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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!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Last Ice and Otters!! plus our first thunder of the season!

It's a little early this year, but ice out time on most of our lakes has arrived!

These pics were shot the evening of April 2nd. By the afternoon of the 3rd this lake was ice free. The lake by our house is another story as it is totally ice locked yet. At 80 feet deep, it takes the ice a little longer to soften.

Backing up to April 1st, a cold front produced our first thunderstorms of the year. While the dewpoints were not handled well by the models (as happens pretty much every April), there was just enough. The big story of the day was the south winds howling with gusts to near 50 mph and the horrible wild fires near Green Isle and Ostego.

I was getting some work done from home this evening so I didn't go set up to get some lightning shot. GoPro to the rescue. I had nearly 2 1/2 hours of footage but the timelapse is nothing. At least managed a few lightning strikes but those get boring so here are a couple just to show something for the day.

OK, jump forward to the 4th. Open water means time to get the kayak wet!

I always try to pick up some garbage when I am out and about. Aside from an industrial 6" pump I saw in the clear water, I thought this find was pretty appropriate for the day.

That morning though I did find a pair of sandhill cranes. What a weird ritual to impress during mating season. Throwing dead vegetation up into the air. Good thing sandhills can't buy trucks with lift kits and oversized tires.

Back to the kayak trek. Total round trip paddled was about 3.75 miles on a large lake near my home which has tons of waterfowl on it during the spring migration.

Had to check on one of the local eagle nests. Pretty sure their eggs have hatched now. Didn't see either parent bring food into the nest unfortunately.

However, on my way out, I spotted a couple of otters catching fish and just fooling around as otters do. These guys let me get fairly close and also lead me to their home where their was a third otter. I observed them for about an hours before making the 2 mile paddle bad to my take out spot. Otters are definitely one of my favorite mammals around here.

And a few close ups to finish out the day. Paddling with the 150-600 was kind of a challenge and since my yak is more designed for speed than stability, even with the VR IS on the lens, I had way more misses than keepers. Next time I go out there I'll take my daughter's Viper and see how that does to shoot from.

Weather looks wet and cold up here this week. Good luck to everything heading to OK and KS this week for what looks like a pretty decent set up for supercells....if the cap breaks. So, I'll be cheering you on from the comfort of my chair and laptop!

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