Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Midsummer morning


I feel as if summer is sliding away from me, days turning into minutes, weeks into moments. Yet it’s only the beginning of August, there’s plenty of summer left, especially for a retiree. Right? Being retired is enough to make me smile, but my walk on a midsummer’s morning made me absolutely grin.

The dreaded first sighting of goldenrod.

I was out at my favorite park this past Thursday, while it was still July, while I could still consider it mid-summer, and yet I felt fall encroaching.

Beautiful, but I’m not ready for leaves turning yet.

I went with my biggest lens, the better to see birds in their natural space versus standing on my outstretched palm.

But of course I did have a few birds in my hand. Can’t not do that.

But what I found instead was a whole forest filled with youngsters. And I don’t mean the busses of preschoolers that arrived as I was leaving. Thank goodness.

I don’t know what this is, but it was pretty.

I have so much to show you from my walk in the woods, I don’t know if I should break it up into two posts, or if you’ll have the patience to read one long post.

Joe Pye is beginning to bloom.

I don’t even know if I have the patience to write one long post.

The grasses are maturing.

You can always scroll through and just look at the pictures. I have a feeling the words will be minimal anyway.

Wild grapes are beginning to pink.

I got to the nature center early in the morning, but on the drive through the park I noticed my favorite willow tree island had a beautiful swan. So after I parked I walked back along the bikepath to capture her as she preened.

Was she using the water as her mirror?

Notice the grey pile of fluff off to the right? That is her baby, or maybe more than one, I couldn’t really tell. Her partner is swimming behind the island, couldn’t see him well either.

Her little one (or more) are well hidden in the shade.

But she (I’ve decided it’s a she, I really don’t know) sure was taking her time getting beautiful that morning.

Looking stunning that morning.

Then I walked back to the parking lot at the nature center to get the rest of my gear, and found this exhausted and hungry mama, right beside the bike rack.

Eating at the parking lot salad bar.

With my long lens I was able to get quite close without interrupting her breakfast.

And beside her, on the other side of the bike rack, were the normal crane parking lot greeters, getting spruced up for their shift of collecting the lot fee from everyone arriving to enjoy the trails.

Hurry up Henry, we’re going to be late for work!

Lucky for me I got there before they clocked in.

So I headed into the woods…

The bridge to the woods.

…and met this guy right away. He already had breakfast so I didn’t offer him anything more.

You’re not going INTO THE WOODS, are you?!

It was right about then that I noticed a sense of fall seeping into air. I shook it off and ventured further into the dark cool green, and interrupted two moms and their little ones having some breakfast of their own.

Family brunch interrupted.

I stood there a long time watching them watching me.

Mama and her mini-me.

This little one was intensly curious about me.

Should I run or should I stay?

And then I heard a titmouse, just over my right shoulder, angrly asking why I wasn’t providing a snack. So I handed off a peanut and moved on.

Hey Lady! Fork over the peanut! I know you have one!!

I only saw one other person my entire walk in the woods, and that was another photographer.

I see something right over there…

As soon as he got down from the bench and moved on this mama came out of the brush.

Is he gone yet?

I took a different trail and moved deeper into the woods. The long lens wasn’t really the right choice with so little light. But I didn’t want to stop to change it because you just never know what you’ll see.

Oops, thought it was another deer!

Or how far away it might be.

Way over there on that ridge is another exhausted mama, chewing her cud and watching me.

But the mosquitos were beginning to follow me. I pictured myself running out of the woods with a swarm of bugs trailing me, sort of like a Bernstein Bear cartoon. I moved faster.

After clambering over a downed tree that crossed the trail I was shooting an image of a tree damaged in the recent storms where the fresh wood had a similar color to deer, confusing me for a moment…

Kind of the same color as the deer roaming these woods.

…when out of the corner of my eye I saw more of that reddish brown.

Another mama and her baby hoping to have an undisturbed meal.

These two didn’t seem to realize I was there. Until mama did.

Lady, you need to move along now.

The baby didn’t seem too bothered by me at all, but I went on down the trail so they could enjoy mama/baby time alone. Plus I was beginning to get hungry myself, it had been a long time since my own breakfast, and I was still deep in the woods with a long walk back.

See you later, lady!

I tried not to stop anymore as I booked it out of the deep woods. Except when I saw something interesting. Or fun. Or both.

This says late summer to me for sure.

But mostly I was trying to get back into the open where the breeze would keep the bugs from swarming around my head. Yes, I had applied bug spray before I left the car, but not on my hands, because I knew I’d be feeding birds. I guess that made me fair game for the mosquitos.

Bet you didn’t know crocodiles lived in the woods!

Back out in the open I had a nuthatch and a chickadee makeing big noises about getting a treat, but they wouldn’t come down to my hand. I finally figured out that maybe they were this year’s young, and not quite confident about the whole process of coming in for a snack.

Tell me how this works again, lady?

But eventually they both came down, after doing a fly over or two to check me out.

This peanut is almost as big as me!

The sky was getting dark and I figured it would soon rain, so I headed back to the car. Climbing the stairs to the parking lot I could hear people, cars and busses.

Change of shift for the swallows.

I was glad I’d gotten my walk in the woods finished before the masses arrived. Time to head back home to the princess who would just be getting up from her morning nap.

Earlier in the morning there were deer and cranes. Now bikes rest while their people explore.

It was a good midsummer day all around.

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.

41 thoughts on “Midsummer morning

  1. I feel as you do about summer slipping away. As soon as I turn the calendar over to August and can see school orientation looming, oh boy. Your captures are wonderful, the expression on that squirrel priceless. Love all those birds on your hand. Beautiful walk, Dawn. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely walk in the woods Dawn… that squirrel! The deer! But those birds eating from your hand… fabulous!
    I feel the same… August starts making me realize summer is moving way too fast. But we still have lots left.
    Happy August and thanks for a beautiful walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great mid-summer’s walk! Quite a few deer out. It has felt like September the last few days here – relatively cool, low humidity, cold nights – but summer will be returning by the end of the week. Hope you have a wonderful week, and perhaps more time out in nature!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is the most interesting park. It’s more of a zoo with all the different species. I miss chicory flowers, you can’t find that kind of blue in Alabama. Thanks for taking us along on your walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, chicory indicates late summer, a beautiful but sad time of year. Wonderful walk, lovely captures.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, what a wonderful walk! I am a little envious of all the deer sightings…I haven’t seen many here this year. Thank you for taking us along! The leaves are starting to change here too (Southeastern Ontario), and the goldenrod is ready to burst forth as well. I can feel the cool weather just around the corner. Time to get out and enjoy the warmth while it lasts.

    Connie xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely walk you had. the last time I was in the forest the mosquitos nearly carried me away. Great photos as always and you must be one of the most patient and trusting of humans in the forest to get a bird to eat from your hand! August is usually when panic sets in for me and the realization that school will resume and soon. But this summer has been good a balance of important things and some things that weren’t important. Less than two weeks and I am back… did a little bit of school work yesterday, but have lots more to do in the coming days – Monday, 8/16 @ 7:30 AM. Have a wonderful day, peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was the most wonderful walk. We don’t have any parks like this close by so this was a real treat. All the deer you have! I used to see deer by the side of the road when I would drive home from the prison, so many years ago. I am amazed the birds that eat out of your hand–and you are able to photograph them, too! I think I am ready for fall. The rain has made my backyard a jungle that I need to tame, but the humidity (and mosquitos) have kept me indoors. Soon as the temps cool down, I will be out there. In the meantime, a quick check out the window says rain is a-coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous color on that blue flower! And I’m still pea-green over your getting birdies to eat right out of your hand! Somehow, even with bug spray applied liberally, I find myself a mosquito magnet, so a walk like yours wouldn’t have been good for me. Still, I’m glad to enjoy it through your eyes … and lens!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for the lovely walk this morning. Our heat and poor air quality keep me inside, but I’m promising myself I’ll walk more once it cools down – although my walks will not be through woods and will not be as interesting as yours are, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am loving all your photographs, Dawn, but especially deer and closeups of grasses. Summer does go by too quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You are such a skilled word crafter and photographer!! I’m in awe and have some serious envy going on over here. 🙂 Beautiful pictures and I’m always so happy when you have posts up.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It has been far, far too long since I’ve had a walk in the woods. And I’ve almost never seen deer at all, let alone baby deer.
    … oh, you don’t suppose it’s the dogs that I take with me? 😉
    so, I’m extremely glad that you took me along again. I love the alligator!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a nice morning walk! The morning light is so pretty! I wonder what that pretty little pink bud is also…very interesting! 🙂


  15. Crocodiles in the woods?! Yikes! No, I didn’t know! I’ll be sure to keep watch now tho, thanks Dawn. I love All the photos and the words. I especially like that photo of the one grass stem. But I like them all. I’m retired too and in truth I like the longer posts with more photos so please don’t be shy about including more of your favorite photos (and words). I also love how the deer and the birds talk to you. 🙂


    • Thank you, Ann. Sometimes I can’t get the fingers to slow down when I’m doing a post. And I almost always have photos I want you to see. I love that grass shot too. I’ve blown it up bigger and for once the focus was spot on.


  16. Awesome images Dawn. I really enjoyed walking in the woods with you. I like that you kept it one post, we got the whole experience.


    • Yes, when I try to break events up into multiple posts something gets lots in the translation. Except when I’m traveling, then breaking it up into like photos, or visits or different days works.


  17. This was such a lovely walk, Dawn. Thank you. 🙂 We have dragons in our woods. I’ll have to watch for crocodiles.


  18. Thank you for sharing your inspiring walk! You captured some fascinating expressions on the wildlife. And beautiful colors of the summertime. I’m with you on not quite being ready for the changes showing us fall is soon to arrive. I do love the colors of fall, but the long white period I’m not ready for yet. I’m so amazed that the birds come and land on your hand! Impressive. Thanks for the smiles, I so needed to take a relaxing walk in nature!


    • Glad you enjoyed the walk! It was much cooler that day than if you’d been out today which is muggy and miserable. I’m sure the mosquitoes are even worse today! I’m not ready for summer to end yet either, I’m sure (hoping anyway) we have some more nice, moderate days before all that white stuff starts falling.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Having a bird eat out of my hand is on my bucket list! Might have to take a trip to Michigan someday to make it happen?

    I’ve tried in my yard with sunflower seeds, but no luck yet. The chickadees get close though. Maybe I need to up the ante with peanuts?


    • I think if you’re persistent, and go out to feed the chickadees when the feeder has been empty for a day, you’ll get them to come down. They usually do a few flyovers first. They might just do flyovers for a few days. But if they don’t have a lot of other options, they’ll come in. ESPECIALLY for peanuts. Get some at your local wild bird place. And, of course I’d love for you to come on over to Michigan to feed the birds. I have guest rooms, no problem. Oh…you’ll have better luck with the birds eating out of your hand in winter when they have fewer options.


  20. All good tips! Thank you! I will keep trying (and get some peanuts).


  21. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 8/2 – 8/8/2021 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

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