Saturday, April 30, 2011

Field Trip

The nature photographers in my camera club were in need of a field trip so along with Mike McNeil, Bill Willis and Gray Hoyt we invited them to Great Meadows for some early morning photography.   At 6:30 AM the sun was hid behind some clouds, but there was promise of more light as the skies were clear to the west.  At the appointed time about 15 photographers set out across the refuge in 4 different groups.  A few stragglers ended up joining our regularly scheduled programming in progress.  

My group headed through the woods to the outflow end of the lower impoundment and worked our way back towards the parking lot.  There were carp trying to cross the spillway into the impoundment.  While they were trying to get in, this sunfish that had given up the fight and was resting with the lotus seed pods, waiting to be eaten or swept downstream.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

It was a bit early for the muskrats to be out feeding.  One industrious muskrat was busily expanding the size of his lodge.  He should probably consult with the beavers on construction techniques, since they had better luck with the coyotes this winter than the muskrats.  

In just a couple weeks the landscape has gone form dull and grey to green.  New growth is everywhere.  I was drawn to how the darker background highlights the miniature leaves. 

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

My group brought me luck.  We discovered a new tree swallow nest, near the beaver lodge.  It was on the underside of the branch.  I will be checking up on it's progress as time progresses.



Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Up near the holt, a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches were busily preparing a new nest in a knot-hole from a broken branch.



Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Back on the dike trail many of my fellow club members were learning the joys of trying to photograph the often heard, rarely seen for more than a few seconds, rarely photographed well - Marsh Wrens.  (I tried too, but came away with nothing I would want to share).  Between rounds of frustration, I did manage to shoot this pair of Red-winged Blackbirds - both male and female.



Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Two other animals came by for close up photos.  Since they were so cooperative, I had to post them.  I believe the first one was a leopard frog.  (My identification skills for most plants and many animals are weak.  This blog is forcing me to learn more each trip.  I guess sthis year, I will have to learn the 6-8 different types of dragon flies we see in the summer.)  The other one is a Canada Goose, that flew very close as he tried to evade another aggressive and protective goose.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110430 &emdash;