Second Verse, Same as the First

Northwoods Journal
Saturday, August 30, 2014

I’m pretty sure you now have “I’m Henry the 8th, I Am” stuck in your head. LOL  Sorry!  No, I’m not really. 🙂

[ I am a few days behind in posting journal entries due to the fact that we couldn’t get any signal on our mi-fi gadget all weekend.  Mark says since there are fewer trees, you would think we would get better satellite reception!]

The morning was pretty much a repeat of yesterday [Friday] with the exception of the logging equipment. The loggers must have had the day off and we had a morning of blessed quiet. Also, Mark gave me an extra hour and we didn’t have to be out the door until nine. But, the rain started hitting the windshield as soon as we left the driveway and we spent the morning dashing through puddles and raindrops to various garage sales. We didn’t go as far afield today and were home by noon. While we were gone, Katy and Pete went to Alpena.

Driving around, we saw this flock of hen turkeys utilizing the airstrip at Atlanta’s municipal airport.  They are probably about the only thing flying in and out of there.

Flock of hen turkeys.

Flock of hen turkeys.

Wild turkey

Wild turkey

Wild turkey

Wild turkey

We actually saw the sun for a brief period in the afternoon and I got a bit of time on the porch with my camera. These goldfinches were my only subjects, though.

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

American goldfinch pair

American goldfinch pair

At one point, a hummingbird came buzzing around so I quickly mixed up the nectar and put the hummingbird feeder out, but we didn’t see it again all day.

Pete was anxious to do some off-roading in his Jeep so we took him down the power lines we drove Thursday and then went over toward Hillman to show them the property we’ve been thinking about buying. With all the rain we’ve had the past couple of days, there is plenty of mud on the trails. It was very weird because just as we headed out, black clouds began to gather both north and south of us everywhere we drove. We even drove through areas of fresh rainfall, but we stayed dry with a spotlight of sun over us pretty much the whole time.

After looking at the 38 acres on Hayes Road, we came all the way back west to the area around Lookout Ridge and drove up the trail we had hiked part of yesterday. It’s always a bit dicey, driving trails we don’t fully know because there’s always the chance around here you will come to a dead end and then you could really end up skunked. One good thing is that Pete had won a CB radio at one of the Jeep events he attended and since he already had one, he gave it to Mark. This gave them the ability to communicate as we traversed through the woods, which was very helpful.

The trail got pretty narrow at a few points but eventually we came out into a large gas field and Mark immediately knew right where we were. We went a little bit farther and came out onto a hard-packed dirt surface and soon we were driving past the horse farm on Thornton Road. There were two sand hill cranes in one of the pastures and Mark stopped for me to take pictures. Wouldn’t you know, those two stinkers started be-bopping away from me as soon as I got out of the FJ! I didn’t think any of the photos would be useable, but I was able to tweak these a little in post-processing. They were greyish-brown birds in a greyish-brown field so what originally came out of the camera was, well, not very good.

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes

Post-processing is another thing I’m learning more about. I used to just adjust the exposure with the auto setting on my Windows Live photo gallery but sometimes this gave the pictures a weird, fake-looking effect I didn’t care for. Well, I clicked around enough to find that there is a “fine tune” thing where I can adjust each aspect of the photo separately. I haven’t fully gotten the hang of it yet, but these photos of the cranes look better after I fine-tuned them than when I just hit the exposure adjustment button.

Having skipped lunch, Mark and I were very hungry when we got back to the cabin. I had made pasta salad earlier in the day and we were planning cheeseburgers on the grill. We had barely gotten out of the vehicles and let the dogs out when lightening flashed, thunder crashed and the sky opened up with a deluge of rain! We then went to Plan B and Mark fired up the Coleman stove and cooked the cheeseburgers on his griddle/grill pan. As I was setting all the items out for our burgers I found, much to my dismay, that the buns I had just bought on Wednesday were completely moldy and inedible! Aunt Millies is definitely getting a strongly worded letter! Pete was a good sport and went dashing out in the downpour to run into town for fresh buns. I don’t think he minded too much, as it meant more mud for the “Michigan paint job” on his Jeep!

A little mud on the Jeep.

A little mud on the Jeep.

The FJ after a day on the trails.

The FJ after a day on the trails.

Michigan pain jobs.

Michigan paint jobs.

Mark was quite disappointed that the Jeep was so much muddier than our FJ but that’s because his tires are a lot wider than ours.

We had invited friends over for a campfire and s’mores so thankfully the rain eventually passed through and we had a pretty decent night for sitting around the fire. It was 11 o’clock before our friends left and by then we were tired from our adventures so more than ready for bed. Tomorrow the guys hope to take a trip over to Camp Grayling to off-road on the military reservation.

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6 Responses to Second Verse, Same as the First

  1. Loved the photos of the cranes, no matter how you got them to look so good. 😉

    It’s funny, my family started going to the Pigeon River Country to go off-roading, but these days, give me a pair of hiking boots and a camera, and I’m completely happy. I thought that every trail up there ended at a dead-end though. 😉

    Like

    • I much prefer hiking to off-roading. I really don’t see the thrill in just riding around for nothing, plus it really hurts my neck. I’ve got some messed up discs in my neck, so being bounced and bumped and thrown around just ends up in a lot of pain for me. Plus, there’s no opportunity for photography when I’m being thrown all over the place! 🙂 I would rather be hiking any day!! But my son-in-law is really into Jeeping, so we try to keep him happy. 🙂 I’m really one of those “That doesn’t look safe!” people so I’m better off with both feet on the ground. LOL

      I’m glad you think the crane shots came out okay. I really wasn’t sure. I wish they would have stayed still for a minute! 🙂

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  2. avian101 says:

    The Sandhill Cranes look fine Amy! May I suggest you buy a monopod, and when you hike it helps you as a cane too! This way you camera is going to be very steady and also give you a chance to concentrate in your camera settings. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, H.J!! I had to get out of the car in a hurry, so didn’t really have time to think about the camera settings since the cranes were hurrying away from me. Why is it birds never walk toward me when I’m holding a camera?? Haha A monopod sounds very helpful, I will look into that!!

      Like

  3. tootlepedal says:

    The cranes were worth a little work. They came out very well.

    Like

    • Thank you, Tom. Hopefully I will get a little better at the “tweaking” thing and really understand what I’m doing. Oh, probably not since I still don’t really know what I’m doing with my camera! 🙂

      Like

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