RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Birds Around Our Campground

                                   Wednesday /21/2014

One good aspect of coming to Northern Michigan in the spring is seeing the migrating birds. This bird was right outside our Nest window. I jumped up to get the camera, but missed two of them mating. By the time I got this picture the other had flown away. We had never seen this bird before, but with research we found out it is from the woodpecker family and is a Northern Flicker. There are three kinds of flickers. A "Yellow -shafted Flicker", a Red- Shafted Flicker", and Gilded Flicker. The two we saw were Yellow-shafted Flickers. When the birds mated, and flew away, we could see the wing lining and under tail colors of yellow. The Yellow-shafted Flicker also has a grey cap with a red crescent on it's nape. The picture above is of a male because he has a black stripe from his beak going back to his neck.
There is also the Red-shafted Flicker, and Glided Flicker. The Gilded Flicker is found in the west. All three of the flickers have this black bib. If I had had my zoom lens in the RV I would have got much better pictures. Unfortunately it was in the car, and had I gone to get it the birds would have flown away. The picture above is of a female as she does not have the black marking from the beak going back to her neck. This marking is called a moustachial stripe.
I know you can see Canada geese anywhere, but I did enjoy seeing all the goslings.

Most of the parents had lots of babies, but this couple only had one. We wondered what happen to the rest. Maybe some fox or raccoon got the rest of their eggs.

One night while walking Mallery, I saw this duck out on the lake. I had my zoom, but it was too far from me to get a better picture. I think this is a Hooded Merganser.

The Hooded Merganser is the only duck I could find with this kind of fan-shaped crest. I also believe this is a female as it was cinnamon color.
I think this is a male American Goldfinch. I was walking Mallery one evening and brought my camera with the zoom lens.
Way up one of the canals to the lake I saw these swans.
The first day we arrived to Campers Cove RV Park we heard a very loud noise that at first we thought was thunder. Shortly after that this training fighter jets flew over our head several times. It flew so close and low that Joe could see the numbers on the bottom of it. Every day we heard them flying in the sky. Joe went out this day and tried to get a picture of one. It was much farther away and higher. He wished he had got a picture the first day it flew directly above us. The Combat Readiness Training Center is located 7 miles NW of Alpena.
Joe took this picture of someone who had caught this fish. It looks like a catfish to me. He through it back in the water.
I took this picture of our Nest across one of the canals to the lake.
Up this canal is where the Mute Swans were swimming.
Even though they are common, they are still so beautiful.
I think this is a male Yellow Warbler.
I had my zoom, but it still was a bit far for a good picture.
These little guys also do not sit still. There are always flitting around from branch to branch. Just when you located them and get your camera on them and start to focus, they have flit somewhere else. So you located it, and find them with your camera and start to focus and off they go again. So frustrating when you are trying to get a picture of them so you can ID them later.
There were more families of Canada geese than I thought.
Canada geese mate for life and are very dedicated to their mate. If a mate gets sick, the other mate will stay with it while the rest of the flock continues the migration.

A family with nine babies. Twenty four hours after the goslings are born they get in the water and swim.

As I watched them, the adults kept doing these weird things with their necks.
In this picture two of the geese are doing the stretch and crooked neck thing.
I read that when geese are scared or threatened they will stretch out their neck. Maybe they were doing these strange neck actions because they were threaten by my presence along the canal shore.
Another evening I saw another male Yellow Warbler. One identifying characteristics is they have short tails.
The Yellow Warbler has light chestnut streaks on the breast and belly, as seen in this picture.
Two of the RV's across the road from us had bird feeder. I kept a watch out my front window on their feeders. Again I saw these male American Goldfinches, as well as Baltimore Orioles, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Two male American Goldfinch. The males have a black cap on their heads.
This is a picture of our campground, Campers Cove. I am pointing at #47, the site we were at. This picture gives you a good idea of how much water was around our site. We were so blessed with just one day of light rain instead of the 3 days of rain that was predicted. I was a bit worried about flooding. We were told that they still had snow on the ground the second week of May. It had just recently melted. With the heavy snowfall melts and the spring rains, the Great Lakes got back to their normal levels. The Great Lakes had been on the low side last year. We left today and drove straight east from Alpena on Hwy. 32 to Gaylord to the Super Wal-Mart for the night. Tomorrow we drive to Bellaire for about a week. We have appointments to look at some property in that area.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Presque Isle & Old And New Presque Isle Lighthouse

                                        Monday 5/19/2014

After setting up at Campers Cove RV Park, we decide to site see that afternoon as the weather forecast was for rain the next 3 days. Our drive took us just 15 north of Alpena to Presque Isle. We took Hwy 23 north to East Grand Lake Road.
Joe spotted a boat access on East Grand Lake Rd to check out Grand Lake. Grand lake is a 5,660 acres lake, with a maximum depth of 21 feet. There are two townships close by. The water was very clear and it was a nice size lake.
A lot of the drive was wooded and wild in this area.

We found Burnham Landing Park along the way.
This was the first time we got a great view of Lake Huron with the beautiful colors of the Great Lakes.
Most of the time this spring, we have seen Lake Huron when it was cloudy and gloomy which effects the colors of the lake. It could also be that we are farther north where there is less pollution, but don't know for sure since we never had full sun days further south.
Across the way, we get a view of Old Presque Isle Lighthouse.
We drove a few miles up the road and found the gate to Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. Unfortunately the gate was closed so we parked outside the gate and walk in. This propeller is just outside the gate.

It was not a long walk, so not a big deal. We just wonder why they don't just leave the gate open. There were 4 other people besides us that walked in to see the lighthouse.

This light keeper greets us as we approached the light keepers quarters.
The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It was built in 1840, but didn't last long due to weather and was deactivated in 1871. The lower 2/3's of the 38 foot lighthouse was built of  stone and the upper 1/3 of bricks.
I walked out on the rocky beach as Joe looks around on the grounds above.

As I was walking back I heard a very loud bong, and saw Mallery running as fast as she could away from Joe. Joe rang an old bell that came from the Lansing City Hall Tower that tips the scale at 3,425 lbs. Let me tell you, a bell that size, makes a very loud ring. This bronze bell is bigger than the Liberty Bell which weights 2,080 lbs.
The internet said the lighthouse was open mid May through mid October from 9-6. This day was May 19, and it still was not open. Everything has been closed on our entire trek this spring going north. I guess we just have been a head of the tourist season.
Two miles up the road is the New Presque Isle Lighthouse built to replace the old Presque Isle Lighthouse.

This light was built in 1870 and stands 113 feet tall.
A second " Keepers Dwelling" was built in 1905 because the lighthouse needed two light-keepers to run it. Now it is used as museum.
Lighthouse with first "Keepers Dwelling".
In 1990 the outer walls were given an additional course of brick. This gives the lighthouse a wider look and not as trim as it use to look like in old pictures.
A life saving boat on the property, and restrooms that were closed.
If you get a chance to climb to the top of the lighthouse, you will climb 138 steps.
The top has a nice decorative design.
We could see a road down to Lake Huron, so we drove down. There is a trail through the woods to it, but it was getting late, so we drove down, plus I was looking for a restroom in the woods.

As you can read, where the pavilion stands today, there once was a fog signal building that was built in 1890 to assist mariners in deep fog.
While I was taking pictures, Joe checked the outhouse and informed me it was unlocked  (every other outhouse that were located at closed lighthouses had been locked). He also told me I was in luck because it smell good. It was so clean I think I was the first person to use it. I guess there are some perks for being at tourist sites early!
As we headed back toward home, we stopped at the Presque Isle State Harbor.
Lots of boat slips for people that live in this area.

Again we were out of time, but if you do have time, you can walk out on a walkway ( blue in the picture) on the rock jetty to the harbor opening. There is also a cafe, grill and a store at the harbor.
 We continued south on Hwy 23, and made a stop to check out Long Lake. This lake is 5,652 acres with a maximum depth of 25 feet.
I saw this sign in a store on our way home. We have seen 3 of the 7 lighthouses in the area. Two of them are on islands, so we are unable to see them without a boat rides. Another one is further north on Hwy 23, that we decided not to drive to see it at this time. The last one we tried to see today, but it was too foggy to see it. Maybe tomorrow if we have the time. There are 149 lighthouses in Michigan, which makes Michigan having more lighthouses than in any state.
On the road that our campground is, I took a picture of Thunder Bay River and another photographer, while Joe drove.
View of another water area across the road to our park.