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I drove up to Crex Meadows a few weeks ago on an overnight road trip. It had been raining for weeks and we finally got some clear weather so I took advantage of it. When I arrived there were beautiful fluffy clouds over the Meadows. I drove around Crex for a while but there was not a lot happening. Most of the birds were taking a mid day nap and it was too windy to photograph the flowers.Crex-Meadows-14-07-_1208

I did find a large number of Hairstreaks feeding on Butterfly Plants and was able to get a few shots before heading back to Grantsburg for dinner.Hairstreak-gathering-14-07-_1204

I drove back out to Crex after dinner and found some young Pied-billed Grebes right along shore on Phantom Lake. I watched them for quite a while. The light was good late in the day for photographing them.Pied-billed-Grebe-14-7-_1914

I decided to photograph the sunset from the south end of Phantom Lake. I was disappointed that it wasn’t a better sunset given all of the clouds earlier in the day.Crex-Meadows-Sunset-14-07-_1243

The next morning I was up to capture some dawn photographs. My wife wasn’t along on this trip so I didn’t feel guilty about getting up around 4am. I stopped for some coffee and then drove out to Phantom lake to await for dawn. It was a beautiful dawn.Crex-Meadows-Sunrise-14-07-_0982

About an hour later the sun came up. There were not many clouds but there was a bit of ground fog on Phantom lake that made for some interesting shots.Crex-Meadows-Sunrise-14-07-_1087

After sunrise I spent quite a bit of time watching the Pied-billed Grebes feeding their young along the western edge of Phantom Lake. Unfortunately they were backlit so it was not a good time for pictures. This adult Grebe was feeding two fledglings. The one fledgling seemed to be getting all of the food. It would bide it’s time until the adult would surface with some food then dash to the adult so it would get the food. Finally the adult got fed up and dunked the fledgling and then chased it down the lake. I never saw it again. The remaining fledgling they got all of the food.Pied-billed-Grebes-14-7-_1627

There were a few Sandhill Cranes around. I photographed these in the fields at the north end of the Meadows. I did see one pair of adults with a colt but didn’t get any photographs.Sandhill-Cranes-14-7-_1662

It was well after sunrise and it was still relatively calm out. Normally I have trouble photographing flowers and small objects because the wind is usually blowing at a good clip. I photographed this Northern Bluet Damselfly along Phantom Lake.Northern-Bluet-Damselfly-14-7-_1862

I then started driving around Crex looking for flower photographs. This is a great time to photograph the wildflowers at Crex. The visitors center sells a nice book identifying the flowers found in the Grantsburg areaWood-Lilly-14-7-_1705

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