Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nice Morning at Lower Church Lake

In a tease of what is to come this spring the weather set up one of those wacky days today. This morning temps were in the 40s, I know plenty of folks that would take that for a high and be happy. I was fine with the chance to get out in the mild weather before work, and made the local stop at Lower Church Lake. Mr. and Mrs. Northern Pintail were soaking it up as well. I have a feeling frequent visitors to the site are going the be reading that regularly.

It was a good chance to just enjoy the morning, in anticipation of good things to come. Red-winged Blackbirds are tuning up and trying out their poses to impress the ladies. Better them singing than me...that's for sure.

At least for the coming week the lake is set up perfectly for the morning sun. After the time change that may all be thrown out the window, but for now Mallards landing are a good challenge. I still don't quiet have a balance of frozen motion, glare prevention, and noise all worked out. I think trying to improve my shots will be enjoyable though.

One thing I forget over the winter is the work that goes into waterfowl shots. I make a conscious effort to hold my camera level, but panning to follow a moving bird sends that right out the window. Ripples and reflections on the water reveal all, so these shots got a touch of rotation before cropping. Practice, practice, practice.

In addition to its convenience, this site has the bonus of lying just beyond a curved railroad bed. Without passing beyond it I can remain out of the perceived threat range of these birds. They give me a bit of a look, but don't seem too bothered. The airplanes that fly directly overhead on their way to Rocky Mountain Regional Airport do seem to get their attention though. The Pintails did an about face when a larger jet made a low approach while I was shooting. I guess if one of your concerns in life is an eagle coming to snack on you, a giant flying thing headed your way is worthy of note.

40 degree temps to start the day were nice, but by lunch they were accompanied by fierce wind, making photos at lunch a near impossibility. I did drive over to the south side of Standley Lake, and the winds had pushed what was left of the ice into a large pile at the eastern end of the lake. Weather forecasts heading into the weekend are poor, but hopefully the open water will attract some goodies down to Standley. As I was driving I passed under a Bald Eagle and a Double-crested Cormorant both fighting the wind in the same location, but well separated as one was there on my way out, and one on the return. The Double-crested Cormorant was a first of season bird for me, and hopefully was headed for the rookery at Standley Lake.

1 comment:

  1. These are great photos, Dave! I like them all, especially the Mallard with his reflection on the water.