Three Rivers in One Weekend…Lesson Learned – There Is No Place Like Home
Anyone familiar with me knows, I have a fondness for water. Lakes, rivers, streams, marshes – If I visit them I will probably find something to photograph. Because of my appreciation for water, I have many water vessels. One of my seldom-used watercrafts is a small boat with a large outboard on it. I use that boat for bigger waters; often in Northern Minnesota. Because such travels to the northwoods are seldom, the motor doesn’t get wet very often. In fact, some years I have to intentionally take it to larger bodies of water just to run it for a few hours. Today was such a day. Kristy and I pulled the boat to the Mississippi River to run some gas through it and possibly photograph wildlife. Our mission was accomplished, but not without complications. When I planned the day I envisioned trees full of eagles, shorelines dotted with herons and egrets, and water smooth as glass. The reality faced was only a few eagles seen at a long distance, a great many boats of all sizes (small to barges) going as fast as they could, and rough, choppy water that tossed us like rag-dolls. Ironically, the conditions were nearly identical to what we experienced the last time we did this. It’s funny how we forget the not so pleasant details and plan for perfect conditions. Needless to say, we only burned about 1/4 of the fuel I expected and were soon off the water. For those who enjoy the Mississippi, you won’t have to worry about me being in the way, unless you happen to be in the backwaters and I am paddling my kayak. While on the water I managed to record only a couple of images – a bald eagle and ring-billed gulls.
After we returned home and I had the boat cleaned and returned to storage, I then went paddling on the Wapsipinicon River, in front of our cabin. Before I paddled a single stroke I had located a great blue heron to photograph. Early evening lighting presented some challenges, but I managed to shoot a few photos of the bird.
Great Blue Heron:
As I was finishing up shooting pictures of the great blue heron, a bald eagle flew over the tree tops, directly over where I was in my kayak, turned to the west and swooped down. Right there in front of me the eagle caught a fish. Without hesitation the majestic bird carried the fish to a dead tree and enjoyed a snack. While the bird was distracted with its lunch, I was quietly, but quickly, paddling toward the eagle. As illustrated here, the eagle tolerated my presence and allowed me to shoot many nice photos.
This has been an interesting weekend. Yesterday I paddled the Cedar River from Waverly to Janesville, today we boated the Mississippi River, and this evening I paddled the Wapsie River. What did I learn? I learned that I don’t have to travel far. There is no need for high-dollar equipment. I have what I need and it is right at my back door. There is no place like home. There is no place like Indian Pond in Frederika, Iowa!
Indian Pond Scenics (from kayak):
I will conclude today’s post with an image from early today. During the fog this morning I noticed a grass spider/funnel spider had created a complex web in the backyard. If you look close, you can see the spider in the bottom of the funnel.