Plant Pic, 101917 edition


The morning glories have invaded the honeysuckle. During summer, this simply will not do, as I don’t want it choked off. This late in the season, I simply admire the juxtaposition of colors and make note to keep an eye on things.


The last of 2016

Reindeer lying in snow

A tiny maple tree growing out of the base of a birch tree

^ A tiny maple tree grows out of the base of the birch tree in our front yard. [Oct. 31, 2016]

As 2016 ticks and dribbles and fades away, here are some photos I had lurking: pets, plants and more.

Three purple vases with flowers against a purple wall



Usually on Goodwill visits I’m after clothes, but I often end up scanning the pots and vases. This trio of narrow purple vases had to come home with me. The flowers are portions of a bouquet from Kroger. [Oct. 24, 2016]

View out a sliding glass door onto a balcony

^ Unseasonably warm temperatures meant I had the office door open on Nov. 1.

View of woods in fog

^ Opening day of firearm deer season in Michigan may be the closest thing we have to an unofficial state holiday. This is at 8:57 a.m., nearly two hours after the start of shooting light, but the fog still made sighting whitetails a challenge. This is the view directly in front of me. [Nov. 15, 2016]


^ Hours between deer sightings mean plenty of time to look around … or down. This moss with trumpet-shaped protrusions was inside where my ground blind sat. [Nov. 15, 2016]

Sunset in the woods

^ Light in the woods dies early. The view to my right at 4:12 p.m. [Nov. 15, 2016]

Sunset silhouette in the woods

^ The view to my left at 4:14 p.m. The silhouette in the bottom center is my ground blind with open windows. [Nov. 15, 2016]

Squirrel drinking water from a red glass bowl

^ Our definition of pets broadly includes what we call “yard pets,” animals we provide for without trying to domesticate. The balcony includes one or more dishes of fresh water year round. When it is freezing out, I keep two spares just inside the door and rotate as needed, which can be every hour. [Nov. 16, 2016]

Maggie and Abbey lying in a doorway

^ Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying in a doorway. [Nov. 29, 2016]

Sticky note reading "Oh hello there"


Once our children got older and their Christmas presents more expensive and fewer, I started sending them on hunts with clues to find the final gifts. They’re 22 and 23 and I still do it. When I went looking for sticky notes to write the clues and puzzle words on, I found that my son had left a note on the pad. I stuck it to the mirror because it makes me happy. [Dec. 24, 2016]

Reindeer lying in snow

^ My favorite thing about Christmas here in Bay City, Michigan, is the reindeer at the Nate and Mary Ida Doan Santa House. Other places have reindeer for short visits, but ours have their own barn and can be visited during the hours the Santa House is closed. [Dec. 21, 2016]

A reindeer with one antler

^ This reindeer is smaller than a whitetail deer and has only one antler, with the darker portion curving forward. [Dec.21, 2016]

Pets Pics, 100216 camping edition

Abbey leaping in lake

No, we haven’t just returned from camping. In my house, it’s hunting season (archery deer), and too cool to have the windows open all the time but not quite time to put the yard to bed for winter.

I still wanted to share these dog photos from summer camping, though:

Abbey swimming
I like this photo because you can see the path Abbey takes in the water. This is Grousehaven Lake at the Rifle River State Recreation Area near Lupton, Michigan, our favorite place to camp. [Aug. 5, 2016]


Abbey leaping in lake
Dogs don’t get much happier than this. [Aug. 5, 2016]


Abbey and Maggie at camp
Abbey and Maggie swam separately (it’s what the handlers could handle) but relaxed together afterward. As we say, “A wet Lab is a happy Lab.” [Aug. 5, 2016]


Maggie on sleeping bags
In the period before I took the sleeping bags to the dry cleaner, Maggie made good use of them.

Plant Pics, 100116 edition

As cool weather sets in (bleah), here are some photos from summer.


I honestly don’t know what this is. It seemed to be in the dandelion family. [July 8, 2016]


The hibiscus in full explosion. [Aug. 11, 2016]


Morning glory winding around the shepherd’s crook. To the right, unintentional corn. [Aug. 22, 2016]


A burst of morning glories by the temporarily dormant hibiscus. [Aug. 22, 2016]