Thursday, January 31, 2013


This morning dawned partly sunny with winds to about 15 mph gusting to about 20. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the motel and then waited for it to warm up a bit outside as there was ice on the highways to start with. We left Cedar Rapids about 1030 and headed to the Davenport, IA area.

The drive went smoothly though we saw a total of 14 vehicles that had slid off the highway in the past 24 hours. Four of them were big rig trucks. It pays to pay attention to the locals and listen to their advice. We arrived at our hosts lovely home about 1145. Judie and Jay gave us a very warm greeting, and offered extra clothing for the elements. They also provided a delicious hot minestrone soup and sandwiches for lunch. This stoked our bellies for the afternoon out in the cold. I had brought along a loaf of my sourdough bread so we had some of that as well.

After lunch it was time to suit up for about three hours of photography on the banks of the Mississippi River just down stream from Lock and Dam 14. This is a very well known site for photographing these magnificent birds. I shot over 16 GBs of pictures which comes out to about 600. The lighting was not the best with mostly overcast and grey skies. It still was lots of fun, and I got some good photos. Jay and another local photographer were our spotters and coaches. Due to my practice with the pelicans in San Diego I was ready to be a bit heavy on the shutter release so there will be a great deal of editing when I get back to San Diego. I am still quite pleased with what I got today.

It is amazing to watch and photograph these birds. We were photographing both mature and immature birds. We also saw and photographed a couple of Canadian geese, and saw a trumpeter swan, and a few seagulls.   

I was well dressed for the weather with two layers of thermals and a pair of fleece pants under some snow bib overalls. on the top I had two thermal layers, a wool sweater, a photo vest, a wool shirt, an Irish wool sweater and a down jacket. On my head a rabbit fur bomber hat. My hands and toes were kept warm with two layers of gloves and two heavy pairs of socks with a set of chemical hand and toe
warmers between layers. I was quite toasty. It helped that generally the wind was at our backs for the afternoon as it was blowing quite steadily.

Enough! Time for bed as we are leaving tomorrow morning about 0800 for a full day out in the weather photographing at two or three different sites. Thanks for coming along with me. --

Raven Maven 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! And Brrr... you do end up in some cold places. Excellent shots. Especially the fishing.