- Yellowstone In Winter
- Animals/Birds of the Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks 2016
- National Parks Landscapes 2016
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2014
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2014
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2012
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2012
- Animals of Yellowstone 2011
- Yellowstone/Tetons Landscapes 2011
- Yellowstone Textures
- Custer State Park, SD
- Great Smoky Mountains NP
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Utah National Parks
- About Me
I took a short drive through the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, IA, looking for birds ( which were unusually scarce) and came face to face with this Bull Bison. You can drive through the Bison enclosure and if you're not careful you could have Bison right up to your car. This photo was take from the car with a telephoto lens while the Bison was still some distance away.
It was a quiet morning in the Ventura Marsh as I slid my kayak in to the water for an early morning paddle. Let me rephrase that. It was a calm morning, but anything but quiet. The air was alive with the sounds of hundreds of birds, frogs, toads and the hum of cars and motor boats in the distance. As I quietly paddled to try to get some photos the Great Blue Herons kept a watchful eye on me and noisily squawked their displeasure as they flew away long before I got close to them. When I paddled in close to the cattails I was thrilled to see several little Marsh Wrens. I really get a kick out of seeing them cling to two different cattails or blades of grass as they surveyed the area for bugs. The little Swamp Sparrows were seen in the same area. A couple of new birds for me were a 'Sora' ( I saw three) and a 'Virginia Rail'. They foraged in the shallow water at the base of the cattails and quickly disappeared in to the heavy cover as I approached. There were many Wood Ducks, but they saw me long before I saw them and all I really saw was their tail feathers as they made a quick getaway. As I paddled in and around the backwaters and channels of the floating cattail bogs there were dozens of birds that I could hear but didn't see including several Trumpeter Swans. A lone Osprey flew lazy circles overhead causing the ducks and Cormorants to scatter. A couple of years ago the DNR drained down the marsh to kill out the carp, but guess what, they're back. Several times a large carp would boil up next to the kayak and scared the whoop out of me. Fortunately I have a very stable hybrid kayak or I might have tipped as I jumped in my seat. All in all it was a beautiful morning to be out enjoying nature.
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A starry night and the covered bridge at Wilkenson Pioneer Park in Rock Falls lit by the bright moonlight. Look above the bridge in the second photo and you can see the Big Dipper. The glow on the horizon is from the moonlight lighting up the ground haze. Not visible this way to the naked eye, but records this way with the long exposure necessary to show the stars in the night sky.
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