I have two apologies about today’s post. First there are more eagle pictures. I’m sorry but this series of images tells a neat story so I felt compelled to show you these images. Secondly I apologize for the lack of sharpness of these images. This juvenile eagle was flying very close to a fence and the auto focus kept jumping between the eagle and the fence so they are not tack sharp images. Aside from that these are some fun images.
You may remember I told you a couple of days ago how the juvenile eagles would time after time come up empty-handed and would then try to steal fish from the more successful mature eagles. Well as I was sorting through my images from the Guttenburg shoot I had this series of images slated for deletion until I got to the last image. Just a reminder you can click on the images and make them much larger and easier to see the detail.
I captured the first image in this series of the eagle coming in for a catch. I could not get the image of him actually striking the water because he was behind the fence. However as he circled and gained a little altitude it appeared at first glance that his talons were empty.
Jeanne and I went to a talk on eagles last year put on by a photographer from the Des Moines, Iowa area. He wrote a book about the return of eagles to Iowa and had many wonderful images of eagles.
One of the things he said was that often times an eagle will look down at his catch and if the fish is small enough he will eat it on the fly so that he doesn’t have to defend his food while he eats it.
So this eagle is doing that and again when I first went through the images I though to myself… Young kid, doesn’t even realize he has nothing in his talons. Boy was I wrong.
This fish won’t win any big fish trophies but it is at least food and this young eagle promptly devoured it By the third frame of this series the fish was gone. 🙂
I love capturing images of eagles. I can stand in the cold and watch them for hours having their little turf and food battles. I enjoy watching them interact and even just sitting. They are such a magnificent creature. Don’t be surprised if you continue to see images of eagles from time to time on this blog.
That’s it for today gotta run. Hope you enjoyed this young eagle’s success. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy your day (each one is a gift you know) and please be careful.
I know that I haven’t had many images of this little guy for awhile. It’s my fault as I’ve had the opportunity and was just busy doing other things that were not nearly as important. Anyway Angie and Josh stopped over for a visit Friday evening and had pizza with us. We had a great time playing in the “toy room” as our kids called it. Josh still finds the toys his Mom and Uncle played with to be fun and interesting. No they don’t light up and talk to him but he can use his imagination and have so much fun pretending.
His new thing is now that he will say, “I’ll be right back.” Then he disappears (usually to flip on a light switch) for a couple of minutes and then he comes back and starts playing again. I remember with his Mother did that as well. 🙂
Short post this morning as I have to go clear the driveway of snow and head out for work. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your slippery Wednesday. Be careful.
As we often do on a Sunday afternoons, Jeanne and I took a drive around the area looking for things to shoot. I always like to check out the 16th Street Basin but again, on Sunday like it has been so far this year, there was nothing going on. Two ducks were swimming in the lower corner (the only open water.) so we moved on to the river. There were eagles flying over the dam and some in trees but there were also fishermen in boats just below the dam so the eagles were not interested in getting close to them.
We then went over to the ice harbor and found the ducks. Last year they were at the 16th Street Basin in great numbers. The year before they spent most of their time on the 14th Street stream. I love to watch the ducks play and interact with each other. Since we couldn’t find them this year at their usual digs I thought perhaps they have moved on. I’m glad to see they are still around.
We took a drive over to the Sinsinawa Mound area. I haven’t been there this year and thought perhaps we could find something interesting. We did find this old rake sitting at the end of a barren field. It would have been nice if there had been some clouds in the background. Yes I could have added them in post production but didn’t even think of that. 🙂
There just wasn’t anything that caught my eye even though we drove about 40 miles total. Lots of barns but none in good light or they had metal roofs. Jeanne doesn’t like barns with metal roofs so I have crossed them off my list. We found some barns with high stone foundations and weathered siding but the light wasn’t good or the barn had a metal roof.
Back in Dubuque we drove down some of the back streets by the river. I have never shot the Julian Dubuque Bridge from this angle. I really liked how the evening sun was bathing it in light. We stopped at a gas station before heading home. My car has a 16 gallon tank and I put 15.74 gallons in it. We were running on fumes. 🙂
There you have it. Three unrelated images with no theme just what we found on a Sunday afternoon drive in Eastern Iowa, Western Wisconsin and Illinois. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day, more snow coming so be careful.
A full five-day work week this week. I’ve had a four-day work week the last three weeks so this is going to seem like a long week. Saturday Jeanne and I drove up to Guttenburg, Iowa to see if the eagles were still busy around the dam. It was about 20 degrees with a light wind but it was uncomfortably cold none the less. The river ice had changed in the week since I was last there. Where I stood and shot images of eagles last week was no longer there. The ice had moved closer to the dam and there were no eagles sitting on the ice.
So we moved closer to the dam, which limited the shooting range because of the fences around the dam. The good news was there were lots and lots of eagles fishing just below the dam. When we first were parking the car on the main street by the dam a mature eagle with a fish in his talon was being chased by a juvenile who wanted to take it away. They came close enough I could have gotten a frame filling image with a 70 mm lens. Unfortunately the camera and lens were in the back seat and I was still strapped in with my seat belt.
I’ve heard of deer hunters getting what is called “Buck Fever” being so excited they couldn’t pull the trigger. That’s what I felt when they flew over, I don’t remember ever being that close to a wild eagle in my life. Some good news about the lens. It never miss behaved once Saturday. I shot 1,140 images and not one black frame in the bunch. 🙂 I have a ton of out of focus images but that was all 100% my error. I don’t know why I shoot some many frames when I’m shooting eagles. I know what works and what doesn’t but I get pretty excited I guess and try to capture every thing that happens.
My good Friend Dave told me something about the fishing below the dam that eagles do. He said that when fish go through the dam many times they get stunned and will float on top of the water for a period of time. It makes easy pickings for the eagles soaring overhead.
The most interesting thing I saw Saturday was the number of attempted take aways. Mostly from juvenile eagles who would time after time hit the water for a fish only to come up empty-handed. I have tons of images showing that to be the case. But a mature eagle would catch a fish and there would be one or two juveniles trying to grab it away from the mature eagle. I have seen some of that before but not to the extent I did Saturday.
We stayed at the dam for about an hour and then decided to come home through the country. Saw a lot of barns I should have photographed but the sunlight was pretty harsh and so I passed on all of them. Thank you for checking out the blog. I hope you enjoy your Monday. I’ll have some non-eagle images tomorrow. Be careful.
Happy Friday. More snow today will make for an interesting commute to work. I also have to go to Cedar Rapids this morning so I’ll be spending quite a lot of time on the road. Yea! No more eagle images until I shoot some new ones and I’m sure I will as I just can’t resist trying to get the shot I have in my mind.
But today I had this barn I took a couple of weeks ago at the end of the day. The sun light was softening a little and would soon turn more orange. I love the look of older farm buildings. Probably a good thing I do because there are a lot of them around and they don’t move too much so they are easy to shoot. 🙂
Enjoy your Friday and the weekend. Hope to be out amongst them with camera in hand. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
I am sorry to do this but I spent 4 hours at Guttenburg on Monday and I am compelled to show you some eagle shots even if they are not the best. If you scroll down to last Tuesday’s post the second eagle image is one of this guy just hitting the water with his talons and the images that are on this post are that same eagle with his prize catch (which is a pretty nice fish.) These are not the images of eagles that I have in my head when I try to capture eagles but I keep trying to get better shots.
Still these images tell a story. This guy was sitting in a tree watching the river when I notice him launch from the tree do a pirouette dive toward the water and grab this fish. I shot about 50 images of him flying across the river with all the other eagle eyes on him and finally end up in a tall tree on the opposite side of the river where he probably consumed his catch.
Occasionally I would see (especially a young juvenile) an eagle with a fish and he would land on the ice to eat his catch. That only led to other eagles flying over to his location and trying to share in the bounty. Those eagles that fly up to trees to eat seem to get less competition for their food.
I could enjoy watching eagles all day long. They are such a majestic creature and interesting to watch. I will keep trying to capture the image of an eagle that I have in my head. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day. We’re apparently going to enjoy another snow storm. I’m so happy. Thanks for stopping by. Be careful.
I saw this wagon in Guttenburg Monday and wanted to photograph it. It was on private property and the area around the wagon was really muddy. There was no good place to park so I only shot from the roadway. I would have liked to explore different angles of this old wagon so I will go back when it is a little warmer and drier and see if the owner will let me photograph it.
I still have about 200 eagle images to sort through. Don’t worry I’m not going to show them all but there are a couple that may be worthy of your viewing. Depending on what today brings I may show some more of them on Thursday. I have a busy week ahead of me. I have to also be in Cedar Rapids Thursday and Friday (depending on the weather) so I may not have time to get to them. Short post today as usual I’m running behind.
Enjoy your mid-week hump day and thanks as always for checking out the blog. Be careful.
I had yesterday off because of President’s Day. So after doing a few things around the house I decided to head up to Guttenburg, Iowa. My friend Andreas had reported on his blog that the eagles were plentiful there and he had captured some very nice eagle pictures. I’ve never tried to shoot eagles in Guttenburg so I thought I’d spend a good part of the day there. When I left Dubuque it was sunny with some high clouds and 41 degrees. A good day for shooting. When I arrived in Guttenburg it was cloudy and overcast with intermittent rain.
Even though it was cloudy I still shot at ISO 200, which is native for the D3S, but I noticed a lot of noise in my images, which I do not understand. I set a new record for me anyway. I shot 2,053 images. Of those 226 were totally black (lens malfunction) and 1,571 were out of focus images (photographer malfunction.) 😦
I did get some reasonable shots, but none I would enter in a contest. Very frustrating. It seems to be a contact problem with the lens. The lens doesn’t seem to seat properly with the camera. At some point the lens displays a F-0 and that is when I get the black images. Everything seems to work well but it doesn’t take a picture. Trouble is when I’m following an eagle my main focus is on keeping the focus point on the bird and so I don’t see the F-0 until after the series of shots show up as black. The other malfunction is that the focus will lag behind because it is jumping between F-0 and F-8. When it is on F-8 it the lens will focus, when in transition to F-0 it will not focus. I’ll take credit for some of the out of focus images but not all of them.
Enough about the lens. There is a pretty nice place to shoot at Guttenburg. Just a few blocks South of the dam there is a boat ramp and parking lot with a small park area. I was able to take my tripod out on a boat ramp at the water’s edge and shoot pretty close to the eagles. They all flew further out in the river when I first arrived, even though I took my time walking to the ramp. They did come back after about an hour and so I had some fun watching them interact.
These little Coots were plentiful around the area and would come up pretty close to the boat ramp until I would turn and shoot them and then they would scurry away.
After I got frustrated trying to shoot eagles I drove around Guttenburg for a little while. It has a nice looking downtown area and lots of parks. There are picnic tables all along the river. I was excited to see my first Robin of the season. There were many of them around the North part of town. I didn’t see any South of Main Street but they were very thick on the North side.
So last night I spent an hour and a half going through the shoot of the day and hitting the delete button. It was depressing.
Back to work today. Thanks for checking in. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Let me start this post with an apology to Andreas and Joan Exner for this image of them. The fault lies completely with me and I debated a lot about not even posting it but I wanted to give some representation to the very enjoyable evening we spent with them. This image is a combination of not checking my settings, poor lighting, and several glasses of wine. 🙂
We met Joan and Andreas at L May, downtown Dubuque and had a wonderful meal and great conversation with them. They are nice people and when you put two guys who have a passion for photography together, well you get a lot of things to talk about. The food was very good as was the service. I can highly recommend this restaurant if you have not tried it.
On the way home Friday I stopped and took some images of this tree. I’ve wanted to shoot this tree for sometime but the lighting wasn’t right or there were no clouds in the sky or it was too dark. I left work 15 minutes early Friday as I had finished up my strategic planning session a little early and by the time I would have gotten back to the office it would have been quitting time anyway. So it gave me 15 minutes of extra light that I haven’t had this Winter.
Saturday Jeanne had obligations and I needed to get my driver’s license renewed. There’s an experience I could fill an entire blog about. I could write a book about customer service and why it doesn’t apply to governmental workers. They treat you like cattle moving through the system on the way to slaughter. I could make a nice living teaching them customer service.
I digress, sorry. Since I was on that side of town I decided to drive down to Bellevue. Lots and lots of eagles flying over the dam. I did take a few shots but I didn’t have the 500 mm lens with me. I don’t think it would have made a difference because like Dubuque’s lock and dam you just can’t get close enough to the water to get a decent shot.
Then I went to Green Island. I only drove one canal but it was obvious there was no wildlife present. Jeanne called and said she was home so I headed for Dubuque. I did take an image of a small chapel (posted on my 365 project) and this image of the Chestnut Mountain Resort. But there were a lot of miles traveled for not many images.
Enjoy your Sunday. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
Short post today as I have much to do and not a lot of time to get it done. Early morning training at one of our banks and then prepare to lead a strategic planning session this afternoon for the Chamber of Commerce.
I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I certainly did. Above are the flowers I got for my Queen. We had a nice dinner at home as we are going out tonight with my friend Andreas and his wife Joan. I’m really looking forward to having Jeanne meet Joan and share a wonderful meal together.
Have a great Friday. Enjoy the weekend and as always, thank you for checking out the blog. Be careful.