Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Blast Off!

The profusion and motion of birds overwhelmed the compression capabilities of Vimeo and YouTube so this link to Zenfolio gives the best representation of an up close blast off from Squaw Creek NWR this spring. I'm glad I didn't keep track of the number of hours trying to upload a technically acceptable film. I hope you enjoy: Blast Off!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Minnesota Coyote

I found a raccoon carcass in the woods and moved it to a good camera trap location. The scientist in me put it on the camera side of the log so I could record any mice that might eat it. The photographer in me wishes it was on the other side of the log. This raccoon died of natural causes (?) and was not eaten by the coyote. I question natural causes because I have found 4 dead raccoons in the same area since Christmas. My guess is distemper or another cause related to interaction with domestic cats or dogs.  This raccoon had been living in a nearby tree and I was excited to get it coming and going with young ones in the scene, maybe next year.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Ladies

This group missed the dancing tom by a couple days but it's early in the season. This camera has recorded more turkey behavior than I expected. The only thing unique about its position is the dead raccoon I have to crop out of each image. The next blog will show it and my intended subject.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's the season

The tom's were busy while it was warm before the snow. This was taken with a camera trap that has been watching a raccoon carcass for a couple weeks. For aesthetic reasons it was cropped out of the image. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Sky

There may be snow on the ground but spring is here! This flight was over Squaw Creek a couple weeks ago. This weekend sandhill cranes were calling in the north Metro skies and Canada geese are everywhere. Owlets are almost ready to fledge. This image was taken while I was doing a time lapse of the clouds in the dawn light.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wait for us

Another caption might be "Hurry Up". Photography is like life in many ways, it is all about perspective and point of view.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring at Squaw Creek

 I recently watched a course on filmmaking at creativelive.com and learned about different storytelling techniques. A light bulb was turned on with the realizaton that a nature story does not need to be told in a linear format. This format is aptly named the teaser format.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wouldn't it be fun?

Would you rather fly like a bird or in a jet plane? The birds seem to do it effortlessly and without thought. If only we could try it, even if only for an hour.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A study in contrasts

There were several choices when photographing swans and snow geese. I could have shot the swans against a blue sky as they flew overhead, on the water, or taking off. Actually, I shot all of them but this image tells the story of a previously endangered species doing well as it flies over an over populated concentration of snow geese, a study in contrasts. I'm sure I could find more contrasts if I thought about it a little longer.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Migration Moon

This was the scene over Squaw Creek NWR as the moon was setting as snow geese were heading out for the morning. It was hard to keep the camera on the moon when thousands of geese were lifting off behind me. 

Technical: 500 mm lens, WB at 4000

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Migration

The spring migration of snow geese through Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge at Mound City, Missouri, is an unbelievable experience in both sight and sound. The spring migration tends to be shorter but with higher numbers of birds. This blastoff was between weekly counts but the last count was over 600k. Next week's count may be zero. 

Technical: 500mm lens on Canon 7D, uncropped.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sea Cave Memories

Another sea cave season comes to a close. Still images capture the beauty of the landscape while video gives an impression of the human experience and our reaction to the caves. Recorded with a Canon 7D.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Cold Morning

This is the last winter shot, promise. The recent temperatures, change in time, and cardinals singing confirm that winter has been beat. They may be a few inches of snow before the grass turns green but I can handle it. All I can say is, Goodbye Winter!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Inside looking out

You may have noticed I have not shown the inside of the caves from this trip other than the close up of the roof icicles. This is one of the caves highlighted on the map which shows the great texture of the sandstone. HDR technique was needed to show the sky and cave interior. The caves are being heavily advertised and visitors are showing by the thousands. A later video will show what the images have not shown, all the people.

Friday, March 6, 2015

More Caves than Ice

 The ice caves were beautiful this year, much more striking rock formations than ice within the caves but lots of ice along the cliffs. This was actively dripping in the afternoon like with the temperature at 30 deg. I can imagine the water pouring down it with the forecasted temps. It will make for a nice walk on the ice.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ice Flower

It's March and I am thinking (dreaming) about spring. No snow this winter but it is still getting long. When I crawled into a cave on Lake Superior and looked up I saw an ice flower. This time of year the imagination starts going wild.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ice Cave Afternoon

I spent yesterday afternoon at the ice caves under a warm blue sky. They are being heavily promoted and were shared with about 2000 other visitors. I usually don't include people in my images but in this image you can get of the size of the sandstone cliffs. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Where am I?

You might look at this image and wonder which lake in the arrowhead region this image was taken. Perhaps it was taken along the North Shore? This is another image showing the diversity of landscape in Minnesota. It was taken near Redwood Falls at Swede's Forest SNA and is an old granite quarry.