of the flowers and mallard ducks I saw while walking the campus too.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Useless Facts and Trivia: Volume 4

Here is the next installment of Useless Facts and trivia( from an article called "Absolutely Useless Trivia",) along with some of MY THOUGHTS: (my thoughts are in italics):

1. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with the words orange, purple, or silver, or month. (I don't know about you, but I am SURE I used ones that rhymed the last time I had a teensy bit too much wine (and sounded fine)).

2. The numbers '172' can be found on the back of the U.S. $5 dollar bill in the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. (New or old? Not sure. Probably the old one.)(What does this mean? It must be the Aliens????. Ok, now I am scared!)

3. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.(Poor elephant! He was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time!)

4. There are four cars and eleven lightposts on the back of a $10 dollar bill.(Again, what does this mean? Is it significant? Is it connected with the 172 that is on the back of the $5 dollar bill? Aliens again?)

5. Scissors as we know them today (well, pretty much) were invented in Rome in about 100 AD (or CE, if you want to be politically correct).(What was so important then that made them want to CUT it? pasta? toga's?)

6. If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and look like it is stinging itself to death. It spasms a lot. (Now you want to go out and get a scorpion and try it. DON'T you? Don't you!!????)

7. Most scorpions will glow under black (ultraviolet) light. (All right. If you are going to pour liquor on it anyway, you might as well put it under the black light! What is this? The 60's??? Far OUT, man! I just hope the poor scorpion is not wearing a white bra under the light, because that is darn right embarassing when it glows!)

8. Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to SLOW a film down so you could see his moves. That's the opposite of the norm. (Maybe he is an Alien with super fast powers. Maybe we need to ask him about the $5 and $10 dollar bills?)

9. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar. (Only someone who stole money out of someone's piggy bank would know this. Or someone with a ponzi scheme).

10. The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springstein's 'Born in the USA.'(Rock on!...that is most fitting, don't you think?) (Great, now I will have that song in my head ALL day long....)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Dose of Local News Reports!...

I have a pile of old local police news reports which I have kept because I thought they were so silly to have been reported to the police.

Every once in a while, I do a blog post about them, along with MY THOUGHTS (in bold italics):

Here was one that occurred on 9/4/08:

If you cannot read the small print of the one I have circled, it reads:"9:31p.m.: two eight year olds not getting along, 100 block of Dobson".

Who knew you could call the police? Gheesh! Had I known THIS when my kids were little, I may have utilized it. No need for "time outs"...just call the police and have them hauled away. No more need for valium!

Here is another from 10/7/08:

It reads: "5:40pm: caller requesting wife be removed from his residence, 300 block of W. Park."

So, NOW I get it. If your kids fight, call the cops. If you don't want your spouse anymore, don't worry about the cost and hassle of getting a lawyer and filing for divorce. Just call the police! Who knew???

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snowstorm Bird Visitors...

Here are some of the many birds we saw during our big spring snowstorm we had on Tuesday:
(some of the pictures have snowflakes in the way, so if you see white blotches, it was the snow still falling down as I took the photos!):

A duck was bravely paddling around the river that feeds into the lake:

This little European Starling cutie came to our suet hanger, and he was very hungry!:

Next: I need help from all of you birders out there to solve a mystery. We have had this strange bird show up every spring for the last 4 years (except last year). He has a white head but the rest of his body looks kind of like a Grackle. We think maybe he is an anomoly and maybe part albino? Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? Here are several pictures of him:

Next, we had several cowbirds, Grackles and redwinged blackbirds at our feeders during the storm too:

And, of course: we had a million Pine Siskins eating us out of house and home during the storm. But we felt so sorry for them. They had no where but feeders to eat from:

Look at this one's snowy hat:

They sat all day on the roof, on the patio table, on the rails, waiting in the buffet line:

So, we fed them all. After all, its the least we could do to pay them back for allowing us to take their photos!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Second Set of Snowstorm Photos....

Since you all were so sweet and complimentary about the snowstorm photos I posted yesterday, I decided to post snowstorm photos two more times this week. Tomorrow I will post photos of all of the many, many birds that came to eat out of our feeders during the storm.

But today, here are the rest of the snowy pictures I took during the storm.

I love going down country roads when the trees are hanging with the snow:

This one is actually the gate going into our tiny township cemetery:

Another country road just a few blocks from our house:

I loved the character of this old tree. See the holes in it? I am sure it is the work of a Pileated Woodpecker! The tree reminded me of those scary apple trees in the Wizard of Oz that waved their arms at Dorothy!:

And, our BIGGEST thrill of the day?
As we rounded a curve, I saw HIM, way up in the tree!:

Yes! It is a bald eagle. I used the zoom to get even closer to him, but the snowflakes were coming down so heavy that they blocked his image and it did not come out clear enough.
But, then we saw a SECOND bald eagle flying away, too! I was lucky enough to capture him:

I told my husband that even though I hated the snowstorm, it was SO worth it to see two bald eagles during the storm! Now that I know where I saw them, I am hoping I can get there during a clear day and use my zoom to get closer, clearer shots.

Several of you wanted to know what camera I am using. I got it at Christmas, and believe me it is very easy to use. It literally has an automatic focus feature that is easy to learn and one of the best zooms I have ever seen. The camera also has settings for when I learn to use my own settings rather than relying on the automatic focus all the time. I plan on taking a class in June to learn a little more about my camera.
But here are the stats:
It is a digital Panasonic Lumix. Model # DMC-FZ28.
It has an 18X optical zoom and 10 megapixels.
I ordered it off on sale for around $300.00.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to start learning some really good quality photography without fear. If I can do it, anyone can!
I hope to get better as I learn more.
Go to my blogroll...there are some PHENOMENAL photographer blogs out there for you to see. Those ladies are professional at it, and put my beginning shots to shame.
But I so enjoy this new hobby of mine!
I am afraid you blogger buddies will have to suffer through my many posts of shots I will be taking as I learn!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring, Where Art Thou???

When you live in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, you expect spring to be slow in coming. When it finally breaks, you rejoice!

So, grabbing my camera a few days ago, I captured some more crocuses on a beautiful 68 degree, sunny day:

I worked in the garden, getting one clear of old mulch and getting the bed ready for new fertilizer and fresh mulch.

I raked most of the yard free of old leaves and could see fresh green grass coming up underneath.

We babysat our grandkids and the morning after they left, I became sick with some nasty throat infection. But even WORSE, when I woke up, this is what I saw outside the window:

WHAT????? Where is the green grass? The crocuses? The sun?? Was I dreaming???

Upon closer look, this is also what I saw:

Spring decided to go back to sleep. It snowed for two days solid! (It just stopped this morning!~)

We have gotten over a FOOT of snow! So here are some more pictures of our spring snowstorm. According to the local weather reports, we have never received this much snow so late in the spring for over the last ten years. (Oh Joy!)

This is facing the lake out of our back door/glass windows:

This is our lakeshore that I previously showed you (where the ice was melting before!):

This is a stream that feeds the west end of the lake:

Some snow-laden branches in our back yard:

A close-up of our dock, waiting for the lake's ice to go away. (It has time for another nap, too, I am afraid!):

This is a picture of our front door yesterday morning:

Anyone care for a glass of lemonade in my front yard (under my apple trees?) Bring your own long underwear to keep warm!:

At least I picked a good couple of days to get sick. We couldn't go anywhere because the roads aren't plowed well. I bundled up for some photos and then scooted back in for a hot cup of coffee and to blog.

Send me some spring????? I need your help to get some back!!! Actually, the weather report today said that we are expecting the high 60's back by Friday. The saying here is: "when you live in the U.P....if you don't like the weather, don't worry. Wait 5 minutes. It will change!"

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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