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November 27, 2009: Finally a trip to Squaw creek that pays off, well at least a little. Not a ton of snow geese, but enough to create some cool morning light shots. Later tired for eagles, most were way out in the middle of the pond and 300mm wouldn't reach to get any reasonable images but saw a few in the trees. Probably will still go down there 2 or 3 more times. First for the full moon and then once or twice for peak numbers.





I'll probably put a little page together for this one, Betting I can pull out an additional 5 or so images. I learned that 300mm is almost never enough lol, not really excited about learning that since most lenses more than 300mm are over $1500. This shot is a 100% crop and two frame composite, thats the same eagle, just a few seconds before taking off, and after taking off.





Might put a few more up tomorrow, but I'm really tired right now, waking up at 4am does that to you.

November 20, 2009: Man do I wish that I didn't have to work at 2p.m. today, apparently I missed some sweet eagle action at squaw creek after I left. But so I have some new material up, here is a shot I took in June 2008 while working at a summer camp near Fremont, Nebraska. I harnessed myself to a 30 foot telephone pole and clamped my camera down and took this exposure. It's a bunch of kids running around with flashlights during twilight.



Yeah so I have had terrible luck getting good images in anything I do in November. Yet again I went to squaw creek at 3a.m. this morning with the potential for low fog, this of course didn't happen. The drive down there was insane, visibility was less than 100 feet for nearly an hour! I could only see two lines in front of me on the interstate, it was actually kind of fun driving in that. That was probably the most fun thing about the day. We all left at different times and managed to get there at the same time lol, we climbed the hill but the fog was about 50 feet too tall. So we just waited up there hoping for wind to help blow it off the hill, as noted earlier this didn't happen. Tried shooting birds, but that is impossible in fog. With my luck the fog sticks around until noon! I have 0 images from this yet another worthless "outing". As soon as I leave the fog burns off and Mike and Chris get some eagle attacking herons action. Lets just say November will not be my favorite month in 2009, I hope I just jinxed that. I will get to squaw for just birds/eagles at some point this month, whether it be this Monday or black Friday, it will happen. Thats about the only big thing around here until the Geminids.

Hopefully something will come up soon, like a comet, blizzard, aurora, lightning, I'll take anything at this point as it kind of sucks driving 2 hours to come up with images worth absolutely nothing, though that should change when I stop going during fog/snow/bad visibilities lol.

November 16, 2009: Went on a weird trip/snow chase thing, but first here is a shot from last week I didn't get a chance to upload. This the Omaha skyline silhouetted along the Missouri river. We could still get some clear skies for the Leonids tomorrow night, but I'm not sure I'll be up for it, unless a lot of activity is being reported across the nation. I'd rather wait for Geminids and not be disappointed with low numbers on the Leonids.





Heavy snow was supposed to fall at Squaw creek NWR so Chris and I went down there for the ops. Met up with Mike H for a bit at the beginning, it was mainly just miserable trying to shoot in heavy snow...trying to keep your camera lens dry and get the focus right etc. Ended up really sucking for the birds with heavy snow images, at least for me. I learned that I hate autofocus even more today lol, kept trying to focus on the snow 3 feet from the lens instead of the birds 300 yards away. I fumbled around to get a few usable images just to show what it was like, even though these shots don't do this storm justice. This was probably the heaviest I've seen it snow. It was insane for a few hours before letting up. We kinda just drove around mound city after giving up on shooting birds. This shot of birds is heavily sharpened and changed to black and white to avoid ugly pinkish colored sky. Couldn't get a good white balance in the raw conversion so I just changed to black and white.







In mound city someone was burning a brush pile, it kind of made for some cool slower shutter shots, and the focus is a little in front of the scene to freeze some of the closer snowflakes. After finally going to the refuge I'm kind of excited to see what it will be like with peak numbers in geese, not too mention comfortable shooting conditions (i.e. not snow lol). Pretty frustrating day for sharp photographs and it only got more frustrating. We came back into the refuge and got the car stuck in the mud, tried for a few minutes to get out and realized that wasn't happening. Just after we called for help and didn't get an answer we maneuver that beast out (okay, so it's just a cobalt). The drive home wasn't too great, just bad road conditions all the way back into Iowa, then all the snow disappeared. Saw probably 5 to 10 cars in the ditch on I-29. I think Mound City got 4-6" but they haven't reported totals to the NWS yet.





November 11, 2009: Not looking good for the leonids at this point, according to the GFS we'd be locked in clouds for the entire peak. Other than that...well there isn't really an other than that. It's pretty boring around here lately, I've mainly been doing schoolwork since my semester ends on Monday there is a lot going on there. After than I have the rest of November off from school and hopefully thats when a lot of birds decide to head south, if not I'll be pretty bored lol. Hopefully December will be more "fun filled" than November has been thus far, the Geminids should put on a decent show at least.

Been researching places to take a trip this summer, and right now I'm considering the Apostle islands in northern Wisconsin, there's a bunch of sea caves up there that would be sick to explore in a kayak. There are a few places up there to check out too like lake of the clouds. That reminds me, I got invited to go on a snow camping trip to Colorado in January...Not sure if I'll go on that yet, sounds cold lol.

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