Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breaking Free of Winter

Snow trilliums are the first woodland ephemeral to emerge, well before the often photographed hepatica.  Everyone is asking the question, "How late is spring this year?".  In my experience snow trilliums are usually done blooming at the end of the first week of April.  This one is at peak and others were just opening. Technical: focal length 20 mm at f29, slight crop.  The leaf gives a size perspective to the flower.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Getting Closer

We walked the Louisville Swamp savanna new the Renaissance Festival on Sunday after  an absence of 10 years.  The only signs of ephemerals were a couple trout lily shoots struggling to get through the leaves.  The teal were swimming and the frogs were singing on this small pond.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A rough spring

Robins were briefly here in January with bright sun and warm temperatures.  Now that they are here for the season life has been tough for them. This guy is fluffing up to stay as warm as possible in the heavy snow on Thursday.  The temperature was 22 degrees this morning, let's hope for some serious melting later in the day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hungry Veery

More snow on the way is not going to make it easy for these little guys.  I have seen more of verrys than ever; more birds or looking more?  Birds are nice but I prefer pasque flowers in April, maybe next week.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Robin eating Sumac Seeds

The weather has been brutal on these guys recently.  Wind chills in the high teens this morning did not bring any relief. There was a brief respite on Friday when this image was captured.  Technical: Should the beak be touching the sumac?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hungry Flicker

After several days indoors I was out looking for images in the fresh snow this morning.  The early migrants were busy eating sumac seeds all morning giving lots of opportunities for both video and still images.  Technical: cropped vertical from C100 frame.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ice Mantle

There was a brief coating of ice on plants yesterday afternoon.  The wind was blowing and tundra swans were flying overhead, a beautiful afternoon on the prairie. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Greater Yellow Legs

I watched a pair of greater yellow legs along the Cottonwood River several evenings last week trying to get a tight shot of them feeding. Thursday I set up a blind and waited for them to arrive.  After two hours I gave up waiting for them.  After starting to put the blind away only to hear their familiar calls and see them land where I had been watching. Technical: f8, 1/60 second + 6 hours over 3 evenings.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Water Sculpture

Water Sculpture from Shinichi Maruyama on Vimeo.
My best source of ideas is the web and asking how did they do that followed by applying the technique to nature videos, if possible, using my basic equipment.  I came across this fascinating piece that has had over 600k views. Minimal motion, no sound, and only 30 seconds long but compelling!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hungry Beavers

The Cottonwood River is open and no spring flooding so I have been watching beaver feed on the brush along the river bank.  As long as I'm sitting and quiet they carry on although most evenings are not very exciting.  Recently the pair ate for an hour and groomed for half an hour, after all that excitement I had to leave.  This video is from one of the more interesting evenings.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Melt

The challenge of recording this stream was conveying the sense of motion.  A slow shutter speed would have been too calm, a fast one would have frozen the action losing the sense of movement.  I tried several speeds and settled on 1/10 second.  Recorded at Lester Park, Duluth.