Sunday, September 9th, 2018
What a day.
I had four images that I had a really hard time picking between for today. Many firsts for me, so none could really outrank any others in terms of that. The quality of the stories that go along with them are about all the same.
So I’m going chronologically.
So, we’re starting with our main image for today: the Sandhill Cranes.
Yesterday I had mentioned that Paul and I were getting up early to head back over to the wildlife refuge, and we did indeed do that. We knew we were really a month early for large flocks, but we wanted to check out the viewing area and I wanted to check out the lighting possibilities. A dry run if you will.
The Sandhills stage inside the park – in a specific area closed to the public – but they have separate areas around the park to view them as they fly over.
We got there before sunrise, and the noise from the Sandhill Crane flocks were so loud! The park ranger we had talked to the other day told us we’d hear them before we saw them, and she wasn’t kidding!
We were the only two there, so we set up camp. Camera gear came out (Paul brought his too!), along with folding chairs, donuts, and our thermos of coffee.
It was so relaxing! We chatted, ate our breakfast, drank our coffee, and would get up to photograph when any flew over.
Today, most of the birds flew to the east, so we never really had any come close, but this flock of four flew over the treetops right as the sun began to peek through the trees.
We’ll definitely be going back again throughout September and October.
Then, after the sun came up and the flocks had flown, we cruised around the perimeter of the park. We came up over a hill to a turkey traffic jam!
If you followed my blog last summer, you know that I had a little run in with a resident Turkey at the farm. I attempted to photograph her all summer; I’d see her and she’d be gone. It became a sort of game. But then one day she literally showed up on my front porch and stared in our window at me, and it surprised both of us I think, haha!
So this run in made me smile. Especially since we followed them for about 750 feet before they decided to finally take to the ditch. I’m the meantime, I hopped out of the truck to grab a quick picture. Too fun!
Most of the park is hiking, but they do have one 7 mile wildlife loop that you can drive through. So we decided to check that out.
Bald Eagles, ducks, swans, pelicans, Sandhill Cranes, deer, wildflowers, native grasses, the list goes on. Here are a couple that I got from that drive:
I had never been this close to Pelicans, so I was SUPER pumped!
Guys, I’m telling you, this place is so great! If you want to waster a couple hours on a nice day and see some wildlife, go here.