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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Day of Adventure: Part One

Monday, we had our first really warm spring day here in the U.P. It was almost 70 degrees, the sun was shining and it was beautiful.

My husband wanted to go to the local DNR and pick up a wood cutting permit in Baraga, a small town about 45 minutes from our house.

So, we decided to make a day of it and go out in the woods to see if we could find some wildlife or wildflowers to capture on film.

We hit the jackpot!

We saw a sandpiper, a black squirrel, turtles, ducks, geese, a blue heron, wildflowers, a beautiful moth (or butterfly?)a beaver dam, and went to two waterfalls!

So, I decided to share our day's adventure over several blog posts for you to enjoy, too.

Part One will be pictures of all the birds we saw in one day out in the wild:

First: my all-time favorite bird of all times to see out in the woods, a blue heron!

Here he is flying away from us:

But, before he got scared of me and my camera, I was lucky enough to get a few shots of him, standing regal and tall:

Here he is, taking a drink!:

Another one of him standing still:

He is getting suspicious of what was going on by now:

But, I stood perfectly still and he calmed down for another shot:

I was so excited to have seen one. In fact, on our way out, I told my husband that my day would be complete if I just had the luck to see a blue heron. Someone "up there" was listening and gave me that opportunity.
We also saw this group of ducks. They were pretty far out and I had to use my zoom to even get this shot. I am not sure what kind of ducks they were:

Then, we went out in the woods and saw a little pond with some more beautiful ducks:

Then, we saw this little sandpiper bird with his long legs:

Just further down the road, at the other end of the pond, was a big goose. She saw me right away and began honking at me and puffing herself up. I figured she must have had a nest nearby.

I kept very still and she calmed down and began to swim about the pond:

She calmly swam away, giving me this beautiful picture:

All those birds in one day!!!
Stay tuned for more pictures in future posts of everything we saw that glorious spring day.
All the fresh air and excitement was the perfect sleeping pill--I slept like a baby that night, and dreamt of all the wonderful things we saw in one day...


Far Side of Fifty said...

Great photos! We do the same thing.go off on little adventures..much more fun now that Spring might be here! I got a photo of a black squirrel the other day too..whats up with them? :)

Lesley said...

Wonderful pictures! Living in a cold climate really makes you appreciate the warm spring days, doesn't it?

The Retired One said...

Far Side: Thanks! I only got the backside of the black squirrel, the little brat!

Lesley: Thank you! Boy, does it EVER. I have to go back to my post about the signs of Spring and see if I have seen them all yet, or not. I think I still have some more to go!

Insanitykim said...



I have a link to show you but can't leave it here cause comment boxes don't allow that (liknks look like spam) so email me so I can send it to ya!

Ramblin Mama said...

I love the herons. We have them all around us most of the year. The largest blue heron East Coast rookery is an island located only about 2 - 2 1/2 miles from us. They nest everywhere around here. Year before last, one lived in our yard. As for geese, one CAN have too many! We have a lake just about 4 doors away and there must be at least 200 geese there - year round. They came for the winter a few years ago and have never left! They often stand in the street and refuse to move. They've been known to eat all the seed out of local farmers' fields. Ducks, of course, are everywhere. Our street is named after a duck - the mallard.

Sara said...

Your pictures are amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing them. I loev Spring adventures! Have a great day

Bernie said...

Your day sounded wonderful to me and look at your pictures, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing with all of us......:-) Hugs

Lynn Kellan said...

Hi Joan,
That blue heron reminds me of my tall lanky kid. Isn't it cool to see them fly? (The herons, not the kids.)

The Retired One said...

Insanity Kim: I will email you you have me intrigued.

Ramblin' Mama: I would be there taking pictures continually! We usually get a few geese on our lake and some ducks, but we have 97 miles of shoreline on our lake and lots of wilderness on parts of it, so they aren't often at our shore.

Sara: You are welcome! I will be sharing more in the next few posts.

Bernie: It really was wonderful. More to come!

Lynn: Yes, they do look awkward, don't they. But that is what I like about them. They are SO big when you stand close to one. I wish I could have gotten a clearer, closer picture of him flying, but my camera didn' t zoom that close.

Judy said...

WOW, what wonderful pictures and a great day spent filming the wildlife. I love those shots you got.

Anonymous said...

Your shots are good and I'm glad you finally got your blue heron! The bird you referred to as a sandpiper reminds me of a killdeer. We rarely see the killdeer anymore and we use to have them nesting all over.

Unknown said...

Thanks SO much for sharing your first spring day with us! Your sightings and photos of them are just wonderful. I want your camera too and am really thinking about buying one!

Shelley said...

Those first ducks you saw were buffleheads!! Just like the one I had in my birdy post! What a wonderful day you had birding and being outside! I am longing to go visit the U.P. - the hubby & I are hoping to make it to Seney Natl wildlife refuge again - I love that place!

The Retired One said...

Judy: Thanks! There will be more coming in the next few days.

Cathy: Maybe it is a killdeer? I thought the killdeer were more sandy in color. I will have to look them both up now.

Gaston: you are welcome. thanks for stopping by to share my post! You would love this camera, if I can do it, anyone can. :-D

Shellmo: I wondered if they were buffleheads but i couldn't get a close enough look to be sure. If you come to the UP, let me know. Maybe we could coordinate a Seney trip and meet and take some photos together. That would be such fun!

Sweet Tea said...

Great photos.
What a great day you had!

Rick (Ratty) said...

I love seeing all of these water birds. I think ducks and geese are my favorites. I like your shots of the heron. I have some pictures of one, but they're not nearly as good.

The Retired One said...

Lagirl: Thanks. Yes, we had such fun. Stay tuned for more pics from the same day.

Ratty: The Blue Heron and the Sandcrane have always been my favorites, just because they are so shy and so big. It is hard to see them up close and personal. But, also, since we "saved" the Flicker and saw how beautiful he is, he is now also one of my favorites to see and hear.

Pearl said...

I do love the birdies! Cranes are my favorites, of the "local" birds; and the UP is a wonderful place to see them!

rainfield61 said...

You really have a good day, but don't leave behind a fully charged battery for part 2, 3 ,4 and no end.

Aria said...

Too cool that someone up there heard and granted your wish... fantastic pics, Lady! If I don't catch up with you before Sunday... Happy Mother's Day!!!

The Retired One said...

Pearl: Da U.P. is great for wildlife!

Rainfield: Don't worry, there is more to come!

Aria: Happy Mother's Day to you, dear friend!

Fran Hill said...

These pictures of waterfalls were so fantastic, and I could almost hear the water. I have been to the toilet three times while looking at them.

The Retired One said...

Fran: Thanks so much! I love walking down to Canyon Falls and will return to snap some shots of the wildflowers in a few weeks and again the autumn colors when that happens.
Sorry about your bladder problems. LOL

Unknown said...

Blue Herons are my favorite birds too! I tend to see them in the strangest places...they are definitely my "totem bird". The pictures make me miss the UP! It would be fun to go behind the farm and take some pics this time of year...I wonder what you may find!

The Retired One said...

Emily: Wish you were here too. We could go out and find some wild animals and birds to photo. Did you see the posts I did of the Botanical Gardens at MSU photos when I was down with you? They turned out great. I never thought about going behind the farm to get photos. Maybe we need to do that one day.

Unknown said...

We will have to go back there sometime this summer and take some pics. I LOVE the pics of the gardens at msu...the shots of the crazy person surfing are great. My mom had some great pics too, you'll have to look at them when you get a chance. It turns out the bird I saw down here wasn't a flicker (my dad sent me your pics, again...amazing)I really think it was a red headed woodpecker. Very exciting to us bird geeks;) Take care!

The Retired One said...

Emily: I would love to go back when MSU's gardens have all their summer blooms. We have red headed woodpeckers, so if I get the chance, I will get a new picture of one to see if you can compare it to the bird you saw!
Hugs to you, Mike and Ava!

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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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