Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Sunshine smile


Late January, here in the Midwest, we don’t always get to see a lot of sun. It’s cold, sometimes windy, usually snowy, but not often very sunny.

The James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit.

So last Saturday, when the weather people were actually right about the fact we had sun, I knew I didn’t want to squander it. But I also wasn’t sure I wanted to go to my regular parks, they would likely be overrun with people just like me, out to catch a few rays, on the lookout for something spectacular to photograph.

This pair was pulling up lunch from the bottom of the pond.

I’ve been seeing in a Michigan wildlife Facebook group that there were special things down on Detroit’s Belle Isle. I figured there was more space there, and maybe fewer people, so I decided to see what I could find.

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.

The color in these images haven’t been touched up, it really was a spectacular blue sky with lovely soft light making everything glow.

Detail of Belle Isle Casino

And it was busy. Most of the parking spots on the western part of the island, the part which gives you the best view of the Detroit skyline, were full. That’s OK, I just parked further away and walked back.

Detroit, with Ambassador Bridge to Windsor on the left.

It felt good to be outside walking around.

I drove around the perimeter of the island several times, catching glimpses of things I wanted to photograph, and stopping back to capture things on my next round. I didn’t feel like I was taking a lot of pictures, but I was pleased with those I got.

Saw this bridge out of the corner of my eye, stopped for a photo the next time around.

Did I ever find the special image I was looking for? Well, yes, yes I did.

For some time I’ve been reading about a pair of bald eagles that live on the island, but I’ve never driven the hour down to Detroit to see for myself. On this beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon this guy was hard to miss.

This is the guy I drove all the way to Detroit to see.

My first clue was the number of cars parked on both sides of the road. The second clue was the brilliant white head and tail feathers, just glowing in the afternoon light.

He was very good about posing for us down below.

I and a couple dozen of my closest photographer friends spent 30 minutes or so watching him watch us. He would look to his left, to his right or straight down at us, but he never moved a wing. When a kid skidded a rock across the glassy ice below him he watched with interest, but he wasn’t fooled into thinking it was anything but a rock.

“You people need a different hobby!”

I was smiling the whole time I stood there…and even now, just thinking about him being amused by all of us makes me smile again. The only thing that would make me smile wider is if I were to buy myself a bigger, longer lens.

Yep. That would surely make me smile.

What’s made you smile this week? Write a post and link it to Trent’s. He’ll gather them all together and post a recap on Monday. We could all use a smile, share yours!

Nancy Brown Pearce Carillon.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

43 thoughts on “Sunshine smile

  1. oh that eagle is a special image and each photo had different angles of its beauty


  2. May I add a link to this post to my Friday favorites?


  3. Beautiful photos that do remind me that there are blue skies! It’s gray and wet here, just what I expect in January but still…


  4. These are really pretty photos, Dawn. But that eagle…..I love your caption on that last photo. Ha! Like that kid with the rock was gonna ruffle this guy’s feathers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Dawn!

    Belle Isle is such a pretty place – thank you for letting us tag along. I bet it is beautiful in the Spring with bursts of color. Your photos are truly wonderful. The detail in the geese almost makes them look like statues. The water droplets on their feathers – wow! Cool perspective shot of the conservatory. The architectural details of the fountain and casino building are so interesting. My favorite photo is of the bridge. While the fancy wrought iron (it almost looks like each section is a gathered bouquet of flowers tied with curly ribbon) and bright orange color are eye-catching, it is the shadow play that appeals to me. A study of triangles of different sizes, colors, and textures topped with a lacy crown. Wow!! I am glad that you were able to spend time with that handsome eagle! So much to smile about and that gorgeous blue sky…. 😊 I will be googling Belle Isle to read about it’s history.


  6. Glad you got to make the outing. Detroit is not my favorite city (well, wasn’t seve4ral decades ago when I last visited), but the park looks nice. The photos are all great, including the ones of the reason you went 😉


  7. Someday I hope to visit that lovely place. Maybe that will be the same trip I finally get to visit John King Used and Rare Books!


  8. Would love to cross that red bridge but that majestic bird stopped me on my tracks.


  9. The conservatory is beautiful. Looks like a gorgeous April day! Historic Detroit must be so rich in details! I can’t wait for you to go on another guided photography tour of the Motor City, hint, hint.


  10. what a fabulous sky and what a treat to see that Eagle!


  11. That’s such a pretty place for a visit. I’ve been thinking I should drive somewhere just for a change of scenery but when we get a sunny day like that, it’s very cold and when it’s warmer, it’s overcast and then I don’t feel like going out. I smiled at your pictures.


  12. You spotted a real bald eagle?? Oh, Dawn, what a find! Thank you for sharing him with us (and I’m still giggling over his comment about all of you needing to find a new hobby!!)


  13. I have never been to Belle Isle, although our son’s friend got married there once. His first wedding. I didn’t know there were bald eagles that far south in Michigan. The bridge photo is fantastic!


    • I didn’t know that either, but about 3 years ago I started hearing stories about eagles in our area (which is still an hour north of Belle Isle, and then I saw one at Kensington, slightly south of us. And this winter I saw two fly over the house. And my band director saw one over near her house, so they’re definitely around here now. It’s pretty cool.


  14. What a gorgeous sunny day!! Excellent photos, the swans and eagle photos, my favorites! They make me SMILE!! 🦅 🦢😀


  15. Pingback: Friday Favorites: Cookie+Kate; 40 Fingers Play Vivaldi | Notes From the Hinterland

  16. Great pics and YAY for Sunshine.


  17. What a fun day for you to capture some beautiful photographs! 🙂


  18. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 1/25 – 1/31/2020 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

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