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These images are a selection of hundreds of stunning pictures of Bloomfield Hills' wildlife. I can assure you that all of them were shot no more than two miles around our house. I often have my cameras with me in my kayak when I'm on tours on Lower Long Lake, Forest Lake, Upper Long Lake, and the canals between them.

Moving on the water with a boat seems to be somewhat tolerated by the deer, minks, squirrels, water birds, muskrats, coyotes, frogs, turtles, and all the other animals living in and around this paradise. Every year, I experience some changes - in one year, the lakes are home to many swans, the next year, you see more Blue Herons or White Egrets. The population of ducks and loons is also changing, not only during the seasons but also from year to year. To have pairs of Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Red Hawks around the lakes is a great sign of a healthy ecosystem.

Patience, a good eye, and a decent understanding of the behavior of the various species help me to finish some of the kayak photo tours successfully, but by far not all of them. Sunday morning around sunrise during the months of March to May is the best time to get great shots. All animals are busy, often with feeding and raising their offsprings, and the riparian areas are not (yet) noisy.

While I'm on the water, waiting for the perfect camera shot of a Bald Eagle or a landing Blue Heron, I am often distracted by the vast beauty of the lake environment. At any moment, the sunlight and the clouds are different, creating breathtaking views you might expect from the Serengeti but maybe not from the Detroit region. These pictures also call on us to be responsible residents to maintain the beauty and health of this environment.

Take some time to go through the above portfolio with images of the local scenery. You'll understand that we are fortunate to live here and why I often overrun the time I agreed with Heidi for my Sunday morning tours.

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