Birds eye view

Just a day out and around.  Stopped by the International Crane Foundation to renew membership and check on the residents there.  It’s amazing what the efforts of a few people dedicated to a cause can produce over time.  Thanks to the work of the people in Baraboo and other locations we still have the opportunity to see whooping cranes in the wild (and in captivity for those wanting a non-threatening closer look).  The Foundation is starting a building program that will enlarge the areas for several of their crane species, giving visitors a more expansive view of these large birds.  If you’re ever in the area it’s a definite visit to learn how the recovery efforts are paying off and to enjoy some time wandering around the grounds.

Trumpets of spring

Trilliums have been the harbinger of spring for me since my first spring in Michigan.  Just as the leaves in the trees started to green up the woods there would be these white stars appearing on the forest floor.  Some areas would be dotted with white and some would display a carpet of brightness against the dark green and brown.  Only in the woods would you see them, creatures of the deep forest floor, too shy to venture into the sunlight.

Delightfully I see these in Wisconsin as well, peeking out of the ground before the other plants put out their leaves and start competing for the limited sunshine let in through the branches above that are rapidly extending their leaves to create shade underneath.  A brief glance is just about all you get before the white is gone, followed soon by the part of the plant above ground, gone for another year to rest before springing up again to remind us of the seasonal cycle.

Stopping time

I thought I had a fast camera and lens until trying to capture images of swallows and swifts in flight.  I think this was the best of 50-60 image attempts.  They sure are in a hurry in the spring time.  Between catching enough food on the wing to keep up their metabolism and finding mates and building nests it’s no wonder they are always zipping by.  They still have enough time to check things out, though.  I turned around once to re-position my camera and caught one of these hovering about 4 feet away, looking me over carefully before wheeling away and moving on.  Guess I was too big to take a bite out of.

Signs of spring – at last!

May at last and it seems the last snow has just melted.  Somehow it feels as if the seasons and the climate are not in sync.  The trees, birds and flowers all want to start growing while the wind still blows cold and damp.  The height of the sun in the sky will hopefully re-connect the two and everything can get on with another year of starting over.

It’s the time to be quick as a photographer.  One day there’s a great composition and the next it’s gone as flowers pass their peak and babies grow rapidly.  Much like chasing fall colors it feels like the best way to handle this season is to go into the woods and stay for a month or so, patiently keeping an eye on all the goings-on and being there when the best view manifests itself.  Tough to do as an amateur.