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Category Archives: Menomonie

When I first started photographing birds I had a blind that I setup out in the back yard near the bird houses. This enabled me to get some great shots of birds building their nests and feeding their young. Several years ago I got the bright idea of moving some bird houses closer to the house so I could photograph from an window or from my deck. This worked great and I had a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nest in one of the houses. This year I had a bluebird check the house out but it turned out a House Wren finally claimed it. Unfortunately the bird house is under a bedroom window and the House Wren seems to start singing well before sunrise.

It was fun watching the wren build it’s nest. They use sticks and it proved difficult to get some of the longer sticks into the house.

 

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There are a variety of flowers blooming this wee. The most prominent are the Wild Lupine and the Prairie Smoke. Orange Hawkweed, Goat’s Beard and Blue Flag Iris are also blooming. I used to see a lot of Blue Flag Iris around but most of it seems to have dissapeared.

I managed to photograph a few birds. I haven’t seen any Eastern Bluebirds nesting this year. Most of the nests seem to be occupied by Tree Swallows.

There were a pair of Canada Geese nesting this year. We were on a trip when they started sitting on the eggs. They were still on the nest until the end of this week. Most of the Canada Geese hatched their young two or three weeks ago and we were concerned that something was wrong. The first shot of the male was taken a couple of weeks ago. The second shot was taken of him earlier in the week when he was near the nest and looking depressed. When we went out yesterday both adult geese were gone and we couldn’t find any young. We concluded there was a problem and the young did not hatch.

Some additional wildlife around. This White-tailed Deer took of running. There were also a few butterflies around.

The grasses are also blooming in the prairie area.

The Prairie Smoke has just started blooming at Hoffman Hills. It is one of the first flowers to boom.

 

One of my favorite times of the year is the spring. I love photographing spring buds. When the trees are budding out the colors in the forest are almost as beautiful as the fall colors.

 

A few recent shots of Downy Woodpeckers.

 

With record snowfall in February it has been difficult to get the Red Cedar Trail groomed for skiing. It has also been very cold out. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures above zero so we drove down to the trail for some cross country skiing. It was the best day of skiing we have had this year. The trail had just been groomed and the skiing was excellent.

 

I was photographing a Northern Flicker when a Red-bellied Woodpecker turned up. It wasn’t long before a fight ensued. The flicker lost and soon left the feeder.

 

 

One of my favorite subjects on the farm is my Sumac Patch. This is the first time since last fall that I’ve photographed in the patch.

 

I’ve had a Pileated Woodpecker around for some time but it is just luck that I happen to be photographing when it shows up at the feeder. It is very skittish and takes off at the slightest movement. A couple of times I’ve seen it in the woods looking at the feeder but it seems to notice me in the window and never shows up.

During a recent snowstorm I had quite a few House Sparrows turn up at my feeder. Generally they feed at the neighbors farm but I suspect that pickings are slim with all the snow we’ve had.