An epiphany occurred a few years ago when I realized I was never going to to see it all no matter how far and wide my travels took me so perhaps a more satisfying approach would be to strive for more intimacy and dig a little deeper in familiar places closer to home. With that in mind for the past ten plus years we’ve travelled to Michigan’s Rifle River Recreation Area. A wonderful way to mark the passing of time, things gained and things lost, and to embrace change in seasons of the year and in life. The areas major draw is that’s to my knowledge it’s the closest location from central Ohio, where nesting loons can be observed.
Other than the ample food supply and clear water that makes it easy to locate, the reason loons are found here is that their nests are built right at water’s edge where they can easily access them with a short slide as their legs are located too far back on their body to facilitate walking. This makes the nests venerable to motor boat wakes but no motor boats are allowed within the park resulting in happy nesting loons. The relative quiet resulting from the lack of motors whether on the lakes or trails results in a great place to observe nature. A significant added bonus is that the Ausable River and Huron National Forest located nearby offer many additional natural areas to explore.
During time spent in the canoe other birds also enchant.
In addition to the birds there are other things that establish a sense of place.
While paddling yours truly couldn’t help but see if there was a fish in the area
Along the Ausable River we take a break.
The parks numerous trails offer ample opportunity to discover fungi.
A few insects also caught our attention. Ever try to photograph a small insect from a canoe on a windy day?
Stepping forward a week. The other day walking in a park close to home we were enchanted by the sight of a large colorful dragonfly.
A reminder that one need not travel even as far a Michigan to discover the magic.
In a journey through space and time each year as we arrive we also leave. Should we be so blessed next year we will return to again be embraced by what has become a sacred place. The experience of this year is all the more precious as the place as well as we ourselves will never be quite the same as together we travel into the newness of the next.
Thanks for stopping by.
Bob, this post read like a prayer, an ode, a humble acknowledgment of all the gifts that surround us and a reminder that nothing is static, nothing is guaranteed, all is precious in this moment. Thank you!!
Beautiful post Bob! And great photos, as always.
You got some great photos! I’ve heard loons but have never gotten close enough for a photo.
I think your unknown aquatic is wild calla (Calla palustris.) It likes to grow in shallow water with no current.
Thanks much! I was hoping you might know what it was.
You’re welcome. I didn’t see any here this year so it was nice to see yours.
A wonderful post from start to finish. The picture of the fish and salad was outstanding.
Love this. I’ve been on Au Sable but would like to go to that lake with the loons. So lovely. Is it called Grousehaven Lake?
There are loons on Grebe, Devoe and Grousehaven, lakes, Tthey are the easiest to see if you have a canoe or kayak which can be rented from Rollways. Love the loons!