Category Archives: Michigan

Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse Michigan

Pointe Aux Barques Light House, Michigan,Lake Michigan,
Pointe Aux Barques Light House Michigan

The 1st day of spring 2014 in Michigan, at Lighthouse County Park
7320 Lighthouse Road, 6 miles north of Port Hope, Mi. 48468, was a beautiful sunny day.  It was a great day to sit under the blue skies on the park bench and observe the changing ice flow on the still frozen Lake Huron and the migrating geese that seemed to think they owned the place.

Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse,Port Hope Michigan, Park Bench
1st day of spring at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse

Birding in Michigan

Birding in Michigan

Feb 15, 2014 was an unexpected treat for area bird watchers. The Blue Water Bridge spanning the Saint Clair River, between Port Huron, Michigan and Point Edward and Sarnia, Ontario was the site of a mass waterfowl migration.

The Blue Water Bridge is at the juncture of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. This year there was a rare sight as thousands of ducks from the North made the open water near the bridge home. Michigan has most of the Great Lakes frozen over this year. That has forced many of the northern birds to come South to find open water in which they can fish. Port Huron Michigan.

The record cold temperatures that had frozen 92% of the open water in the Great Lakes this year had caused the wintering waterfowl to look for food in the open waters near the Blue Water Bridge.

Cold Merganser at McLaneGoetzStudioLLC.com
Merganser Duck

The record temperatures added danger to the waterfowl search for food.  As the Merganser ducks dive deep for their food the water droplets start to freeze encasing their bills closed.  Needless to say nature is quick to put an end to their suffering.

Golden eye on the moveA rare sight in the Blue Water Bridge area was the large number of Goldeneye ducks. The black-and-white Common Goldeneye is one of the last ducks to migrate south in fall. They often will winter as far North as open water permits this year North was near the bridge.

“Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014 by LeeAnn McLaneGoetz.”

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Winter versus Spring The Thaw

Winter versus Spring

As the calendar marks the beginning of Spring, Winter has set in and has made up its mind to stay, the dance begins. With Winter and Spring entangled in a frozen vortex, nature is caught in the middle. The egg shape is symbolic of hope that warmer days will return. Macomb Orchard Trail Washington Michigan
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Winter versus Spring

March 1st – Winter 1 v.s. Spring 0

Winter versus Spring
Winter versus Spring

March 1st, Winter is in the lead, and Spring seems to be losing.
Normally this time of year the snowman is a puddle and the spring maples are starting to flow their sap, giving promise of a sweet start to the warmer weather.
So you say it is spring?

 

 

 

The squirrels are getting ready to give birth, and in 8 weeks the little ones will arrive, hopefully to green grass and spring flowers.

 

 

But this year something seems to have gone wrong. Winter storms are still in progress and the snow is piling up, to record levels and the temperature is predicted to remain at  freezing.

 

It is enough to make one wonder will it ever end.

Winter will it ever end

 

 

 

So what is a squirrel to do?  But pray that soon winter will come to an end.

 

 

 

 

Hope of Spring

 Hope of Spring

Lilly - The Hope of Spring
Lilly – The Hope of Spring

For many of us experiencing the cold blast from the “Polar Vortex” we are starting to wonder if we will ever see spring again. Please know that there is hope, and that we are on the count down to warmer days.  Spring starts on Thursday, 20 March 2014.

Spring is only 49 days away. Hang in there.

Christian legend has it that the flower lily of the valley is also known as Our Lady’s tears or Mary’s tears from Christian legends that it sprang from the weeping of the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion of Jesus. Other etiologies its coming into being from Eve’s tears after she was driven with Adam from the Garden of Eden.
But for me it is the eternal symbol of spring.

Squirrel in need of a handout

 

Squirrel in need of a handout

Squirrel in need
Squirrel in need

If you have a bird feeder and enjoy seeing the winterbirds at the feeder, you know about the squirrel in need of a handout.  These pesky little varmints are relentless in making sure the feeders are empty. Then once empty they will knock on your window and beg for more. The suet cakes are also fair game when it comes to the attack of the hungry winter squirrel. I have had my plastic finch seed feeders chewed to destruction, my metal and glass sunflower seed feeder pulled from the hook and emptied onto the ground, and my corn feeders carried off into the woods.

So how do you stop these little beggars  – well one thing I have discovered is that they do not like safflower seeds. So I filled my feeders and gave it a test. It was not visited by the Red, and grey squirrels, but the black ones seem to like safflower seeds.

So if you have any tricks to keep the winter birds happy, and discourage the squirrel varmint’s I would love to give it a try.

 

Did You Know – Mackinac Bridge

McLaneGoetzStudioLLC.com Mackinac
McLaneGoetzStudioLLC.com

Mackinac Bridge Did you know

Construction of the Mackinac Bridge began in 1954 and opened for traffic on November 1, 1957. At one time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

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Clear Blue and Frozen

Clear blue and frozen. At -5 F the bubbles blown freeze instantly resulting in a world, seldom seen by most.
Clear blue and frozen. At -5 F the bubbles blown freeze instantly resulting in a world, seldom seen by most.

The Deep Freeze of 2014 also known as the Polar Vortex  hit Michigan hard and with it we had some extremely cold temperatures – 18 F. Time for some outdoor frozen soap-bubble photography.  Something I have wanted to try for some time, but have not had weather cold enough to try it. This is best done at -5 F and below.  Now it sounds rather simple.  Blow some soap bubbles at -5 F let them freeze in mid-air and photograph them on the fresh snow.  Guess what, soap bubbles do not want to form when it is that cold, and when they do they break. So start early so you are ready when the sun crests the horizon.

I discovered the best method was to be at ground level, on fresh snow and wave the bubble wand about 6″ off of the snow up wind of the landing site. Once the bubbles are in place wait till the sun comes up, and photograph with the shadows cast by the angle of sun on the bubbles. You do not have a lot of time as the bubbles tend to rupture when hit by the warmth of the sun light, or snow particles carried by the wind.  The results are beautiful, but the job is rather dangerous as at -5 F you and the equipment are at the limits.  Frostbite can set in fast with 13 min of exposure. Be sure to warm your fingers often.

So the next time the  Polar Vortex temps visit your area and you want to try this, be sure to find an area that will provide you with good sun exposure and is protected from the wind. Make sure you have soap bubbles on hand as they are hard to find in most stores.

Worst case you can make your own soap-bubbles with the recipe below

1/2 cup of Dawn dishwashing Liquid

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons of cane sugar

For more frozen bubble images visit McLaneGoetzStudioLLC.com http://leeann-mclanegoetz.artistwebsites.com/art/all/frost+ice+snow+the+beauty+of+winter/all