Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Seney, Michigan
From the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System Overview:
"Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has grown to include more than 560 refuges, 38 wetland management districts and other protected areas encompassing 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the remote Pacific. There is at least one national wildlife refuge in every state and territory and within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas."
My oldest sister has a charming vacation home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we try to get up there for a visit at least once a year. I’ve had the opportunity to get up there more often recently to delve into creative enterprise with my sister. She and I have taken an interest in letterpress and have found a print shop that allows us to pop in to work on our design and print projects. This last time it was wedding invitations for our brother and they really turned out great!
Since I was traveling by myself, I decided to take an extra day before my sister arrived to head over to Seney National Wildlife Refuge for a photography adventure. I had read a lot about the refuge and have wanted to visit during our last few visits, but no one in the family wanted to make the 90 minute drive with me. Their loss! Seney Wildlife Refuge is a stunningly beautiful location, home to trumpeter swans, geese, many varieties of ducks, herons - every northern creature you could imagine.
I set my alarm for early morning and made it to the refugee just after 7:00. Next time I’ll be sure to get to bed earlier and be in place to capture the sunrise. I’m sure it was beautiful. There was just enough cloud cover to make the sky interesting. Real landscape photographers arrive long before sunrise! This morning was windy and chilly - the car said it was 43 degrees out when I arrived. It did eventually warm up later in the day, but I was grateful for a warm car to pop into when the wind became too cold!
I was thrilled to see swans in the wild for the first time, a lone loon swimming close enough to shore to get a decent picture, lots of lovely wildflowers and charming red squirrels. The seven mile Marshland Wildlife Drive gives visitors an easy way to access the refuge with places along the way to pull over, get out of the car, and get closer to the water and wildlife. There is also an easy hiking trail starting at the Visitor’s Center that gives you a close up view of wildflowers, the marshland and so many birds.
My husband and I have also visited a national wildlife refuge just outside of Savannah, Georgia, so I had an idea of what to expect at Seney. Our National Fish and Wildlife Service is doing a wonderful job of making havens for wildlife, making those havens accessible for all of us to visit and get closer to nature. It is a great way to explore the world, and I hope to get to Seney again soon.