Friday, April 25, 2014

A Forest Robin

I'm finally able to have some new pictures that are more like my older stuff, some wildlife in the forest. American robins like this one were some of my most frequent subjects. That's mostly because they never mind having their picture taken.

Most other animals, like the rabbit I saw the other day, run away so fast that I never have even the smallest chance of getting any pictures. I've gotten better at catching them over the years, but my fast camera ability has gotten a bit rusty over the last year or so.

It's kind of easy to get pictures of a big waterfall or a statue, or even a few cows, but little forest creatures are another matter. All I have to do to take pictures of scenery is to stand there pointing my camera for however long I want, and the picture comes out okay every time. It's not really going anywhere very fast.

But even this robin didn't stick around for very long. It hopped along this fallen tree trunk and then posed on this old branch for a few seconds, and then it just up and flew away. I never saw it again. The good thing was that there were plenty of other robins in the forest.

American robins are a bit different than most other birds. They like to hop along on the ground a lot. You don't see many other kinds of birds on the forest floor. And they make so much racket hopping through the leaves that you'd swear that you were hearing bigger animals walking around in the forest.

The noise that robins make when it gets kind of dark and you're not used to the forest can be a little disturbing. You may think there are animals all around you. There are, but they're not the bigger animals you begin thinking of. They're just these friendly little robins. I really like them. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Back To The Forest

I took a little unplanned break. I originally planned to come right back after my buffalo post, but I got kind of distracted with day to day things around here. My house is a little bit run down, and it needed a few repairs. There's still some work to do, but the rest isn't too urgent.

Anyway, I've been saying over and over that I needed to get back out to the forest for quite some time now. Some of you remember that this is what this blog used to be pretty much about. There's just so much to see around here that I keep getting sidetracked.

And then there's the fact that I had to wait for hunting season to end before I went back out. Obviously I didn't think that I would be among the hunted. I'm a human after all, just to confirm it to those of you who might not be sure. Hey, you never know on the faceless internet. I just didn't want there to be any unnecessary accidents, and there were plenty of hunters out there.

So on the first warm day after hunting season had ended, I went out to my favorite nature park around here, Five Ridge Prairie Preserve. The name can fool you, the first section of this park is all forest. It also has another section of woods past the first of a series of giant hills, which also includes a nice little creek running through it.

I stuck to the first section of the park this time, mainly because I never did get the time last winter to keep myself in good enough shape to go several miles into any park. I spent most of the winter sitting in the house or in my truck. I'll have to work my way up to long hikes, which I'll get to eventually.

The good thing is that there's plenty to see here in the first section of the park. That consists mostly of trees and more trees, but that's the way I like it. There are more trees back in Michigan, but I lived in a more urban area, so in my case there really wasn't.

Even in the small nature parks that I visited there, I experienced a peace of mind that is hard for me to fully describe whenever I was in the middle of all those trees. I feel that even more in the huge wild places here like this one. This place is so big that you could get lost without ever being found again. With that in mind, I stick close to the trails.

At the end of the forest there is a huge open valley that I like to visit. It's mostly tall grass, with a few trees here and there. Birds just love it down there. There's a nice river that runs through that section of the park. One of these times I'll get back down there, but for now I'm enjoying the sanctuary of the forest.

There were several other people here because of the unusually warm weather, so I didn't stay too long. I really like to be alone out here, which I am on most days. Once I begin going deep into the place, it won't matter how many people come here anyway, because most others don't go very far. I guess all of that makes me kind of a loner, but that's the way I like it, so it's okay.

So with my first trip to the woods this year out of the way, I'll talk to you later.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finally The Wild Buffalo

On a recent warm day I went out in search of all the nature I could find. The first thing I wanted to do was see some buffalo. I decided to stop over at the buffalo farm because I figured that would probably be my best bet, but I didn't see any of them out there. No luck yet.

My next journey was through Broken Kettle Grasslands because that's where the wild buffalo live. Even though I've never seen them here yet, I had a feeling I was going to get lucky on this day. Sure enough, as I traveled down the road looking out my side window, I saw something moving out in the distance.

I had to strain to see them out there, and they were only dots to my own eyes. I really had no idea whether they were actually buffalo or if they were only cows like I saw the last time I saw animals out here.

The thing is, even though I could basically see not much more than specks on the landscape, they didn't look like cows. I could swear that I thought I saw bigger shoulders and heads on these creatures. They couldn't be cows, could they?

I had to zoom my camera in all the way to get the pictures I did because they were so far away. I hoped it was enough to see them in the pictures. I still couldn't make out what they were in my view screen. I realized I wasn't going to find out what I was seeing until I got home to look at the pictures.

I just kept taking as many pictures as I could, hoping they would be good enough and close enough to see. I just knew in my heart the whole time that they had to be buffalo that I was seeing. Last time I did this they turned out to be cows. I wasn't really sure then. I'm glad this time I was completely right.

I have a lot more pictures than these. But how many can I really share in one post? I almost never go above five, but my usual is three. I figured these were good enough for now. I can't tell you how good I felt when I got home and looked at the pictures to see that they were indeed buffalo. Well, I guess I just did.

These buffalo are the biggest wild animals I've ever seen with my own eyes. I've seen plenty of deer, but they don't come close to this size. This is one of those wildlife sightings that makes me feel like I accomplished something. That happens whenever I see something new and special. It's a wonderful feeling. This is why I love nature so much. I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Beautiful Cows

These cows are the subject of my very last pictures from this winter. I wanted to post this before all of my spring pictures and adventures overtake them. These cows posed for me so patiently that I just had to share them with the world. They looked right at the camera for me.

I really think they were just probably wondering who the nut was who was pointing the stupid box at them. I don't think anyone ever did that to them before. Why would they? There are cows all over the place around here.

I was interested in them because they were a pretty good sized herd. There are plenty of bigger herds of cows around here, even right across the road from these at times, but this was the biggest I saw at the time that were close to the road.

I told you before that I'd look around for anything I could find around here to be the subjects of my pictures. My time lately has been kind of limited so because of that I've been running out of ideas. I still look for the buffalo, but that can turn kind of monotonous. The days also have been alternating between warmer and cold.

Just the day before yesterday we had summer type temperatures where I didn't even need a jacket. Yesterday evening it snowed a little. That makes it a little difficult to make good plans to go out exploring, but I've been able to do it. The warmer days will happen more and more often now.

I already have some new pictures, so I'll have something more for you than cows in my next post. I have to admit though that I love the cows because they remind me that I'm home. I've never felt at home like I do here. I don't even notice the smell anymore. Cow smell permeates everything around here. Back around Detroit, petroleum smell permeates everything. You only notice if you haven't been to either place in a long time.

I have something good for my next post. I'm thinking a lot about it. I'll talk to you later.