Saturday, September 22, 2018

What Are They Thinking?

This month in our Emma Davies Photography School Camera Club the theme is wildlife. I like taking wildlife photos. Mostly they are taken in my garden or when I'm out walking at Asylum Lake, Kalamazoo, where I regularly walk. When I'm walking I'm usually looking and doing a little daydreaming and sometimes I wonder what the animals are thinking. Here are a couple. 



Caption: Who? Me? I wasn't doing anything!


Caption: Hey buddy, this is a bird feeder, not a chipmunk feeder


Caption: Don't worry dear, it's just another of those strange people taking our photo. 


Caption: If you had an itch like this, you'd be pulling a funny face too. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Elusive Hummingbird!

Despite seeing them in my garden at last - just when it's time for them to disappear - I hadn't been able to capture one. The little things move so quickly, fluttering about and barely taking a breath. I managed to get a few somewhat grainy images and was thinking about giving it a break for a while. I knew I shouldn't sit and wait for hummingbirds all day!

However, last week I went to visit my daughter in Minnesota and made a trip to the lovely Munsinger and Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud. What a stunning place! I absolutely loved the visit. I had been there before but usually in colder weather when there wasn't a lot of anything growing. I was happily walking along taking photos when I came upon a spot where I saw some hummingbirds! I couldn't believe it. I tried taking photos, but none seemed to stick around. I couldn't hang around longer (that sounds like something to do another time lol) as daughter was waiting for me with her dog (no dogs in the gardens!).

When I got back to daughter's I was delighted to find that one of the photos wasn't half bad! I would love to get a clearer one, but for now I'm pretty happy I got this one!


How beautiful! So while I am still searching for that 'perfect' shot, for now I'll take this one.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Foggy Sunday

Yesterday was cool and cloudy with a little break in the clouds. This morning started off hot, humid and foggy. In places the fog was so thick it was difficult to see very far. I'm still learning about how to take photos in the fog. They don't always show up the greatest, but it is so pretty out it's worth getting out there and giving it a try.

The fog makes everything seem so eerie so I thought I'd do them in black and white to lend to the strange atmosphere and the way the fog makes me feel.




Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Elusive Hummingbird

I have seen a few of them this summer, but I have yet to catch one of these little birds on camera. Sigh. It's become my big 'hunt' of the summer. I have tried planting vines that they are supposed to like (which failed to grow), I've tried attracting them with special nectar - nope. The only thing I managed to attract were ants. I've seen some of them on my walks at the lake. Last week one of them actually hovered in front of my face for a few seconds as I was watching a heron fishing. Did I manage to snap it? Nope. I was so surprised that by the time I got ready to snap it had gone. Sigh.


This is the best that I've got and it was taken a couple of years ago (through a window of a restaurant) before I started to learn how to use my camera properly. I know that I can do so much better now, but they are proving too cunning for me! If not this year perhaps next....

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fresh Start/Deer in the Garden

I'm going to take a deep breath, reset myself and start again. I have been neglecting this blog of late. I think it's either time to post more often or give it up entirely. I'm going to try posting more often, sharing photos that I take. Although the blog has suffered of late, I have been out and about taking photos.

This week in our garden a mother deer and her two baby fawns have been visiting. They are really fun to watch and not too scared of humans at all. One day I sat in my chair on the back porch and watched them for quite a while. We live in a town, not the countryside but there are always plenty of deer about in Michigan.


I love this one! I posted it on my Instagram account too.


They were quite playful with one another. Our garden isn't very big but one would bound around the garden and the other would follow.


One of the fawns watched as Mum ate from the birdfeeder and decided to follow. They were eating quite a lot in the garden but (luckily) didn't come near the tomato plants!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I'm Back!

I got sick. Flu, followed by a serious sinus infection. Three weeks later and I'm finally getting back on my feet. My 100 Day Project is an epic fail. I am disappointed, but I have forgiven myself for getting sick. It was just one of those things that can't be helped and I'm not going to stress over it. The Colour my World project was a daily thing so I have decided not to continue. The 100 Days of All About Me I'm going to slowly catch up on and finish my book. 

Otherwise on this blog I'll be posting photos of my walks again. I'm slowly getting back on my feet and out taking photos again. Today hubby and I took our first walk in three weeks. It was, sadly, dull and grey, but I did get my camera out. 




Warren Dunes State Park. The beach is slowly being cleaned up for the summer season. It is amazing to imagine that just a few months ago we walked this beach covered in ice and snow. Now the beach has been evened out and new signs put up. In a couple of weeks the beach will be full of people. I will miss the solitude of the winter months, but it will be nice to walk without being bundled to the nines. Despite the clouds, it was quite mild out and there was little to no wind at all. 

We drove along the coast of the lakeshore down to St. Joseph Lighthouse. This is another of our 'regular' haunts. We don't usually go there much in the summer - the place we park at cost $10 for parking however little/long you are there. We aren't really ones for sitting on the beach. We usually want to just walk the lighthouse and the cost is a little too high. 

The parking metres were back in position (they don't charge during the winter) but while trying to work out when paid parking started, I was happy to read that they will be doing hourly parking too! How great! We don't mind paying $2 for an hour just for a stroll along the beach and lighthouse. 


The pier wasn't that busy but there were quite a few fishermen out. The gulls were hanging around too. 


Our last stop was South Haven. We decided to get a different view and park at the top of the hill. 


And that was our Sunday. It was nice to get out and about again. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Behind - The 100 Day Project

I am (what a surprise!) behind on posting my projects for The 100 Day Project. I have not yet fallen behind doing them, but that could change as we are going away next week and I'm not sure I'll find the time to do them. We shall see. I know I will be taking the photos which is sort of why I chose the project. My Book of All About Me will probably have to play catch-up when I get back. We shall see.

Day 11

Colour/Color my World


Mourning Doves seem to be a regular visitor to the garden. They mostly hang about under the bird feeder. Last week I saw two pairs of them together in the garden. These were scared off only a little way further down the garden. I love how fluffy they are. Seeing them cheered up my day.

100 days of All About Me

When is your birthday?


My birthday is May 19th. I like my birthday. The weather is warming up and it's somewhat towards the middle of the year. My sister's birthday is only a week after mine but I don't remember that being a problem (she might answer differently lol).

Day 12

Colour/Color my World


A triptych of photos today. Husband built this birdhouse. The sparrow sitting on the perch has claimed it. He's been bringing in goodies for his nest. I watched for several days as he sat on the perch singing a lovely song trying to attract a female. Several birds visited (as seen perched on the top) but none fit. Now he does have a mate. It made me laugh as it reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book Are you my Mother? Instead I called this one Are you my Mate?

100 Days of All About Me

Who is your favourite character?


I'm not actually sure I have one. There are characters I admire - Vera (British detective), Buffy (the Vampire Slayer), Nessa (Gavin and Stacey) and some more, but I wouldn't say I had an absolute favourite. I probably should have thought more along the line of books - in hindsight it might have worked out a little differently!

Day 13

Wow I really am behind!

Colour my World


I was feeling decidedly grumpy this day. The weather was getting me down. This bird reminded me of how I was feeling. So colour me grumpy that day lol

100 Days of All About Me

Comfort Food. Now, I'm not really sure you'd call it a food, but my comfort go-to 'food' is chocolate. I love it. Has to be English or European but there is nothing quite as comforting as chocolate. It probably explains why I am fluffy and not thin. 


Day 14

Wow! I've last two weeks!

Colour/color my World


There really shouldn't be snow around, but I will take what I can get lol. I love seeing these in the woods every Spring. They remind me of home. Mum always used to grow them. Despite the cold weather they are popping up all over the woods.

100 Days of All About Me

Self-Care. 


I think sometimes, as women, we tend to take care of those around us but don't seem to take care of ourselves so much. Even when my kids were small and time was really precious I tried to take a bath by myself just for me. It's important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. 

Day 15

Colour/Color my World


It was another cold and snowy day in  Michigan. I was feeling a little grumpy and not very colourful at all, but then, when I was watching the garden, this cheeky little fellow came hopping up the pole to the birdfeeder and made me laugh. It's smaller than the other squirrels in the garden and it seemed to take a running leap right onto the pole. It had such a cute little smile I couldn't help being cheered up a little.

100 Days of All About Me

What type of music do you listen to? 


I like a lot of different types of music. It sort of depends on my mood. I love musicals but I don't want to listen to Les Miserables or Miss Saigon when I'm feeling down in the dumps! Wicked makes me feel like I can do anything ;) I enjoy listening to Queen when I need cheering up or George Michael's soulful voice when it's summer and I'm happy. I also admit to listening to rap (usually when I'm alone). The only music I don't particularly care for is country music (I feel like I should apologise for that lol) but I do enjoy Chris Stapleton. He has such a gravely voice.

Day 16

Colour/Color my World


Colour my world with blue skies and splatter it with sunshine - at least this morning! After several absolutely horrible days the sun finally came out today. It was still way too cold but the sun was shining and that cheers everyone up, right?

100 Days of All About Me

Who do you identify with? Is there a group you identify with?


I identify as English. This is a really sparse one as there is a journaling card underneath the flag that I didn't want to share. I'm not a US citizen though I've been living in the US for many years. Sometimes, for the first time since I arrived, I don't always feel comfortable. And that's all I'm going to say. This is supposed to be a fun project.


I can't believe that I'm all caught up! Phew! This is a long post and I probably shouldn't procrastinate as much as I do. That will teach me!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beautiful Days

The last couple of days the weather has been a lot brighter and warmer in Michigan. That meant longer walks and days where I actually felt cheerier. Even though the temperature has warmed up a bit Spring is taking its take appearing. I have been noticing things are a little greener as I walk but there is still more brown than green.



I can't wait to see more!

Colour/Color my World

I didn't post yesterday but I did do my project. I had a terrible headache that I battled all day and ended up going to bed early. I did post on Instagram. 


I was so excited to see these lovely wood ducks. The male is so brightly coloured! I had to look them up in my bird book to find out what they were. Before this year I haven't paid a lot of attention to birds but they are so wonderfully colourful and so cheery to hear in the morning.


As I confessed - I haven't paid a lot of attention to birds before this year but I couldn't help but notice these. They are so bright and blue. I watched as they flew after one another across the field. I think they are tree swallows but I could be wrong.

100 Days of All About Me

Yesterday's prompt was about cooking and todays was about relaxing. 



These were days 9 & 10. Yeah! I made it to day 10!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

100 Day Project

Colour/Color my World


It was very colourful out today. Look at the lovely sky and clouds! How could I resist this? After it being so dull and snowy yesterday it was beautiful out today (despite) the cloud. It is days like this that really cheer me up.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt : What is your favourite holiday?

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of holidays in general. I like getting together with family, but other than that sometimes holidays seem like a way to just spend more useless money. That being said, I love Halloween/Samhain the best. As I was growing up in England it was not a big holiday. In fact we never celebrated it at all. Guy Fawkes Day is only a few days later and that is the day I remember celebrating. I loved Guy Fawkes Day. I think it has to do with it being Autumn and I like the ideas of fires and cooking over them. When I came to the US I remember how excited I was when the kids first celebrated Halloween - dressing up, pretending to be something you weren't or perhaps dressing in something you wished you were. 

By Halloween the air is crisper, the nights are drawing in and everything just seems a little more...alive. I love the origins of Halloween/Samhain. I like believing that the veil between the living and the dead is just a little thinner and it's a good time to honour our ancestors and those who came before us. I like the idea of starting anew too. It seems just right.



Monday, April 9, 2018

Snow on the Ground

It snowed here today in Southwest Michigan. It has been a long winter but hopefully things will be warming up at the end of the week. I walked today at Asylum Lake. It was very quiet and peaceful. I don't particularly like the weather but I do like how quiet things are in the morning. When the weather is better there are more people around. When it is like this I can look around and take the time to photograph little things without people looking at me like I'm crazy.


So beautiful and peaceful.

Colour/Color my World

My photo today comes from that walk in the woods. Despite the cold and the snow there were lots of birds around. I didn't see a lot of them, but I could hear them chirping and calling to one another. The weather doesn't look a lot like Spring but nature knows what time of year it is. When I saw this robin I couldn't help but try to capture his picture.


100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt: What is your talent?

This was a tough one for me. I don't like tooting my own horn and I'm not a confident person. There are many things I like to do and I think I'm okay at but whether they are considered talents or not I'm not quite sure. 


I do like the way this little book is turning out. The only thing is that I've just realised that the book I chose to put it in only has 80 pages. Sigh. Not sure quite what I'm going to do the last 20 days.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Walk/100 Day Project

Our walk today was at Yankee Springs Recreational Area. We were planning on doing the Chief Noonday trail. I have to admit to being a little disappointed. Nothing much is growing here in Michigan and the woods didn't have much to offer. There wasn't anything growing and we didn't hear a lot of birds. The trail wasn't easy to find either. It was quite confusing. We had visited a couple of weeks back and did the Hall Lake Trail which I enjoyed. After we managed to find our way back we did take a drive around where the campsite was and I took some photos.

Colour/Color my World

The photo I'm sharing today was one that I took on the trail today. It was a beautifully sunny day, but quite cold. There were a few stray clouds in the sky and I love the character they give the sky. The view was lovely and peaceful. 


100 Days of All About Me 

Today's prompt was: What do you like to read?

I love reading. It is something I do almost every day. I have way too many books and magazines and my kindle contains so many books that I won't be admitting how many. I have always loved to read. I can't remember a time when I didn't read or love reading. A lot of my teenage years were spent in either the library or a book shop we had in town at The Ancient House. I loved that book shop. It was housed in an 15th century building. I remember there being lots of little nooks and crannies. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Year with my Camera/The 100 Day Project

I cheated a little with today's Colour/Color my World photograph. This was the first Saturday in the month and on that day (or the Sunday) I usually participate with A Year with my Camera's 1 Day 12 Photos, so I decided to put them together and use my collages as today's photo.



These are photos from our early morning walk today and photos from my garden. Lots of colour in these. The last couple of days have been dull and snowy so it was a lovely break today to have some sunshine. I would have liked it to be a little warmer - but hey, can't have everything.

We walked today at Portage Creek Bicentennial Park. It was quite busy but still a favourite walk. I don't think we'll go there much on the weekends anymore as we prefer somewhere a little quieter, but it is beautiful.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt was: Where did you go to school?

My schooling was all done in England. I enjoyed some things about school but there was a lot I didn't like. A lot of the time I felt quite awkward. I don't know how to explain it but sometimes it was like I was on the outside looking in. I don't think I was that good at making friends (still not lol).  I'm not sure it showed, but there was a lot going on inside that I didn't show. In high school there were a couple of teachers I still think about and whose teaching helped shape the things I find interesting even now. I have to admit to being glad I was done with high school. I find it interesting that some people look back on those days with joy and really like keeping in touch with school friends. There are only a handful I would be interested in seeing. 


It was certainly a trip down memory lane today - not all of it pleasant!

Friday, April 6, 2018

The 100 Day Project. Day Four

Colour/Color my World

Day four of the project and I find myself looking around searching for colour. It isn't always easy. The last couple of days here in Michigan have been dull and cloudy with a touch of snow. I wrapped myself up warmly with big gloves and a hat - something I thought I might have put away by now - and trundled off for a walk at Asylum Lake. There was snow on the ground but I could hear the birds chirping away. If they are anything like me they're grumbling about the snow and the (seemingly) lack of Spring.

I searched around looking for colour. My favourite thing on this walk in springtime is the amazing carpet of daffodils that usually colour the woods. They bring back childhood memories of Spring. Mum always used to plant daffodils and tulips in front of our house. I had looked for them earlier in the week and they were sprouting through the ground but not open. I didn't expect much more growth due to the weather, but I was pleasantly surprised!


They are not fully open, but they are getting there. You can see the snow on the ground behind them. I chose this photo today as it reminds me that the seasons do change, however slowly, and sometimes when we don't pay attention we miss things completely. On busy days, and with all the craziness going on around us, we don't always look around and appreciate all the beauty in the world.

100 Days of All About Me

Today's prompt was Where do you Live? It's similar to the one the other day so I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do. I managed to find a postcard I had of Michigan (I collect these too!) and used that as part of my page. I live in Michigan. Quite a different place from where I started out. There are similarities - the green, green fields, the change of seasons, but there are differences too - Michigan gets lots of snow and is bitterly cold, Suffolk not so much. After several years here I am beginning to understand why older people live for warmer climates in the winter! 

Michigan is a beautiful state though. I am finally beginning to appreciate that fact. There are beautiful state parks with miles of trails and wonderful lighthouses with lots of history. Lake Michigan is truly wonderful - it can be calm and warm in the summer and wild and frozen in the winter. I grew up close to the sea but I didn't understand just how wild a lake without tides could be.