Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Searching for a barn-ican


Wednesday I suddenly found myself with a few hours free in the afternoon. And we had sun with the rest of the week predicted to be cold and rainy. What should I do?

What would you do?

On the road looking for interesting barns.

I decided I should head out in search of a few photogenic barns. I wasn’t sure where I’d be going, but just going in search of barns felt great. I told myself it didn’t matter if I found any. I had a full tank of gas and nowhere I had to be.

The barn’s kind of boring, but the tree is nice.

But after a couple of hours I wasn’t thrilled with what I’d found. I seemed to be in familiar territory and hadn’t seen anything new. Then I turned one more corner and found this one. It was perfect.

This was exactly the kind of barn I’d been looking for.

Maybe I wasn’t going to find any more great barns, but it was still early, going on 3:30. I knew I wasn’t far from Overlook Park in Midland, where another photographer had seen pelicans this winter. I’d been there twice before, searching for the pelicans, but hadn’t seen anything more interesting than geese and ducks.

But she’d told me, just recently, that it was always dusk when she saw the pelicans. Would it be worth it to hang out there until the sun went down? I decided to go see.

Can’t get too close, but it was fun to watch the ducks.

Overlook Park, located in Midland, Michigan, is basically a parking lot perched on a hill looking out over the retention ponds of DOW Chemical. I’ve seen eagles and hawks and geese and ducks and deer there. But never pelicans.

Most of the action was happening way over there.

When I first arrived there was one other car parked there, somebody with binoculars scanning the ponds. I pulled in and immediately saw something big headed our way. It landed in a tree on the outer edges of the park, not so far from the parking lot. I thought maybe it was a juvenile eagle. But I was wrong.

Do you see it in the top of the tree on the right?

It’s a hawk, I think, though I’m no expert on differentiating between hawks. As soon as I got out of the car he (or she) spotted me and I knew right away it was going to take flight. I wasn’t wrong about that!

We have lift-off!

I tried to keep it in the frame, but that was just about impossible.

Beautiful bird.

It flew off to my right, into the woods where it could have some privacy. I sighed and returned to my search of the water, looking for pelicans.

I wondered if the pelicans were way over on the other side of the pond, with the hundreds of geese and ducks over there. If they were, there wasn’t a chance I’d ever see them. Even as I considered what else I could shoot, hundreds of geese lifted up, at once, in groups of a dozen or two and flew overhead.

I’m always fascinated by how nature just settles right in next to industry.

The noise was amazing. I don’t know if they were headed to their night roosts, or just stirring up trouble because they could. After they moved on I hunkered down to wait some more. The sun was going down and it was getting colder.

A steady parade of deer headed out to the end of a peninsula and settled down for the night.

I wondered if I’d be lucky. I had no idea from which direction the pelicans would come or where they’d land. So much of the water was far away from where I waited. I reminded myself this wasn’t Disney World, the pelicans weren’t on the clock. There were no guarantees they’d show up at all.

Meanwhile I was entertained by some adorable diving ducks. You’d see them swimming…

Lots of little ducks

…and then suddenly they’d disappear, leaving only a ring of ripples to show they had ever been there.

Where’d they go?

Then they’d pop back up again somewhere else. It was so fun to watch.

Hey! Wait up!

Still…I was there for pelicans. Would they come in as the sun went down or arrive under the cover of darkness? Would it be at the other end of the pond? Had they migrated on to somewhere warmer? Were they even still in the state?

Would they show up at all? How long should I wait?

How long would you wait?

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.

28 thoughts on “Searching for a barn-ican

  1. Very cool photos! I probably would not have the patience to wait for great shots…


  2. The “perfect” barn is, indeed, the perfect barn. There is something about buildings that are showing their age that appeals to my heart. As to waiting for pelicans, “How long would you wait?” – I’m certain I would not have the patience to wait as long as you. And those retention ponds – don’t they have chemicals in them that would be dangerous for wildlife?


    • I liked the barn too. I think the retention ponds are just water, otherwise they wouldn’t be filled with wildlife, and I don’t think Michigan’s Natural Resources would allow them to be something else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As I looked at your photos I kept thinking about a documentary I watched a few years ago about Dow or DuPont Chemical retention ponds in West Virginia (I think) and all the harm they did.


  3. I am so directionally challenged that at 3:30 I’d have been home already–not trusting that I would make it home before nightfall. 😆
    Pelicans and herons…I just take them for granted. But the deer…I’d probably wait for them.
    The hawk photos are beautiful, Dawn. Their wingspan never fails to make me gasp.


  4. How long I will wait depends on two things: How cold is it, and is there any place to sit? 😉


  5. You saw quite a bit of wildlife while you waited so it wasn’t for naught. Hope you saw the pelicans.


  6. I would do exactly as you did and hop into my car! Maybe we didn’t see pelicans, but you definitely kept us entertained with these lovely bird shots. That hawk (or whatever) is a beauty!


  7. Beautiful photos, Dawn – I’m not sure that I would wait that long. You are more paitent than you admit!


  8. I am not known for my patience, unless it’s something I know if REALLY worth waiting for. But usually be patient does pay off.

    Hawks are so cool!


    • I know. I think at most of these nature places I should just sit in one spot and wait to see what comes by…but in the ones that I walk I just can’t do that and I’m always scaring stuff, and I never have the right lens on anyway.


  9. What wonderful captures of that hawk in flight! I always said bird watching has taught me patience 🙂


  10. I reckon you had a pretty successful afternoon. And I’m thinking you finally saw pelicans too. Me? I’d wait till my toes froze, I think!


  11. I hate that you missed the pelicans, Dawn, but I must confess that, if I had gotten cold out there, I’d have probably taken off, too. Yes, I’m just a Southerner at heart, ha! Love the diving ducks, and that cool hawk though.

    Liked by 1 person

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