Happy TGI Friday for all my friends who are still working.
After I finished up my photo shoot in Maquoketa yesterday, I decided to drive out past the Duck Pond. This is what I found on my way out-of-town. This was a corn field that hadn’t done very well and had been chopped into silage. It was flooded and a family of Trumpeter swans were picking corn off the ground. This is the male of the family. I was surprised at how close they let me get to them. I guess the pickings were better than their fear of me. Especially because I stayed in my car.
I was happy to see the four young signets from this past season. The dad kept a close eye on me while the others continued to feed.
Farther away across the field (lake) was another family of swans with three signets. I couldn’t get all four of them in the shot. Interestingly as I went past the Duck Pond it was a full of water as I can ever remember and not one species of wildlife was in it.
About one hundred yards down the road was this cornfield under water. I certainly feel bad for the farmers of the area. They work so hard getting the ground ready, planting, maintaining. Have a reasonably good growing season and then when it’s time to harvest their crop this happens. Difficult lively hood. We are grateful for them.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
I had a great day yesterday. Started off by meeting with a new client for a photography project I’ll be doing in September. Then I arrived at Maquoketa to have lunch with a dear Friend and was about 30 minutes ahead of time. I know, hard to believe since I have spent most of my life being fashionably late for things. 🙂
Anyway, with some time to kill, I stopped at my favorite place, the Hurstville Marsh and decided to take some images. There were no wildlife around so just for fun I used my Nikon 70 – 200mm f2.8 lens, which is my normal portrait lens. While these won’t win any awards for photography I was pleased with how they turned out.
After lunch I received a call from a Friend I haven’t seen in sometime. He among other things is an avid photographer and I’ve wanted to get together with him for a long time to do some photography together. We had a great discussion about my new endeavor, Have Studio Will Travel. He has been doing portraiture work for awhile and I really admire his work. He also had a session last year with the famous head shot guru Peter Hurley, so to get the opportunity to photograph and talk with him is a real treat for me. We’re getting together next Thursday so I’m excited by the possibilities.
By the way, the little fly in the right hand corner of this image was just a lucky accident. I didn’t even notice him until I was in post production. You can click on any image to see a larger more detailed image.
Finally I had the chance to hook up with some friends I haven’t seen for a long time. Our visit was short but it gave me a real boost.
Starting my eighth month of full retirement has been a wonderful experience. I enjoy all the freedom and lack of stress. The real downside however is that I miss my friends and so many of the people I worked with. I enjoyed the work that I did but I realize now that it was the people I worked with that made the job what it was. That’s why I end up in Maquoketa and some of the other towns where the organization is because I need that friend connection. 🙂
Enjoy your day and of course be careful.
I had an enjoyable lunch yesterday with some friends from work. On my way out-of-town I drove by the Duck Pond and found a lot of Canadian Geese and a half-dozen Trumpeter Swans.
I have three images for you today.
Even though the pond is still partially frozen everyone seemed to be enjoying being back in the area. 🙂
Many of the geese appeared to be staking out territory for nest-building but there were a lot just sleeping on the ice.
It’s really great to see the Trumpeters doing well.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
Now this is something you don’t see every day. A pelican sitting on a tree stump. I was driving past the “Duck Pond” on my home last evening when I saw this guy sitting on top of a dead tree stump. It was getting late, misting, and gray but I had to stop for the photo. I shot this at ISO 3200, which is higher than I normally like to go but to get the shutter speed (thus sharpness) I wanted I was forced to go that high.
I appreciate the geese swimming by in the foreground. 🙂
Enjoy your day.
Wow, it’s been a whole week since I last posted. Unusual for me but I have had a full schedule and not much photography of late. Okay well none.
I went past the “Duck Pond” on my way home last evening and even though it meant shooting directly into the setting sun I couldn’t pass up a chance to photograph a Great White Egret.
That’s it for today.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have several images for you today. Yesterday I drove to Maquoketa to have lunch with a Friend that I haven’t seen in some time. After lunch and on my way out-of-town I stopped by the “duck pond” because I saw a Great White Egret sitting at the marsh and I cannot pass up a chance to photograph them. It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze (very windy at times) and low humidity.
Since I didn’t have a suit on I decided to explore the wild prairie grass area and look for butterflies. I am pleased with the image above and some of the other images I was able to capture.
I rarely can pass up wild flowers. It was difficult to capture images of anything that was nailed down because the breeze was blowing things around pretty good and it was difficult for the camera to lock on focus.
This Common Buckeye for example is a little softer than I like, because he was on some flowers that were really being tossed around by the wind. My lens would drop focus and then reacquire it. I have my camera set up so that if it does not focus I cannot take the shot. I don’t want a bunch of completely blurry images but even on this setting there are some less than sharp images that get taken.
This was the last image I captured. As I was walking deeper into the grass area I saw the unmistakable movement of a snake slithering into the tall grass. Probably just a small Garter snake but a snake non the less. I’m the first to admit that I have a snake phobia (i.e. an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Common phobias are a snake phobia.) So yes my friends can tell me all they want to that there is nothing to be fearful of, but a phobia is a phobia and I’ve had it all my life. 😦
So it was a hasty retreat to the car and back to Dubuque.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I received an email from Jessi who is the Naturalist at the Interpretative Center in Maquoketa earlier in the week, asking me if I had by chance photographed any of the 10 – 20 Trumpeter Swans that had visited the marsh over the last few days. Sadly I had to tell her that I had not. Most of the time I go by the marsh I haven’t seen anything except perhaps a few Canadian Geese and of course it’s too dark on my home commute to photograph anything.
So yesterday my friend Steve and I had lunch and I suggested to him that I’d like to go check out a few places to see if I could find something to photograph. Right after we ate we headed out and ended up at the Marsh. To my surprise and delight there were five Trumpeters there. Two adults and three juveniles.
It was great to see three fully grown juveniles with their parents. My assumption is they were on a rest break from their journey South and were spending a few hours at the Hurstville Marsh. I didn’t have a lot of time to photograph them and I’m embarrassed to tell you what I did, but it is a good lesson to learn.
I put the Nikon D750 into burst mode so I could capture multiple images of the swans in case they decided to fly. I could only get sometimes 3 images, sometimes 4, and sometimes 7 or more but never just rip them off like I am used to. I thought what is wrong with this camera? The D750 has a pretty decent buffer and I can usually get 20 – 30 images before the buffer fills.
I didn’t have time to think much about it because we had to get back to work but when I downloaded the images it became apparent what the problem was. Apparently the last time I had shot with the D750 I had been shooting HDR and had the camera set up to take a series of 5 one stop bracketed shots. I might take a single shot or two and then press and hold the shutter and get three more rapid shots, then nothing, or I might get a full 5 shots. Good lesson learned, note to self, when your finish shooting reset the camera back to the normal shooting mode. 🙂
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your day. Thanks for stopping by the blog and be careful.