In the fall, I have grown to love coming to Great Meadows in the early morning to watch the Canada Geese depart for the day. For photographers it may not be as spectacular as Blastoff at Bosque del Apache, but it is local, it is enjoyable and it is a lot cheaper. Photographs can freeze moments of time, but can fall short of helping you fully experience the moment. The weather cooperated with a spectacular sunrise, with plenty of mist on the warmer water caused by cold overnight temperatures.
Click on the photograph to play the video. Musical accompaniment "Looking Back" by Jim Brickman
I must take a moment to thank the US Fish & Wildlife Service for building the new observation deck. This video would not have been possible in years past because there was no place to stand. While I often grumble about it's location because I have to shoot back into the light, today it was perfect.
As the flowers and trees are dying back, there are a few holding on to the bitter end. The glimpses of color and patterns against the darker, muted backgrounds stand out and catch my eye.
Steven Morello, an accomplished nature photographer, recently visited our camera club. He encouraged us to not only take "pretty" nature photographs, but to capture environmental shots of animals. The American Coots are willing subjects, so I worked on trying to catch them among the smart weeds and other aquatic plants.
Far back along the path along the upper impoundment, I encountered this carcass of a muskrat that had reached its untimely demise. Among all the pleasant images of the day, it was a very real reminder that even in the safety of the refuge none is truly safe, the cycle of life continues.
I know some of the regular followers of this blog, but many readers are anonymous to me. Thanks why it if fun when today Amy approaches me a Great Meadows and asks "Are you the guy with the website? I like your blog". It was a great end to a tiring day. I hope you encountered the deer near the maintenance barn, too. Unfortunately, I was too busy looking down at my camera to see if the duck in flight photos were any good, only to hear the deer bounding back into the woods, catching fleeting glimpses of their white tails. Hopefully next time I'll get the shot.