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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, January 9, 2011

Finally getting out a little bit again..ever heard 5,000 pissed off pheasants?

Wow, I don't know about the rest of you but the holiday season flew by here. Not sure where the time went but I know I'm tired so it must have been good. This is the season when I usually take a break from photography / weather and recharge the batteries for the spring chase season. Well, this year is going to be a little different. I'm not planning on leaving the 5 state area to chase this year (unless F5tours says otherwise). The southern and central plains have become a circus and in my never ending quest to keep my life as stress and drama free as possible at all times, the south option just doesn't fit into my model anymore. One of the things about chasing I have always enjoyed is the solitude of a back country road with a view to the horizon. Throw in a beautiful storm and I'm as happy as a clam. It's hard to find that now. I get it. Times are changing. But that doesn't mean I have to accept it for what it is either. So as times change, so am I.

So, since this is supposed to the the quiet time of the year, I don't get out very often to poke around in the sticks, but a quick jaunt along my regular evening route on the 8th provided some spectacular shots (at least in my opinion).

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Just some of the local deer. Looking healthy and getting through the winter so far.

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Nothing against the photogs who hit the state parks for wildlife (I do it too, but not exclusively) but if you can find bucks like this in the wild, the shot sure means a lot more than standing 15 feet away from a 12 point buck who is used to people throwing out ear corn for him. I'd seen the sign and the tracks of this big boy but had never seen him out in the daytime until Saturday evening. Yup, he is a good one. Great genetics in this deer and I hope he had many chances to pass on those genes this past breeding season.

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The good old Excel Energy power plant. Good for TV mets to reports false tornadoes, make the public cry wolf, and produce tCu in arctic air.

Now on to the good part. After completing the first half of my usually loop, I figured I would go back and see if that buck was still poking around. I decided to cut through a township road where there is a every large pheasant ranch. As I was passing by, a very large bald eagle swooped in front of me and nailed something right along the edge of the confinement netting housing the pheasants. It isn't uncommon to see a few escapees on the outside or even a curious wild bird checking out it's incarcerated brothers and sisters. Evidently this eagle also knows sooner or later the dinner bell is going to ring. What was really strange was the noise all the pheasants in the pen made as the eagle landed on top of one of the support beams holding up the netting. Imagine THIS SOUND times 5,000 and a lot more alarmed. About this time I was really wishing I have brought a video cam with. Not for the images of the eagle with his dinner, but to capture the panicked roar of the flock of pheasants. Simply an amazing moment.

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OK, now it gets even a little more bizarre. The eagle finally had enough of hopping around on the end of a 2x8 and took off across the road for a tree in a pasture with the kill still in tow. The farmer who has the pheasants also has a few head of beef cattle. Well, the cattle were not too happy about the eagle being there either and watched it fly past them and up into a tree on the edge of the pasture.

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Once re-seated with it's dinner, the cows all looked up at the eagle and started to bellar. I have never seen anything like it and probably never will again. Heck, even if I don't see anything worth shooting again until ice out, the minute or two all of this transpired makes the wait worth it.

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One weather pic from the morning of January 9th while I was out coyote hunting. It was -22°F at this location. Weird how ice fog can form. Visibility went from really good to zero in about 2-3 minutes then right back to sunny skies. I love rapid weather changes. Oh, and I didn't get the coyote. Never got a safe shooting lane at him at about 250 yards. I'll be back!

1 comment:

Midwestchaser said...

I'm hoping to get north of the border a couple times this year.

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