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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World Bird Wednesday LXXI

The Road to Nowhere

"The answer is blowing in the wind."
                                   Bob Dylan

    After the summer weather of the last couple of weeks the recent drop in temperature has put the kibosh on the migration. I traveled out to Tawas Point, a tiny peninsula on the North West end of Saginaw Bay, being dead sure I would see some spectacular sights there. The wind whipped around me as I trudged the shoreline and except for a colony of ring billed gulls the skies were quiet.
    Gasoline is expensive by American standards right at the moment, any field trip comes with a hefty price tag. My photographic strategy used to be taking advantage of my trips to Detroit to visit birding hot-spots between here and there combining work and pleasure in the process. I don't think I appreciated fully the variety of habitats that conveniently played out before me during this commute.
    One would naturally think more spare time would equal more chances, that retirement would be a boon to the cause, quite the opposite is the case. I am thinking of taking some mini trips with my little pop-up camper and staying overnight at some of my more distant haunts to maximize time in the field.
    It is still only March I tell myself, relax, but I am anxious to retool my life. As a leaf recently detached from its familiar place on the limb, I wait to see where I am blown.
    Like gasoline, patients is in short supply around here!

    Soon after High School I landed a job working on the assembly line at Chrysler's Lynch Road plant. It occurred to me then that I was driving a car to work to make cars so I could afford a car to go to work to make cars. At that early age I had already owned several. The change over from riding a bike to driving an automobile widened my world dramatically. Besides the Soul music of Motown, Detroit's other gift to the world was a free wheeling independence.
    I am thinking how now I would like to down shift back to my childhood and re-embrace the idea of a bicycle centered approach to transportation. Did you know the bicycle is the cleanest and most efficient form of transportation ever invented? Burning dinosaur bones to get from point A to point B now seems like a stupid indulgence. The dent driving a car makes in ones pocket book and the environment at large is obvious. To use one for short trips into town is ludicrous.
    Remember when you didn't consciously have to make time to exercise? I see these 90 day fitness regimes whipping folks into shape and think about the inevitable slow decline that begins again on day 91.
    Didn't we have something brilliant as kids, when we were self propelled; and being so motivated we were naturally fit? I am ready to test this theory of self-sustaining fitness and pledge to always ride my bike when it will do just as well or better than my car. There I have said it, the first baby step in actually doing it!

    Every good bird photographer knows the first secret to taking great pictures is to have your camera with you at all times. No camera = No picture.
    I bike about five miles into town and in the process roll through some wonderful wetlands. When I saw a used camera back pack at my local hole in the wall camera shop I snapped it up. Problem solved.
    Born to be wild!

"How differently things would be for you if you could fly!"
Spoke the swan passing by.

    This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.

    You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!

#1Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW.

#2Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.

#3Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!

Come on it's your turn!


  1. Gorgeous shots of the gulls and goose! Great blue back drop! You're right about having a camera at all times. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. The backpack is a great idea!

  2. you're too dang cute, springman! 'born to be wild'. :) and i liked the car/making car circle.

    GORGEOUS header photo, too! wow!

  3. Nice post! Great shots!
    Happy WBW!

  4. True all dat, Springman. We often seems to just be going around in circles. There are more and more days when a little cabin the the UP with access to the web and an electronic library sound like that's all I need. I guess I'd need to eat, too.....

  5. spare tube in the camera bag and your off!
    The Flowers name is Siberian blue/Scilla/Wood Squill

  6. Lovely shots! I am a budding photogragher and I love to see all of these wonderful wild bird photos! I think I need to look for a camera backpack. I don't often take my camera even though I'd like to because it can be difficult!

  7. Terrific captures! Love the swan in flight!

    The price of gas is going up, up, up. We are thinking of buying a hybrid car.

  8. The conundrum for those of us who care about the environment yet want to see as much of it as we can.
    We have solar cells to assuage some of the guilt over our travels, bundle errands as much as possible and when the weather is good, we do bike for small errands where we will not have a lot to carry.

  9. i never leave home without my camera, never not ever!!

    great shots this week, i so enjoy your enthusiasm.

    it was not easy to pick a favorite but my heart really stired at that red winged black bird!!

  10. Me? I don't step out of the house without a camera! Wonderful post Springman... and another great series of pictures.

  11. Sounds like you have a solid plan, now go out there and enjoy yourself! Loved the swan in flight and I also wish I could fly, wouldn't that be grand!!!

  12. I blame biking for my bird obsession. I used to ride for exercise and hobby. 5-10 miles several times a week. Until my knees gave out and my doc said I'd need surgery to keep riding. So I started walking instead which was boring until I hit some parks and saw all the cool birds. Then I had to buy a camera to take picture of the cool birds. I blame the bike.

    Love that last shot of the duck with the red beak. What is that? Beautiful shot!

  13. Your images are great to see as always but it is your words that hit home for me...
    I also made a recent post about our fuel prices we pay the equivalent of $9.84 a gallon.... I now spend more time on foot than I ever have since my childhood... and you know what I see and hear so much more.

    Take care I'm off to buy a bike.

  14. Great photos of the swan and duck in flight. I always have my camera with me. Good luck with the bicycle.

  15. Hope the wind blows you to wonderful places!
    Your images are a delight!
    Cheers my friend!

  16. I love your captures -- particularly the swan and gull in flight and, ah, yes, "the answer is blowing in the wind"! That brought back a few memories! Wonderful post and photos as always, Birdman!! Enjoy your day!


  17. Gorgeous shots!

    Biking is a great idea. Plus, people give you nasty looks when you abruptly whip your SUV to the side of the road for a photo op.

  18. you always get those perfect shots. My I you have stabilizer on your lenses?

    Gasoline id very expensive opver here as well. Even more then the US I think. So, hard to get to far away. I wish I could afford that.

  19. Beautiful flight shots! We are lucky enough to have a grocery store within walking distance. Biking in South Florida traffic seems just too dangerous for me, but between walking, photographing, photo processing, exercising with the Wii... no time to keep up with e-mails. Don't have time to be retired. How do all the working stiffs get it all done in a day?

  20. You speak wise words about many things. I have always taken my camera with me, but found, after missing as awesome shot, that I also need my lenses with me. I passed a Northern Harrier riding an updraft at the end of a quarry. He was flying in place and I didn't have my zoom lens with me. I did take a picure, but it was a little spec in a big background. Thus, I am with you, the back pack. Your pictures are clear and beautiful. I love this Meme ... so many good shots by so many nice people. Thank you ...

    Andrea @ FRom The Sol

  21. Greetings and welcome to WBWLXXI.
    Thank you for your kind comments!
    To answer a question...Nope, no IS on my 400mm, and that's about the only lens I ever use.
    I am ready for our low cost, low impact, trip around the world.
    If only we could count each others sightings on our life lists!
    Off we go!

  22. I love all the photos today, as well as the Dylan's song, but your header simply mesmerized me!

  23. Beautiful photos of the gulls and the flying swan! Love the headerphoto as well, such great golden light.

  24. Hey, I wish we could all fly and not pay for any gas. I am still working 5 days a week and need to put gas in my car for work. Hubby works part time and we usually use his car for the weekend daytrips and traveling. Both cars are great on gas, which makes me happy.

    I can not see me riding a bike around to go birding. I would not get past the first hill. LOL! Great post and as usual wonderful photos! Have a great week!

  25. ...Speaking of the header photo...
    The female mallard has hold of one of the males flight feathers. In later pictures in this series the feather stays put when she turns her head. She's a biter! They've got a nice little nest started...

  26. Your article as always makes compelling reading; I always enjoy so much, your way with words. It’s true indeed that the more sedentary lifestyle of today has boosted other businesses i.e. gyms and fitness classes, dietary pre-packaged foods to your front door to curb the excess etc. I’m sure you have that focus and determination, and a bike, to get out and do your thing with great gusto. Maybe need one of those little saddle-bags to hold your camera gear and a low-energy drink! Then I read you found yourself a used camera backpack; you’re on your way to freedom now.
    Interesting that little black band around the seagulls beak. What is the sharp looking black bird with red/yellow on its wing? Fantastic white swan on the wing; my …

  27. I'm glad you take your camera everywhere! Great advice and I love your photos.

  28. How true, as kids we never stop moving. We used to ride our bike everywhere.
    I love the little black bird, and would it be nice to just take off as the wind takes you.

  29. Wonderful captures! I love the Red-winged Blackbird, one of my favorites. The header shot of the Mallard pair is really beautiful.

  30. Beautiful images Springman! I absolutely love your header!
    Go Yankees!

  31. Yes, even in India, we are forgetting the pleasures of our childhood. Your photos are spectacular!I enjoy looking at them and reading your views.

  32. Beautiful shots, especially the redwing blackbird, it is one of my favorites.

  33. Hi Springman, I haven't had the time to participate for a while. It is good to be back.
    Wonderful opening always!

  34. All great photos of course but I especially like the Red-winged Blackbird.

  35. Great shots - esp like the gulls.

    Your section of the post about exercise made me laugh. In a moment of weakness I signed up for the firm’s soccer team last month. We just did our first full training session - my first for the best part of 28 years! There are people on the team younger than that! I feel like I may go face down on the keyboard in the middle of this comment!

    Cheers - Stewart M

  36. I love your comments on exercise, Dave. Physical work used to be free and part of living, but now we have to pay for it. I have a pedometer and make sure I walk at least 30 minutes every day (it only counts the moderately fast steps, not what you do around the house) Wish you good luck in finding a path forward!

  37. Gorgeous set of photographs as always, and I like the way you present them too! I would so love to be able to is in my spirit~ Have a great Wednesday~

  38. I, too, enjoyed your beautiful photos of the birds. I especially loved the swan! WOW! How I wish I could get a photo like that! I take an early morning (before school) walk out by the city-owned golf course. I frequently see ravens, Cooper's hawks, even Canadian geese. I'm never really quick enough with my camera to get decent shots, but I keep trying!!!

  39. Love your post today and the analogy of a recently detached leaf. When I first retired (something about that word that I simply don't like) I wandered a bit wondering what to do. A new camera and blog helped me find a new path. As for biking, I'm all for it! We go to Amsterdam once or twice a year ... a city of bikers! Love it! Unfortunately, we live in rather a hilly area ... not too conducive for this ole' gal.

  40. Super ring-bill shots - a smart looking gull

  41. Beautiful shots as always and thoughts for all of us to think about!

  42. A collection of extraordinary shots in beautiful colors and detail. Very nice.

  43. Another great post Dave! I remember riding my bike everywhere before I turned 15 1/2, the legal driving age in California at the time. Having two paper routes during my early teen years kept me in shape, now it doesn't seem like I even have time to do my yoga to stay limber!

    You may be surprised at all the photo ops you have riding around on your bike with your camera. I think birds are much less disturbed by noiseless vehicles.

    I love the Ring-billed Gull coming in for a landing and the Swan in flight is awesome!

  44. Good for you and your bike. YAY!!
    You are right about being on the go all the time as a kid. My friends and I always played horses so we were wild and running, running, running. What fun.
    Did you see the DVD 'The Big Year'? MB

  45. I use to ride a bike when I was much younger. Now I worry about getting too far afield and having it break down on my! I hope your biking plan works out! Love the swan picture! I hope you get to see a sapsucker some day!

  46. Missed this post last week, glad I caught up. Some of the birders from England that I read have talked about taking public transportation to bird spots. I think that would be heaven. We don't have much of that over here do we?
    I hope your bike idea works out (don't think I could have done that even when I first retired (when I was much younger, like you are now!) It's kinda' hard at first to think about how to be retired, but you are getting it together I can tell!

  47. I love it, I love it, the idea of riding bikes to and from! First thing for me though would to be to assist each and every driver in my little town on how to drive their cars safely enough, for me to get from point A to B and back, I am a walker and my husby has warned me now, no more walking outside of our neighborhood, it has become so dangerous. I would ride a bike to town and back in a heartbeat though, if I could! Great choice.
    Now then, what to say about your photographs...I am in awe at the fine detail you captured on the Red-winged Blackbird and Swan in flight! Those images are absolutely fantastical as my younger daughter would day.
    Happy Easter season~