May 30, 2010

Big Changes

We have some exciting changes happening around us. The Magical Mundane is relocating. In a month, instead of Michigan nature photos you will be seeing something new. You will be seeing Florida photos, specifically around the northwest panhandle. My husband has accepted a transfer with his job to the Pensacola area, which also happens to be where my mother and step father live. We will be leaving MI on June 21st and he starts work in FL on the 27th.

The one sad part is that we had to give up our flock of poultry. After much discussion, we decided it wouldn't be fair to them to haul them 15 hours in pens and the weather down south might not suit them. Fortunately, we were able to find them a wonderful home where they have other critters to befriend. This family has chickens, ducks, turkeys, bunnies, goats and even a few cows.

That is pretty much all I have for you today. I am going to schedule out a few blog posts with photos but I may be scarce for a while. I have loads of sorting, packing and hauling to the thrift store that needs to get done in three short weeks.

I am going to leave you with these photos of White-Crowned Sparrows migrating through Michigan.


May 11, 2010

Shore Birds - NBCB Part 3

These are the last of the photos from New Buffalo City Beach. There are a lot of photos in this set, even with me ruthlessly cutting out photos I wanted to share. They all can't make this entry though. You guys would be wading through the photos forever. *grin* Since there are so many, I am going to hush up now and just add some captions. Enjoy!

Caspian Tern -

Mallard Duck male

Mallard Duck female

Mallard couple -

Herring Gull -

Ring-billed Gull -

Taking off down the runway

This was such a cute pose I couldn't resist keeping this one in the blog post.

In flight

Splashing around

Mixed group of adults in various cycles of feathering. Both Herring and Ring-billed Gulls are shown.

"Listen Up! I've got something to say."

"Are you listening to me?"

"Mine? Mine! Mine!" (Finding Nemo reference)


May 10, 2010

Macro Monday - NBCB Part 2

More photos from New Buffalo City Beach. For more macro entries, please visit

Driftwood in the sand.

Holes can form in rocks for many reasons. Some are from sea critters burrowing in them. Others are from air pockets that form when they are hot, as in volcanic rocks. Another explanation is weather and erosion. In any of the cases we are left with a stone that stirs the imagination.

Lake Michigan beach rocks.

Shale is a common sediment in and around the Great Lakes. It is composed of clay mixed with other minerals, usually quartz and calcite. Slate actually comes from shale that has been exposed to heat and pressure. It becomes much harder and is then classified as slate.

Layers in Shale Stone.

Life grows on, even in between the layers of shale.

Here a spider has formed its home in between the shale rocks.


May 9, 2010

Beach Bumming - NBCB Part 1

This is another venture that resulted in many photos. One lazy afternoon, Dave and I headed to the beach but not the one here in town. Oh no. We had to become tourists and drive 30 minutes south to New Buffalo.

Mini Lighthouse Marker

Lake Michigan

Not that I mind driving to the beach there. One of my favorite restaurants is there, The Stray Dog, which is where we lunched. But back to the beach before my mind wanders too far. Due to the number of photos this post is being broken into at least three parts. Part One is general photos. Part Two will be macros. Part three will be shore birds.

Part One: The Beach
Upon arriving at our destination, we trudged up the boardwalk. Southwest Michigan is known for it's dunes but they are susceptible to damage, both caused by man and nature. If you are visiting our dunes, please stay on the designated paths and walkways.


Beach grass, photo taken from path.

As we make our way down to the shore the wind picks up. At this point I am glad I wore my jacket. Brr. Here we are getting blown away. No I do not have squished eyes! I was squinting to keep the sun, wind and sand out of them.


Jessica (Me)

There was quite a commotion going on off shore. This crew is dredging the channel so that boats can get in and out without running aground. Dredging pretty much means this boat scrapes up the sediment from the bottom of the channel and moves it somewhere else, usually the beach area. This is vital in our great lake not only for the shipping industry but our tourist industry as well. We have hundreds of people pour into our lake side towns to spend the weekend, go fishing or just enjoy the lake and beaches. If they can't get their boats in and out, they would go elsewhere.


Also it replenishes the sand that has washed away with the tide. Yes Lake Michigan is large enough that is effected by tides.

Lake Michigan's golden sand

So that is all of my general photos. Stay tuned tomorrow when I share some macros. In the meantime, here are some interesting facts about Lake Michigan and it's sister lakes.

Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.

Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.

Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.

Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.

Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.

Forty of the state's 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.

The Petoskey is the official Michigan state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. It spans 5 miles over where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. It took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.

Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.

Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights.

Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J.W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.

Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan's inland seas.

The Great Lakes hold one-fifth of the world's supply of fresh water.
-From various Sources


May 8, 2010

Camera Critter Saturday - Myrtle

Myrtle is my FIL's farm cat. She is definitely Siamese but also has something else in her. What we have no idea. She is a very beautiful kitty though.

"Are you coming along or what?"

"Oh! Are you still here?"

For more critter entries, please visit:

Camera Critters


May 7, 2010

Flowers & Life on the Farm

Snow Trillium and Trout Lily

Yes, I am still posting photos from my FIL's farm. We spend a lot of time out there during the spring, summer and fall.

Trout Lily

Snow Trillium

In the spring we are tying & trimming blackberries, getting the garden ready for planting and helping with the spring beef coming in to be processed. Our beef gets processed Friday! Soon our freezers will be full with steaks, roasts and burger. Yummy!

Purple Cress

White Clover

In the summer we are picking berries, weeding the garden and picking early veggies like lettuce, peas and beans. This year the berries will be slim. We are planning on taking out all but a few rows. They are getting old and less productive. We will start a new patch in a new location within the next two years. Only the most productive rows of the current patch will be spared but only until the new one is established.

Dog Violet

Cabbage White (Male)

In the fall, venison starts coming in to be processed. We also are getting the last bit of berries off the vines, harvesting later crops like squash, potatoes, beets, carrots etc. and storing said crops. One of these years I am going to have myself a root cellar. For now I just have to get by with canning and freezing.

Bearded Iris



I hope you have enjoyed the tour of flowers. The first four were taken around the creek that runs through the woods. The next three were in the open area between the berry patch and the woods. The last three are from one of the flower beds.


May 6, 2010

Joy Ride

A week or so ago, my husband plowed the family garden at my father in law's house (from here on out known as FIL). To give you an idea of what is going on, my FIL, oldest nephew and I are sitting there enjoying our drinks at the picnic table. They have beer and I have an ice cold Coca Cola. We are looking at my bird pictures. My FIL grins and says, "Well you better take a picture of Dave plowing so you remember it". Apparently, the FIL didn't let him plow much when he was younger. It was always his older brother's job. So for your viewing enjoyment, here is my hubby plowing the garden.

Note to the hubby: I love you hunny bunches.