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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

River otters emerging from winter....HOLY CATS! It was 63­° out today!

So, the kids can check off another spring ritual up here. Yup, nothing like an abnormally March day spent hitting snowball with a bat in t-shirts.

On the down side the extremely rapid snow melt is starting to cause problems since the ice out on the lakes and rivers is running well behind the liquid runoff. Flooding from ice dams on creeks and rivers is the name of the game. On a rather ironic note, Eric Whitehill came down to teach a Skywarn class this weekend and take Cullen to the Wild game tonight. In between we thought we would do a little wildlife photography before getting down to business next weekend of going on Fargo Flood 2010 watch starting later thus week. The plan was to move his family's items up from their lower level as a "just in case" measure next weekend as we did last year. Just as Eric and I were going to head out this morning, I noticed A LOT of water in the egress window bay on the east side of the house. OH S***! The pipe running from the house to the drain area from the sump pump broke again and it was pumping 35 gallons of water into the window bay every few minutes. Checked the basement and sure enough...water. Everything was soaked. It took us an hour or so to get all the water sucked up the the fans going to dry it all out again. The upside is I was prepared for this by having everything stored in totes and up off the floor as a spring preventative measure. Paid off this time!

Once Eric and headed out, we opted to fore go the Crow River flooding and check out one of my favorite loops west of a state park very close to home. We were hoping to find eagles eating dead fish off the ice but instead we found this pair of river otters out enjoying the warm sunshine after being released from the confines of total winter ice coverage. Not sure who enjoyed the day more...us or them.

Lake Maria State Park otters  wildlife

Lake Maria State Park otters  wildlife

Lake Maria State Park otters  wildlife

Lake Maria State Park otters  wildlife

This final shot was processed using a Photoshop plug in call Topaz. Been playing around with it for a week or so. The images are interesting, but certainly not realistic.

Lake Maria State Park otters wildlife

Yes, I'm aware of the purple hues. I think it has something to do with the extreme reflection off the wet otter fur (brown) and the blue of the water. I could fix it but as I'm not sure if I'm going to purchase Topaz yet, I'll leave it as an example of what the software does (or doesn't do).

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