Monday, May 02, 2011

The rewards of Spring and Walking!

I've mentioned several times that last year when I started walking (to lose weight), the main thing that kept me going out there every morning was the chance that I might see deer or rabbits or other kinds of wildlife, as well as the beautiful sunrises and sunsets (when I walked in the evening also). 

When I started taking my camera on my walk, it became more like an obsession! I was afraid I would miss something so I kept walking until the snow got so deep that I couldn't make it for a mile and then the ice made it dangerous. I took some wonderful photos and I've posted some of them previously on the blog for you to enjoy.

Now it's Spring again and I'm out there every morning looking for signs of Spring and renewal. It's been a long, cold winter in Michigan and the smallest thing can either make or break my day! The first thing I noticed this morning was that things are starting to fill in...the buds are spreading out and filling the spaces between the twigs that have been bare all winter.

I decided to look more closely for bird nests since in another week they'll be totally hidden. I can't believe how lucky I was today! The first thing I saw was this tiny little nest. I swear I looked inside and didn't see anything, but when you look at the photo, it looks like a little beak at the bottom of the opening, doesn't it?

I may go back later on today just to make sure! It's hard to tell how big (or small) it is so I took a few more to show the comparison with my hand.

I just have to figure out whether this is a new nest and eggs have not been laid yet or an old nest from last year. I've never seen an actual hummingbird nest before (in person). Since I've found live web cams on the internet, I've seen every kind of nest and eggs and new baby birds from  hummers to eagles!

A few more feet down the trail and I saw a bigger nest perfectly encased in a pretty thick overgrown area. It was very difficult to get to, but I finally got my camera up high enough to take a picture. At first I thought it was empty so I continued on my walk, but then on the way back, I saw a robin come out of that thicket so I decided to try again.

The robin stayed close by and was making a single chirping noise instead of the regular beautiful song, so I thought this must be a newly constructed nest and I wanted to get a picture of it. 

This picture shows how thick those branches were and I'm really surprised I even noticed the nest. Of course, to get my camera up high enough to get a shot inside the nest I couldn't see what I was shooting so it took quite a few shots before I got this one. Obviously, it was empty so I don't know what made me keep trying for a new angle! I was standing on a muddy, almost verticle hill and must have looked crazy the way I was trying to get close enough without getting stabbed in the eye with those branches!

Well....I was rewarded for all my efforts! For my eagerness to get out there and walk every day, for making it through a rough winter and not giving up, for slowing down and paying closer attention...AND for remembering to have my camera battery charged!! :) I would be amazed if I'm still able to see the nest once the babies are hatched once the leaves have wrapped the nest in privacy, but for now I am just grateful for today's adventure!