Spring has Sprung. Winter MIA and Presumed Dead

I spent the majority of the day at Shaw Nature Reserve in Grey Summit, Missouri.  Mother Nature is busy transitioning to the next phase.  As the photo shows, I found harbinger of spring as well as spring beauty and a couple of very early blood roots in bloom.  It’s nice to get out looking for wildflowers this time of year because there are so few I can identify them all!  Over the next three months or so, Shaw NR will have an ever changing cycle of blooming spring-ephemerals, then the summer plants start!  The bird life I witnessed today also suggests that nature is moving on even though old man winter was playing dead beat dad this time around.  I had my first Pheobe and Field Sparrow of the year. I love listening to the Field Sparrows sing their bouncing ping-pong ball type of advertisement song across the open savannahs and woodlands.  It was also entertaining watching and listening to the Eastern Bluebirds who were busy building their nests in the boxes provided them across the reserve.  Yellow-rumped Warblers were seen in increasing number and the Woodpeckers could be seen and heard in every part of the preserve all day long.  The weather was fantastic today, although the sky was that boring, uninterrupted Robbin’s egg blue without a single cloud.  The morning was chilly though still, with no wind, which is so important for macro photography.  The best part of the day was finding the location of this year’s Red-shouldered Hawk nest.  This pair of Hawks or their descendants have nested in the same section of SNR for at least the past five years.  I’m glad I found the location this early.  It seems to be in a good location for making some good images.  It looked like there were already eggs in the nest and I can’t wait to get back and watch and take some photos.

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, ISO 160,  f/11, 1/6 sec

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