I made this image yesterday evening at about 5:08 p.m. Two significant things about this image is that there was enough light at 5 p.m. for an exposure at ISO 100 and that even though the pond was frozen over there were two trumpeter swans sitting calmly on the ice.
So the image above is the last image I took before leaving the Duck Pond. The second image was one of the first. When the sun ducked behind the cloud the photographing was done.
This has been quite the week for the Duck Pond. A few days ago there were 10 to 15 trumpeters on the pond in the morning when I came to work. I was already running a little past late so I only stopped for about a minute to just enjoy the view and then on Tuesday of this week there were about 20 bald eagles sitting on the ice and in the trees at the pond. I have never seen that many eagles at the pond in the 17 years I’ve been driving past it. In fact the most I’ve ever seen at the pond was one juvenile eagle last winter.
Once again I didn’t have time to stop and photograph them. 😦
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
On my way home last night I always drive by the “Duck Pond.” The two trumpeter swans were there but they also had a visitor in this blue heron. Usually the swans are not very sociable and when anyone gets near their territory they become quite combative. Not so last night as they didn’t seem to mine the heron one bit.
I can never resist photographing a swan swimming in the pond. So as I was getting ready to head out one of the swans decided to swim for a bit.
Finally this image for my friend Becky. I watched these guys last night for several minutes. They were being bombarded constantly by flies. Their symbiotic relationship works pretty well as their tail keeps the flies at bay for the other horse. 🙂
Notice the position of the horse in the foreground is mirrored perfectly by the horse in the background. They have it figured out pretty good.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and weekend. Be careful.
A little dust-up at the pond last night. I noticed the swans were at the duck pond last night on my way home and they usually are not there in the evening so I had to stop and photograph them. This pair is very territorial (maybe all swans are) but they don’t seem to like anyone.
There were a couple of geese that got a little close to them and they were quite vocal about the intrusion.
The geese were actually just passing by and didn’t seem to have any interest in invading the swans’ territory. None-the-less they gave them wide berth after their verbal warning and continue on their way.
Most of the folks that work in the building I do went to lunch together yesterday, which is a rarity and a real treat. It’s fun to visit with the people you like outside of their normal work environment even if it’s only for an hour. Enjoyable!
Now I have a little rant. I ordered a pair of “Fatshark” Dominator V2 FPV goggles sometime ago. One of the reasons I use Amazon.com is they are usually very fast and the service is great. So it was a full week before these even shipped (they were in stock) and they were sent by USPS (the post office), which assures a slow delivery. So they came yesterday and I examined them and found there was nothing to plug the antenna into to receive signals from the transmitter on the Phantom. No where in the description of the product did it say you had to purchase this item separately.
Not only did I spent about an hour trying to find the receiver (because most places I looked they were out of stock) but the place I finally found it was in China, which means another couple of weeks. Ugh! 😦
I know, no big deal in the whole scheme of things but poor customer service really frustrates me. Besides when I got another model of these goggles a year ago from the same manufacture they were all-inclusive. Everything was there. Okay I’m done.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day, Spring is coming one of these days. Be careful.
Great news, the “duck pond” is thawing out and there is wildlife there. The bad news is that there is precious little water in the pond. We will need some bountiful rains early this Spring to help restore the water level.
No lunch meetings yesterday so I grabbed a salad and went looking for some images. I always go by the pond first and to my delight there were a lot of geese and 4 swans at the pond.
The geese were closer to me so I captures some images of them first. The goose on the right kept ducking his head in and out of the water in rapid succession. He didn’t look like he was trying to eat, more like just enjoyed getting he head wet. 🙂
The swans proved to be more of a challenge. After I finished with the geese I noticed the swans were on the far side of the pond. The only way to get a lens on them was to drive around the pond and then come in on the North bound lane of the highway. By the time I had negotiated that and pulled up to where I would have a good vantage point the swans had moved to the other side. 🙂
So back around the route I had originally taken and this time they cooperated by parading back and forth in front of my lens. It’s like they said, “okay we’ve dinked with him enough.” 🙂
Beautiful day yesterday with plenty of sunshine and a mild 65 degrees. It sure feels like we’re headed for Spring but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Remember you can click on the image to reveal a larger version.
Thanks for checking in. I hope you enjoy your Saturday. There are only 52 of them a year so make the best of it. Be careful.
I finally found the swans last evening on my way home from work. I occasionally see them at the “Duck Pond” in the morning but I never have the time to stop, set up and photograph them so it was a treat to come across them. I always check the pond on the way home but have never seen them there in the evening so on an impulse I drove across the highway and there they were in a cornfield grooming themselves.
The first image was shot with the Nikon 28 – 300 lens and the shot above with the Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens. They wouldn’t give me anything but a butt shot and I apologize for that but it was either that or no shot at all. 🙂
Once I had the 600 mm lens on I was using the foot zoom to get a little closer and then I felt the ground getting less stable. I looked down and I was 2/3 buried in mud. I had on a nice pair of shoes as well so I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning them up.
Finally on the way home taking another route I drove past this structure and old windmill. I had to turn around and photograph it. I tried it in color and even though I had a nice soft light on it I just felt black and white conveyed more interest about the structure than color did.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Friday ~ 322
You may remember that yesterday I was telling you about the territorial dispute at the duck pond, which occurred on Tuesday of this week. I was very disappointed that I missed some great shots of the dispute and the aftermath of the skirmish. So I was still feeling bad that I missed that opportunity. Then when I drove past the duck pond yesterday morning I saw there were four swans in the water and as I got even with them the resident pair took off in a confrontation with the new comers and I just about had a wreck watching the aerial skirmish in my rear view mirror. Damn another photo opportunity missed.
I had a lunch meeting yesterday so I couldn’t go by the pond until on my way home last evening. I didn’t give much hope for any images because it was drizzling rain and there were dark gray clouds hanging over the land. As I approached the pond it looked like there were the ubiquitous geese and coots everywhere but no swans. I thought I might as well head North and try again tomorrow.
But instead of heading North I decided to take a few minutes extra, so I crossed the highway and saw the swans were in the middle of the marsh land on the West side of the highway. I did a bat turn and pulled off onto the shoulder trying to sneak up on the swans. What I didn’t realize was that during the time I was making the u-turn and watching out for traffic they took off and flew back over the highway to the duck pond. So when I couldn’t find them I made another u-turn and headed North to home. Then I saw them in the water at the duck pond, so yet another u-turn (it’s not easy being me) and back to the original island where the first skirmish took place on Tuesday.
You can see from these images that the swans once again asserted themselves over the geese and tore up the nest of the geese again in favor of their own design.
It is easy to assign human traits to the geese and swans but I was reading a piece on eagles this morning and it talked about how we humans like to interpret wildlife behavior through our frame of reference and project human inclinations and behavior on their actions. But as in the case of the eagle it is simply all about hormonal secretions at various stages of life’s cycle that cause body changes and behavioral changes such as the nesting instinct and mating instinct. Later when the young have grown and can fend for themselves the warm family bond that we admire is no longer present because of changes in the hormonal secretions.
I got to thinking that this may be why the mother goose makes no effort to retrieve her eggs that are in plain sight and why instead she just returned to an empty nest as if nothing had happened. If you look at like that, then it kind of makes sense. Anyway it is hard for me to look favorably on the swans now and to accept (as my Friend Ann says, let nature take its course) that those eggs will never hatch. In reality the swans are just being swans.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your Friday. Thanks as always for stopping by and thanks Denise for your kind words. Be careful.
Happy Friday ~ 364
Today is the first day of Spring – 2014. Yesterday morning I awoke to a fresh layer of snow, about an inch, which made the morning commute enjoyable. By the time I got South of the airport it was like it never happened.
Fun day yesterday. Jeanne got back from her Mother’s somewhere around 10:00 a.m. and then she, Angie and the kids came to Maquoketa to have lunch with me. We all decided to have breakfast and it was fun to watch Josh eat his pancake and eggs. He devoured them in a very short time. Angie said he loves anything that he can put syrup on. 🙂
I’ll finish up the week with some more swan images. You remember earlier in the week I showed you the territorial dispute between two male swans. After the skirmish the victorious male swan flew over his domain as if to survey all that he was master of. The next image is of him setting up for a landing. Full flaps as he creates a massive amount of lift with those huge wings and lets him settle onto the water softly.
When I got home last evening the winds were calm. There was plenty of sunlight left and the temperature was a balmy 46 degrees. So after greeting my bride I grabbed Phantom – 2 and took it out to the back patio for a quick flight. I wanted to show you the 4 minute video but didn’t start editing it until this morning and of course that means not enough time to get it finished. Maybe tomorrow.
Back with his mate the male swan did a number of puffing his chest and beating his wings just to show her how much of a man he was. I’m sure she was duly impressed. 🙂
That’s it for today. I still have several hundred images of eagles, herons, swans, and ducks but I’m going to take a break from them and look for other subject matter. Too much of even a good thing is not necessarily good and doesn’t help you to grow. So maybe I can find something interesting this weekend. If the weather is nice I’d like to practice some more flying techniques other than just going up to a high point, turning around a couple of times and then back down. Next week (weather permitting) I would like to do a slow fly over the duck pond. I think that would make a great video.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your TGI Friday and be careful.