Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

Posts tagged “running

the fall of Fall….

There are a few repeat photos in this blog, but since the last few years’ worth of photos were deleted I’m reposting the photos.

It’s a busy time of year full of dance practice until 9 and homework until 11. It’s dark by dinner and cold enough for snow. My fingers are so cold they no longer react with the touch screen on my phone.

A praying mantis with one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

A praying mantis with one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.

A daddy long leg.

A daddy long leg.

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It’s a boy!!

Fall arrived in Michigan and is on its way out. It's already snowed once.

Fall arrived in Michigan and is on its way out. It’s already snowed once.

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This frog tried to hide under a log full of spider webs and ended up with web face.

This frog tried to hide under a log full of spider webs and ended up with web face.

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Elephant?

Elephant?

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A tree shaped like the state of Michigan.

A tree shaped like the state of Michigan.

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It's a boy! I'm impressed with whomever created this natural human statue.

It’s a boy! I’m impressed with whomever created this natural human statue.

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you should know the rich have better outdoor bathrooms than you

A rare sunset. The sun always sets, but it's rare to see actually see that happen because of near constant cloud cover.

A rare sunset. I mean. the sun always sets, but it’s rare to see actually see that happen because of near constant cloud cover.


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A sunrise along a creek. It was 0ºF or about 17º C on this morning.

A sunrise along a creek. It was 0ºF or about 17º C on this morning.

There's a little bench off to the right of the water.

There’s a little bench off to the right of the water.

Grape vines

Grape vines

I got tangled in some roses taking the grape vine photo. The deer enjoyed eating some greenery. See the gnawed off ends of the branches? I was surprised to see the green.

I got tangled in some roses taking the grape vine photo. Looks like the deer enjoyed eating some greenery. See the gnawed off ends of the branches? I was surprised to see the green.

My not-boyfriend Eric Fischer from the weather channel retweeted this picture and I was totally geeked out. (a sure sign of a geek)

My not-boyfriend Eric Fischer from the weather channel retweeted this picture and I was totally geeked out. (a sure sign of a geek) It’s snowed another 12″ since this picture was taken.

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The difference between the "haves" and the "have-nots" extends far beyond the disparity between education and social resources. Check out this fancy OUTDOOR bathroom in the fancy pants neighborhood. It is always stocked with rolls and rolls of toilet paper and clean. Once the cross-country skiers started coming out of their mansions a plowed path to the bathroom appeared. Frankly I'm counting down to the first week of May when the trees and shrubs leaf out and I can hit the mountain bike trails even if I have to relieve myself.

The difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” extends far beyond disparity between education and social resources. Check out this fancy OUTDOOR bathroom in the fancy pants neighborhood. It is always stocked with rolls and rolls of toilet paper and cleaned every day. Once the cross country skiers started coming out of their mansions there’s a path to the bathroom plowed. Frankly I’m counting down to the first week of May when the trees and shrubs leaf out and I can hit the mountain bike trails even if I have to relieve myself.

I'm considering changing to longer running socks now that there's a few feet of snow on the ground.

I’m considering changing to longer running socks now that there’s a few feet of snow on the ground…or stirrup pants.


Almost abducted, but luckily it was just a dude killing with crowbar.

May is my favorite month for many reasons.

The fawn wading through the tall grass spots you.

If you sit still on a windy day in May, you’ll likely spot a fawn wading through the tall grass.

The fawn veers my way.

They usually wander your way.

What am I?… and wonder what you are.

Answer: nothing scary

At this point I always get a little nervous and a lot excited about a wild animal running my way. Kind of like a strange dog running at you, but without the possibility of being bitten…or anything harmful for that matter… and it’d be a pretty small dog with a dainty build.

Then it comes at you like the family pet. It’s still coming this way.

One last picture before enjoying touching the wild.

One last picture before enjoying touching the wild.

I forgot a death in my last post. Last fall after hearing a thud we went outside to investigate and this is what we found.
IMG_2877 How could this turkey NOT see our house? Was it a daydreamer and staring into space as it flew through the air?

Speaking of death, I thought I was possibly going to die last week. I was out running before work.
(Mom, please stop reading now. I’ll tell you this story later…like in 30 years)

It was still a little dark so I stayed out of the woods and on the paved path…ya know…to be safe.

Not far into my run a junky truck slooooowly crept past. At the top of the hill the truck turned into a driveway and parked there for a minute.

I turned around heading back to my car in case the truck was plotting a possible abduction. My plan to dress in camouflage and be invisible to traffic may have failed. The truck turned back down the hill past me again very sloooowly.

At the base of the hill the truck did a U-turn and turned back around heading my way once again. I stopped, dropped a pin in my GPS coordinates, punched in 911 on my keypad ready to call and got my pepper spray situated. The truck pulled along side the side of the road about 50 feet in front of me. I thought, “Oh shit, there’s two dudes in the truck… I wanted to use this pepper spray on a bear not like this….would have been way cooler…and how much pepper spray is in these things anyway? Damn it, a shitty end of the year and now THIS?”

I had to pass the truck to get to my car. I waited for another car to come down the road (ya know for witnesses…) before running as fast as I could past the truck. A man got out of the truck and circled around the back of the truck. A short foot bridge railing separated me from the men and the truck.

As I tore across the bridge, closer to the man, I was stopped by the sight of him leaning over a deer that was sitting along the side of the road.
I heard myself ask, “Oh a deer. So that’s why you stopped?”
The man silently raised his arm over his head and slammed a crowbar into the deer’s skull in response to my question. Crowbar to skull makes a loud cracking sound.

I ran like hell back to my car a half mile down the path beating my HIGH SCHOOL half mile record by a LONG shot in that run.

Even though I logically knew the guys had hit the deer, saw it wasn’t dead and were coming back to do the nice thing and put the doe out of her misery, I was still a little fearful the skull cracking guy may have gotten a taste for death during his crow bar swinging and my skull may be next.

So now I take my morning jog inside my garage and it it totally lame in comparison. But no more running out in the dark, I promise.


caught in the dark

I was caught in the dark running in the woods the other day. I don’t have time for these shorter days.

I made it out of the woods despite the leaf-covered trail.

There were lots of noises as critters ran through dried leaves. I was a little scared I was going to accidentally startle a skunk and get sprayed and less afraid I was going to get stalked and eaten by a mountain lion. It was great to hear the stream since that meant I was close to the trailhead.

http://youtu.be/oW8pzkERLZ0

Here’s the same video essentially, but taken during the day.

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The trail was difficult to follow in the dark…..


vacation wrap up

I went to visit a friend who moved from Michigan to North Carolina with several friends….. I’m the one without shoes. (just like at home!) Things are casual in this beach town. I was shoeless later in the evening because the floor was made out of sand. Sand! Between the sand and decks, Carolina Beach is officially not heel-friendly city. Always carry a shoe-sized purse…. or don’t wear shoes.

And we all brought our kids…. and that was loud….

And we visited the ocean…. Don’t look up Leah!

And found out my finger nails are as dirty as a six year old boy’s….


And saw lots of different kinds of birds….

And visited a local aquarium…..

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These photos were taken before the trip to the ocean on a fresh water lake in Michigan….

I blissfully watched this storm from midnight until 2am one night.

lightening behind the screen door

Long Lake

Eastern Painted Turtle… much harder to catch in water than on land.

Eastern Painted Turtle in the water

I released the turtles caught by all the nieces and nephews every day…..

Now it’s back to sports practices and school prep…. and back to the woods before they close for hunting in a few short and sad weeks.

back home in the woods is a great thing

These are blurry because they’re taken at the top of an uphill at the end of the run. I still like them because it’s exciting (to me) knowing you may have to dive off the path any minute to avoid getting run over.

always looking for a good spot to dive and roll (:


I’m grateful I WASN’T arrested and WAS published.

One way I stay a drama-free Mama is to write a quick daily list of the things I’m grateful for. The other is running in the woods.

I usually hit the woods after morning coffee, which means by the time I get to the spot I illegally park to jump on the trail I have to pee.
(I use a very discreet deer path away from the trail and check my ass for deer ticks as routinely as I brush my teeth.)

Last week a police officer pulled up to my illegal parking spot as I jumped out of my car… on my way to pee.

Police Officer: (rolls down his window)Is everything okay Miss?
Me: Not really.
Police Officer: What seems to be the problem?
Me: The problem is that I have to pee super bad and I don’t want a ticket for indecent exposure….and your car is blocking my regular pee spot.
Police Officer: (Laughs and gives me a high five) Ha that’s funny. Well then, sorry to disturb you. Enjoy your day.
Me: Good thing we high fived before I peed huh?
Police Officer: You’re crazy. Have a good one.

I put thankful for not being arrested, ticketed or made to follow parking rules on my grateful list.

I had an even funnier exchange a few minutes later on the trail, but will save that story for another day. It did involve another person saying, “You’re crazy.” while laughing.

This week I received a book containing one of my photos. I was published in a real live book… with a cover and pages and everything! This was a great raft to cling to amidst a crap week. I put being published on my grateful list.

The monarch chrysalis is almost clear.

When I woke up the next morning the chrysalis was completely clear.

It broke free just after I took the pictures of the clear chrysalis and grabbed some coffee. Busy morning! (:

At this point I took off for a few hours and completely forgot about the Monarch and its emergence. It’s been a loooooong week and I’m a bit distracted. Eventually I found the butterfly and brought it outside.

My daughter snapped this. I’m glad the ones she took of me running around the house trying to nab the butterfly were too blurry to incriminate my absent-mindedness.

Some one should get on weeding that garden path.

That solar light is one of the last of twenty the young raccoons haven’t wrestled out of the ground and into the woods. Teenagers are mischievous even in the animal world.

Mischievous and cute.

Six wren eggs. I’ve never seen wren eggs. The twigs of the nest usually block the view of the eggs.

Gayfeather

Purple Coneflowers are a hit with a lot of critters. I love the light in this one.

THESE make a lot of……

THIS.

If anyone would like some perennials give me a shout out. I have more than enough to share.

Milkweed Beetle

Tree Frog. By now usually one has jumped on my skin when I’m outside at night, but I don’t have a close encounter to report yet.

Not sure what this is, but it loved the milkweed blossoms.

And that wraps up the last few days ’round here.