Category Archives: Michigan

Trail Birds

Macomb Orchard Trail Birds

Take a winter walk on the Macomb Orchard trail. Discover beautiful trail birds.  From the hairy woodpecker to the many colorful finches.  The trail is a paradise of winged wonder. The best days are when the sun is hidden and a fresh snow fall has powdered the path. This is the time when you will see many of our feathered friends in the woodlands that outline the path.

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Winter on Macomb Orchard Trail

The Macomb Orchard tail is a 24 mile long nature park. Its paved linear path is perfect for walking, hiking running and biking. The path was build on the footprint of the Canadian National Railway, from 24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township to the northeast City of Richmond.

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Snow Arch on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird


Trail Bird Friends – Hairy Wood Pecker

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Male Hairy Woodpecker Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – Red Male Cardinal

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Winter Cardinal on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – Female Cardinal

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Female Cardinal on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The House Finch

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House Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The House Sparrow

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House Sparrow on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The Red Finch

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House Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Birds Friends – The White-breasted Nuthatch

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Red Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird


Trail Birds Friends – The White-breasted Nuthatch

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White – Breasted Nuthatch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Birds Friends- The Mourning Dove

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Mourning Doves on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends – The American Gold Finch

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American Gold Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Of course the Macomb Orchard Trail is also known to have a few Hawks, known as birds of prey. As their idea of a snack is sometimes one of our other feathered friends.

Trail Bird Friends- The Red Tailed Hawk

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Red Tailed Hawk on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

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Treasures Mother Nature has hidden

Treasures Mother Nature has hidden

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by LeeAnn McLaneGoetz

The streams along the Macomb Orchard Trail, near Washington, Michigan, flow at different rates and depths creating a lot of ice creatures and drama.  Mother Nature has hidden many gifts in the ice, and if you go out and explore you will discover some of her ever changing hiding spots.

I was amazed to find that Mother Nature had frozen a  trout in the ice. Look closely on the Right side and you will see the frozen entrée on a crystal ice platter.
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After seeing the frozen trout in the ice, my walk along the trail became a magical adventure to see what else Mother Nature had frozen with her winter magic. My next find was one of the best a beached whale looking for the sun.
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So as the winter temps drops and winds start to blow, remember that Mother Nature is busy creating hidden treasures for you to discover.

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3 beginner mistakes that every new photographer makes

3 beginner mistakes that every new photographer makes


The perfect event is in progress and you are starting your photographic journey. As you arrive at the event you discover mistake #1. The new camera you just purchased  is still at home.

#1 Make sure you have your camera with you.

You run back home grab the camera and head back to the awesome event. You pose a few of your best buddies and flip the on switch…. You discover mistake #2 A dead battery.

#2  Make sure you have a battery with a full charge, and a spare battery with a full charge.

Lucky for you a friend at the party also has the same camera and loans you his fully charged battery. You repose the group, turn on the camera and press the button. You just discovered mistake #3 you forgot to put a memory card in the camera.

#3 Ensure you have an empty formatted memory card in the camera.

Again your friend comes to the rescue and gives you one of his memory cards and reminds you to format it for your camera.

Master these 3 mistakes and you are on your way. Although this may seem like common sense, you will find that every photographer no matter how experienced has had to relearn they basic easy 3 steps to better photography.

Happy Shooting
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And Happy Halloween



Halloween on Tillson Street


Halloween on Tillson Street

If you live near Romeo, Michigan, than chances are you have heard of the tradition that the home owners on Tillson street practice.
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Each year the homeowners try to out do the past with an even scarier out come.
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Some use the watchful eyes of Gargoyles to warn of the tricks and treats in the area.

Others invite death to sail into their front yards on a ship of nightmarish dreams.
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Be careful of the tempting buried treasure or you may become the next treasure to be buried.
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All those that venture Tillson street will have a Halloween ball. Even those that are the dead.
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The Hauntings will continue in 2014 so bring your curiosity and hope to return home with stories that can not be made up.
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Or join in on the fun and become part of the atmosphere …. They are always  looking for fresh flesh and blood to feed the undead.
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As you ready your Halloween check out Halloween Gallery for some scary ideas.
PS Boo.

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Say Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

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I talk to the wild animals when I shoot. I ask them to smile, to move away from a fence or to pose in a certain way.
Many people walking by may think I should be wearing a white coat with the ties in the back, but I have found the animals seem to understand. I always am delighted when they do what I ask. For all those that think this is a little strange, I only have to ask one question, “Do you talk to your pet”? I bet in the privacy of your home you do.
Above is the Amur Tiger that I asked to smile.
Below is a Wolverine that I asked to look my way, he seemed to be listening and understand.

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And a snowy owl that seemed to have a conversation he wanted to share.

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So the next time you get a chance to talk to the animals, do not pass it up.
Want to see you favorite animal visit

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2014 Heritage Harvest Festival at Seven Ponds Nature Center Dryden Michigan will be at the show all day on Sunday 9-14-2014 with special show items.

Note: A portion of the proceeds are to benefit Seven Ponds Nature Center.

Who: Everyone is invited to attend (appropriate for all ages)

What: 2014 Heritage Harvest Festival at Seven Ponds Nature Center Dryden Michigan

When: Saturday and Sunday September 13, & 14th, 2014 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Seven Ponds Nature Center 3854 Crawford Road Dryden, Michigan 48428

Why: Fun Fun Fun It\’s

Time for the 38th Annual Heritage Harvest Days at Seven Ponds! Seven Ponds Nature Center\’s Heritage Harvest Days is a longtime favorite with many in the community.

The festival is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and wide range of activities.

Heritage Harvest Days offers features for people of all ages and interests, including many for children.

Once again this year, children age 12 years and under, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted to the festival at no charge.

In addition, the event helps support the year-around environmental education activities at the nature center for thousands of children.

Featuring . . .

Tractors, Antique Cars, and Engines – Exhibited by the Eastern Michigan Collectors and others.

A parade of these vehicles will be held each day at 4:00 p.m.

Bring out your own classic vehicle for display!

Arts and Crafts Exhibitors – Spinning, weaving, quilting, woodcarving, and basketry will be just some of the traditional crafts demonstrated. In addition, there will be exhibits on barns, wooden canoes, maple syrup production, and walnut harvesting.

Many exhibitors will feature items for sale, including pottery, antique buttons, jewelry, photography, rocks and fossils, paintings, and bird houses.

Blacksmith Exhibit by C.J. Forge – Watch blacksmiths Owen Creteau and Kevin Keena demonstrate their craft.

They\’ll be happy to take special orders.

Sheep Shearing Demonstration – Heritage Award winner Deb Caryl will be demonstrating each hour.

The Music Tent – On Saturday, Lost Cuzzins plays acoustic folk at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., while Larry Stevens plays vintage songs at 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, Fable, Grable, and Bearly Able play standards and old favorites at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., while Mark Simpson offers country music at 2:00 p.m.

Children\’s Tent – Run a three-legged race, tackle an obstacle course, play hoop and stick, walk on stilts, search for pennies in sawdust, and watch a magician in this tent.

Farm Animal Tent – Children and adults alike will enjoy seeing and feeding the animals brought by Lil\’ Hillbilly Charms, one of the local 4-H Clubs.

Country Store – Come shopping for antiques, crafts, and lots of other goodies. Bring that Christmas List as this is a great chance to get something special for that special someone.

Nature Walks and Exhibits – Enjoy a walk down to the Seven Ponds and hear their fascinating story from one of the center\’s naturalists.

Horse Drawn Prairie Wagon Rides – Visit the center\’s tallgrass prairie on a wagon pulled by Pinecrest Percherons.

Funny Face Alpacas – Get a close-up look at these interesting animals. How about some alpaca wool socks?

Face Painting – Let Wowie the Clown paint your entire face, or just a bit of your cheek.

Brew you Own – Let the Lapeer Area Brewers show you how to make beer in your own home.

Used Book Sale – Hardbacks and paperbacks, all at a bargain basement price.

Quilt Raffle – Purchase a chance on a handmade quilt, nature center gift certificate, and Lenny Miller\’s restaurant gift certificate.

Bread & Jam Table – Pick up some baked or canned goods to take home.

Herb and Butterfly Garden Displays – Visit these beautiful gardens and talk to the volunteers who tend them.

Don\’t miss the many herb products offered by the Friends of Herbs in the Interpretive Building.

Rookery Gift Shop – Shop for many nature-related items, including books, puppets, rocks, necklaces, and shirts.

On the Menu Saturday – Country Smokehouse Pulled Pork Plate

Sunday – Bratwurst Plate

Both Days – Vegetarian Plate, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream, gingerbread, popcorn, sno-cones, nachos, and soft drinks.

The Harvest Pub – New this year! Enjoy beer, wine, or sangria in this special area near the food tent.

Admission: $6.00, Children 12 and under and exhibitors free.

2014 Heritage Harvest Festival at Seven Ponds Nature Center, Dryden Michigan

Lighthouse Did you know

Did you know….

That the United States of America has more lighthouses than any other country in the world.
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Michigan known for its great lakes is also home to 115 lighthouses

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One of the first government jobs available to women in the early 19th century was that of being a lighthouse keeper.
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The Fresnel lens that was made in France. The light used was fueled at first by lard, then fueled by kerosene, then fueled by acetylene, and now by electricity.
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For more lighthouse images visit Lighthouses Art Gallery

Heidebreicht 8th Bi Annual Womens Clinic will be a vendor at this years

8th Bi Annual Women’s Clinic at Heidebreicht Chevrolet Washington, Michigan on Tuesday June 6th. Noon -6:45PM.
This is a great opportunity for all, to view examples of the quality of art available, ask questions and take advantage of show prices.

Hope to see you there.

LeeAnn McLane Goetz

June 10th, 2014 – Tuesday

12:00PM – 6:45PM

64200 Vandyke Road, Washington, MIchigan 48094

If you would like to attend the event contact

Cindy LaPonse

cindyl – at –

Heidebreicht Chevrolet Event Coordinator

586.752.5900 to be a vendor at the Womens Clinic in Washington, Michigan 48094 to be a vendor at the Womens Clinic in Washington, Michigan 48094

My time with the Michigan Elk

The Native American people call Elk,  “Wapiti”, or “light colored deer”.
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I had the pleasure to spend a day with a large Michigan Elk herd near Gaylord, Michigan in May. I found the entire herd to be very accepting of my human form and camera. I was careful not to get too close and risk a possible charge. The Elk are very large (350 to 900 lbs) animals with their backs well over my shoulder and with a full set of antlers I would say they would be 7-9ft off of the ground. If they decided to charge I could not out run them, so I was happy to see that they accepted me with only mild curiosity.

If I approached too close, I was given the nervous lick, that let me know that I had stepped into the danger zone, at that point I slowly backed up till the licking of the lips stopped.

I did not get to see the full set of antlers on the bull (Male) elk, as the elk lose their antlers each March and start to grow them back in May. By late summer they will grow full size antlers (up to 4ft above the head), in time for the late summer breeding season. I did see a few of the bull elk that had a fresh set of sprouting horns covered in new velvet.

I was honored several times with some of the bull elks lifting their heads to bugle.  The sound is surprisingly loud. It definitely gets the attention of his females in the harem.

All of the elk currently in Michigan, are the result of repopulation. Michigan’s native elk disappeared around 1875. Today it is estimated that Michigan has 900+ elks in the wild, and managed with a limited number of hunting permits.

One of the greatest honors as a photographer is being accepted by a wild animal and being able to photograph them in their native environment.  This was one of the great moments in the May photo adventure.
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Spring means Jack will soon be preaching

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Snakeshead, adder’s root, arum, wild arum, arum lily, lords-and-ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, cuckoo-pint, Adam and Eve, bobbins, naked boys, starch-root, wake robin, friar’s cowl and jack in the pulpit, this sign of spring has many names.
To most of us in Michigan, it is known as jack in the pulpit. The sign that spring will soon be preaching. The forest will soon be alive with,
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Lily of the valley, one of the nicest smells of the forest floor.
And the creeks will be filled with marsh marigolds.
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Welcome spring. We all celebrate the promise of warmer days that inspires hope in all of us.