Wednesday, January 25, 2012

End Of The Line

I came across this story written in the snow yesterday as I was snowshoeing with my dogs. I don't know what left the tracks in the snow, but I have a pretty good idea of what ended them. A small rodent of some kind was surprised mid stroll by a raptor. Either a hawk or an owl judging by the size of the wing marks left in the snow.

I have seen a hawk in this area but haven't gotten a good look to verify exactly what it is. My guess is a red-tail. I have heard reports of a snowy owl in this area as well, but have yet to actually see it.

These types of stories are written, by wildlife, across the landscape all the time. Taking the time to find and interpret them makes our outdoor adventures more enjoyable. Being able to share them with others makes our adventures even more rewarding.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Wonderland!

I love fresh snow! Even if I'm not out with the intent on taking photos, I love being out in the fresh snow. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, even running the snow blower. It's all fun for me. I was happy to get out on Saturday for a while to play in fresh powder that covered our area on Friday.

The sun was shining and the wind was minimal making for a great day to get out and play in the snow. The bright blue sky contrasted nicely with the red berries and snow.

The fresh, untouched landscape was a refreshing sight to see. I had expected to see more tracks in the snow, but it looks like I was one of the first to explore this area.

The trail was untouched, but you can still follow the faint tracks left in the last snowfall that wasn't completely covered by this storm.

I hiked a little over 3 miles on my snowshoes on Saturday. A good portion of that was breaking a new trail in the fresh powder.

I wasn't the only one leaving tracks in the snow!

The sun was casting some interesting shadows on the blank canvas of the snow.

The fresh snow, mild temperatures and bright sun made it a great day to spend outside exploring!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter has arrived. Finally!

Winter has finally arrived here in the Midwest. Last week I was still seeing motorcycles on the road, this week it's plows and salt trucks. With temps in the single digits and the snow slowly starting to accumulate, it actually feels like January. More snow is predicted for this weekend and I'm hoping for some great photo opportunities in the coming weeks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Frosty Morning

Winter has finally settled in to Southwest Wisconsin. With the mild winter we have had up until last week, the photo opportunities seemed to be pretty limited. With no snow, the landscaped simply looked brown and boring. The lack of snow also means that there is plenty of food around for wildlife so they don't need to be on the move as much. So with what seems like a lack of subjects to photograph, what's a nature/wildlife photographer to do?

The answer is simple. All you have to do is take a look around and you will find something to photograph. Just because you like to shoot a specific type of subject doesn't mean that you stop looking at other options. Something as simple as frost on a window can make for an interesting photo.

This time of year is one of my favorite times to be out photographing the landscape. Snow, frost and ice transform our surroundings into magical displays of mother nature.

If you don't like being out in the cold, stay inside and find something that interests you. One nice thing about photography frost on your windows is that you can stay inside where it's warm and still make interesting winter photos.

Another great thing about this time of year for photographers is that the sun rises and sets at a lower angle to the earth than at other times of the year. The result is that great magic light last longer into the morning, and begins sooner in the afternoons. That magic light can really help to warm up a cold scene and turn it into something special.

If you like the cold or hate it, there are plenty of opportunities to capture winter scenes if you simply take a look around you and are willing to explore photographic possibilities that you hadn't thought of before.