Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lights Are On, But Nobody Is Home

Sunday morning, I awoke before the sun and headed to Great Meadows. I was inspired by attending a meeting with other nature photographers the night before. Many shared their beautiful images, including a few Marsh Wrens and Red-winged Blackbirds from Great Meadows.

My objective this morning was to see if I could capture the beavers near the lower impoundment in action. (Beavers are most active at dawn and dusk).

Walking through the woods along the railroad bed and maintenance road prior to the sun rising above the trees was quite cool. I arrived at the outflow of the lower impoundment, I surprised a Ring Necked Duck before it realized that people were up.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

At the beaver lodge, there were no beaver present. You can see that they are quite active in the area. The beaver slide through the cattails was still damp. A bit further up the path you could see that the beavers had felled the tree that they had eaten significantly through in my last post. Several new tress had signs of beavers gnawing, while ones they had started to eat had much more bark and wood missing. I hung around a while hoping they would emerge, but with the sun rising, beautiful light everywhere, and a fixed time to leave, paniccing that I might have anything to post, I moved on.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;


By the time I reached the intersection with the Cross Dike Trail, the wind was starting to pick up. Several coots were hanging out in the lee of the cattail reeds. One thing I like about photography is that it helps you see things you don't notice with the naked eye. I've been trying to capture a bird diving, without success - this is close, but just a moment too late. Another thing I noticed was that the coots would pull up some aquatic vegetation. Using small stick like pieces they would beat the water while twisting their head back and forth. I'm not sure what this accomplishes, but there were several series with similar actions.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;


But occasionally, you have to settle for normal poses in beautiful light.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;


Continuing back up the Cross Dike Trail, I encountered a Mute Swan that was also beautifully lit, in the midst of preening. Thought they are not very hospitable birds, they are beautiful.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;


Almost back to the car, I encountered this Swamp Sparrow among the cattail reeds near the bridge. It was foraging along the side of the path, but would retreat into the reeds when people passed. For a brief moment it posed on the reeds, while checking to see if the coast was clear.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111120 &emdash;

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