Spring is here. 75 degrees!

I love this time of year. New flowers pop out of the ground every week. Here are a couple of fun shots of the Spring Croci that have just emerged.


The new kayak arrived. I have been anticipating spring for too long. Yesterday it arrived. This afternoon, I took it out for a maiden voyage. Here are a couple of shots.

The Kayak with the tripod and the rig.

I’ve got the rock, get in line behind me.

Why do I feel so alone?

You’re going out again? Did you finish your homework?

On the briny, well ok it is freshwater. But we are out in the environment.

i hope you enjoy.

Spring in Lake Elmo

It ended up being a very nice weekend. It got up to 50 today (not as good as the gorgeous 65 on Friday but quite nice. The birds are returning. This nice Blue Jay was checking things out.

I have also been watching (and listening to a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk. This afternoon I spotted him again and was able to get a couple of shots.

I still need to work on technique for birds in flight. Practice, practice…

Eagles (again)

I spent another weekend in Red Wing in search of baldie in early March. I was planning on a trip to Lock and Dam 14 near LeClaire Iowa but the ice was retreating too fast and the Eagles were dispersing.

Given the weather realities, I decided on a return trip to Colvill Park in Red Wing MN. I ended up at Colvill Park, Wabasha and a new spot, Lock and Dam #3 just north of Red Wing. These pictures are from L&D #3.

These are not my best or as good as I would have liked, but it was a great new spot. I’ll be back many times.

El Dorado Royale

Another wonderful week of vacation in Mexico. This was our third trip to El Dorado Royale, fourth in the Cancun area. We quite enjoy our vacations here. Many may not appreciate the pace of the days, but our time here is designed specifically for relaxation (this year punctuated with exercise every morning – and not 12 oz curls).

We did lots of lolling, Mary read nine books, I read six. We looked at many sunrises (me more than her), even more sunsets. We enjoyed a new restaurant (d’Italia) and tried a new wine. Mariatinto. It is a red wine (Cabernet, Shiraz, Petite Sirah and Grenache) from Baja California. It was outstanding – a definite sleeper.

I did take a couple of more pictures:

  • a couple of long exposure surf pictures – they almost make me think of lunar or volcanic terrain – very craggy.
  • a view of our room (a swim up Casita which is nice if you get upgraded, but I wouldn’t pay extra for it),
  • the clubhouse – quite nice,
  • and a local herbivore that loves munching on hibiscus flowers – fallen ones that is because he can’t reach anything more than three inches off the ground.

As always more will be posted in the selected photos section.

El Dorado Royale

Mary and I have been enjoying the Mexican Rivera just south of Cancun at a resort called El Dorado Royale. We’ve been here before. There is a lot of butt sitting and reading that goes on. Ten books and counting (Mary is in the lead, barely).

I took some time to play. It is fun what you can do in the twilight with a 2x and a 4x neutral density filter. These four are my favorites – so far.


Part two of the Eagle trip. Open water in the winter not only attracts the eagles looking for fish. It also attracts Mallards. They were everywhere. Here are a couple of the fun ones.

Hey I thought that this was a no-wake zone!

It must be in here somewhere.

I know it was in there. I don’t know where it went. I feel a little draft, like I left a door open. Hmmm, hey guys did you see where it went.

Nope. I don’t have it either.

Eagles in Red Wing

Last year, I made the trek to Wabasha in search of the Bald Eagle. Yesterday it was time to try again. Like last year, I went with my photographer buddy Lynn Jonson. This year we were joined by friend and family member Marty Laventure. Marty mentioned a place we should try near Red Wing. It is called Colvill Park. Most of these shots were from there.

While the light was terrible, it was still a blast. They are amazing creatures. We left Colvill as noon approached and drove down to Wabasha, had lunch (at Stacy’s Kitchen), and visited the National Eagle Center.

We didn’t see many/any Eagles nearby so we headed back. We stopped in Read’s Landing where over 300 Eagles had been spotted. Below are a couple of shots from our trip.

I have uploaded more images into the selected photos tab. Enjoy.

We’ve been spotted. Man are those eyes penetrating. We learned that his peripheral vision (at 45 degrees) is actually better than straight on. It’s like they have a 5x zoom at 45!

Take a hike. I am trying to fish. Actually he got into a conversation with a couple of juveniles. I think that he was telling them to “get off the lawn”.

400 psi. Thats what we were told the pressure that can be exerted by the talons on Goldies claws. No wonder they can catch fish as easily as they do.

The tree was loaded with Bald Eagles. This was south of Red Wing at Reads Landing. We hiked out along a ridge to get near the river here. Only one other set of footprints at day. When we saw the Eagle counts for the day, this stretch of river had over 300 eagles. They were absolutely magnificent.

Finally – I got one in flight. It isn’t because I didn’t press the shutter often – they are just hard to catch and then get them in focus. I need a lot of practice. This one is still softer than I would like. The good news is that I am not wasting film!

Only one day in the field with the new lens. I can tell that I am going to have fun with this. I have waited a long time for this and I am excited to be able to pursue my passion for wildlife photography. It is going to be a fun summer!

Footnote: We also saw Trumpeter Swans, Canadian Geese and Mallards (more images coming in future posts)


Earlier in the fall Mary and I joined our church family at our annual “Run Away”. At our church, Cornerstone, “Run Away” means retreat. It was in Grantsburg Wisconsin. On the way home, we ran into a couple of flocks of migrating Sandhill Cranes. Not the prettiest birds. Often the bright birds (e.g. Cardinals) are among the most skittish. These are a bit drab, but every bit as skittish. I tried a number of times to get closer, but this is as close as I was able to get. I guess I just need longer glass. 🙂

Melanerpes Carolinus

In the midst of the Vikings thumping of the Giants, I noticed this guy show up. I thought it was a Hairy, put it appears to be a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. If so then he is at the edge of their normal habitat.
It was about 5 degrees when I popped this. He was filling up on fresh suet, a nice winter fuel.