Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Birthday walk


My husband got me a new camera lens for my birthday in April, but we’ve been so busy with our Katie-girl and truck safety stuff that I haven’t had a chance to take it out for a test walk.

Yesterday, even though the weather people said there woud be a 10% chance of rain in the morning, my neighbor and I headed to my favorite park where the herons are nesting in their rookery and little birds are always excited to see us.

One of my favorite places.

Early in the morning the sky was filled with puffy white clouds turning pink as the sun came up. I had high hopes. But shortly the rolling grey clouds moved in from the north, and it began to sprinkle. Still, she was game, and I really wanted to see whether there were baby herons, so we decided to go anyway. We both dressed for a 10% chance of rain.

Along the way, on the 40 minute drive, it began to pour. At worst case, we said, we’d drive by the heron rookery and check it out through the windshield. With the wipers on if need be.

With the new lens I can get this close to a heron’s nest!

But as we pulled into the nature center parking lot the sun began to peep out, making the landscape glow just a little.

Everybody was trying to dry out.

Still, it was windy. And when the sun dropped back behind the clouds it was cold. Cold and windy made the little birds very insistent on our attention and we lingered on the boardwalk that edges the water where the herons live for quite awhile feeding the red winged blackbirds and a drenched, bedraggled woodpecker.

No, I’m not a woodpecker, the lady with the long lens didn’t get a picture of him.

There was no action at the heron condo complex. I actually wondered if they had already hatched their little families and moved on. But there was one heron standing atop a nest, and it’s still early in the season, so mostly I was just confused.

One lone heron stands guard. Turns out that there were other herons there too, sitting low in their nests, out of the wind.

We decided to try walking around the lake, I was hoping to get into the woods and out of the wind. It was really cold. Almost immediately we came upon a Canadian goose couple, one of which stepped into the path and began to hiss at us. Uh oh. I told my neighbor not to get too close, you don’t want to mess with an angry goose. Then I noticed the babies behind them.

Out of focus angry parents, protecting little tennis balls of fluff .

We gave them lots of room as we moved past them, then we watched the babies, from a place far enough away that the parents weren’t threatened. That’s where having a long lens is really helpful.

Hey lady! My siblings are busy messing around in the mud, but I’ll pose for you. Stardom looks good on me!

We didn’t get much further when the wind really picked up and we realized that walking all the way around the lake was going to be pretty miserable. So we turned around and headed back toward the car.

A second family, swimming among the lilly pads, with about a dozen little ones.

The parking lot greeter cranes were delighted we were back so soon. Their business had been a bit slow that morning, what with the weather and all. They were more than happy to get their parking permit payment in the form of a yummy snack.

Hey! Don’t forget to pay your parking fee!

We left damp, chilled and happy. I had the chance to try out the new lens , she got to feed a few birds and one hungry crane couple. We vowed we’d be back soon to monitor those illusive herons.

But we’d pay better attention to the weather report next time.

Sure lady, you go get back in your warm car. We’ll wait here in the wind for someone else to come along and feed us.

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.

44 thoughts on “Birthday walk

  1. Great post! I would love to get some of that Michigan rain here right about now! I didn’t know that herons nested in groups like that. Very interesting. Hope Katie is doing well too. Did all her tests come back ok after surgery? Your bird pics made me smile this morning, especially the little tennis ball babies and the parking lot crain, lol!


    • Katie’s bloodwork is much closer to normal after surgery. She’s on a couple antibiotics, we have 3 more weeks of that. They seem to be supressing her appitite and she has decided she doesn’t like dogfood. Not any dogfood, even her favorite from before surgery. So that’s a fight every day.

      I’m glad the bird pictures made you smile! I’d also love to send the rain over to you. We’re done with it for now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is good to hear, although too bad about her appetite…it could be due to the antibiotics. My Sheltie boy says she’d probably still like cookies! I told him she needs proper food too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • She loves people food at the moment. She’s getting fed rice and chicken for breakfast because early morning seems to be her least favorite time to eat right now, and I need to get a couple pills into her. I try to get her to eat her old dogfood for supper, but I have to hand feed her and she’ll only eat a third of what she should. Then she gets another snack in the evening so that I can give her more pills. She may have figured out she can get people food just by refusing to eat her dogfood. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice photos. Especially love the hissing mama goose with babies in focus behind her.

    What lens did you get?


    • I have a Nikon Z6 camera, and he bought me a 70-200 lens with a 2x converter that gets me to 400 and then I can move down from a full frame and that gets me about 100 more…so basically a 70-500.


  3. Glad to see you carved out some ‘me’ time to try your lens out! Love the parking lot attendant picture!


  4. The Canada Goose baby shot is wonderful!
    Fun story, too.


  5. Those adorable little fluff balls..!! Yes, stardom definitely looks good on that little one. What lens did you get, Dawn? Your photos are wonderful.


    • It’s a 70-200 lens that fits the Nikon Z6 and then there’s a converter that takes that 2x (so I guess to 400) and then I can take the camera out of full frame and that gets me a bit more.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Really great photos. How exciting. Now I want to get a camera even more. Those heron nests are amazing and huge. You have a great variety of birds there.


  7. The photos you got with your new lens are amazing!


  8. How cool! Your new lens is working out great, and those photos of the “baby tennis balls” are simply precious. Too bad you picked a cold, rainy day for sight-seeing, but cheer up — it’s going to get warm eventually!


  9. Glad that 10% was on the way instead of after getting there 😉 Great try-out for the new lens


  10. Wow! How long a lens is it? The photo of that gosling is adorable — and I love the sandhill crane with wings outstretched


  11. You got some nice shots! But that crane seems a bit of an exhibitionist! Just saying!


  12. I bet it was good to get back into the car. But you certainly took some great pictures with your new lens. In particular, I love the picture of the baby gosling.


  13. Such beautiful photos, oh the baby gosling ❤️ and I love the babies with mom with the lily pads. The parking attendant is a hoot, and would scare the bejusus out of me if I saw that coming. Haha, until you told me he just wants food! So many birds and not as many out on this blustery day I’m sure!


    • Yes, the cranes can be a bit intimidating because they’re so big, almost as tall as I am. He was just so excited to see someone who he figured had food, that he let out a big cry, which is also intimidating, and trotted over. He surprised me so much I didn’t have time to get his wings in focus, but you get the idea

      Liked by 1 person

  14. That’s a successful trip! Your new lens does a great job (well…actually you’re doing a great job) framing the shots! Little geese are so darn cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy Birthday a bit late! A new lens how exciting and it takes great photos:)


  16. Happy Birthday! That Gosling and then the whole family were adorable.
    I enjoyed the other birds as well. Hugs to Katie. Hope she is feeling better.


  17. Love all the birds. I am so glad you got a new lens to play with which one did you get?


  18. Happy belated Birthday Dawn! That is such a nice lens, with all that extra “reach”. The little fluff ball gosling is adorable! I imagine that folks who forget to bring the parking parking fee would get a stern earful from the cranes. I hope Katie is feeling better and gets her appetite back soon. Please give your Princess a gentle pat from me. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.


  19. I need a longer lens too. Ask your hubby if he’d like to buy me one. Ok, maybe not. Your photos are terrific!
    I was talking with a friend of mine about the Canadian Geese and their young ones, when the friend reminded me that they are Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese. Ok. 🙂
    The Great Blue Heron here in the Pacific Northwest are a bit late this year, so maybe yours are too.
    Really great photos. You are an inspiration.


    • There’s a Tamaron lens I was thinking about, I think it’s 150-600. I have been watching a Michigan wildlife FB page and one of the people on there uses that lens and has pretty terrific work.


  20. A belated happy birthday – and congratulations with a new lens. You put it to good use here and captured some lovely images.


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