Hear the honking of geese overhead?

Hear the honking of geese overhead?

Yesterday, magically, we heard the first geese honking in the sky.  Barry heard them down by the bay; I heard them directly overhead (but was photographing leaves deep in the woods and couldn’t see the clearly).  They are lining up in their V-formations and heading down South. 

Every year they begin migration mid-September.  By early October they honk regularly, like minstrels, urging us outdoors to admire their flapping wings and goose-language.  They like to rest on the Huron and Keweenaw Bays, gathering energy before venturing across the interior of the Upper Peninsula. 

The heart soared yesterday to hear the familiar honking.  Hopefully the camera will succeed in recording an image of a low-flying flock before the autumn ends.  Unfortunately, many groups fly high in the sky, looking like little black specks in the classic V-formation.

Sky at dawn

Sky at dawn

I took the above photo at 7 a.m. on my way to work.  By 9 p.m. these days the sky is dark.  Our days are getting shorter.  The trees around here are still mostly green, although shocks of red or orange or yellow sometime decorate certain branches or trees.  Tomorrow I will be driving to Marquette, and those leaves along the way usually turn color before our closer-to-the-lake variety.

Last night Nancy called with suggestions to capture the dozens upon dozens of bees buzzing in her gardens.  That sounded like a good assignment!  So on the way home from work, I paused to meander throughout her flower gardens, praising bees.  Since word of the honeybee scarcity hit the news, many of us have become more appreciative of the buzzing humming creatures.  Except when they sting.  Then we’re a little less appreciative!

Two bees

Two bees

It is very challenging to photograph bees.  I have been trying for two months.  This is the problem:  the lens on the camera thinks you want to photograph the flower.  So it focuses on the flower.  It usually refuses to focus on the smaller bees.  So the bee ends up looking blurry against the flower.  Then there’s another problem.  The bee almost always refuses to show its face.  (That’s because its face is burrowed in the flower, drunk on pollen.)

Bee on pink

Bee on pink

I enjoyed a lovely half-hour in Nancy’s gardens.  What a delightful stop!  So soothing, so relaxing.  There is this certain chair where you sit overlooking a small pond.  It’s mesmerizing.  Lulling.  The bees buzz and lull you almost to sleep.  Perchance to dream with the fragrance of hundreds of perfumed flowers mingling in the breeze.

The biggest fattest bee of the day

The biggest fattest bee of the day

So, you may be wondering where I’m going now.  It’s time for another trip!  This time I’m flying out real early Friday morning (that would be 6 a.m.) and winging down to Detroit and then on to Atlanta, Georgia.  Once there, I find the shuttle and ride two hours to the Holiday Inn in Athens, Georgia, where my in-laws will be waiting.  It’s going to be a wonderful vacation on red Georgia clay, exploring the outdoors and spending hours talking, reconnecting and just plain having fun.  My brother-in-law lives nearby too, and he’s an avid reader of this blog (along with my mother-in-law) so he’s coming up with ideas for outdoor sights.  I’m trusting that he’ll come up with some good ideas.  Some of you may remember the Craig came up here ice fishing this winter.  Check out this blog if you’ve never seen the fun we had.

Looking through the garden fence

Looking through the garden fence

And here’s the best part!  I am taking Miss Ellie along.  Any one know who Miss Ellie is?  I have just named this little laptop.  Someone asked a few weeks ago (when she was brand new) “Are you going to name your computer?” and I replied, “No!  You have to be kidding!”  But guess what?  A name just presentd itself tonight.  This computer is now Miss Ellie and she’s coming traveling.  How exciting!  You can go online in airports when you’re drinking Starbucks and sitting around.  You can post a blog anywhere!  I am way excited.  Even bought Miss Ellie a sporty maroon traveling sleeve to fit in the backpack last week. 

She’ll match the Georgia soil.  Stay tuned starting Friday for some southern outdoor adventures.  Bet I even beat the geese!

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