Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Photos from Mill Pond Park (29 November 2017)

Today, after my school programs were done for the day, I was able to slip away for about an hour to Mill Pond Park.  Mill Pond park is located in the center of Mt. Pleasant. 

The park is bounded on the north by Broadway Street, on the South by High Street, to the west by Adams Street, and on the east by the Great Lakes Central railroad.  The park is bisected by the Chippewa River.  Most of the park falls within the river's floodplain and is covered by either wetlands or floodplain forest.  The park measures 90 acres in size.

Here are a few photos from my walk.

Virgin's Bower or Old Man's Beard (Clematis virginiana)

Sunlit Common Cattails (Typha latifolia)
A dozen Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) were swimming around the small pond near the eastern edge of the park.  No matter how hard I tried to get a good picture, the ducks managed to stay in the shadows along the edge of the pond or to keep directly in line with the sun - both made photography difficult.

I have photographed this small creek dozens of times in the past fifteen years.  Today I really liked the golden colors of the dried grass, the blue sky and its reflection in the creek, and reflections of the logs in the calm water.  I took this photo from a small footbridge that crosses the creek.

This is the vies from the opposite side of the bridge.  In this picture I squatted down to shoot between the boards on the side of the bridge.  Getting at a lower angle allowed me to (somewhat) frame this steel bridge and its reflection between the grass covering the banks.  With no wind, the river itself was very calm and allowed the smallest details to be reflected.

This was my favorite picture of the day.  A pair of Chickadees was flitting around searching for insects in cracks and crevices of tree bark.

A Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) hangs upside down from a branch

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A highway in the woods

Logs are irresistible to kids.  They want to sit on them, roll them over, and above, all use them as a balance beam. 

This desire to walk on logs seems to cross the boundary between species.

These three images were all captured over the course of a single night. 

This log seems to be a highway for young Virginia Opossums - more than ten pictures over the course of a month.

The Red Fox also is a regular (although less frequent) user of this log.

The Northern Raccoon uses the log as a walkway, but much less frequently.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

*The Following Blog Post is a Public Service Announcement from Wild Turkeys of America.  Wild Turkeys of America is a fictional organization dedicated to the cause of protecting the glorious Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) from becoming the centerpiece of Thanksgiving meals across North America.  Any resemblance that Wild Turkeys of America bears toward any real organization is strictly coincidental.*

Wild Turkeys - notice the complete lack of gravy and cranberries!

Wild Turkeys of America would like to remind you that although turkeys were definitely eaten by the settlers at Plymouth Colony, there is no evidence that points to them being consumed at the famous "First Thanksgiving".

Instead, the aforementioned Wild Turkeys, would like to suggest the following more historically correct menu options for your Thanksgiving feast.


What's on the menu?!?!


I always considered myself more of a Christmas bird...


Sorry, we'll be traveling this holiday!


The turkey told you what?!?!

This message has been brought to you by Wild Turkeys of America.  Please enjoy a historically correct, turkey-free Thanksgiving.  To all of our Turkey brethren, keep your heads down. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.