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Tag Archives: Hudson Wisconsin

This past weekend we drove over to Hudson, Wisconsin to attend the Hudson Hot Air Affair 2020 balloon rally. Launch time was scheduled for 7:35 am. We were up very early so we could make it to the morning launch. When we arrived in Hudson it was still dark out so we stopped at McDonald’s to get a bite to eat and wait for the sun to rise. When we arrived at the launch site some of the balloons were already starting to setup. The balloon is packed in a large bag so they have to empty the balloon on to the ground, untie it and then spread it out. They then attach the balloon to the basket. The next step is to start to inflate the balloon with a large powerful fan. Once it is inflated far enough they then start the burners to heat up the air causing the balloon to rise.

More photos from the Hudson Hot Air Affair can be found on my website.

 

Once the basket is setup they test the burners to make sure they work.

As the balloon inflates several people control the top of the balloon with a long rope. this prevents the balloon from wandering back and forth during the inflation process. As you can see in the first photo the crew member in the blue jacket is giving hand signals to the crew membersĀ  holding on to the rope. In the last photo there was only one person holding the rope and a gust of wind pulled him to the ground. Fortunately he held onto the rope while server other bystanders jumped in to help him control things.

Did I mention it was cold out? It was -15 and most people were bundled up. The person in the first shot looks like she was freezing to death. Oh, that’s my wife and she was freezing to death.

Fortunately it wasn’t long before some of the balloons were inflated and ready to be launched. The basket is tied to a vehicle so it doesn’t take off until they are ready. Once it is untied from the vehicle volunteers hang on to the basket until they are ready to launch.

After the launch we drove back to McDonald’s to get some coffee and warm up before heading to our next event.

 

 

During the winter Trumpeter Swans gather on a small pond in Hudson, Wisconsin. We like to stop periodically to watch them. I was watching one swan chasing another when I noticed that the swan being chased had a fish in its mouth. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a swan eating a fish.

We had some shopping to do in Hudson, Wisconsin so we decided to stop in and look at the Trumpeter Swans that can be found along the Saint Croix River. We were disappointed and a little shocked to find that there was almost no open water where the Swans usually congregate. There were a few of them huddled along the shore and another batch out toward the river but none in the little pond. I’m not sure what is going on. Normally even if it is cold out there is a nice section of open water in the area.

I did manage to capture a few shots of the Ducks and Geese near the puddle of open water.

In addition to Trumpeter Swans there were also quite a few ducks along the Saint Croix River. Someone must be feeding the ducks because this one walked right up to me. I spent more time than I intended photographing the wildlife. My wife went for a walk while I was taking photos. It was really cold out and I started to get cold even with my cold weather gear on. I thought maybe she had walked back to town to do some shopping but when I finally returned to the car she was at the car and had been for some time. A small communication problem.

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The ducks were more active than the Swans. There were multiple flights of ducks arriving at small area of open water as we watched.mallard-ducks-hudson-wisconsin-17-1-1248

 

The Trumpeter Swans have returned to Hudson, Wisconsin again this year. When we stopped there were over a hundred of them in a small area on the Saint Croix River. It was very cold out an many of them were huddled on the ice.

There appeared to be an argument going on. This happens every so often when a number of Swans head toward one another and a dust-up takes place.

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While we were watching a small flight of Swans came in. This one almost landed on top of a couple of other Swans.

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This young Swan seemed to be doing his mid-day stretching exercises.

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This swan was eating along the edge of the ice just before climbing up onto the ice to rest.

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As I mentioned in an earlier blog there were fewer Swans in their usual spot on the St. Croix River. It looked like they were more dispersed because of the availability of open water. The fact there were fewer of them made it easier to take their photograph without the distraction of a large number of birds.

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After check on the Trumpeter Swans in Hudson we stopped for a bite to eat then headed over to Willow River State Park to check on the ice at Willow Falls. I was a little disappointed with the lack good ice on the falls. There was a lot of water and not so much ice. I ended up taking some intimate photos of what little ice there was.

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We stopped in Hudson, Wisconsin to check on the Trumpeter Swans that winter on the St. Croix River. I has been warm and there were fewer swans than we typically see. We did notice open water out in the river and there were quite a few swans on the Minnesota side of the river. That group was particularly active and I was able to capture some photos of them landing near me.

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The Mallard Ducks were also active. I captured this sequence of photos as one landed in the water near me.

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I also captured a sequence of photos of a Mallard Duck taking a bath then exiting the water.

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After our visit to the Nelson’s Ice Sculptures we drove over to Hudson, Wisconsin to check on the Trumpeter Swans. There were quite a few of them around on a very cold day. Unfortunately what had been a beautiful day had turned overcast so I wasn’t able to photograph the birds at sunset.

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When I first arrived there were some swans that didn’t seem to be getting along. The ducks were unconcerned.

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We were in Hudson, Wisconsin on business and decided to stop and check on the Trumpeter Swan population. It was late in the day. When we left home is was cloudy but by the time we reached Hudson the sun was out and it was a beautiful, relatively warm late afternoon.

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When we arrived we were the only ones there. Before long a crowd had gathered. Apparently the swans fly off late in the afternoon and folks wanted to watch the evening flight out. Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2891

There were also several people feeding the swans. Everyone was lined up to get some food.

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I started talking with another photographer who was working with a long lens and tripod. Turned out to be Art Juchno who I had worked with at Stout. I didn’t recognize him all bundled up in his winter gear but he recognized me. I’m not sure what that says about my sartorial efforts.

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I spent about an hour watching the birds. There were a lot of ducks and geese but only about fifty swans. Last time I was photographing there were over three hundred. Apparently colder weather brings them into the area.

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More Trumpeter Swan photos can be found on my website.