Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Slowly Arrives

March came in like a lion, or maybe that was just February overstaying its welcome.  At the beginning of the month my few visits we often quite brief due to combination of cold and wind.  After just a little while outside, I would find myself retreating to the comfort of my car headed to the nearest Dunks to get a cup of joe to warm my insides.



This day it was so windy that even on a locked down tripod, the wind was just buffeting my lens.  I've started to play around with the video capabilities of my cameras.  Sometimes a still photo captures a moment perfectly, other times you want to capture the movement and sound that video provides.

Later in the month conditions start to mellow.  Water is flowing between the upper & lower impoundments.



Now as we reach the end of the month there are definite signs of spring.  My personal sign of spring is the arrival of the male red-winged blackbirds.  After days of cold and silence, one day the quite is disrupted by their distinctive "kon-ka-reee" the song builds over days starting with just a few, more groups arrive, until the marsh reaches a crescendo of males calling and displaying their epaulets as they stake out territory and try to attract females to mate.






In the midst of the melting snow, skunk cabbage shoots start to push their way through. Their interesting geometric design is so beautiful during this phase. Of course with so little that's not white or brown, their color alone makes them an object of interest.



As the days warm, that patch of water by the bridge slowly starts to widen. If you are stealthy you often may find ducks of one sort or another in that small patch. Today I came across two pairs of Hooded Mergansers. Of course if you don't remain still and quite they will take flight quickly.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20140322 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20140322 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20140322 &emdash;

Winter is slowly giving up it's grasp across the refuge. The Dike trails are almost all snow & ice free. Depending upon the time of day the path is frozen solid or a muddy graveling mix. However, back in the woods snow and ice are slowly giving up ground. Yak Trax are welcome accompaniments to help you navigate the icy patches covered my a skim coat of today's ice melt.

Though the impoundments are still frozen, there are tell tale signs that this too will pass. The ice no longer is a consistent white, darker spots are shining through. Slowly around the edges ice is slowly melting and water appears. Gulls seem to be stopping by more frequently, probably anxious for the first major opening to appear, with hopes that it will reveal fish killed or weakened by the long winter ice cover. Today the first muskrat made an appearance.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20140322 &emdash;

One warm sunny afternoon, I saw the screech owl, for the first time this year. It was kind of hard to miss as it sat in the opening of his hole and just soaked up the sun.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20140322 &emdash;

4 comments:

  1. It's nice to see that spring is just around the corner. I felt a chill watching the first video.

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  2. I agree, most of the time I like photos better, sometimes because I'm not in a place where I can enjoy the sound in a video. But your movies were fantastic! The rushing water and first red-wing were my favorites. And I enjoyed that owl pictures too. So far they have alluded me visually.

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  3. What a wonderful blog. Thank you so much. Love the photos, love the videos more.

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  4. I can feel spring coming - thank you! I love the mergansers, especially the one in flight, and the redwing's song.

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