Sunday, May 31, 2009

Necedah national wildlife refuge - Trumpeter swans

Each autumn goose pool within the Necedah national wildlife refuge fills with seasonal migrants.
Trumpeter swans at sunset - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The migration of the loon

A scene that is somewhat uncommon in central Wisconsin... Loons. Each spring many loons use the wetlands and flowages around the area as a migratory stop before heading northward to their territories. Loons are known for making long scouting trips. These scouting trips can be as far as 100 miles and normally last a single day. The purpose, to gain a visual on how the ice melt is progressing.
Loon and Saddle Mound - Wood county, Wisconsin

Lone Loon - Wood county, Wisconsin

Simplicity of leaves

Oak leaf on ice

Poplar leaf silhouette on Basswood leaf

Ice, oak, pine and moss

Late autumn at Devils Lake Wisconsin

Here are a few photographs taken while visiting Devils Lake Wisconsin during autumn.

Boats placed keel up for the winter.

Fisherman taking advantage of the last warm days of the year.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sandhill wildlife area time lapse

Sandhill wildlife area marsh, Wisconsin
Time lapse photography

View a top north bluff - time lapse

Spring view a top north bluff - Sandhill wildlife area, Wisconsin

Time lapse photography

Double crested cormorants in roost

Journal entry: May 28, 2004 – Wood County Wildlife Area

The double crested cormorant are one of the most adaptable birds in the great swamp, they can fly, swim, dive and nest in trees or on the ground in and around the uplands and wetlands. These magnificent birds can keep the keenest bird watcher guessing.

Double crested cormorants roosting - Wood county wildlife area

Moods of summer - Sun bursts

Four seasons - Wood and Juneau counties

Four seasons of central Wisconsin in black and white.

Heavy clouds - Wood county wildlife area

Winter in the basin - Wood county wildlife area

Rising fog - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Autumn reflection - Wood county forest

Spring marsh - Wood county wildlife area

Mixed vegetation - Wood county wildlife area

Daisies - Wood county wildlife area

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spring in central Wisconsin

Journal entry: Wednesday April 28, 2004 - Wood county wildlife area

The credit to the photographs made during spring goes to the singing wildlife in the wetlands. The music around the wetlands is near deafening. All spring songs are composed to perfection. The spring peepers in rhythm, the air pump base of the American bittern is deep and throaty, the Sandhill cranes call coarse and raspy, an occasional clap of thunder causing the wild turkey to shock gobble, in the fare distance the drumming of the ruffed grouse, overhead the whisper of the woodcock. The annual live spring performance in the Wood county wildlife area is purely unequalled.

The portfolio below was selected from several photographs that were taken during the spring of 2009.

Bad wetland weather - Wood county wildlife area

Canada geese with goslings - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Spring light - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Spring shore - Wood county wildlife area

Wetland prairie - Wood county wildlife area

Wetland rainbow - Wood county wildlife area

Forest in down pour - South wood county park, Dexterville Wisconsin

Rainbow and bloom - South wood county park, Dexterville Wisconsin

Lilly pads - Sandhill wildlife area

Water drops and tree reflection - Sandhill wildlife area

Birch reflection - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Moore road - Wood county Wisconsin

Black river - Black river falls, Wisconsin

Sandpiper - Wood county wildlife area

Hooded merganser - South wood county park, Dexterville Wisconsin

Muskrat - Wood county wildlife area

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grasshopper and black-eyed Susan's

Last summer I noticed a variety of grasshoppers jumping about while walking along the marshes in the Sandhill wildlife area . This grasshopper, small in comparison to the black-eyed Susan, caught my eye. The contrast and size relationship makes this scene a vivid and tiny moment in a big world. Out of a series of photos taken this photo was my favorite.

Tiger swallowtail butterflies “mud-puddling”

Pictured is a photograph of several tiger swallowtail butterflies mud-puddling. Mud puddling is a phenomenon that occurs when butterflies gather around an area that has moist soil that contains salt “NaCl”. The scene of mud-puddlers is very common around central Wisconsin. Shortly after a lone butterfly finds a good soil salt lick the remaining butterflies in the area will join in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2 mile perch of red wings

The numbers of red winged black birds around the central Wisconsin marshes have been astonishing. To be honest I have never seen so many red wings. There is a lot of concern about major population declines in Illinois and Ontario Canada. The red wings populations count reports a 50% decline in some of these areas since 1972. I have mixed thoughts and concerns about the red wings. Are the Wisconsin marshes a last resort for the red wings or an ample habitat? I’d love to hear your thoughts and concerns from around your home area.

Spring acrobatics of the woodcock

It appears that the spring acrobatic flights of the woodcock are nearing an end. Each spring the woodcock also known as a timber doodle put on a magnificent performance in the sky. Their spiraled flights with downward dives create a whistling sound which is created from the air being forced over their wings. The performances happen during dusk and dawn and during evenings when the moonlight is bright enough for the woodcock to take flight. A few months ago I visited a Wisconsin Department of Natural resources biologist at the Sandhill Wildlife area in Babcock Wisconsin. The biologist stated that the woodcock numbers are currently decreasing around the central Wisconsin area. The downfall of their population is believed to be from the lack of controlled burns around the tag alders. As the tag alders grow tall the undergrowth diminishes and the numbers of worms and insects that the woodcock depend on diminish, thus affecting the woodcock numbers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wazee "tall pine" and much more

A few miles east of Black River Falls Wisconsin is Jackson counties newest park, Wazee. Wazee means "tall pine" in the Ho Chunk language but this park is far beyond the beautiful stands of white pine. To the east is wildlife loop, which circles a tall grass prairie. A few years ago I visited the prairie regions of the United States and noticed several things that I truly enjoyed. One was the smell of the prairie, a sweet aroma that is unequalled. Wazee's tall grass prairie was a pleasant reminder of my prairie trip. As I stood atop the small prairie like plateau I had another thought that was geographically interesting. The west shore of glacial lake Wisconsin could be seen. The transition from the glaciated and un-glaciated or drift less regions was right in front of me. When viewed from the bluff or ancient mountain ranges in the area the scene was quite obvious. The rapid change in the land is astonishing. Ancient mountain ranges, prairie and wetlands all seen within Wazee’s park, the views are simply wonderful. Wazee Park also has the deepest lake in Wisconsin. At 355 feet the lake is a popular spot for scuba divers. Wazee is simply a wonderful park. The two photos shown were taken on the east edge of the tall grass prairie and the shore of the extinct glacial lake Wisconsin.

To express my mood I used a gold and blue polarizing filter to create the photo “Box Alder”. The photo “Contrails” was taken near sun down of jet contrails adrift.

Box Alder


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Necedah national wildlife refuge rarities

On rare occasions I like to create photographs by stitching several images together. It’s uncommon that a wide-angle lens can't capture an entire scene with the detail or field of view that multiple photographs do.

Both of the photographs below are rare scenes.

The photo titled "Shelf cloud" shows the purest expression of the bowing arc of a shelf cloud. "Shelf cloud" may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity in the Necedah national wildlife refuge.

Shelf cloud - Necedah national wildlife refuge
The photo titled "Necedah moon rise" is a scene that's normally under water. This is a sight that only happens when the United States fish and wildlife service lowers the Sprauge Mather flowages water level. The plant growth and wildlife around the emerged soil of the flowage was simply astonishing. Within a few weeks, a green blanket began rolling over the exposed flowage bed and didn’t stop until the first killing frost.

Necedah moon rise - Necedah national wildlife refuge

Back yard rainbow

The days rain faded away on the easterly horizon. A forgivable jester of a fowl day was a rainbow dropping upon the neighborhood. The brilliant color pallet of this rainbow was second to none.

Rainbow and box alder

Rainbow and red pine

An evening around Wisconsin Rapids

A night in the Wisconsin Rapids area can be very beautiful. I love photographing the area's industry as well as the city scenes. Perhaps my subject interest is peaked from the historical societies from around the area. The vintage of pre 1930 photographs are simply amazing. It's amazing how much the areas industry and communities have changed. I can only wonder how the area will look in the year 2109.
New Page paper mill - Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Domtar paper mill - Nekoosa Wisconsin

Lights under the bridges - Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Bobbin robin

On Wednesday May 13, 2009 I paid a visit to Powers bluff county park in Wood county Wisconsin. Powers bluff has some unique spring blooms, the most popular are the trillium. The trillium was my primary focus, that's until I noticed this robin bobbin up and down in a window of the ski areas shelter. This scene isn't uncommon since many native birds find their reflections in glass to be interesting. This robin was still bobbin up and down when I left and I'd expect it to do the same for the next several days.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Words about climate change

Shelf cloud before a major storm - Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Journal entry - November 26, 2006

The day is warm, gray and rainy. The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge has many migratory birds around the Sprauge Mather flowage. Wandering about the wetlands I notice a dozen or so trumpeter swans, several gulls, fair numbers of great blue heron, and many species of ducks dunking their heads under the warm water and fueling up for the journey ahead. The sky, suddenly awakened by a grand flock of sandhill cranes gliding overhead. The sound of Canada geese ringing throughout the flowage. The moment is simply a paradise for a bird watcher. Paradise with a poignant reality, the large number of migratory birds is a rarity at this time of year. Have their migrations been altered due to global warming? Very content, the migrants may not know what terrifying potential is progressing season after season. The wake up call for some is a smog warning in southern Wisconsin. The alert suggests the air they're breathing may not agree with their health. The WARNING is obvious.

Journals conclusion:

“Whether or not you believe in climate change, the earth remains the soul proprietor of life. Those that occupy this planet must be responsible tenants. For as if we don’t care for our existence today; our kin indubitably will.”

Winter impressions

Sometimes my vision is all but clear. Perhaps, the overwhelming beauty of a scene makes it difficult for me to totally comprehend and express whats before me as a photograph of great detail. During these moments I like to create abstract photographs that are expressive to what I feel within. Below are a few of those moments that I envisioned during the winter of 2008/2009.

Forest with dappled leaves

Dogwood stand

Red oak

Red pine needles

Mixed forest


Wind in forest