February 17, 2008

Busy day down in the Minnesota river valley. Working backwards thru my day, the monthly photo hike at the Refuge went pretty well. This time around it was a night hike, and it did not disappoint. A few steps onto the trail and we heard a dysfunctional raccoon family having a domestic squabble. Something about "that lout" never getting off his lazy arse to provide food for the family but him being sick and tired of being branded as a thief every time they visit relatives. We quickly moved on, and I took some flash+time exposure shots at the floodplain observation deck.

Time exposure+an off-camera flash at the sloughs. All that orange light-pollution insidiously collects on your CCD chip as the seconds tick by. When you look at the scene at the start, it's barely perceptible, but after a 30 second exposure it looks like everything is preserved in a block of amber. Even my +2 EV pre-flash couldn't kill it.

We saw at least one owl, a Barred, not wanting to give up his hunting area to a bunch of low-life stinky humans that can barely see in the dark. So it hung out for awhile, allowing itself to be photographed from multiple angles. Later we saw another, or maybe the same owl blast out of the cedars farther upland, but this time he wasn't up for hanging around for idle chatter.
It is said that if you were to stick a newspaper to the goalpost of a standard football field, an owl could read the newsprint from the other goalpost. What is not known however, is if they normally skip straight to the comics.

Regressing back to this morning, here we have some of the major players from the Sierra Club Wetlands Stewards cleaning out, counting hatched / unhatched eggs, logging and putting in the new cedar bedding for our wood duck friends. The results were far better than anticipated. Only one house out of 8 had no signs of inhabitation. The other houses all having eggs, duck down, or fragments to clue together last year's lovely Minnesota timeshare getaway. Okay Mark, tell us who our lucky winner is....Not these guys, unfortunately. They are kinda pretty tho. Well, better luck next season!

February 16, 2008

Happy the Dog did some aerobics and socializing at the airport dog park today.

Hey, I think that lady about a mile and a half away is taking treats out of her pocket! I had better get over there!

The brown dog jumps over the lazy um, snow.