Friday, November 30, 2012

Lip Curling

Another name for this behavior is flemen.  Think of it as savoring a fine wine except in this case it's ewe urine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Say Cheese

Ruminants chewing can produce some interesting facial expressions.  This ram posed for about half an hour before we left it and climbed the hillside looking for another subject.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Big Sky Country

The big horn sheep are very busy at keeping the species going, more images later.  This resting ram was soaking up the sun and enjoying the view.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Big Horn Quest

I'm on my way to Yellowstone to watch big horn sheep and perhaps get some good head banging shots.  We were there the third week in November during 2011 which was too early for serious competition.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


One squirrel had intruded on another's territory causing a serious but brief dispute(1/1500 second capture). This fall squirrels have been my photo passion.  In the process I learned each species has its personality.  The regal fox squirrels watch from above, gray squirrels are shy and retiring, red squirrels have a nervous energetic disposition.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Otter activity

Last week a pair of otters were feeding and limited in their mobility by the newly formed ice allowing for some observation time and an couple images.  Captured on North Fork Flowage.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MIgrating Waterfowl

I explored the Mississippi R. between Nelson and Trempeleau NWR yesterday looking for tundra swans, trying to recapture intimate images like the last time I was there in 2006.  There were a few shy swans on Riecks Lake but the dredging has moved them some distance from the viewing platform.  Trempeleau has birds but all at an extreme distance.  It was a good birding trip with a couple images as a bonus.

Friday, November 16, 2012

November Color

Back to color images since they are a rare find in November.  Blue skies days mean cold temperatures and increased feeding activity.  Everyone is eating, eating, eating.  A muskrat consented to being photographed by an admiring photographer yesterday.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Each August I start anticipating the arrival of the sandhills.  In early September patrolling of the flowages to see the arrival of the first birds begins.  In October the sunrises and fly ins at dusk cannot be missed.  November is my crane photography month, the crowds are back home, and cold mornings cause the birds to linger.  Ice brings them closer to the road and the light is warm until mid-morning.  At some point each year crane saturation occurs.  I've seen another migration, life is good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I like the balance produced by the upper left goose.  Waiting for beaks to get in alignment required some patience.  Nature photography is about patience.  We are always waiting for the wind to stop, waiting for the clouds to move, waiting for sunrise, waiting for the heads to turn; the list goes on and on.  Patience, patience, patience.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flight in B & W

One of the goals I have is taking shots that I have not seen before.  This can be frustrating at times with common subjects.  Canada geese are everywhere and to tell the truth I don't find them visually interesting.  Nonetheless, if it is in the viewfinder I'll shoot it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On the Move

The air yesterday afternoon was filled with the whistling of tundra swans riding the northwest wind to warmer climes.  A couple hundred rested on Dueholm Flowage then moved on.  I can understand their short stay with an 18 degree temp this morning.  Photographed at Reicks Lake, WI, several years ago.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What happened?

A couple of slow days after a good start to the week.  The wind shifted to the south and east, now everybody is feeling good with the squirrels doing a lot less feeding.  Lots of deer on the move this morning but they saw me first.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gray Squirrel Portrait

This guy was surprised when I moved as he was heading to a walnut tree.  He scurried to safety, checked me over, then came down, and continued on his way.  He seems to be looking at me intently.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lift Off

I wish I could sat this was a snapshot but it took a few tries.  With the first sun in a few days I went to the park looking for squirrels.  This red squirrel was gathering walnuts and taking a log between trees. Autofocus was too slow so manual focus on the log edge was used.  ISO 1600 got the shutter speed to 1/1500, f 4.5.  About 3 feet before reaching the predetermined field of view I started pressing the shutter, occasionally he was in the frame.  The shutter speed is too slow to freeze the action, hence the soft head.  I'm looking into something called "pixel pitch"  which may explain some of the softness.  On the other hand these guys can fly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Flying High

Tomorrow at this time this will be the mood of a lot of people.  Photography and politics have a some things in common.  If you concentrate on the process both are very interesting.  If you worry about the outcome, each can be equally frustrating.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stepping softly

It's all about light! November is usually the month of subtle color and flat light.  Let's hope for some days of sunshine before the cranes head out.  Image taken from the truck window using a bean bag for support.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Taking a Bath

I have been watching cranes at Crex for years but have never seen this behavior.  Several cranes were bathing before and after these scenes were recorded on Grettum Flowage.  I could have titled this "Crane Gymnastics"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

After Sunset

The full moon was reflecting off the water creating a spot of light to work with well after sunset.  Recorded using the 500 mm lens.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hanging Out

Most of the time geese are non stop feeding or hanging out in town avoiding hunters.  This is a scene from Grettum Flowage earlier this week, just as safe for them but more photogenic for me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Warming Up

As the sun rises so does the energy level.  Isn't that true for everyone?  There was no rush to leave with the temperature well below freezing on this clear morning.