Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fowl and mammals at Wasatch Lake

This third and final installment of images from my trip to Wasatch Lake in Owen County, Ind., is devoted to "wildlife" on the 300-acre property. I wrapped the word wildlife around quotes because the true wildlife I was able to capture constitutes photos of water fowl; the dog and hogs you see are domesticates of Eldie and Marsha Miller, the couple who run and help maintain the grounds. The dog is one of the two the Millers own; the other was a bit too animated for me -- and never was far enough away from me when she was around -- to capture any pictures.

Dozens of birds species visit the grounds (which would explain the many birdhouses I came across on the trails), but I didn't have the equipment (lens length and power) to track them properly, nor did I elect to devote the patience to do so. There are squirrels and chipmunks, of course, and (I'm told) snakes on the grounds. I didn't bother with squirrels or chipmunks, and I never saw a snake (which did not disappoint me!). Because of the elegant nature of the swans, I did devote a lot of time shooting images of them ... an embarrassing number, in fact. But I won't expose that excess here; you'll see some swan shots, but nothing in proportion to what I took.

The two swans were virtually inseparable when I saw them. I'd see ducks and geese on land and water, but rarely (if ever?) did I see the swans out of water. The mute swans sprung up on me by surprise my first night there as I was sitting on an Adirondack chair at the end of a pier. I'd been reading intently and happened to look up and see the swans not more than 15 yards or so from the end of the pier as they made their way to the other end of the lake. I calmly reached for my camera and managed to get a few shots before only their backs were facing me. They stuck to a routine each day; daytime on the northeast end of the lake, nighttime at the southwest end. Images you'll see of the swans with the other fowl and with the fisherman prove that Wasatch Lake is about peaceful co-existence.

I think I was able to snag one image of one of the swans coming up from a hunt in the water with a catch in its mouth. At least ... that's what it looks like to me, anyway.

There isn't a whole lot else to say about these images ... so, enjoy. To view a full gallery of shots from my trip to Wasatch Lake in 2010, visit my online site at

Above: The mute swans on my first night, moments after they startled me as they passed in front of my pier. I was able to reach for my camera nearby and get off a few shots before their backs were to me as they continued their swim to the southwest end of the lake.

Above: Man and fowl co-existence.

Above and below: The Millers' hogs. These were the only shots of them I took.


Above and below: Water fowl in peaceful co-existence. The image above is the one in which I believe one mute swan (on the left) has just snagged a bite to eat from its head dip into the water.

Above: A shot I really like ... the craning necks of facing swans intersecting as they prepare for a dive for food.

Above: A crop of one of the swans catching some dramatic light off a late-afternoon sun.

Above: A crop of a goose coming in for a landing. This image was taken a frame or two after the uncropped frame at the top of this post.

Above: One of Eldie and Marsha Miller's two dogs, a very friendly canine. The other wouldn't sit still long enough -- or get far enough away from me -- to enable me to capture its picture.

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