Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Week 19, in pictures | Main | Warbler Week (and more) »

Mother's Day (weekend)

I got the greatest gift for Mother's Day this year. I loved the birding and fairy tale books my son got me, and the adorable picture he painted for me. And the elephant print scarf from Jon is my new favorite, plus the brunch he made me on Sunday was fantastic. I loved all of these things—they are all really thoughtful, considerate gifts that show how much they were really thinking about me for this special day—but none of these was actually my favorite gift of the weekend. No, the best gift I received was two full days of family time in the great outdoors—wonderful time spent together, enjoying each other and the world around us.

Because Saturday was Big Bird Day, the day when ornithologists and hobbyist birders all over the globe hit the fields to do species bird counts and record them on ebird. Right in the middle of migration and mating season, it's a great excuse to get out and go birding, and being Mother's Day weekend that's what I asked for from my guys. They both love hiking and wildlife, so the hardest part of that gift was probably the 6am wakeup call on both Saturday and Sunday, but they both got up willingly and their enthusiasm added a lot to our expeditions.

On Saturday, up at six and breakfasted, we decided to hike the Arb. I hadn't been there since I was a college student and I had forgotten what a hidden gem it is right in the middle of Ann Arbor's urbanish life. We managed a forty minute hike, on which we saw almost nothing, before it started to rain on us. I was pretty feeling pessimistic about the whole thing, but the boys convinced met to wait it out in the car for a bit. Twenty minutes later the rain abated, and on our second trip into the park we were greeted by sunshine, birds, and deer. We even managed to spot a warbler species we hadn't yet seen this year (though he was too high in the trees for great pictures).

The Arb wasn't our only stop on Big Bird Day. We actually spent the whole day hiking. On our way home for lunch we stopped to make a full trip around Dolph. And after lunch we joined a guided hike at County Farm Park where Calvin got to hold a tiny baby bluebird while the county naturalist checked the nest box to count the chicks and make sure they were free of parasites (they do this frequently, I guess). Then the celebratory nature of the weekend warranted a stop at Dairy Queen, after which we needed to kill time before dinner, so we did a tour of Eberwhite Woods before picking up pizza on the way home.

And as if Saturday wasn't superlative enough, Sunday rivaled it for perfection: up at 6 and breakfasted, we checked the weather report and headed to Independence Lake. The thing about spring weather in Michigan, though, is that it's unpredictable. We had checked the weather for home, and by the time we arrived at the park it was raining. Heavily. The thing about new technology, though, is that it is fairly accurate minute to minute as long as it knows where you are, so we could see that the storm was slated to pass through. And, after a thirty minute nap in the car, it did. Patience pays off. When the rain let up we hiked the park's two mile open field nature trail. It was our first time on the trail, and because of the long grass we came home soaked to the knees, but the trip was amazing. We spotted three bird species none of us had ever seen before, and because it was mostly open fields, we got some good practice with the binoculars. Back at home, Eggs Benedict, sweet and thoughtful gifts, then a little shopping with our growing boy (for summer shoes), and dinner with the grandparents to honor the other mothers in our lives, too, and let them know we love them. See, perfection again.


Arb in the rain

Mute Swans

Eastern Wood-pewee

Indigo Bunting

Arb not in the rain:

Eastern Bluebird

Black-and-white Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

White-tailed Deer

Blackburnian Warbler

Dolph Nature Area

Swainson's Thrush

County Farm Park


Tiny baby bluebird

(Horace's?) Duskywing

Independence Lake, after the rain


Orchard Oriole

Eastern Kingbird

Common Yellowthroat

Yellow Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Eggs Benedict

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.