Thin Ice

This post is an archive from Facebook. On the days that I can’t get out and take pictures, I’m going to post stories and pictures from previous Facebook entries so that I can eventually have everything in one place. I also enjoy looking back and seeing what the weather and the animals were doing a year ago…

November 10, 2017

leaves in ice
This lovely collection of colorful leaves fell into Cherry Creek and were frozen in place in the thin ice.

I couldn’t wait to get out the door with my camera this morning because it was freezing cold and I thought I might find some really cool frost pictures. But there was no frost anywhere! There was thin ice though—and it made for some really pretty leaf pictures.

I was also happy to find one of those ginormous fungal puffballs because I had been wanting to make one into a skull by poking holes in it and then taking pictures! It was the perfect size and the perfect color for a skull and I hoped it would make passers-by do a double-take!

puffball skull
My puff ball skull!

As I was coming to the end of my frosty morning walk, I made sure to cross over the bridge at Cherry Creek to see if my Great Blue Heron was still hanging out like he was the other day. He was! Unfortunately, he was quite far away and no match for the lens I had with me. I took several pictures anyway and debated whether he’d still be there if I took the time to go back to the house to get my longer lens and the tripod (10 minutes round trip on foot). I did, and he was! In fact, he barely moved for the next hour while I stood in the freezing wind hoping he’d fly away so I could get a flight picture. He never took off. But I did. My hands were freezing and I had already been outside for three hours. It was well past time to go home and warm up!

This Great Blue Heron was very hard to see from a distance.
leaves in ice2
More beautiful leaves frozen in thin ice.
Bridge at willow lake
The bridge at Willow Lake
squirrel in tree
This cute little black squirrel found a warm spot to rest on this cold and windy day.



A Needle in the Haystack

November 11, 2018

Today I went out looking for a needle in a haystack. Seriously. I was told via a friend on Facebook that a snowy owl had been spotted at the Kalamazoo Airport!! I couldn’t get out the door fast enough this morning hoping to get a picture!

The Kalamazoo Airport is a small, yet international, airport. It’s full name is Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. All of the runway area, where the snowy owl was reportedly hanging out, is surrounded by tall fences. The best pictures I could even hope to get would be taken through a cyclone fence. I thought it was still worth a try.

As I trudged through the snow along the fence line looking for a white owl against a white background, I worried about what I might look like—a lone figure with a very long lens (not unlike a gun, perhaps) aimed directly at the runway. Hmmm. Surprisingly, no one came out to ask me what the heck I was doing!

After an hour or so, I was inclined to ask myself that very same question. I was looking for a small white bird against a very white background in a very indeterminate location. It wasn’t like the bird was going to hold up a big sign saying “Here I am”! Reluctantly, I decided to cut my losses and headed out to a different location, one that held more of a promise of birds.

Today’s bird ‘count’ includes a red tailed hawk (on the way to the airport), starlings, sparrows and seagulls (at the airport), mallards and mergansers (at the Portage bike trail)—but no snowy owls!

red tailed hawk 11-11-2018 8-12-43 AM
On the way to the airport to find the snowy owl, I spotted this red tailed hawk high in a tree so I pulled over and tried to get a picture. As I got closer and closer to the tree, he flew off, but I still got a picture!
European starling, non breeding adult 11-11-2018 8-53-06 AM
There were starlings all over the place near the airport. I think they’re beautiful birds!
European starling, non breeding adult 11-11-2018 9-00-32 AM
Two more starlings
house sparrow 11-11-2018 8-31-44 AM
When I didn’t have any luck finding the snowy owl at the airport, I looked for other birds–even sparrows made the cut!
mergansers and mallard 11-11-2018 10-06-03 AM
The mallards and the mergansers were all hanging out together.
merganser 11-11-2018 10-05-25 AM
Female merganser with quite the hairdo!
mergansers 11-11-2018 9-43-03 AM
Male and female mergansers along the Portage Bike Trail


Second Snow

November 10, 2018

winter path 11-10-2018 3-30-24 PM
The path through the woods yesterday.




Yesterday afternoon I decided to take another walk through the woods around our neighborhood, this time using my longer lens. More snow had fallen since the previous day and I thought it might be another good photo opportunity.  There’s always something beautiful to see. Here’s what I found…





chickadee tail 11-10-2018 5-10-59 PM
What do you see here? I saw a monster with a feather in its mouth! The feather, it turns out, was a chickadee.
deer 11-10-2018 3-29-02 PM
This deer got a head-ful of snow when he munched on some leaves.


fish on water 11-10-2018 5-06-28 PM
Can you see the fish that I saw??


robin 11-10-2018 4-45-44 PM
The robins are still hanging out here.
tree 11-10-2018 5-00-04 PM
I just thought this tree looked beautiful against a black and white background.
This lucky deer found a tasty pumpkin!
deer 11-10-2018 3-31-39 PM
The deer here are quite used to visitors in their woods.