In my effort to do my part to not receive or transmit COVID-19 or any of the influenza viruses floating around, I spent very little time around others today. In fact, I did not even paddle with the Marsh Migrations group tonight. It was tough to stay off the water, but necessary for me for personal reasons.
Even though I was not cutting the water with my paddle, I was present in spirit – sort of. I flew the new drone out to test the thermal imaging capabilities locating people on water. The paddlers were, for my test, lost paddlers that I was attempting to find using the thermal imaging capabilities. I am learning that beyond a certain distance, the thermal imaging capabilities are limited. However, they are useful as shown in the following two images.
The first image is the visible image of the paddlers. Notice the distances from the drone between the nearest paddler and the paddler further back.
Now take a look at the same image recorded from the thermal imaging camera. You can see how the paddler to the rear is not nearly as obvious or detailed. It is possible the distant paddler was wearing different clothing that held heat in, or it could have been the distance. Regardless, I am learning how to use the equipment.
On my walk out and back from Marten’s Lake at Sweet Marsh I was required to hike through mud. The path is a mess, but it does tell stories of who or what else has been there. I photographed a sandhill crane track in mud in this sloppy section of trail. Even though the birds do not weigh much, this one clearly sunk down into the soft surface.
Sandhill Crane Track in Mud:
Late this afternoon and early evening was a night for sandhill cranes. I think I saw or heard fifty or more cranes in a pasture, in cattails, and in the air.
Sandhill Cranes in Pasture:
Sandhill Cranes in Flight: