Friday, October 12, 2012

Around the Impoundments

Life and weather keep on imposing on my photography at Great Meadows. Actually, I've been able to sneak over to the refuge, but haven't had the time to post process and post a blog entry. Today's post is a bit of this and a bit of that.

You would think that filling up the impoundments would be as simple as setting up a pump and puming until the impoundments are full.  However, nature has its own opinions of what should happen.  The carp (and invasive species that invades the impoundments during high water and flood conditions, sense the movement of the water and try to swim upstream.  Unfortunately, they ultimately arrive near the pump, usually stranding themselves among the cat tail reeds.  As a result the Fish & Wildlife staff have to wade in and pull out the dead fish, ultimately giving them a proper burial.

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First you find a carp

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Then you throw them into the Front End Loader

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Until you have no room for more

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Ultimately burying them in a mass grave


It appears that the snapping turtles aren't big fans of flooding the impoundments. This day I met three walking towards the river.

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All across the refuge there are signs of the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

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Straggling Monarch butterflies


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One of the last dragonflies on turning foliage

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Falling leaves on ferns

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Milkweed pods launching their seeds

I have been fascinated by the Northern Harriers that can be found cruising the edges of the impoundments. The have been torturing me, often choosing to fly on the opposite side of the refuge from wherever I am. When they do come close, something is often wrong - backlit, reeds in the way, or the like. Sometimes, I get a reasonable photo.

I still am in pursuit of my ideal Harrier photo - a Harrier cruising the reeds in the golden light of sunrise, looking at me, with it's distinctive tail stripe visible. It's been elusive, so I guess as long as they are hanging around, I will keep coming back.

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When the harriers don't cooperate sometimes I focused on the dewy flowers nearby.

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One foggy morning this juvenile Cooper's Hawk went cruising by instead.

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When I think of fall at Great Meadows I think about geese and ducks in the impoundments. It's fun to watch them come and go.
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You might find this photo interesting if you have never seen a Great Blue Heron's tongue before. It certainly doesn't look very flexible.

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On a still morning down by the river, its surface is smooth and glass and reflecting like a mirror. During the fall, you get bonus foliage as the leaves are reflected perfectly in the water.
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