Before the Storm

before the stormDear Friends, the other day i was chased by this storm and it seems to be a reoccurring theme in Crex this summer, lots of rain and humidity, this morning it is a little cooler and dryer, time to visit the birdies, til Tomorrow MJ

Green Wing Teal??

young green wing3Dear Friends, i think this might be either a young male green wing teal or some kind of hybrid, what do you birders think?  The green speculum is there but no white border around the head green stripe, the back and side feathers are also strange. Seen on Phantom Lake in Crex Meadows on July 1.   til Tomorrow MJ

Pair of Horned Grebes

springettmj_1Dear Friends, i was hanging out by Phantom Lake and this couple were out for a late afternoon swim on a very rough lake.  These birds are probably pushing babies around the lake by now, so til Tomorrow MJ

Mistakes

Dear Friends, no Northern Lights last night at our house, but the stars were out, so i was shooting star trails. These trails have gaps that resulted from neglecting to turn off the noise reduction feature in my camera.  There are two settings hidden in the camera menu that do noise reduction with high iso and one with long exposures.  When they are enabled, the camera tries to process the image between exposures and this processing takes as long as the exposure time, so if your exposure is 20 seconds, the camera delays the next exposure while it processes the noise reduction, resulting in a 20 second gap between exposures.  Lessons learned. til Tomorrow MJstar trails2

Crane Lunch

two cranes lunchcrane lunch

Dear Friends, i always think of our Sandhill Cranes as gentle giants roaming the wetlands in search of food.  I never thought of baby Red Winged Blackbirds as a food source.  These young cranes were being harassed by the adult Red Wings as the cranes plucked the babies from the nest.  The male red wing bird is definitely in attack mode but the sandhill has his lunch.  Red wings are not in short supply here and predation is common as they nest on the ground. til tomorrow MJ

Badlands After 5 PM

mentzelia on red rockDear Friends, this image was taken last August when  the Mentzelia bloom on the red scoria.  These white blossoms are found growing right out of the rocky slopes and only open after 4 PM.  Most tourists overlook them cause they are a prickly looking plant until the blossoms open, then they are magnificent. til Tomorrow MJ

Wood Orchid

wood orchid 2

Dear Friends, this pretty orchid is found in the red pine forests and is called the pink lady slipper.  They like the acidic ground and shady light that the forest provides, and these conditions make subtle sunlight for flower photography.  I got lucky as this particular bloom was very vivid in color and had a bee perched on top, the only drawback to these conditions are the wood ticks that also thrive here.. til Tomorrow MJ

Do you have your jacket?

Dear Friends, this is a typical uniform for me when taking nature photographs in Crex or other places, from sturdy boots to sunglasses at all times.  These items are necessary to stay warm and dry, the missing items in this image are a tripod and cap.  On colder days a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, on warmer days i lose the sweatshirt, My father always said before we left the house, ” do you have your jacket”, lesson learned.  Now if i could only teach my husband to bring a jacket because the weather can change so quickly and drastically especially in the spring.  So do you have your jacket? til Tomorrow MJMarge April2,2015

Horned Grebe Hairdo

horned grebe hairdoDear Friends, this Horned Grebe was found on a very windy day on Phantom Lake in Crex Meadows. A pair of birds were present but this one came very near the shore allowing me a closeup of his beautiful red eye and wild feathers.  His yellow head feathers can be raised or lowered and when raised they look like horns from the front view.  This day the wind has the lake stirred up and his feathers in a jumble.  til Tomorrow MJ

Bobolink

bobolink final

Dear Friends, this male bobolink sings from a small bush in Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin.  We went there to see the spring Whooping Cranes but they were all too far away for good pictures, so we settled on the smaller birds.  The red-headed woodpecker is not hard to find here and they nest in the refuge, one of them nests very close to the visitors center. til Tomorrow MJ

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