A Day Without Rain

May 31, 2019

Today is the last day of May, but the first day of the entire month that I can remember having no rain at all in the forecast!!  Given this rare opportunity, Mel and I didn’t waste any time throwing our camera bags in the trunk of the car and heading out the door by 7:30 a.m. Our destination: South Haven, Michigan– less than an hour away. Our plan: to have fun—and maybe take a few pictures!

Trumpeter Swan and three cygnets (Kellogg Bird Sanctuary)

Our day started out with a tasty breakfast at Six Chicks Scratch Kitchen, followed by a picture walk around our favorite park– where we had once spotted a red-headed woodpecker, and were optimistic about finding him (or maybe his 2nd cousin). Ha!! We didn’t even find a robin!

Northern Flicker (Ott Biological Preserve)

We then took a leisurely walk to the end of the South Haven pier and were delighted to watch as the Friends Good Will tall ship set sail into beautiful Lake Michigan.

On the way to our next picture walk destination, the Kal-Haven Trail, we spotted a huge gaggle of Canada geese—which is totally unremarkable in and of itself, but I spotted a couple of orange beaks in that gaggle and yelled, “Stop the car! Stop the car!” Turns out, our mystery beaks belonged to three rather large Greylag Geese, which are native to Europe and the UK, but not here. Hmm.

Greylag Geese
” The ancestor of most domestic geese, the greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese
native to the UK and Europe.

Our last walk of the day was through a nearby nature preserve where we had hoped to get a few more pictures of birds and flowers and bugs. What we got was mostly bugs–as in mosquitoes, who wanted to eat us. It was as good a time as any to head back home and feed the dogs!

Surprisingly, the sun was still shining when we returned home around 5:00. Knowing that I still had at least another two hours of sunlight left before our perfect sunny day would be over, I grabbed my camera again and went back outside– this time I just walked next door to Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park. It’s a good thing I did– or I would have missed the red-winged blackbird taking a break in Einstein’s hair, and the barn swallows sitting nicely on a branch, and the deer grazing in the field, and  the great blue heron catching fish in the pond! That’s the thing I always wonder about– what am I missing if I don’t go out??

Red-winged Blackbird in Einstein’s hair! (WMU’s Business Park)
Beautiful Lupine (WMU’s Business Park)
Mute Swan doing a little house cleaning! (WMU’s Business Park)
Barn Swallow (WMU’s Business Park)
Mallard (WMU’s Business Park)

For all the rainy days leading up to this one coveted dry one, I managed to find blocks of time here and there when I could take short picture walks—at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, the Ott Biological Preserve, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, or our very own deck! There’s always something interesting to see– but I sure hope Mother Nature comes up with some better circumstances in which to see them!!

Female red-winged blackbird (Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery)
Tree Swallow (Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery)
Five Turtles (Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery)
Bleeding Heart (Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery)

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