Yes, that is the father of our country, sternly overlooking the fields and farms around Onaway, which (it turns out) is the nearest town to our cabin. There's a metalworking studio and sculpture park, where several of these large artworks by sculptor Thomas Moran are on display.
Here's Dave with his arm up Gerald Ford's nose.
"I'm giving him a Covid test," Dave explained.
That was our "urban" excursion yesterday, going into town to check out not only the sculptures but to have an ice cream at a place that was once but is no longer a Dairy Queen. I had a mint oreo shake, which was pretty yummy, I must say.
Otherwise, there's been a lot of wildlife-watching.
I haven't seen too many deer -- a few from a distance, including one high-tailing it into the woods as we rounded a corner in the car. Supposedly there are elk and bear around too.
But I've seen some interesting birds. I think this is a cardinal, above; I'm not sure why it looks so scrappy. Maybe it's a young one and its feathers are still coming in.
Here's a flicker (at left) taking flight as a rose-breasted grosbeak sits on a branch nearby.
It's interesting how many animals and plants look similar to what I see in the UK. That could be a Scottish thistle, and I found white campion in the lawn.
Today we're off to Mackinac, where I'll have a real Internet connection. (Once again, this post has been agonizingly slow to write.) I haven't been able to respond to comments but I have been reading them and I appreciate you all tagging along on our Michigan adventure!
I like visiting sculpture parks along any route I travel. Mostly I seem to find the welded together from junk kind but one like the president's heads would be greatly enjoyed.
Can't wait to hear about Mackinac. It is on our schedule within the week.
Such birds! That flicker shot is a gem and the grosbeak only makes it better.
The sculptures are very cool, though they both remind me of the metal head of Richard Pryor as the Wizard of Oz in The Wiz!
The photo of Dave cracked me up! It seems our birds fly too high up to get good photos. I saw a flicker a couple years ago and haven't seen one since.
Have a wonderful time on Mackinac. Have you been there before? It's a delight -- and today is a gorgeous day. You picked a good one to go.
Had to laugh at Dave having his arm up Gerald Ford's nose ... funny! Look closely at the Ford sculpture and you will see each hair is placed separately! Wow!
I would guess that thistle is the same as your thistle. LOL
Looking forward to your further travels!
You mean you are going to Mackinac Island? As they used to say in the late sixties, "Far out man!" What a great adventure.
May we presume that Gerald Ford did bot sneeze out a bucketful of viscous snot?
Enjoying your USA visit pics, Steve. I'm pretty sure your first bird photo here is of a male house finch. Not a cardinal, anyway. Amazing sculptures!
I can never get a clear view as the birds zoom by. You are so good at capturing them on film - really amazes me!
Hope you enjoy your trip to Mackinac - I have heard it is terrific! Let me know if it is worth the trip!
Well, Disrespectful Dave!
That twofer bird shot is great.
Love these bird photos. Beautiful. Dave giving Ford a Covid Test made me laugh out loud. Thank you for that.
I think the red bird may be a purlpe finch but I'm no birder. It doesn't look like a cardinal though, it doesn't have that rockstar crest that cardinals have.
Those sculptures are interesting and slightly disturbing. Hope you two are having a good time:)
It seems strange to find that sculpture garden in such a rural area. Your milkshake makes me hungry for the one I always get when I'm in California, a chocolate banana shake. I'll need to get one in a couple of weeks when I visit Newport once again. I love the wildlife shots.
I agree that the bird is a purple house finch. But only because someone came up with it first. Ha!
Dave is a nut.
I agree with Pixie.... there's no crest, so I don't think it's a cardinal.
Depending on its size, I would guess a purple finch, too. Though if it's bigger, it might be a variety of grosbeak (or maybe even some kind of tanager). I don't claim to know Michigan birds.
Great photos! You're so dedicated to blog under those circumstances. If I can't blog with internet and my laptop, it's too much effort. I did blog a few times from Senegal, using the unfamiliar keyboard. It took me forever! Your ice cream sounds delicious; I love chocolate and mint together. I ordered fudge from Mackinac, and it was wonderful.
I went to Michigan once, to pick up our first RV. We stood on the edge of one of the big lakes and it was so cold! It was like looking at the ocean. I share your concern about ticks and other bugs. Do they have chiggers up there? Enjoy your time there and hopefully there will be internet soon.
Those sculptures are impressive!
You may have slow Internet but you have a very fast lens on your camera. The pictures of the jetting Flicker and the bee are great!
The Cornell Lab's website allaboutbirds-dot-org is a great site for identifying birds, etc.. Would agree with the purple finch ID.
There are some nice and pretty birds that we don't have here. Unfortunately we do have Scotch Thistle and it loves our climate.
Tell Dave he's snot funny.
The sculptures are impressive. I hope Gerald was negative.
Thanks so much for all your comments, everybody, and for the help with the bird ID! I think it may be a purple house finch, although its feathers still look peculiar. I didn't even know a purple finch existed, so I'm learning something new here!
Debby: You cracked me up!
I love your nature shots. I've visited Michigan in winter and so the island was basically closed and the wildlife were all in hibernation. even then it was beautiful.
The sculpture park looks like a lot of fun and the likenesses are exceptional. Yeah, I'd shove something up Gerald Ford's nose, too.
Artist David Atticks in Houston built giant sculptures of the presidents, head and shoulders. Not sure if he did all of them. Some are just heads, some are just shoulders. They were on display in a couple of places for a while but I think they're all back on the lot where his studio is/was in Houston.
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