Saturday, November 5, 2011

Short Hike at Jack Sinn WMA

I decided to drive to the Jack Sinn WMA, just south of Ceresco, for a short scout/hike. I have driven past it several times on hwy 77 but never really had a chance to stop until today. As I drove around for a place to park, I noticed a few vehicles pulled over on the side of the road along the stretch of the wetland which instantly reminded me that hunting season was in full swing. So i was a bit weary about wandering out too far into the tall grass and cattails knowing that hunters would be out.
I found a small dirt parking lot right next to the hiking path that led right into the wetland on the West side. I didn't have much time so I scouted just the West side fairly quickly until I ran into Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston, a wildlife/nature photographer based out of Omaha. It's always good to see and meet photographers out in the field. I hope to come out more often within the next few weeks/months for some winter photographs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sacassus Creek

One of the unique things about this creek is the illusion it gave me while walking to our destination for our night shots. The creek bed seemed to be dry, with signs of passing rain but no trickling water as a creek should have. Was the rainfall amount enough to sustain these water plants for however long they have been here? After a long night of shooting the night sky, I decided to walk up the creek and explore early the next morning. I didn't have to go very far from where we had setup camp, not even 20 yards, to find out part of my answer. A small freshwater spring along the bank ran along the bed and then disappeared back into the bank. I then walked back towards camp following a damp looking sand on the edges of the creek bed and noticing the plants I was curious about. I noticed that in some areas of the creek's bed my feet were not sinking as much as in other places. This is when i decided to do a little dig-test. I dug my hands into the sand and felt a moisture not 3-4 inche deep. I dug 3-4 inches more and noticed a small puddle of water merging.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time lapse

One final test before heading down to the Republican River near Red Cloud and Riverton, Nebraska to try and capture a fall Nebraska night sky.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nebraska Sandhills

Away from all traffic and multi-lane roads, we found ourselves in the middle of the great Nebraska Sandhills. A place where one's fast driving habits take a back seat to enjoy such an incredible part of this state. One of the most fragile ecosystems and largest sources of ground water on the planet lies just a few hours from most of Nebraskas bigger cities. A sea of native prairie, untouched wetlands and rolling Sandhills; prairie dogs, burrowing owls and a great number of water fowl are just a few that make up the divers wildlife in the Sandhills.
My feet would sink trying to grasp any form of traction as we hiked along the side of a hill. Looking down into the valley below, keeping a close eye on the ground avoiding coming in contact with any yucca plants or cacti, but at the same time enjoying the colorful wildflowers from this region. The air is dry and cool, massive thunderheads peaking over the hills in the towards the southwest. A Red Tailed Hawk gives a loud shriek over head as it glides by effortlessly looking for a mouse or small rabbit to swoop down on. 
A small storm passes by and immediately the moisture is soaked up by the ground which runs only so deep into one of the worlds largest underwater storage reservoirs, the Ogallala Aquifer.
Nebraska contains more wetlands than its surrounding states.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Raptor Recovery - Nebraska

I had the chance to photograph a few injured and homeless raptors thanks to the Raptor Recovery program in Nebraska. Many of these birds would not make it out in the wild without the help from volunteers willing to care for these injured birds. The injuries they get from hazards such as power lines, gun shots or like these two young screech owlets, being blown out of their nest by strong winds during a sever thunderstorm, take time to heal, sometimes months and other times their injuries are too severe that they are donated to nature centers across the state for education. These two owlets will be released as soon as they are old enough and able to hunt and fend for themselves.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A foggy morning

I had the chance to spend the night in a small dome tent covered in camo netting last weekend right along one of the banks of the Platte River near Wood River, Nebraska and photograph the Sandhill Cranes during their stay on the sandbars. Going into this we (Dr. Bill Beachly and I) knew there was a good chance of drizzle and fog overnight which could have an affect on our photography plans. What we didn't expect was how thick the fog would get. This is a short video clip of what I woke up to in the early morning...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Cranes Appetite

Nebraska farmers play an important role in a cranes diet. Before continuing their long journey North, the cranes stop and along the Platte River to find a good source of food which consists of corn, left on farmlands from the fall harvest, insects, worms and snails just to name a few. Most of their time is spent searching for food before flying back to the sandbars on the Platte River where they are protected from predators such as coyotes and bobcats.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sandhill Cranes

Driving West on I-80 this past weekend reminded me of my childhood when our family used to drive up to Six Flags in California - I couldn't wait to get there! The feeling that makes your heart race and the anxiety of wanting to be there, right now, came the night before my trip to see the cranes.
Finally, the migration has started and visitors from all over the country flock in to experience this phenomenon. I compare it to the great migrations of the Wildebeests in Africa and the Emperor penguins of Antartica. Thousands upon thousands make their way North towards the Platte River in Nebraska, filling the skies with the sound of their well known calls. Although, this is not their final destination.
Today I had the chance to sit on the bank of the Platte River and watch them as they started out their day.
Check out the video by clicking this link: Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska