Horicon Marsh, Waupun

Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area, Waupun, WI

Last Saturday, we took some time to visit a favorite spot of mine, the Horicon Marsh near Waupun. It was a nice day except for the mosquitoes. I was on the lookout for birds, and this trip did not disappoint. This location has a nice boardwalk where you can walk out over the marsh and observe the wildlife. We saw a variety of birds, a few turtles, and a water rodent (probably a muskrat, but it was too far away to really tell).

Horicon Marsh Boardwalk

The beginning or end of the boardwalk, depending on where you start…

Horicon Marsh - Bird in Tree

It’s so adorable!

Horicon Marsh Brid in Tree

Another one!

Cormorant in Tree - Horicon Marsh

The marsh, along with a cormorant posing in a tree.

Foster's Tern Horicon Marsh

This Foster’s Tern is chilling out here, but when they spot something to eat, they nose dive into the water.

Blue-Winged Teal Horicon Marsh

A pair of blue-winged teals.

At this point we were off of the boardwalk…and then there were geese. Lots of geese. The parents were pretty wary of us and there was some hissing, but we made it through the crowd without any issues.

Horicon Marsh Geese

All those babies!

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Adventures: Parfrey’s Glen

Parfrey’s Glen is another scenic area near Devil’s Lake State Park. It is probably more commonly known than Pewits Nest. At one time this was a nice and easy trail with a board walk, but in 2008 and 2010 storms flooded and damaged the area. Unfortunately this means the trail is not as accessible for all people. Still, if you are able, it is worth the little hike to the small waterfall in the gorge. Just wear good shoes.

Parfrey's Glen Waterfall

Starting with the end. This is where the end of the trail will lead you.

Parfrey's Glen Parfrey's Glen Parfrey's Glen

New Life

New Life

Parfrey's Glen Parfrey's Glen

This is definitely a place I want to return to in the fall.

Adventures: Pewits Nest

In an effort to be more adventurous and practice my skillz of photography, we’ve been making an effort to get out into nature a bit more. The most difficult part of this for me is the mosquitos. I hate them, they love me. Nevertheless we took some time yesterday to visit a couple of places near Devil’s Lake State Park: Pewits Nest and Parfrey’s Glen.

Pewits Nest:

I like collecting things, but space can be an issue (example: I want all the huechera for my garden, or antique cameras, or bottles etc.). I can collect pictures of things, though. It’s started with birds, and as of yesterday, mushrooms.

Tasty?!

‘Shrooms of Pewits Nest – Comment if you can identify these for me!

These were all pretty tiny mushrooms, except for the one in the top right. I’d say it was about 3-4 inches in height.

I expected this to be a short excursion, and while I think the landscape would be prettier in the fall, winter, or spring before leaves are on the trees, it did not disappoint. We had to work around people, which is fine (and expected!), but I think I may have missed out on some nice shots because people were in the way.

Once we found THE perfect spot to view the little waterfalls, my day was made.

Pewits Nest Waterfalls

Pewits Nest Waterfalls

Pewits Nest Waterfall

Pewits Nest Waterfall

Here are a few other photos from this location:

Dragonfly.

Dragonfly.

Pewits Nest Stream

Pewits Nest Stream

A log!

A log!

Another shot of the stream

Another shot of the stream

Get outta my way!

This is the shot…the one where I would have like to have been able to spend more time taking pictures. There were people in the water and they didn’t show any signs of moving. You might not know they are there, but you can see the reflection in the water. I’m so crafty!

American White Pelicans

A few years ago, I first noticed these large white birds on a little “lake” outside of Sun Prairie. I was surpised to find out they were pelicans. They seem like a tropical, exotic bird to me. Maybe I don’t get out much.

This spring, I waited and watched to see if they would come back. I had about given up hope, thinking they usually arrived sometime in May. On Monday, I was thrilled to notice they were back. Now, I just had to remember my camera.

Birdses!

Pelicans on Brazee Lake, Sun Prairie, WI

On Wednesday, the 3rd, I remembered my camera and stopped on my way home from work. This was the first time I had been to this lake and marsh. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get close enough to get good pictures of the birds since they were on the opposite end of the lake, but thankfully, there is a little path to walk that led me close enough to get some pretty decent pictures.

One thing I noticed right away were these lumps on the beak of the birds. Apparently, they get these when they are in the breeding season, and they are called horns (according to Wikipedia). [insert horny joke here]

Not in front of me!

See the “horns?”

There was a couple of little groups that kept circling above the water.Fly little birdie!It was a beautiful afternoon, and I was thrilled to get these pictures. Scott and I went back today, the 5th, and it looks like they are continuing on their journey north. There were considerably less birds there today than earlier in the week.

The journey continues.

Today – Their journey continues.

This is probably a known fact, but I love birds! You will likely see more birds here soon. As for these guys, I’ll keep watch for them again next spring!

UPDATE 6/10/2015: They are still here! They must have been visiting elsewhere or a new batch has arrived.

Gone, but not forgotten?

It’s been a while. I don’t even want to look to see how long.

I could go on about where I’ve been and what things I’ve been doing, but I’ll just say this: sometimes I have a hard time focusing on more than one thing. We can talk about that another time, though.

Today, I just wanted to share some edits of photos I’ve taken over the summer and this fall.

Dandelion Edits Collage

The dandelion picture edits were a result of trying to get the picture light enough to print onto an old book page. I liked the result, but I’d like to find an old dictionary to print picutres on. I’m kicking myself now because I just dropped off a box of books at Goodwill, which included a dictionary.

2-2219

This was taken at Horicon Marsh, near Waupun, WI. It was a cold day. We were rained on, it was a bit windy, but I got some awesome pictures.

2-2078

This one is from Kohler-Andrae State Park. It’s not vastly different than the original, but I like the simplicity of the photo.

Originals

Here are the originals.

That’s it for today. Hopefully it won’t be so long between posts again!

River Photos Revisited

I made a recent post about taking pictures of the river near my house once a month for the rest of the year to track the changes through out the seasons. Before I posted the pictures, I had to do some editing because the originals turned out very blue.

I go through an internal struggle with editing photos because I want them to be great photos straight out of the camera. As you can see in the pictures below, that was not the case, and editing was necessary. After I made the initial post, I was still not happy with the coloring. I was also a bit frustrated because I didn’t have a program to open raw files.

I started experimenting with a free trial of some photo editing software and was very pleased with the results. Below are side by side comparisons of the original jpeg, the edited jpeg, and the edited raw file. My favorite is the last picture of the ducks. You can really see the true color of the mallards. They are one of my favorite things about living here.

River EditsDuck Edits 1Duck Edits 2

The biggerized* versions of the final edits: IMG_0685IMG_0690IMG_0693*Google says “biggerized” is not a word, but I’ve been using it for years.

The 1st of the Month

For Christmas, I received a new camera. It is my first digital SLR camera. It is much more technical than any point and shoot I’ve owned, but the picture quality is so much better. Still, I have a lot to learn about the camera and photography.

To see how or if my skills develop over the next year, I decided that I want to take a picture of the same thing once a month. We live on a river, so I decided to use a bridge along the river as my focal spot. I got nervous about taking these pictures in manual mode, so I did them in “P” mode. After looking at the pictures once I was home, I wished I had spent the time adjusting the setting in manual mode. The pictures turned out very blue, so I did some adjusting to “warm” them up a bit.

On January 1, 2014, it was 7 degrees, overcast with flurries, and it was around 4:00 in the afternoon.

IMG_0685 2

It’s pretty bland right now, but I think it will get more exciting as the season’s change.

I had to show some of the local residents of the river. While they are still here, at least. 

IMG_0690 3IMG_0693 1