Family troubles

Kids. They can really be a challenge, especially when you have a lot of them to keep your eye on. The mother grouse we saw in a wildlife preserve on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was certainly having trouble with her brood.

She and her five chicks were wandering along a little dirt road when she spotted us. She ran for the tall weeds, herding the babies ahead of her. So far so good, except that one straggler got confused and ran the wrong way, into the grass on the opposite side.

20140707AnxiousMotherGrouseMama was worried.

20140707MotherGrouseCallingConfusedBabyShe called and called,

20140707MotherGrouseStartsBackand considered running back to get the lost chick.

20140707MotherGrouseAndSecondStrayUnfortunately, that made a second baby think it was supposed to follow her, and she had to turn around and herd it into the weeds where its brothers and/or sisters were hiding.

20140707UPBabyGrouseFinally the first chick bolted out of its hiding place and joined the others (too fast for me to get a picture), and mama led them all someplace safely out of sight.

Moose and Others

20140708NewberryMooseCapitolWe just got back from a nice long seventeen-day vacation that started in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, based in Newberry – “Moose Capitol of Michigan”. Our most unexpected animal encounter was a little different, though.

There we were, driving through the woods, when a large glossy black critter wandered out of the trees. My first thought was “It’s sort of shaped like a cat, but it’s awful big. NOT a housecat…” Then, “Wait, a cat should have a long thin tail. No tail here. At least not one long enough to notice.” And, “Cats aren’t that big-boned, either.”

And finally, “BEAR!!”

Fortunately, the bear was a lot more blase about the encounter than I was. It just ambled across the highway in front of us without even swinging its head in our direction. Unfortunately, I was so amazed that I couldn’t get my camera up to try for a photo before the bear was back in the trees.

I did get a picture of a moose, though. As you can see, it seems to be a bit shy, but even so it spent a lot of time hanging out in front of our hotel.

20140706UPMoose

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Wordless Wednesday – July 23, 2014

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WordlessThursday – July 3, 2014

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Two helpful tips on what not to do with your blog

So, a little over a month ago I posted a few pictures of flower buds and challenged people to guess what they would turn out to be when they opened.

Oops. It didn’t turn out as planned. So, now that I’ve goofed big-time, I think I’ll set myself up as a blogging expert and tell the rest of you what to avoid. Ahem.

1)   If you have a two-part post in mind, make sure you have both parts ready before you publish the first one. Otherwise, well, you might find yourself with a pair of pictures like these:

(Yes, that’s the same flower. Really. The only difference is a week or two of time passing.)

2)   Oh, and you might want to avoid publishing Part One and then vanishing for a month.

So, with apologies, here’s the followup to my June 1 post.

And the teaser – no, it’s not a rosebud.

If you look at the backgrounds, you can see that the leaves are the same shape for this red peony bud as for the pink peony buds. The main difference? That red coloring shows up in the stalks as well as the flowers.

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Wordless Wednesday – June 4, 2014

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On the brink of summer

Can you predict the future?

What will these flowers be when the buds open all the way?