• Todd

Ready for the Fall

It's my understanding that I am in the minority when it comes to summer weather. Most people in Michigan love the heat of the summer. I am definitely not one of those. The heat never bothered me when I was younger, but something happened between 45-50 years of age that turned me into an AC lover. I laugh at work when my co-workers are adding layers because it's "cold" but I'm turning on a fan to get "colder"!

Even my time outdoors has dwindled in the summer. Sure, it's fun to get out and fish a little, maybe go for a swim - but I like the woods and summer in the woods just means I'm the target of every flesh eating insect that walks/flies on the planet Earth. Coming home full of mosquito bites and dragging a trail of ticks behind me just doesn't thrill me the way it did in the past. So this year I sort of took some time off with the outdoor photography and instead we did a little trip to Italy (which was in the middle of a huge heatwave at the time!!) and we packed up our daughter for college!

We did fish and the kids had a great time. Jeremy Ullman was the man with a plan that got us on the fish! (248) 224-8540 #miguideservice

Italy was amazing, as you would expect. Rich in history, food and wine. The people we met along our journey were awesome. A big change of pace from the American lifestlye, that is for sure! We booked our trip through #TrafalgerTours and our guide Danilo (Danilo Trafalger on FB) was, as he would say, "mind-blowing"! There is an entire section dedicated to Italy on my website if you'd like to see more.

I did mess around a little in late summer with the flowers and bees and butterflies. Funny how when you want to find a honeybee you can't. I know disease has hit them hard and my hope is that it was just bad timing and not something far worse than that. I had a friend that raised honeybees on his property. It was interesting to watch the bees work up close and personal. They never seemed to care that we were near the hives, they just did what they needed to do. A couple times we pulled the car over near the hives as we were leaving and with the windows down the bees would just zip back and forth right thru the open windows! I'll admit to being nervous the first time or two, but after that it was just fun. They never ran into us or showed any aggression toward us. Mind you, this is temps cool down and pollen becomes scarce, the attitude of the bees changes as well! Worth keeping in mind in case you find a hive. Anyway, had to settle for a Bumble instead of Honey's.

Pretty sure it's a moth of some sort, but beggars can't be choosers!

The last couple weekends have cooled off a bit and the urge to get back to the woods has been strong! The deer have cooperated rather nicely and while it took a couple trips to find some of the bigger bucks, a "hunch" paid off and I found a nice bachelor group hanging out over the top of a ridge. On my first trip out I about tripped over the first buck I saw as we both rounded a corner, from different directions, at the same time! He didn't stick around for more poses.

There have been plenty of doe and fawns around too. Seems every doe had twins this year, lots of "spots" running in the woods.

With a little luck, some of those fawns will grow up big and strong like the boys hanging out in the bachelor group! These guys are going to be fun to watch as they start shedding the velvet on their antlers and begin marking territory for the rut this fall!

I have a pretty good idea where I will be looking for sheds in 2020!!

As I left the deer woods and headed for home, I got a text from my friend and fellow photographer, Willie. He told me to swing by the beach on my way home. Fall migration of birds doesn't get nearly the attention that Spring migration does, but you can find some pretty interesting birds in the fall. With Hurricane Dorian spinning off the East Coast, who knows what may show up this year! Willie had found a Black-bellied Plover and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Yes John, I hear you laughing, lol).

Black-bellied Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

As long as I live I will never figure out these shorebirds. I can't ID them to save my life. Watching these two walk the beach like a married couple was interesting. The Sandpiper, at about 7", is about half the size of the Plover. Of course the Plover's colors are it's winter outfit as it is much more handsome in the Spring - but I never see one in the Spring!

All in all, not a bad start to the Fall season. I'm ready for some color change, cooler temps and hopefully, some interesting pictures to share with you!

Till next time!

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