WGNSS Nature Photo Group Travels to Snake Road

Timber Rattlesnake feeling safe. f/7.1, 1/60 sec., ISO-640, 205 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth letting its freak flag fly. f/5, 1/160 sec., ISO-640, 322 mm focal length equivalent.
Missing Muppet? f/5. 1/125 sec., ISO-1600, 342 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth found at Larue Road. f/5, 1/125 sec., ISO-1600, 342 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth closeup. f/7.1, 1/100 sec., ISO-1600, 520 mm focal length equivalent.
Green Treefrog. f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO-640, 520 mm focal length equivalent.
Larue “Snake” Road, Autumn 2019. f/5, 1/100 sec., ISO-1250, 213 mm focal length equivalent.

White-tailed Deer

Something is in the air

Until this autumn, I never considered targeting our abundant white-tailed deer as a photo subject. When my friend, Miguel, brought up the idea along with a place with a lot of potential, I asked him to lead the way. We set up in a copse of trees located near the center of a scrub field in an area that does not allow hunting and Miguel’s predictions of worry-free males still on the hunt came to fruition.

Buck and Foxtail

Although I cam ill-prepared, leaving my tripod and any other means of support at home, the light was just sweet enough to allow for proper hand-holding the big 500mm. Once I took off the unnecessary teleconverter, it worked even better.

Spike

We counted at least two larger bucks that patrolled the area, but found this young spike buck as well. He was not quite as confident as the other two.

Doe

Females walked the area as well, but were more skittish. The bucks were more curious when they first heard the sounds of our shutters slapping and picked up our sent in the light morning breeze. The does, however, tended to trot away at first sign that something different lurked in our copse.

White-tailed Deer

This spot turned out to be quite nice. With the rising sun to our backs, the trees at the far edge of the field provides for a nice backdrop for that warm light to hit against. These guys have probably, or will soon be dropping these nice racks. With any luck we can try more of this next year.

Thanks for paying a visit!

-OZB

 

Bird #275

Eastern Screech Owl - Strigidae - Megascops asio, Grafton IL
Eastern Screech Owl – Strigidae – Megascops asio – Grafton IL

The 275th bird species I have photographed in Missouri and contiguous states turned out to be a special one.  This Eastern Screech Owl is definitely the current most famous bird in the bi-state area.  Many thanks to Miguel Acosta for the information.  A long time coming.

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Eastern Screech Owl – Strigidae – Megascops asio – Grafton IL

-OZB

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

Way back in April Steve and I visited Larue Road, AKA “Snake Road”, to visit the swamps of western Shawnee National Forest.  We came up mostly short on snakes and found way to many naked apes on this particular Saturday, but we were pretty certain to find a good feathered reptile show, and we were not disappointed.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

The Prothonotary Warbler is a staple of southern swamps and this area sure has its share.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a number of these birds foraging along the road, without a care about what we were up to.  This allowed for some very nice looks and photographic opportunities.

Prothonotary Warbler
The Original Entomologist

The image above shows how these guys (and most warblers) go about making a living.  They know better than any entomologist that the best opportunities for finding caterpillars and spiders is to look under leaves and inside the folds and crevices of new leaves and flowers.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

We didn’t find a nest cavity of one of these monks during this visit, but they were undoubtedly tending nests and potentially caring for eggs.  If only this area were not a three hour drive!

Cute Coots
Cute Coots

Lastly, at one end of the road we were greeted by a gang of Coots feasting on Coon’s Tail.

Thanks for the visit.

OZB
email: handsomeozarkbillyboy@gmail.com

 

The Visiting Arctic Angel

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

In case you have not heard, Missouri had it’s first documented visit by an Ivory Gull this past month.  This species is typically found north – way north.  We’re talking fighting with Polar Bears for scraps north.  Once in a while a species like this gets way off track and can be found far from home.  This bird was found in the marina and lock and dam areas at Quincy Illinois and Missouri.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

Folks flocked from as far as Texas and Florida, to the Carolinas and  New England.  This was a potential once in a lifetime bird, unless you took a trip to their normal range.

Ivory Gull Hanging with the Locals
Ivory Gull Hanging with the Locals

Although we were not fortunate enough to get super close looks in great light, Steve and I were thrilled with watching the bird for several hours over the course of an extremely cold and windy Sunday.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

At least one photographer paid a local to motor him past the gull to get a closer shot.  A truly surreal experience.

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You’re going to pay me $50 for what?