Saturday, December 1, 2012

AN ALMOST USUAL DAY ON THE LAKE





The eagles are getting tough.  They're not only sitting with the sun to their backs but, they're standing inside the trees now.  They are a real challenge, at least today.

I was up and at em very early today.  As a matter of fact I drove to Buffalo Springs, our work center, and got there at 5 AM.  I wanted to do some work on the smaller jon boat.  It had a GPS problem that needed attended to.
I'm just an early kind of guy I guess.  My eye balls pop open in the morning and one minute later I'm in the shower.  I think the dogs have something to do with that but they aren't saying.  Anyway, I got the GPS working and stopped for breakfast on the way to the lake.  The satellite service was out at home and I put a few calls in to the Philippians to see what was up.  The problem was on their end so I was satisfied with that outcome.  Obviously they corrected the issues they had.  After breakfast I hit the water.  The GPS worked perfectly.  However, the depth finder didn't.  After two hours of adjusting the transducer which requires reaching down at arms length into the cold water - I gave up.  The water is running 54 degrees and that's too cold to be plunging body parts under water.  I was not in my assigned area as I wanted to test out and work on this sonar/GPS unit.  I wasn't getting anywhere but, I did see two bald eagles very near by.  I documented them and tried my best to photograph them.


The shots above are terrible, I know but, I wanted you to see the slot in the wing primary feathers on this adult eagle.  He is a young eagle only recently gaining his white head and almost white tail. I'd guess he's about 4 to 4.5 years of age.  He's currently in the process of losing his immature plumage and gaining his adult feathers.  He's undergoing a molting process.  Raptors, hunters, do not molt all at one time which would force them to lose their ability to hunt.  They molt in slow stages.  Notice the wide notch in the wing feathers on the adult above.





See what I mean about the eagles sitting "inside" the trees?  It seems they just started doing that.  All Summer and Fall I had clear shots at them sitting on open limbs hanging over the water.  Now, all of a sudden they are surrounded by tree limbs and branches.  This presents a challenge when trying to focus on the bird.  The automatic focus wants to focus on the nearest object which is the limb or twig in front of the eagle.  Sometimes the auto focus searches and won't settle in on any one object.  It hunts.  This situation requires switching off the auto focus feature and switching to manual focus.  This is fine until the bird flies.  Manual focusing is fine for that too but one must be on his game to be effective.  It takes practice.

Every now and again a really neat photo emerges from the hundreds taken.  Below are two photos that I call unique, especially the one with the eagle flying toward the colored leaves.  His head is showing in front of his shoulders and he has a determined look to him.  I like both shots.

Both shots are heavily back lighted but the light permeates the wing feathers and adds a really neat colored tint to the image.  I like em.  Just two lucky shots.

Tomorrow will be a busy day on the lake as the fishermen will be out in force fishing for crappie.  The bay boat will be the vehicle of choice for that job.  I'll be in deeper water on the lower lake.   I'll keep my eyes out for eagles too.  

I had a political entry posted last night that I removed a while ago.  I didn't think it was very professional and too opinionated, on my part.  I just wasn't comfortable with it.  I posted it on a knee jerk reaction to the current political climate.  I get worked up easy and sometimes I react aggressively   The United States of America is very, very important to me.  I got a personal investment in it that I am proud of.   Gotta control my temper better.   We'll see what tomorrow brings.  See ya later.