Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wetlands

Saturday afternoon, I was back at GMNWR.  Practically overnight, the impoundments went from frozen from shore to shore to half filled with open water.  The sea gulls were having a grand time out there fishing.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

Personally, I had hoped that the eagles were back.  My plan was to wade out using some knee high boots to see if I could get some closer shots.  Well, the eagles had been back in the morning, but they had moved on.  That's okay, my  plan was flawed.  The dike path that seems so flat, really has quite a pitch to it.  The water was quickly 18 inches deep.  The next step I took, would have flooded over the tops of my boots.

The geese started to return en masse.   Easily forty or fifty Canada Geese marked their arrival with much honking  and a lap around the lower impoundment before settling onto the open water.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

The photo foray group wandered out along the old railroad bed and down the edge trail.  This picture of the sign pretty much describes the refuge's state - Wetlands!  A little further on this path we noticed a pine with a widow maker leaning against it.  Scanning up the trunk further, you'll see a very dangerous limb suspended vertically resting on a nub of a branch.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

One advantage of the flooding is that is pushes the wildlife closer to shore.  This muskrat, was posing for portraits along the side of the road.   It must be a female - no male would be caught with pink nails!

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;

I also liked this chipmunk living the a hole in the bottom of a tree.  To bad he isn't meticulous in the care of his front lawn.  The random twigs and blades of grass made it tough to get a clean photo.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110312 &emdash;