Summer Friends

In Inspiration, Nature
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Each summer we journey to Northern Michigan to spend time near the water. This year has been the longest we’ve ever stayed and our time has not only been relaxing and peaceful, but also filled with new friends. Our home here is situated at the edge of an undeveloped forest and we get lots of visitors, some with feathers and others of the 4 legged variety. I haven’t managed to get pictures of all our guests, but here are a few notable sightings that I’ve been lucky to capture.

A fawn following her sibling and mother:

A slow and contemplative porcupine:

We named it “Moe” and for several days it regularly graced our presence around 8:45 pm. We wonder if it moved on, however, because we haven’t seen it for over a week.

A curious chipmunk that keeps trying to make a home in our garage when we leave the door open:

For the first time in our 7 years coming here, we saw an owl at the back edge of our yard. I’m guessing it might be interested in our curious chipmunk friends, too.

Outside of our yard, we’ve also seen a few notable creatures. In the glacial lake near our home, we recently saw another first for me, a loon:

Soon after, I saw a mother merganser and her babies. I wish I had been able to capture the moment when a few of her ducklings were perched on her back!

The best story, however, comes from what happened moments after I took this shot of a swan with my phone:

We had rented two jet skis for a few hours to travel through a smaller area we had never explored. During the journey, we saw several swans swimming through a narrow river that connects two small lakes. They were beautiful and majestic and we coasted alongside them with no problems on our way out. On our way back in, we expected the same behavior and I pulled my phone out of the dry compartment to take the photo that you see above, which, I might add, is cropped in significantly, since we weren’t actually that close. After I put my phone away, I noticed that the swan was preparing to take flight and I was excited to see how these giant birds looked in the air. It spread its wings and launched itself out of the water and then I realized – it was coming straight at me. Before I had time to react, it grazed me with it’s right wing, landed on the water and came back for a second near miss. We were in an area with a no wake zone posted, so we couldn’t immediately speed away, but luckily, the waters opened up in the spot right in front of us. Just as the swan came flying in for a third attempt, we were able to increase our speed and get far enough away that it didn’t continue to chase us. The encounter was more than enough excitement for our family and we all agreed that we were perfectly happy to be viewing wildlife through a long lens in the future.

Always making friends (but maybe not so close ones) – Angie


  1. Haha, chased by a swan – that would be a first for me too! Loved the owl, so awesome, I’ve never seen one in real life before.

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