This will be the first posting on my site, and I am not sure how many will follow. I often want to make some sort of podcast but whenever I think about it I cant think of anything to talk about. Hopefully this will fill in for it.
So right now it is October 8th and I have not been out shooting for a while. My goal for these updates is to have a photo or a collection to talk about every month or if I get an amazing shot on a trip. For some reason its been harder to get out and take photos recently. I would usually go with my friend Mark but he’s been shooting less than even I have recently. We do have some plans to get some photos of deer when the rut starts. You can get some really good photos at a preserve we like going to called Fernald, but we have to wait for the first cool snap for it to start. Once the deer are in rut the males will walk right up to you without any caution. You can see how this would make some great photo ops. Another place we would like to go to soon is a wildlife area in Indiana. There’s not many hiking trails and you mostly just drive around the lakes and wooded areas but there is a ton of wildlife that you can see. Various ducks, song birds, bald eagle, cranes, and even otters can be found there. Its a decent drive from where we are so its kind of a day trip which makes it harder to organize. I can go into more detail about that place but I will save it for a later story.
Muscatatuck was the first place that I went to during lockdown. During lockdown in 2020, there wasn’t much to do for most people, but it was a great time for people who love the outdoors. I was very lucky that I stayed employed at full capacity during the 1st lockdown. Since we really weren’t supposed to go to stores or out to eat I tried to get out more on my off days and hike or just walk trails. Mark and I shared off days so it allowed us to organize more trips and one of those was to Muscatatuck. Our trip out there was my first time going and the first time leaving my apartment for anything other than groceries for a few months. We left around 4AM to get there before sunrise as it is quite a drive for us.
Once we arrived we were greeted with Loons, various ducks, songbirds, and hawks. We drove and walked for a few hours capturing a shot of anything we could. We had a goal of seeing bald eagles but we did not see any at first. After we hit all of the good spots Mark knew of we started to explore the other trails. We discovered that a dock to one of the bigger lakes was mostly flooded and somewhat sketchy but it allowed for some great shots across the water. Mark was also attacked by a copper belly water snake. Further down a different trail we found a cabin that was setup on the inside to look like it originally would have, 100 years ago. I have actually won awards for the photo I took of the cabin. Mostly satisfied with the photos we had but not completely because of the lack of seeing eagles, we decided to go to a secret eagles nest.
They have been coming back for a couple of years and we were expecting to see them bringing back food for the babies if they had hatched. On the way there, we stopped at a Wendys. It was the first time I had went anywhere for food since covid started. It felt odd actually going inside and ordering food. We got some really good shots of the eagles before it started to get too dark. The final stop on our trip was a Skyline at close to midnight. Mark was shocked that I had never had any before so we had to make an emergency stop. I had conies, which are pretty good but Im not sure about the spaghetti and chili yet.
Muscatatuck Trip 2
We were a little bit behind on the season, however, we wanted to head to Muscatatuck again in hopes of seeing the Sand Hill Cranes. We got there before sunrise this time and we stopped by the first pond. It was too dark to take photos of any birds, so we waited and got some really amazing sunrise shots reflecting off of the large pond. The more that the sun rose we were able to take photos of some ducks and Canadian geese flying past. Soon we heard loud noises coming from behind us. We turned to find dozens of cranes flying over. We got as many photos as we could, but it was difficult from low light and the angle of the birds. Our goal that day was to find them in a field and get some photos from that perspective but this was a good start. We continued to drive around after all the cranes flew past us to look for any other wildlife.
We stopped at a viewing platform that that overlooks a large wetland area. It’s a great place to find waterfowl and some hawks or eagles on the tree line. As I was walking on the deck looking at swans I was all of a sudden much shorter. My right leg had fallen through the flooring and I was on the ground. I didn’t really care about my leg, I was more worried about my camera. Luckily, I had only broken the lens hood and had a small crack on the ring that holds in the lens filters. Mark thought it was hilarious that I fell. I only had small scratch on my leg but a large bruise formed later. We continued to drive to the different areas of the park hoping to see more cranes. Just when we were about to head out we heard a familiar noise from behind us. We were greeted by hundreds if not over a thousand sand hill cranes flying over and circling around. We were hoping that they would land in a field but they would only circle around and head off over the trees. They were coming nonstop for over half an hour as we took photos and video. We managed some really good photos even though we didn’t get to see them land like we wanted to.