Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Agent Orange

I can never say that this is a good photo.
I CAN say that I like this photo.

It was my usual foggy morning at Goose Lake, and as I am trying to capitalize on the mood, shooting spiderwebs and frosty grasses, I see this distant raptor activating his landing gear into some unsuspecting meal. Without time to adjust settings, I snap away, frame after frame, then check the display... Orange. Oh well.

After processing, I choose the frame with the most action, and decide (upon closer inspection) that this raptor is actually a Bald Eagle. Cool. We don't see much of them around here at all... at least not until winter arrives and settles in.

Yet another rare siting at Goose Lake...I'm beginning to love this place...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good Weekend, Bad Weekend

I'll begin with the bad news, and get it out of the way...

I didn't see the Sandhills... but... at least I heard them. The prairie is at it's tallest, which makes for perfect cover for these large birds to hide. On Friday, I swear I was within 20 feet of a pair, but couldn't see them. I stayed until past sunset, and had to leave empty-handed...but I think there at least 3 pair out there which is great news for the prairie.
Anyway...I did get these shots while waiting, which made the day alittle less boring...

Then...I see some strange birds coming toward me in the sky...

What in the world....?

Could it be....?

No way....!

You can't mistake that bill, they have to be Glossy Ibises!

I honestly never thought I would ever see one around here. So... IT WAS AMAZING! In this part of our planet, we don't get much more than your popular GB Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, and the occasional Black-crowned. Ibises are on another planet as far as I am concerned... The Chicago lakeshore birding community might see a flyover, but never ever down here.

Now THAT makes for a good weekend!

(The shots came out horrible, because of handling malfunctions, but I still have to smile at them!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hey Sandhill Cranes...I See You!

Well, it took all week of trying...

and I almost didn't go today...

but... it's a good thing I did...

I was even walking back and calling it a day when...

these 2 decided to take flight!

Stay tuned... Just because I got lucky enough to see them in action, I'm hoping for a closer view...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall Migrants

My morning trips to Goose Lake have yet to produce the sandhills, but... I did see 1 fly over as I was driving in the entrance, so... at least, I know they are still here. Other producers include a few migrants:

A female Common Yellowthroat

The increasingly uncommon Henslow's Sparrow

A White-crowned Sparrow

A Palm Warbler

A Pied-billed grebe

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Foggy Sunrise

When I went to work this morning, the stars were out, the crescent moon was shining bright, and all was well with the start to my day. Over the past few mornings, I have been taking off a few hours from work at sunrise, to chance a siting of the Sandhill Cranes I have yet to find at Goose Lake Prairie. I've heard them plenty, but the lil buggers escape me every time...Anyhoo, as the sun started to rise, the fog got thick with the morning. I thought that maybe the morning might be a bust, but new opportunities presented themselves with some interesting photos:

The fog was so thick, the sun was heavily filtered.

It was a perfect calm morning for a reflection shot.

The red dawn of a day on the prairie.

A spiders perspective of a sunrise.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Icky, gross, bleck, and plenty more adjectives describe every creepy arachnid including this one. ( I kept a distance with my zoom, so my safety was in check...)

It seems that the newly named spider I shall call Gahickygrossbleck is injecting it's prey with its venom to render it paralized for later consumption. The food chain in action.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something Different

Just for a change of pace, I converted this photo to a black and white and liked how it came out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Rain-Soaked Hummer Shots

I didn't have the time to show more hummer shots on Friday, so here are a few more:

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Soaking in the Rain

I came home after work yesterday to a gentle rain. As I walked past the kitchen window and peered out to the hummer feeder, as I always do, I caught this guy taking a bath in the rain. I grabbed my camera, made a makeshift tripod out of the sink, with a 12 pack of Diet Coke and an inverted pie pan, opened the window and shot away...

He seemed to really enjoy himself, as he closed his eyes and soaked it all in...

He made sure he washed his delicates...

And under his arms...

He really seemed to be enjoying himself...

He guarded the feeder constantly, even though he was soaked...

It looks as if he is trying to catch raindrops...

Shooting the other feeder made for a nice bokeh in the nice drizzle...