Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

getting dirty with my cold blooded boyfriend

It’s vacation time. I’ve come up to this lake for a week in the summer most of my life. Now my brothers and sister bring their families so we’re a large crowd.

first morning


second morning

Lots of steam off the lake in the morning. I’ve been getting up early before things get loud and hectic… then in the afternoons I swim out about a half mile to the middle of the lake where only one of my brothers and my dad are strong enough or interested enough to swim. I feel like I could swim for days and days.

the bottom of a lily pad

turtle moving along the bottom of the lake

catching turtles

I spend an inordinate amount of time laying on the end of the dock non-fishing, which entails throwing food to the fish and turtles in the water and occasionally netting one and letting it go. Here is the view looking down into the water at a few turtles and fish.

fish and turtles eating hotdogs…mmmm

I got up for a minute to grab my camera and when I came out my dad had taken my spot on the dock…. and my net.

my dad (:

genetics at play….

my daughter in the first moment of vacation

There are a lot of animals outside of the water too.

fledging bird…. not sure what kind

A big toad.

Red-headed Woodpeckers. The adult male has the red head and the other is a juvenile.

Swallow Tail caterpillar. In its later instars it had a large dark spot that looks like an eye to fake out predators.

I even ran into a turtle on a run.

This is a rescue turtle my niece and nephew captured that “escaped” back into the lake. I call this one my boyfriend. And by escaped I mean I took them out of their bucket home and returned them to the lake.

See how he’s trying to hold my dirty hand/finger?

An even smaller turtle.

Sometimes I’m so focused on the task at hand I step into trouble. At home it’s usually stepping on prickers and thorns. The dirtiest missteps seem to happen just after a floor is swept or mopped. I’d say I’m more dirty than clean. Here’s my shoe stuck in the sand. I’m just going barefoot the rest of the week.


31 responses

  1. Ciao Melissa, you are a doctor doolittle of the photographer’s world! have a great vacation with your family, are those turtles the snappy kind? (i.e., eat toes and feet?)

    July 31, 2012 at 6:39 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Lynne! I’m not sure of the type of turtle since I only brought my dragonfly and insect field guides. I ended up needing the frog, toad and turtle one I left back at home! I don’t think they’re snappers though I have spotted a few in the lake.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

  2. Wow – your boyfriend is extremely handsome!
    Brilliant photos Melissa – thanks!

    July 31, 2012 at 6:48 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Julie. He’s a real cutie isn’t he? I had to save him from my family…. hough later that day my brother was tossing fireworks in the lake where I released the turtles. (:

      July 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

  3. Helen

    Looks like a great spot! Enjoy your time and thanks for sharing your fantastic photos!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:35 am

    • melissakoski

      It is a wonderful spot Helen. It’s nice to see my Mom have a bit of respite from her hectic life too…. so well deserved!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:28 am

  4. Gosh, Melissa, these again are a great collection of photos. I really like those early morning images of the dock and the lake, especially that first one. I will even forgive you for the tilted horizon in the 2nd. :-). Sorry I can’t help you with an ID of the fledgling bird. Looks like a sparrow specie, but what do I know. :-). Love the closeup of the turtle. Have a happy rest of the week. :-)

    July 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

    • melissakoski

      The second one or the third with geese? That one was JACKED up! Thanks for the reminder mentor Bob. I was editing too late last night (1:30 am) You rock. (:

      July 31, 2012 at 10:21 am

      • Oops! I see you removed the one I was talking about (the tilted horizon). It really wasn’t that bad. I really like the top two, including the one with the geese. That one with the rowboat at the dock is pretty neat, too. All are nice compositions. I’m glad you think of me as a mentor. But don’t take my criticisms wrong. I just know that you have great talent and I want to help you along. (You rock, too.) <3

        July 31, 2012 at 11:11 am

        • melissakoski

          I love the help Bob. There’s so much to remember and I love having you as a professional resource. (: and a personal friend!

          August 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    • Okay, I meant the top three, then you have another rowboat picture further down. Sheesh! I must be getting old. :-)

      July 31, 2012 at 11:14 am

      • louisva

        Bob, I am getting old too but it sure beats the alternative.

        August 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

  5. louisva

    Hey girl, U must be quite a swimmer. Let’s see – if U swim half-way out (half mile) that means you have to swim another half mile back. I am able to spastically thrash myself across a small swimming pool and not drown; however, drop me in the middle of a lake and first would be a panic attack then (second) right to the bottom goes Lou. What a cutey BF you snagged and nice such nice pix to remember him by. Ah, that warmth of true love can’t be beat, lol.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:45 am

    • melissakoski

      Ha one of the best ways to stay in the water for a long time is by keeping calm and regulating your breathing…not much room for panic. (: I’m good for about four hours of swimming then have to head back to shore…. lake swimming that is. Waves and salt water are a different story. That boyfriend is super cute isn’t he?!

      August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      • louisva

        Keeping calm in the water? Lisa, for me that’s an oxymoron. Regulate my breathing? HAH, on shore breathing into a paper sack maybe. Let’s put it this way – I cannot swim. Yeah, UR boyfriend is a cold-blooded hottie (huh?) but I’ll betcha he is a chick magnet and has lotsa girlfriends, lol.

        August 2, 2012 at 11:54 am

  6. This magnetism you and your camera have to beautiful things in nature – have you had that diagnosed? Is it catchy? Whatever. I’d like a small strain of it.

    My daughter likes your shoes.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    • louisva

      Hi Sid and I know what you mean. If I could rob just a little tiny bit of her talent, some from Bob Zeller, and a little more from another frequent poster named Rick Braveheart – I would be a photographic genius. Alas, that hemisphere of my brain (right, left, can’t remember) is just plain stupid.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      • Heh – I doubt that! The way I look at it is I’ve connected with some really inspiring people here – the three you mentioned among them – and I figure I’m a better photographer (and writer) because of them.

        July 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Sid. I don’t think its catchy… about half my family is completely annoyed when I jump out of the car to get pictures of something I see or after I burn dinner because of something I spotted out of a window. On the other hand both of my parents are nature lovers. (:

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    • Anonymous

      Sid between my two daughters and I our shoes look like a unicorn barfed rainbows over them. We have a penchant for wildly colored shoes. (:

      August 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      • melissakoski

        That was me…must have gotten logged out (:

        August 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      • Ha – I thought it was you, Melissa, if only because of the (:, which I notice doesn’t get turned into the little yellow face. As it happens, you’re not the only person I’ve seen make mention of rainbow-barfing unicorns in the past day or two.

        August 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

  7. louisva

    Just briefly checked out your blog. Looks to me that you have talent to spare. In fact, I just subscribed so I can get to know you better. My talents lie in different areas inspired by my 20 year career as a commercial electrician; thus, I enjoy problem solving and repairs of said problems. Be seeing you down the road – pleased to meet you, Sid.

    July 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  8. Up to the usual Not Dusting quality and fun. Michigan is really a beautiful state and you do the beauty of it justice.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks mi amigo! You should know I swept the floors twice yesterday, but did leave my trash outside knowing my anal brother would take it to the dumpster when he saw it laying outdoors.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  9. Love that big toad! Thanks for the bringing the lake to us!

    July 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    • melissakoski

      My pleasure Sheila! The toad was pretty big and hung around for a few hours of fun. (:

      August 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      • I saw only photos of your dad and daughter so I assumed your title referred to your frog prince.

        August 2, 2012 at 6:58 am

  10. Love that first head-on shot of the turtle. Looks like he’s sporting a handlebar moustache.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm

  11. melissakoski

    That was a favorite shot of mine too. I hadn’t noticed the stash resemblance until you mentioned it- nice!

    August 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm

  12. Sue McB

    Great shots as usual Melissa – I particularly like the first three water ones, and of those the ducks in the mist. It is always great to go somewhere new, so many different photo ops. Hope you have fun.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm


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