Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Sunny Disposition Makes All The Difference

After my last outing, it was with a little trepidation that I answered the alarm at o'dark thirty.  After several dark and dreary days the promise of a sunny day was motivation to get going.  It was a race against the sun to see you would get to Great Meadows first.  There was a large moon in the sky, that was starting to set, I hoped to get a shot of it over the refuge, before the sun over powered it.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

The US F&WS folks were already out taking a census of the refuge.  They confirmed my impressions that is seems like most of the spring migrants have passed through.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

In the beautiful golden light of the morning, the Red-winged Blackbirds were busy calling.   They are always challenging to photograph, but as the morning progressed the wind picked up, the reeds were swaying.  The Red-winged Blackbirds were struggling to hold on, while I struggled to freeze them in the frame.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Alan Bragg, Francesca Belouin, and Frank Laak were taking advantage of the sunny day to fill in places where the path has caved in with dirt and gravel.  Muskrats and other animals burrow into the dike.  The spring thaw and flooding ends up caving in these areas.  I really appreciate their efforts.  Until today, I have had to have one eye on the path, while the other eye was searching for something to photograph, least I trip in one of these big hole and risk breaking a leg, or a lens.


Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Speaking of muskrats, they were also out in force.  Though there aren't many green stems poking up through the water, the muskrats were constantly diving and coming up with tender green shoots to eat. 



Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash; Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

The trees and bushes are all breaking buds.  Soon this grey world will be covered in green.  The birds we can now see easily will soon be hid in the tree canopy.  I found it interesting to notice the differences in how each plant buds.



Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

While below the surface the reeds are sprouting new growth, above the surface many of the cattails are holding out until the bitter end.  When you think about Great Meadows, cattail reeds are one thing that will quickly pop into your mind.  I've struggled to date to get good photos of them.  I like this one because the sunlight from the side combined with the dark background, makes it stand out.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20110421 &emdash;

1 comment:

  1. Very nice budding portraits - willow, sweet gale, and speckled alder! They all hatch early, wind-pollinated flowers nestled within fur or scales. And all segregate their sexes...willow and sweet gale on separate plants and alder on separate branches.

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