Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New home for an "old" friend

As Dr. Beachly, Biologist-Hastings College, and I made our way across the little blue stem prairie field we came upon a hidden gravel path going into a woodsy part of the land. Cedars, Mulberry and oak trees created a canopy. Bike tracks and a small kids play table sat in one area and a kid-made wooden bridge on the other. As I was looking at this bridge I felt like something was looking at me, but not sure what... the hair on my arms stood up as if I were getting a chill. I stood still and saw movement.
It had been at least 3 weeks since i had seen the groundhog at the den with its young pup on the other side of the property. My eyes focused on fresh, dug out, dirt from the side of the bank and beside that an opening, approx. 1ft wide, and sitting right in the middle was my 'old' friend the groundhog. I call her my old friend because she is the first animal I came across when I first started photographing here.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On this day I sat in my car with the hatch open facing the open field. As I grabbed my equipment I noticed this bird flying this way and then that way as if it were chasing a fast moving insect. I decided to just sit and watch for a while until it came upon this long skinny twig. This area provides great habitat for Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Winged Blackbirds, Orioles, Finches, Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves and many others.
Bird identity TBD.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not always a pretty picture

These past couple of weeks I've had the opportunity of watching 4 Canada goslings go from staying tucked in their mothers feathers to swimming alongside dad to having the effects of habitat loss take one as it's own. This area is great habitat for waterfowl but it is also a place surrounded by pavement, office buildings and neighborhoods.
Pic: Gosling hit by a car just a few hundred yards from where it was hatched.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Paved Ground

As I am coming to a stop  before crossing into the intersection of a main street,  I see a couple walking their dogs, a guy riding his bike a 2 cars coming from the left...then all of a sudden I see a white tailed deer jump out of the woods, took a step towards the walkers then towards my car, then onto the main street with oncoming traffic. It had come to the end of its habitat and into the world of traffic lights, stop signs, moving automobiles and buildings. The whole experience seemed like it took a whole day...watching the deer sprint towards oncoming traffic. I could see the freight in its eyes and face as it leaped trying to find its way back to unpaved ground.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Out of the woods

Two white tailed deer, cautiously, make their way out of the woods to drink from the nearby pond. Even in this small urban habitat, a herd of 10 deer are spotted almost on a daily basis.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Every once in a while, at approximately 7:30am, I'll look out the office window and see this little Red Fox, crossing the open field next to the big parking lot, searching for food. He'll hang around and sniff the groundhog's den, perhaps to pounce on it if it pokes its head out.
Pic: Red Fox seen from the office window, headed towards the groundhogs den.
Time: 7:33am//Sunday

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sharing space

As I made my way around the corner out of the parking lot i decide to pull over alongside the road to watch and listen to the sound of nature, geese, meadowlarks, red-winged blackbirds, crows and wood peckers, soon to be masked by the sound of semis roaring by, not too far away on I-80. Actually only a few hundred yards away. This small piece of undeveloped land is serving one of many purposes for the time being. A roosting and nesting place for several pairs of Canada Geese. 
Pic: Pair of Canada Geese cautiously walk towards the safety of a pond. In the distance a reminder of how close we are with nature, wildlife in a growing city.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sandhill Cranes

I was in for a long cold night when I read the local forecast for Woo River, NE. There has only been one other time when the temps dipped into the high 20's and I swore half a dozen times that I would NEVER do it again...spend the night in a blind that is. All worth it to me though. The sounds of thousands of cranes in the river all night, the powerful booming sound when they all start flight in unison because of a coyote on the riverbanks or a hungry eagle making its rounds.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Under the layer

As I hiked my way through the knee deep snow drifts to check the trail cam I had set out for a photo project I've been working on, I started thinking about the new year. The snow drift was a good 2-2.5 feet deep when I first started out, expecting it to be this way for the next mile and a half. But after every 5-10 feet it all changed. One moment I would be on solid ground, able to see my snow shoes, and the next I would be struggling to lift my foot from being sunk in deep enough to make it a workout. This is pretty much how it was roundtrip. It reminded me of how a new year starts, ready to take on the world with a fresh start but not really knowing what to expect. Highs, lows and how we respond to those fluctuations determine how our year results. Kind of like a hike. As I made my way back I stopped and took scenic images of the trees and landscape but what really caught my eye were the remnants of brush that covered the now dry pond. It also made me think of what might be under this fresh layer of snow, what will this new year bring?