Earlier this week I decided to visit Chippewa Nature Center up in Midland. That’s about a two hour drive for me, but I kept seeing beautiful photos on a Facebook group of birds and animals that were taken there, and I’d never been. So, since I had one day free and the weather wasn’t too horrible, I decided to buzz up there and see what I could see.
I almost didn’t put tights on under my jeans before I left, and I’m so glad I did because it was much colder up there and the wind was blowing. Great. Once I arrived I studied the map at the parking lot trying to figure out where the trailhead was. It wasn’t very clear, so I wandered a bit and ended up on a paved path designed for preschoolers. The little trail looped around a school. This was the only picture I took.
Then I went and figured out where the adult trails were, but they were covered in ice and even though I had my Yax grippers with me I didn’t think it looked very fun to creep along the ice on a trail that I had never been on before. Alone.
So I decided to come back another day, after things thawed out a bit. But because I was very near the Midland Park where I had once seen eagles, I stopped by on my way home. No eagles were flying, but I did see two eagles on their nest. Unfortunately the nest isn’t anywhere close to parking, so no pictures. But still cool.
And then, on the way home, having taken only one picture (unheard of for me!) I decided since I was driving right past, I’d stop at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, a favorite place of mine. I was hoping I would find eagles on the nest I’d seen last time I was there.
On the road out to the refuge I had to stop to shoot this barn. I’ve loved it before, but it was especially pretty with the light that morning.
And this one, too, a little further down the road. Now, even if I saw nothing else, I’d at least have shot three things on this adventure. Some kids and a couple barns.
There was no one at the refuge when I got there. I was arriving later in the day than normal, but I was still hoping to see those eagles…
…until I got to the T in the trail and to the right, the way I needed to go, looked like this.
Hmmmm…I could put on the cleats. But still, I was alone out there — if I fell it would be a long time before someone came to help. It didnt seem worth the risk.
Turning left there was a ‘nature viewing’ shack. I’d never investigated it before, and the trail was clear that way so I figured why not.
This is the view. Uninspiring.
I took the heavy long lens off the camera and put my regular lens back on and decided I’d just go for artsy fartsy pictures on the mile long walk back to the car. So that’s what you’r going to get for the rest of this post. I don’t imagine you’ll mind too much.
There was some beaver damage on downed trees. Not really artsy fartsy, but interesting.
And a huge tree limb that had fallen across the trail with beautiful insect tracks.
I originally thought it was a limb from an ash tree because of the bug trails…but the tree this limb fell from looked like a hickory tree, so I don’t know what caused the damage. I spent a long time taking pictures of the naked limbs with the beautiful but sad markings.
And closer to the car the ice, as long as I wasn’t walking on it, was beautiful too.
Even a bit of frozen grass could be seen as art.
And fungus on a stick was certainly beautiful too.
Back at the parking lot I shot the farm that was way off across a field, and that was the end of the photographic adventure for the day.
Oh! I did see a couple cardinals. Not that I can’t see those at home, but still…it was wildlife.
The grand total was some kids, some ice, some dead tree limbs and a bird or two. Not what I went looking for. But it was still fun. I got out of the house, in the fresh (cold) air with my camera. You can’t always choose what you get to shoot, but you can always turn it into something worthwhile.