Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer brings a variety of birds

Just because it's summer is no reason to stop watching birds. We keep our sunflower feeders full along with syrup for both hummingbirds and orioles.
Actually, it was the orioles that got us interested in trying to attract them to the backyard. Several years ago we had a male come into the yard. He hung around for a couple of days then left. By then, it was the beginning of fall and no doubt time for head for warmer temperatures.
The following year, we were ready with two oriole feeders and some commercial mix to make syrup. We attracted a few birds.
In the meantime, we saw a single hummingbird and decided to try getting it to feed and possibly attract others.
So far, we've attracted two hummers that continually fight around the feeders and orioles, both male and females.
This year, sightings have been down. I don't know whether we were late getting feeders up or there are less birds.
Both orioles and a hummer or two have hung around the past few years making them a joy to watch. "Oh look, there's an oriole," either my wife or I will say.
It doesn't take much to entertain us these days. Give it a try. You might surprise yourself as to what new birds you may see.
Male oriole at the feeder. By Beukema

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gaylord Offers Plenty of Activities to Choose From

   Gaylord is the home to several resorts, motels, golf courses, and the only free-ranging elk herd in the Midwest.
   If fishing is your primary interest take your pick of 100 lakes or six cold-water rivers to try your luck.
   Bring your bike or a good pair of hiking shoes and enjoy one of the many scenic trails in the area. Bike trips can be as short or as long as you feel in the mood for.
   Some destinations are under 20 miles terminating near Gaylord. A different ride involves more mileage and goes all the way to Mackinac City.
   Big Bear Adventures in Indian River not only provides river trips and other activities, it has a shuttle service that will pick you and your bike up at the destination you choose. Call them at (231) 238-8181 or visit
   Treetops resort is the spot for all things golfing. Home to the number one rated par 3 golf course in North America, it's the best place to try your short game.
   If you are looking for something more challenging choose one of the five courses on the property designed by such golf course architects as Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Tom and Rick Smith.

   A drive through the Pigeon River State Forest is as peaceful as it gets behind the steering wheel. Automobile turnouts are as plentiful as the picnic tables waiting for you to spread your on.
   Keep your eyes open to see some of the only free-ranging elk in the Midwest. With trees just beginning to leaf out, this is a good time to observe wildlife.
   Morel mushroom hunters will find good areas and, if observant, find the tasty fungi. Move slow and  pay attention. There's a good chance to find them.
   If you need a bike-mountain or fat tire-call Treetops at (989) 732-6711 or visit

Photo courtesy of Bill Semion

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ohio walleye tourney had a Michigan connection

   Last Sunday during the AIM Weekend Walleye Series tournament out of Port Clinton, Ohio Dearborn Heights resident, Ali Shakoor and his partner Brian Zarembski won first place good for $2,000.
   What seemed a tad unusual was all of the two-person teams participating were from Ohio with the except of Shakoor.
   The surprising thing was the light turnout of anglers for what seems to be known as a prime fishery. The weather was perfect; water surface smooth as glass, lots of water so no one got crowded off their spot and the best thing, fish on the bite.
   Everyone was trolling something. Most teams were on the crank bait bite while some pulled crawler harnesses.
   Walleye tournaments are known for being held in bad weather. Either it's cold, snowing, raining or sleeting, usually windy enough to make for some big seas and fishing hours cut short due to bad weather.
   On Saginaw Bay several years ago with good friend Lance Valentine of Walleye-101 when we got a call from a fellow angler well out beyond us taking on water.
   Seems as though his bilge pump had decided to quit at a moment when it was needed. Seas were running high and still building. We got to our fishing spot, turned around and headed back in without setting a line.
   We hung around to be sure our pal made it back safely. He was way down in the stern with the big motor pushing a water logged boat as best as it could.
   Anyway, being in that state south of Michigan was tough enough. But having a Michigan man on the winning team made it tolerable.