Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Elk hunt. Clam Lake Wisconsin.

Mrs. Shutterwi and I took a road trip today to try and get some photos of a Elk. The top photo is as close as we got to seeing anything that even resembled an Elk. The area was beautiful and we did enjoy the ride along the well marked perimeter of the Elk management area. Discussion with some locals made it clear we need to be there early in the AM (before sunrise) or at dusk. We might try again in the next few days if the weather agrees.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

View from Longbridge looking Northwest

Calm November waters at the head of the Chequamegon Bay. This is a favorite viewing spot for birders in the area.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ruffed Grouse. The seven year cycle.

Conventional wisdom around here has it that the Ruffed Grouse (Partridge) are on a seven year population cycle. Every seven years the populations peak and then gradually decline until it then recycles in about seven years hence.

This cyclic high does seem to occur. I'm not sure if the scientific data supports my personal observations but I know that I haven't seen many birds over the last few years until this year. In the last two days I've seen and photographed five different birds.

Now it has occurred to me that when the populations are high more hunters are encouraged to kick the brush and harvest birds (or at least try). This in itself might explain the decline side of the cycle. More birds harvested.

In the down years a typical conversation on a city street in the fall might go like this. Seeing birds? Nope! Been out? Nope! Going? Nope! Me neither! This might in fact explain the upside of the cycle. More birds surviving to propagate.

In any case. It seems like an up year and my "shooting" will not contribute to the decline.

The only problem is Partridge are great eating. Oh well as Skip would say I never hit anything I was shooting at anyway.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

WOW what a day! The teasers w/ more photos to follow.

Tundra Swans adults and immatures.

Adult Bald eagles.

Northern Shrike.

Black Bear tracks.

Ruffed Grouse.

Porcupine. Notice the bark eaten away from the limb to the right.


These three photos were shot after sunset. They were shot with a Canon 20D and a Canon 100-400mm lens (hand held) ISO 1600 f4.5. The ultimate shutter speed was 1/13 (= blurry). I wish I had had time to get out the tripod and get better shots. But these hand held shots are better than no shots.

This Ultralight aircraft is being flown out of a small private "airport" south of US 2 on WI Hwy 63. This plane was built by it's pilot. The plane has an approximate range of 250 miles and can cruise at 75-80 mph. When fully fueled (10 gals) and the pilot it weighs about 500 lbs. Thanks for the tour Val. Safe flying.

Most of the week I was under the weather and all of the week the weather was lousy.

Today I felt better the sun was shining so the wife and I ventured out to enjoy the day and take some photos.

We enjoyed some bayside birding with Ryan Brady to start the day off.
Thanks Ryan.

Some great birding and outdoor adventure followed.
Here's the inventory from first to last.
230+ Tundra Swans on the bay.
5 Bald Eagles (4 adult and 1 immature)
1 Northern Shrike
Bear tracks
Ultralight aircraft (the non-wildlife entry for the day)
1 Porcupine
1 Snow Goose
2 Ruffed Grouse (Partridge)
1 Coyote
1 Albino Whitetail deer. Now there's something you don't see everyday.

Sorry no Field Sparrow. Ryan ?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fence lines.

So, someone does put these snow fences up. Gee I thought they just "popped" up. Regardless, when the snow starts flying across these open fields the snow fences surely do the job they were designed for STOPPING snow.

I can only wonder who put up this fence and how long it has done it's job.

Neither fence would have slowed this guy down. I don't know what put him on the run but he wasn't stopping to pose for a photo. Notice the antlers. Not a trophy but the first "rack' I've seen this fall.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kara I found him.

Kara your buddy still lives in the neighborhood.

Cross country ski/walking trail.

It's very quiet in the woods at this time of year. Very few if any birds. Little if any color. Only the organisms of decay left to photograph and a quiet place to sit and ponder.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tern island and pier.

This is the remnant of one of the many piers that reached out into the Chequamegon Bay during the logging and iron ore era. The pilings from this pier at Sunset Park (Pamida Beach)are more visible this year than any other year in recent memory. The water level in the bay is at the lowest level I can remember since arriving here in 1978. The larger structure at the distant end is called "Tern Island". It is the yearly nesting ground for the Common Tern inhabiting the Chequamegon Bay area.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fall walk in the woods.

It was a cold overcast windy day in Ashland. To cold and windy for a walk along the shore. So today it was a walk in the sheltered woods. Most of the vegetation was brown and lifeless. Few if any birds were seen or heard. This red squirrel was scratching around on the ground looking for some morsel of food. It's noise and movement drew my attention and it became the "capture of the day". The bonus "capture" an empty hornets nest.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bald eagles @ home.

Today's post is a first, photographs of a occupied eagles nest. In the top shot the "long" shot you can see the nest and the outline of an eagle. The middle and bottom shot are closeups. Look close there is not one but two eagle in this nest. The second eagle is to the left of the visible eagle. All you can see is it's head in between the branches just above the top edge of the nest.

Regular viewers of this blog will know that Bald eagles are plentiful in this part of the country. From my first post in October 2005 to present I have photographed and posted dozens of eagles from all over this region.

Update: Actually it's the second time I've taken and posted an eagle's nest shot. The first was taken while on a road trip with ColdH2o.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dia De Los Muertos. Day(s) of the Dead

A Mexican holiday honoring those who are gone but are not forgotten. Just attended our first (Nov 1) Day of the Dead celebration with lots of friends. Thanks to J & B for bringing this Mexican tradition to the north country. For a complete explanation of this holiday visit this website. Original art work by Mrs. ShutterWi.

Halloween green. More photos to follow.