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Tag : pond

22 Apr 2011

Reflecting on Earth Day

Bare trees are reflected in a pond as new spring green leaves sprout.

Every year on Good Friday, I think about my senior year of high school when friend Tim Kochert and I hopped in his car and drove around the lake region of northern Indiana. I remember it as the perfect spring day, warm and sunny with that great feeling in the air. We drove around a state park where I’d later work for two summers and then headed around several of the lakes. I had known Tim since before we started grade school and even though we shared a locker, we didn’t hang out together much. It was a fun day of not doing anything special with an old friend and the memory has lingered all these years. Tim created another special memory for me last summer when he took me on a flight in his plane over glaciers in Alaska.

Today wasn’t a beautiful day but I wanted to celebrate Earth Day by being sure to get out and spend some time in the great outdoors. I went to Lord Stirling Park, which is a large county park adjacent to the Great Swamp National Wildlife refuge. The swamp isn’t too pretty this time of year, it is a swamp, after all. With all the rain, the grass is brilliant green contrasted against the dark, swampy water. I was fascinated with the way the trees were reflecting in the water as a few blades of grass stuck out of the pond.

06 Nov 2010

Parks closed: gotta cull the deer herd

Frost covers a leaf at Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary.

This morning I thought it would be good to go to Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, NJ, which is adjacent to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  They are essentially the same place, they are only separated by the Passaic River and a different name. I got there while it was still fairly dark, taking advantage of the last day of daylight savings time. Now I have to get up an hour earlier to see the sun rise. I got out of the Jeep and saw a sign that said Trails Closed and then a rope across the main trail. Hanging off the rope was a little sign saying something about deer management. In other words hunters were in there culling the herd. So I thought I’d just go over to the NWR, I still had plenty of time before the sun came up. Of course, only hunters were allowed. I’m sure I could have found a trail in but a bored hunter might take a shot for fun.

Mist rises from a waterfalls at Lendells Pond in Mendham, NJ.

I understand the need to hold down the deer population. There are too many and when there is a tough winter, there won’t be enough food for them to sustain themselves. They are changing the landscape, you can see a browse line at their head height in any woods in the area. Many people complain about the deer eating their scrubs, I don’t care about that, but no new growth is happening because the deer eat tree saplings before they have a chance to grow. But I hate having the image in my head of a deer being shot by an arrow and then running in pain for however long it takes for the deer to bleed to death. I guess that is better than starving to death.

So I went over to the Audubon Society’s place, which is only a few miles away. They didn’t have any hunters but I was there before they opened the gate. So I drove around the property and came upon a water falls at the end of Ledells Pond in Mendham. It seems like I have been shooting lots of waterfalls lately but it looked good as the mist rose.

I went back over to the Audubon sanctuary and while I was driving around I saw three large bucks. I couldn’t tell if they were in the rut or scared by the hunters, but they looked nervous. Hopefully they didn’t stroll under a hunter’s tree stand.

17 Oct 2010

Fox and heron at the Great Swamp

A red fox at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge pounces on prey.

I headed off to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge this morning. I thought with the cool morning air and water still being warm there mist be some nice mist shots as the sun came up. If they were there, I didn’t find them.

A red fox at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

I was driving down a small gravel road and saw a red fox in the road about 1/4 mile ahead of me. As I got closer, it went into the trees but I couldn’t see it anymore. I creeped away and saw it in my mirror, so I turned around and slowly drove back toward it. It didn’t mind me being there as long as I kept my distance, so I followed it for a while. It stopped a few times and I took pictures through my windshield. It stopped and looked at something in the grass. The fox hunched down and got ready to pounce and then it jumped through the air and landed on a vole. It brought the tasty breakfast back to the road, gobbled it down and then walked toward me as I shot more pictures through the windshield. The fox walked right past me on the road that is barely wide enough for two cars. It didn’t even look up to see what I was doing, it just went back to where I first saw it and headed back into the trees.

A great blue heron stalks prey in the grass of a pond at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey.

My favorite bird is the Great Blue Heron. They are pretty and they make me smile when they walk. They are pretty skittish, I haven’t found a way to sneak up on one, but if I see one working the shore of a pond, I know if I stay still, it may walk right in front of me. This morning I saw one sitting on a small log in a pond. I pulled my Jeep off the edge of the road and the bird stayed put. I sat there for over an hour taking pictures of the heron on the log and then walking through the grass. When it was in the reeds it would peek through while looking for some breakfast.

17 Oct 2010

Canada geese fill pond in Bridgewater, NJ

Geese float on a pond in Bridgewater, NJ.

I took a walk with one of our dogs in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, NJ, late this afternoon. As we pulled into the park, I saw there were tons of Canada geese in a field by the road. That isn’t uncommon around here so I didn’t pay much attention to them. As Zian and I were walking, the geese took flight with a lot of noise. They were in four or five flocks and circled around and all landed in a small pond with a lot of commotion. We were about done with our walk so I put the dog in the car and pulled out the camera. There were are 250 geese in the pond and I sat there for a while hoping they would all take off again at once so I could get one of those cool geese taking flight shots. They didn’t, but I enjoyed watching them floating and bitching at each other.

03 Oct 2010

Vermont fall foliage finally shows its colors

Colorful fall foliage is reflected in Lime Pond in Pomfret, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Colorful fall foliage is reflected in Lime Pond in Pomfret, Vermont.

I went to a little pond, Lime Pond, that I’ve driven past several times in Pomfret, Vermont. I seen the trees full of color and knew it would make a nice reflection as the sun got low in the sky. The foliage was looking good and may not be at peak. There are still plenty of green leaves on the hillside so it will probably be good all week.

24 Sep 2010

Searching for moose in Vermont, but finding only fog

Autumn in Vermont: fog covers the hills surrounding Lewis Pond (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Fog covers the hills surrounding Lewis Pond.

I got away to the northern part of Vermont. I was hoping to find some moose, but all I saw was more highway signs saying “moose crossing next five miles.” I swear those are put up by the Vermont Department of Tourism. I asked everyone where to find moose and spent lots of time on back roads and everywhere moose should be, but no moose. I had read about an overlook onto Lewis Pond that was supposed to be spectacular. It was a cloudy, rainy, foggy day and the overlook is good for leafpeepers, but photographers wouldn’t find it very good. You can see the pond but it isn’t worth the long drive on a one-lane dirt road.

Fog settles into a swamp after the sun sets near Island Pond, Vermont (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Fog settles into a swamp after the sun sets near Island Pond, Vermont.

I traveled up and down Route 105 east of Island Pond hoping a big bull moose would wander up along the highway. It sure looks like prime moose territory, but none showed up. I had to settle for a nice scene after the sun went down.

25 Jul 2010

What’s good: Beautiful morning in Vermont

Clouds reflect in a Vermont pond before sunrise. (Loren Fisher)

Clouds reflect in a Vermont pond before sunrise.

Another beautiful Vermont morning. I watched the sun rise at my favorite pond. The pond was quiet this morning, a few frogs were making their presence known and the wind blowing in the trees was about the only other noise.

Dew drop sits on a leaf as the rising sun hits a Vermont pond (Loren Fisher)

Dew drop sits on a leaf as the rising sun hits a Vermont pond.

An overnight rain put a clean shine on everything and left some drops.

24 Jul 2010

What’s good: Dragonflies on the pond

Dragonflies land on a leaf in a Vermont pond.

I went with Robin to my new favorite Vermont place, an escape owned by one of our neighbors. It is tranquil there, the only sounds are the frogs thumping, birds chirping, an occasional woodpecker at work and a fly buzzing my head. I could sit by the pond all day. Today there were dozens of blue dragonflies everywhere. They must be camera shy because I can’t get too close before they move on to another landing site.

31 May 2010

What’s good: Flies on the eye of the frog

Flies sit on the eye of frog in Pomfret, Vt.

I went back to the big pond on the property I visited yesterday. It was the perfect day and place, the air was warm but not too hot, the scenery was beautiful and the only sounds were frogs, birds and wind. It is a place of total relaxation, I’ll be spending a lot of time there.

Blooms are just appearing at the edge of the pond.