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Monthly Archives: December 2016

In between our fall trips I managed to get a few bird photos on the farm.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

House Finch

House Finch

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

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We made a late fall visit to Governor Dodge State Park. The leaves were already down but we had not visited the park in a long time so we decided to do some hiking and scout around for photograph locations.

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We made a late fall visit to Lost Creek Falls where we met up with some friends for the hike into the falls. It was the week before deer hunting season and the last chance we would have do do any hiking in the woods before all of the nut cases started shooting. The leaves were down and the sun was in the wrong spot but any day at Lost Creek Falls is a good day. Things had really changed since our last visit. There are now signs to the falls, the parking lot has changed and a boardwalk has been installed along the muddy sections of the trail. This is really a great improvement. More photos from Lost Creek Falls can be found on my website.

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We spent some time driving around Seney National Wildlife Refuge on our last trip to the U.P. It doesn’t have the best wildlife but it is a beautiful fall photography location. It was created during the depression when no one else wanted the land. It now has a variety of wildlife including a large number of Trumpeter Swans.

More photos from Seney National Wildlife Refuge can be found on my website.

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One of our favorite places to photograph fall colors in Hiawatha National Forest just south of Munising, Michigan. We have a route that we drive that passes a number of beautiful lakes. Sometimes the route changes a bit depending upon the number of photographers we find at any given lake. This area is a favorite destination for photography workshops so you can expect to find large groups of photographers a some locations.

More photos from Hiawatha National Forest can be found on my website.

Our first stop is usually Pete’s Lake.

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From Pete’s Lake we drive back toward Munising stopping at Moccasin Lake. There is a pull off right along highway 13. This is also a trail head for Bruno’s Run Trail which loops past a number of these lakes.

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moccasin-lake-hiawatha-national-forest-16-10-3456After photographing at Moccasin Lake we continued back toward Munising stopping at Thornton Lake. The turnoff for Thornton Lake is not well marked and difficult to spot if there are a lot of leaves on the trees. On this visit it was standing room only because a photography group was just packing up to leave.

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thornton-lake-hiawatha-national-forest-16-10-3626Continuing on toward Munising we turn off on Buckhorn Road and connect to Doe Lake Road. Just after turning on to Buckhorn Road you will encounter Twin Lakes.

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reflections-big-twin-lake-hiawatha-national-forest-16-10-3643We then drove on to Doe Lake ending our fall tour of Hiawatha National Forest lakes.

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We did so much traveling this fall that we almost didn’t have time to visit Hoffman Hills to view the fall colors. We were finally able to check it out and the colors were near peak.

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On any fall visit to Crex Meadows the main attraction is the migration of the Sandhill Cranes. About an hour before sunset they return from the fields surrounding Grantsburg, Wisconsin where they have been feeding. Wave after wave of them fly into the meadows providing some great opportunities for photography. In the morning the process is reversed. At sunrise you can see thousands of Sandhill Cranes at their roosting sites. From Sunrise to mid morning the cranes gradually fly out of the Meadows to feed in the fields. Crex Meadows offers an outstanding opportunity to view the Sandhill Crane migration up close.

More photos from Crex Meadows can be found on my website.

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In addition to the Sandhill Cranes there was plenty of other wildlife to photograph as we drove around Crex Meadows. More photos from Crex Meadows can be found on my website.

We saw the occasional White-tailed Deer. This one sopped along the road to pose.

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Red-tailed Hawks were flying over the Meadows.red-tailed-hawk-crex-meadows-16-10-4591

There were a lot of Hooded Mergansers around. I photographed this bunch just before they took off into the sunrise.hooded-mergansers-crex-meadows-16-10-5325

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With the low water levels in some of the ponds it was easy to find Great Blue Herons around. great-blue-heron-crex-meadows-16-10-5022

There were also quite a few American Coots around although no where near the hundreds I saw on an earlier visit.american-coots-crex-meadows-16-10-4756

On most morning visits to Crex Meadows we normally stop at Phantom Lake to photograph the Sunrise. I didn’t think it would be all that great because there were clouds in the east but at it turned out it was a great sunrise. As the sun came up we could see the Sandhill Cranes starting their journey to the fields south of Grantsburg where they would feed for the day.

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As a rule the reason to traveling north to Grantsburg, Wisconsin to to view the wildlife in Crex Meadows. This fall the conditions were right to spend some time photographing the fall colors. They were mainly earth tones this year but with the dark storm clouds and great evening light it made for some great photography. More photos from Crex Meadows can be found on my website.

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The following photo was taken off of Main Dyke Road. Normally this area is a large pond and a prime area for Sandhill Cranes to roost. This year they had an issue with the dam gates and most of the water had drained out of the pond.

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