Monday, July 31, 2017

My Michigan Adventure - Monday 7/31

I hope this is not confusing...
I had some posts started with stitching progress and did not have time to post them while I was on vacation.  So travelling back in time, here's my progress on this Curtis Boehringer stitch.

On Monday, July 31st, we drove to Holland, MI which fronts Lake Michigan.
The warm temperatures, white sand, and colorful umbrellas combined to remind me of Mexican beaches.

Lots of people enjoying the lake - on and off the water.

This is the adorable Holland Harbor Lighthouse, popularly called "Big Red".
Holland, MI had aspirations to become an important Great Lake port, but by the time they dug a shipping canal, other towns had overtaken them. So now Holland, MI is most famous for the number of people with Dutch surnames... 

...and the Windmill Island Gardens.

The gardens were in peak bloom.

The De Zwaan Windmill is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in America.  My sister and cousin climbed the 5 stories to the top, I declined!

Birds and blooms.

It was a charming setting...

..with a four columns street organ and replica Dutch buildings.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Michigan Adventure - Sunday 7/30

My sister and I flew to Michigan on Saturday July 29th to visit our Cousin K.  She and her family moved from Oregon to Michigan 10 years ago.  While Cousin K. has been wonderful about returning to Oregon to visit, we'd never been east to see her.  

We rested the first afternoon / evening - getting adjusted to the new time zone.  The next day we headed out to the nationally famous Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI. 

The gardens extend for over 158 acres with  meadows, woodlands, and wetlands.

The conservatories are huge!

They featured tropical, desert, and carnivorous plants... well porcelain pieces by Ai WeiWei. 
This was called Porcelain Rebar.

The tropical portion of the conservatory flashed with the colors of neo-tropical birds.  I don't know why they did not fly out the doors into the main building, but they did not. 

Huge leaf


A wonderful sculpture of turtles.


This was my favorite sculpture.  It's called "Mad Mom"!

The gardens have over 200 LARGE sculptures.

This sculpture of several wolves using recycled items was interesting.

We saw a groundhog, but were so startled that we did not get a photo.
Cousin K. did spy this nesting Robin.  She was pretty mellow as the branch was right over the path so hundreds of people walked by daily. 

Part of the garden includes a new extensive Japanese influenced garden. Due to the cold winters, the plants they can use here are often not 'truly' Japanese, but are in spirit of that style.

It was a perfect day to stroll the gardens and this was a perfect ending.
A lovely large man-made waterfall and pond.

This guy found it to be a wonderful habitat!

After a look at the gift shop, I was tired!
A nap was in order.

But the day was not yet over!
In the evening we drove to Grand Haven, MI. 

There is a wonderful boardwalk along the Grand River as it flows into Lake Michigan. Look at that sunset - amazing!

And here's the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier.
With 3200 miles of shoreline, Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state...around 247 - 100 of which are in good repair.

The sunset continued to amaze.

Equally amazing to a couple of Oregonians - the state Michigan is basically a big sandbar, so the shores of Lake Michigan are sandy like the Oregon Coast.  But the water is warm unlike our Pacific Ocean.   

Lake Michigan was HUGE and calm, with a sandy shoreline, and gulls reeling overhead it looked like the ocean - but take a deep breath - nope - it's unsalted! No fishy smell.

Purple Martins raced up and down the Grand River eating insects on the fly and thousands of dollars of boats motored by.  Hundreds of folks strolled the boardwalk, while that many more happily staked out their camping spot at the 48 acre state park.

A most wonderful first day in Michigan.   

The Females Rule Okay

So I've gotten used the the absence of male hummingbirds...

...and I am enjoying the interaction of the female Rufous (left) and Anna's (right).

I have at least four birds - two Anna's...

...and as this photo proves, two Rufous.

The birds are active at my front feeders, but in the back, they are all about the agastaches. 

Salvias, fuchsias, agastaches - all are great hummingbird magnets.


Rufous and Anna

Nectar from a fucshia.

Keeping watching over the feeders.
"Don't you try any funny business missy!"

And after all of that, this guy showed up!

A male Anna's Hummingbird.

Thanks for stopping by Pretty Boy.

Here are a couple more Fantastic Females...
Tuesday morning a female Yellow Warbler came by...

...and after she left, I heard this bird.

Thankfully it peered out from the blackberries.

And I could see that it was a female Bullock's Oriole!

They have a unique chatter / song and that is what made me look up from reading my book.

I have an oriole nectar feeder, and while the bird came close by she did not come to the feeder.

I hope she comes by again.

Bring your mate and kids!