Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Not Dead Yet

Friday morning was cold and breezy at Great Meadows when I arrived. The temperature had dropped very close to freezing overnight, but there were no signs of ice. We all know that it's a just matter of time before winter is here.

Walking out onto the Cross Dike Trail, I spied a group of Buffleheads in the Upper Impoundment. They soon spied me and retreated out of camera distance.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;


Some Canada Geese were in near the reeds after the bridge. This allowed some extreme closeups of them feeding and one taking off. (This is full frame, no cropping). In the distance other groups were taking off.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;


Now the muskrats are building up their lodges for the winter, you will often find a goose standing on the top. I was photographing this one in the golden morning sunlight, when he started to stretch.

Whenever an animal does something interesting you start to shoot. While I was shooting, the stretch turned into takeoff. It reminded me of a World War II era aircraft carrier takeoff where the plane dips, but just before contacting the water starts its climb. No only regret was that it was facing away from us.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;


On the backside of the lower impoundments the beaver lodge shows the signs of activity. They have trampled down the cattails on both sides of the Dike Trail creating beavers slides, from their trips back and forth harvesting plants in the Lower Impoundment. I guess they aren't too worried about predators, since they take a very direct route back to their lodge, which you can see in the background. A little up river you can see trees that are close to being toppled, while others appear to be marked for future activity.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;


Summer is long gone. Autumn is starting to become a memory too. However, occasionally you stumble across a plant or animal that hasn't gotten the message yet. These encounters bring a smile to your face as you remember warmer, care free days. Often we tend to rush the seasons. Today these encounters remind me of that line in Monty Python's Holy Grail, "I'm not dead yet."

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;


Arriving at the Timber Trail it was an opportunity to see if the Great Horned Owl is still around. (I didn't see it.) The Timber Trail is mainly a pleasant walk through towering stately pines surrounded by deciduous trees. Along the way here's what caught my eye.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111118 &emdash;