This Spring’s Backyard Visitors

When I talk to students at school visits, I always show my wildlife photography on the big screen.  Loons, eagles with chicks, fox kits at their den with the adults, bears, snapping turtles battling.  I talk about how researching them first-hand from hiking trails and my kayak inspires my stories and helps me find just the right describing words so that readers all over the country can picture these animals in their minds.

I end the visit with backyard photos, and tell my readers that with a little patience, they can wildlife watch, too!

I’m fortunate to live near a lake, and I never sit by it without my camera, as you never know when you’ll have visitors to photograph!

This pair of loons seemed to be searching along the shoreline in early May.  After they passed by the first time, I grabbed my camera and ran down to sit on the rock wall at the edge of the water.  Sure enough, forty minutes later, they passed by again.

My patience had paid off!  Because I sat so still, they came right past my dock . . .

They even seemed to be checking “me” out!   I’d hoped they would nest nearby, but alas, I haven’t seen them that up close and personal since.  Only from afar.

And only one at a time, so I suppose there’s a chance the other is on the nest.  I hope to get out in the kayak soon to investigate.

Another time, a Canadian Goose family came close enough for me to capture a photo with my long lens.

I kept hoping they’d come by the dock too, but they turned and traveled across the lake to the other side.  I saw enough to know there are three families traveling together!

One of my favorite photography subjects in my new backyard, is the hummingbirds.

I must take two hundred photos to get one good one!

They’re so quick!! They’re wings beat 53 times per second!   I may just have to use my camouflage cloak to try to photograph them.

I have tons of flowers in the yard and by the lake ~ hanging pots, flowering bushes, and perennials. They won’t go hungry in my gardens!

A visitor I had had in the campground each Spring, without fail, was the Baltimore Oriole.  I’d put out oranges  May 15th, and two or three pairs would arrive almost immediately.  When I heard they’d been seen in the area, I put out a couple orange halves, even though it was only May 5th.  I waited and waited, but I only had the one visitor around May 20th for a day or two.  But it takes time, so I haven’t given up quite yet.

Another day, as I crossed from the house to my gardening shed, I saw this gorgeous Garter Snake, doing the same!

It was crossing from the shed toward the house, but he took a quick turn to head down to the lake.

It was so long!

What I loved most while watching this snake, was how it would slither through the lawn, then raise his head slowly and sway back and forth with the grass while the wind blew.

I really enjoyed watching the Garter Snake. As long as I was at the end of my long,  500mm lens, that is.

There are so very many birds flitting in and out of my yard this spring!

We have a pair of cardinals . . .

And a pair of hungry Hairy Woodpeckers down by the lake.

There’s also two pair of Robins who are collecting grasses for their nearby nests.

There is so much to see in our backyards if we only stop for a moment to watch and listen.  Listen and watch. From Insects to birds to reptiles to mammals . . .

I’d love hear what you find.

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