Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sonny and Cher at Wasatch Lake, Part II

The undisputed star of my recent trip to Wasatch Lake in Owen County, Ind., was Sonny, the male half of Sonny and Cher, the lake's resident swans.

When I saw them in October 2010, my first visit to Wasatch, the two were inseparable and visited all parts of the lake from daylight to dusk. But spring is nesting season, so Cher spent the bulk of the time I was there at her camp along the lakeshore at a quite remote area of the east end, while Sonny swam the east end of the lake, staying with eyeshot of Cher and rarely delving much farther west than the midpoint of the lake. If he ever made it to the west end, I never saw it.

Sonny also was much more willing to get close to me on this visit than the one in 2010, though he never got out of the water to do it. He simply would swing as close as possible to where I was, apparently to make me aware he was there and knew I was there, especially when I stood on the pedestrian bridge over the beaver pond at the far east end of lake, which gave me my closest access to Sonny. From there, I obtained some fantastic portrait-like photographs of this elegant water fowl, using the Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 DG APO OS HSM lens (aka "Bigma") that I had rented for the trip. He primped and contorted in several poses, and while I really enjoyed the closeups, where it really seemed as if he were throwing a pose my way, my favorite might be the one where it appears as if he's admiring his own reflection in the water (seventh from the top below), though I couldn't be sure if he was trying to exhibit bravado or simply playing up for the glam shots. I'd like to think the latter, but ... I don't think so. The spot sunlight on Sonny (ninth from the top, below) in the middle of the lake also appealed to me. I got a few of those types of shots of a fisherman on the water in my previous visit, a situation in which sunlight beams through a rare hole in otherwise thick, temporary cloud cover that darkens most of the rest of the lake.

I did get some shots of Cher -- a few by herself, one nesting alone (fourth to last below), another standing in the nest with Sonny in the foreground (third to last) and a solo shot (last) in a rare moment where she stretched herself, got into the water and did a splash dance that I lucked out and caught in photographs.

So here are the pictures of Sonny (mostly) and Cher. To see all my images from my three-day visit to Wasatch Lake, see my Wasatch Lake Spring 2012 gallery.

1 comment:

  1. All of these are gorgeous; love Cher's splash dance! Thank you for sharing.