Thursday, October 30, 2014

















Good morning from the Sandhill Cranes at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, Wisconsin!

A couple of morning shots I got during our recent trip to Crex Meadows.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Late October Sky

















The other morning I went out to try and call in some moose for photographs.  I've only tried moose calling a few times and so far have yet to call one in.  I know I was in an area where moose tend to hang out, so either there were none around when I was calling or I'm really bad at mimicking the calls of a lovesick moose :-)  Even though I didn't see any moose, I still enjoyed a beautiful morning in the forest and on this particular morning the clouds were really nice.  I really liked how the sky looked with these two large trees in the foreground, so this shot is my memory of that morning spent in the woods.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painted Sky over Crex Meadows

















Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, Wisconsin is a special place.  My main reason for loving it is because it provides habitat for sandhill cranes, which not only nest there over the summer but they also gather there on their way south in the fall.  Every autumn several thousand cranes congregate here and can be seen in the marshes and meadows all throughout the wildlife area.  There is also some beautiful scenery to be found.  Like the scene shown in this photo, taken just outside the rest area in the northern part of the wildlife area.  We had stopped at the rest area to use the bathroom after spending the morning watching and photographing the cranes.  When we left the rest area the sky was filled with these fascinating clouds that looked like they had been put there purposefully by a painter's brush.  You know me, I couldn't resist stopping and making a photograph :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Autumn in Whalan


















Here is an autumn image from our short trip to southeast Minnesota earlier this week.  We rode the Root River State Trail, often referred to as the "Cadillac of trails" in Minnesota.  Indeed, the trail is very nice and passes through several quaint small towns.  Whalan is one of those towns.  The leaf colors were lovely when we passed through.  We stopped for a moment to take in the views of the colors at this small cabin right next to the trail.  I couldn't resist the scene.  The colors, the cabin and the old railroad sign in the front yard all were crying out for a photo to be made :-)

Bur Oak in the Big Woods

















Earlier this week we visited Nerstrand Big Woods State Park in southeast Minnesota.  The park contains a beautiful forest and small waterfall (although the waterfall was just a trickle during our visit).  The park gets its name from the Big Woods, a large forested area covering much of central Minnesota prior to the arrival of European settlers.  We walked in to check out the waterfall but as I mentioned there wasn't much water and since we were there mid-day the light was pretty harsh.  So, we continued on the trail which traversed a hillside that was filled with some really impressive trees that still had quite a bit of fall color on them.  We walked past several Bur Oaks and Jessica pointed out how interesting the bark was on these magnificent trees.  Once she pointed out the bark I went up to one of the the trees for a closer look.  Indeed, it was fascinating.  Certainly unlike anything that we have in the extreme northeast tip of Minnesota.  I used the built-in HDR feature of my Sony RX100 camera to capture a better range of detail in this scene. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn Sunset over Dutchman Lake

















Yesterday after work I went for a mountain bike ride through one of the local snowmobile routes and I came across this beautiful bright yellow grass on the shoreline of Dutchman Lake.  Today as I was heading home from work the sky was setting up for what looked to be a good sunset so I decided to head back up to this spot.  I got there just in time as the sun was setting and was able to make some nice images of the scene.  The wind was stronger than I would have liked, though, and because of that I was unable to get a fast enough shutter speed to prevent the blowing grass from becoming blurry.  The movement isn't too bad, though.  I still really like this picture :-)

Sandhill Cranes at Sunrise

















We just returned from another 4 day trip of adventures, this time to southeast Minnesota.  One of the highlights along the way was a visit to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.  For the past few year's we've made a trip to Crex to see the Sandhill Cranes as they stop over on their migration south for the winter.  Like last year, we saw a lot of cranes during our visit.  This time, though, we had a nicer morning with really dramatic light.  I was able to capture some of the cranes as they flew in front of some really colorful clouds.  After making some flight images we found a nice grouping of cranes that was very close to the road.  Among them was a young crane that hadn't yet developed the red on its head.  It also still had quite a few brown feathers which were absolutely beautiful in the warm morning light!