Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018: Big Bird

This is a Pileated Woodpecker. They are about 14-16 inches tall, and live in forested areas with wet ground and plenty of dying trees, as that is the preferred habitat of their favorite food...ants.
They are a notoriously skittish bird around people, despite not seeming to mind being near buildings at all.  So as long as they don't see you, they are pretty easy to photograph once you have found an area where they live.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2018: Sticky Situation

Around here winter didn't get the point when April showed up, and the snow stuck around until just a couple weeks ago.  Spring didn't get a good start until just this week, and now it is already May!
Fortunately, the signs of spring are plentiful now, including a spike in both temperature and in animal activity. Porcupines are very sensitive where habitat is concerned, and while I used to see tons of them when I was a kid they have been quite scarce since then, until recent years when I started seeing them fairly regularly again. I take it as a good sign, even if it means having to be a little more cautious in areas they happen to frequent.

Q: What does a porcupine take for a cold?
A: Ny-Quill!

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2018: Time Bandit

No, it isn't the Lone Ranger.
It is the ubiquitous raccoon, or as my daughter calls it, a Trash Panda. An appropriate photo this spring as it seems that time is zipping on by faster than ever, and before you know it summer will be here once again.
In the meantime, spring is in the air here in the woods. It is still just a little too cold for the frogs to come out, although I did hear a couple of them last week. Lots of the birds are back now though, and it won't be long before the morels pop up. The turkey seem very scarce here this year though, which is a little worrisome. Perhaps it is the changing of the habitat, but it could also be a reflection of colder temperatures during winter or a rise in the coyote population. Either way, if there is one thing you can always count on in nature it is that things change.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 2018: Deer in Barbed Wire

Well, I haven't done a skull photo in awhile, so here you are.  March is coming in like a lion here in the Michigan woods, but it looks to be reasonably short-lived.  The maple sap is collected and will be boiled down for syrup this weekend, as sure a sign of spring as the returning blackbirds and cranes which were both heard on Tuesday.

Spring is a wonderful time of year, because while the death of winter is still fresh in your mind, all of the new life springing up around you (something new every day!) really imparts a sense of life and hope, and provides a sense of renewal and rebirth.  In just a couple months new fawns will be running around this old stump, turning it back into a place of life and joy.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018: Sky on Fire

I am not now, nor have I ever been, much of a morning person.  But things like this really make it worth being out there for.  Even in the dead of winter there is fire and warmth on the coldest mornings if you know where to look for it.  A good life lesson there....

Monday, January 1, 2018

January 2018: Happy New Year!

Had to post something reminiscent of warmer days, as it has been so very cold here for the last couple weeks.  Hope the new year brings you all joy and happiness!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

December 2017: From Behind

I've always been a fan of the "from behind" shot of animals.  You don't usually see them from this perspective in books or on television. I think though that many times we get distracted by looking at an animal's face, and so either give short shrift to (or miss entirely) the beauty of the rest of the creature. Typical photos of lions focus on their manes, eyes, or more commonly their teeth, which tend to emphasize their violent carnivorous behavior and more dramatic physical features.  Abstracting those elements from a photograph forces you to notice the other aspects of a lion, the texture of the fur, the variations in coloration, the thickness of the body, the relaxed posture, etc. I am willing to bet that very few of you knew that African lions had black stripes across the back of their ears until now!