Friday, February 22, 2013

JUST TOOLIN DOWN THE RIVER

The geese are really making a racket  across the lake.   They are pairing up for Spring and the river is waking up.  I love it!
Floating Past Beaver Island
A beaver surfaced right in front of the boat and we saw each other at the same time.  He absolutely smashed the water with his tail and disappeared.
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It’s so good to see a beaver. Beaver Island is part of a farm that borders the river and is posted no trespassing. I gained permission to photograph critters on this island from the farmer who owns this land and I foresee me setting the blind up where the beavers are felling trees.
Nothing but Solitude
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I was going to mention something concerning trapping but have decided to put it on the back burner.  I’m afraid that once I get started, the topic will take over this entry and I don’t want to do that.  We’ll get into it at a later date.
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The geese are making an amazing amount of noise.  Where not long ago they were in flocks, they are in pairs but still in close proximity to the masses of their brethren.  In other words they are flocking in pairs.  The shorelines of this river are going to be covered with baby geese this Spring.  I can hardly wait.
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A couple very impressive horses appeared at the river’s edge.  They were just there – no buildings anywhere.  The only sign of humans was a narrow gravel path that they ran on.  They added a bit of diversity to the wild critters I was seeing on the water.
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 Wow – look at em go!  They even act wild.
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I saw a flock of ducks that were new to me.  These are red heads.  This is their normal home but, they breed to the North West.  I’m not sure what their migration times are.  I’d suspect they should be moving North very soon.
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If you look closely you’ll see their red heads.  I am familiar with canvasbacks and they have a ruddy head also but, their wing and tail feathers are colored differently.  The shots below were taken with a slower than normal shutter speed.  The light was very low this morning.  The wings can be seen a bit blurred and exemplify their motion.  It’s kind of neat really.  I may practice with shutter speed and light in order to be able to produce this effect at will.
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A flock of wood ducks tore out of some dead falls along the shoreline and I missed the opportunity.  Wood ducks are incredibly difficult to catch with a camera, especially when your in a boat with a loud two cycle engine.  I’ll get em with the canoe eventually.  A hawk landed in a tree to my left.  Hawks always seem to alight in the center of a tree among the limbs.  They are hard to focus on and separate their outlines and color from the foliage. Eagles select heavier limbs on the outside of the trees.  This wasn’t a red tail hawk.  I’ll have to look it up when I get home.  Hawks are really tough to identify.
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I checked it out.  This is a sharp shouldered hawk.  The only way I could tell was by the tail feathers.  The shot that follows clearly shows the markings on the tail.  At first I thought it might be a coopers hawk but, it is not.
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He’s only a red winged black bird but, no less important than the largest eagle.
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The morning was overcast but beautiful.  I used all of it up.  I loaded the boat onto the trailer and left the river in a happy mood.  I made a discovery, however, when I got home.  I opened the tool box on the bed of the truck and found that all my tools were missing.  Yep – I got robbed at the boat ramp.  The tool box is made of plastic and someone pushed and bent the lid until it opened and helped themselves.  I only noticed it when I opened the box to get tools to work on the boat motor.  Thieves – it’s a human thing.  Its just another reason I like being away from them.
The canoe’s going back onto the truck roof in the morning.  Stay tuned in.