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On a hike along the Red Cedar State Trail we found large numbers of Spring Beauty Blooming.

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One of my favorite spring photography subjects are ripples in small streams. These were taken on a small stream flowing into the Red Cedar River.

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Last week I saw my first Chipping Sparrow at my feeder.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Yesterday the first of the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks returned.

Rose-breasted Grosebeak

Rose-breasted Grosebeak

It rained most of the morning and was still raining in the afternoon. We finally decided we need to get out. I made and purchased some new rain gear and was anxious to try it out so we decided to drive down the the Trail and see what was happening. Things didn’t go well. When I arrived I realized that the plastic cover for the camera that I designed was not in the pack that I brought. It was still in the pack at home. I had purchased a new pair of rain pants that should allow me to put them on without taking my shoes off. I thought I would put them on at the trail head and see how things went. Unfortunately I had grabbed my old rain pants and couldn’t get them on over my boots. So much for testing my rain gear.

We were amazed at the number of flowers out along the trail. Most of them are weeks ahead of schedule.

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

Common Blue Violet

Common Blue Violet

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

White Trout Lily

White Trout Lily

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Cut-leaved Toothwort

 

 

The Song Sparrows have returned. They arrived just in time for a nice big snow storm.

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The Purple Finches have been hanging around the feeder.

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The Tufted Titmice have been singing away now that it is spring.

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It’s spring turkey season in Wisconsin. My wife heard some birds in the back yard. When she got around to checking it out she found a flock of about 30 Wild Turkeys walking through. I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. This was the largest number of strutting turkeys that I’ve seen.

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Last spring I had a Pheasant banging on my basement window. This year it is a female Northern Cardinal. As soon as we hear the noise we knew someone was banging on the window.

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The female was at it for several days before I took a few photos then covered the window with newspaper. The next day she had switched windows and was banging on another basement window. So I covered that window as well. A few hours later I was reading in the sunroom and she showed up banging on the sunroom sliding door. She has since moved to an octagonal window in the entryway. There is a pine tree near the window that makes it easy for her to perch by the window.

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The first couple of days the male sat near the window and watched what was going on but after a couple of days he lost interest.

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In spite of the fact that it is a national wildlife refuge I rarely manage to photograph any wildlife at Trempealeau. This trip was different. As we drove through I noticed a large number of Gulls flying around a backwater. When I went over to see what they were doing I found they were fishing. I watched for a while and managed to capture a few of them.

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I also noticed a number of immature Bald Eagles watching the activity. On the trip we probably saw in excess of 30 Bald Eagles.

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I was surprised to find the Painted Turtles out sunning themselves. It wasn’t all that warm out.

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We noticed quite a few ducks in one of the backwaters so we stopped to watch. I managed to get a photo of this Northern Shoveler as it swam by.

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While we were watching the ducks a Muskrat also swam by.

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When we arrived in Sioux Falls it was very windy and cold so we decided to drive down to Sertoma Park and visit the Butterfly house. We were lucky that we were the only ones in the butterfly house for quite a while.

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It was early in the spring and we were surprised at the number of animals we found in the park.

This was the first photograph I have gotten of Buffalo in the park. They usually hang out in the west end of the park and we normally don’t drive out that direction.

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There were a number of herds of Mule Deer in various areas of the park.

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Several herds of Bighorn Sheep were seen. The rams were no longer with the herd and it was a little early for the lambs. I had noticed a few sheep behind a hill. As I came over the hill this one was staring right at me.

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The Prairie Dogs were around although it was very windy and cold so we didn’t see a lot of them. When we drove through in the morning they were just waking up.Prairie-Dog-Badlands-National-Park-16-3-_4776

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