My son-in-law Rusty invited me to shoot in a blind at his father's house. It's a beautiful piece of property north of Battle Creek, with woods on both sides and a large natural field down the center. Towards the back of the property, there's a stream and wetland area.
The family hunts the property, and during Turkey season, they had seen a pair of Sandhill Cranes with babies. Cranes babies are called Colts because of their long, strong legs.
I got there just about daybreak and settled in the blind. First-light is never useful for photographing wildlife, but as the sun started to come over the tree line, more wildlife began to emerge.
First, a couple of Turkey hens appeared, I would have liked to have a Tom, but none came around. There were squirrels and birds everywhere.
A group of Deer show up next. They seemed a little leary of the blind and were well aware of the sound of my camera shutter firing away. A few came within ten yards of the blind.
The blind, made for hunting, had three small areas, which made it challenging for photography. Sometimes I had to wait for the animals to come into the open space.
It's peaceful sitting in the blind. I opened up a snack and drank some coffee while thinking about how blessed I am. I love being out in nature.
A few minutes later, I caught something moving out of my left eye—finally, a Sandhill Crane. Now, where's the second one and the Colts? It stayed around for about 30 minutes, and I thought it would bring the other ones out. I was disappointed, and after about an hour, I decided to walk to the steam and a second blind.
It took me a while to walk to the stream and find the blind. It was a remote area, and there were a few pairs of Geese in the stream. It was nice to be able to shoot them at a low angle.
I saw some movement down the stream to my left, and I watched for a few minutes. Finally, I spotted a female Wood Duck with some ducklings sitting on a nest. I'm not sure if it was their nest because usually they nest in trees. I was too far away to get any close-up pictures.
I had left my camera gear with my 1.4 extender back at the other blind. I walked back and put the extender on the camera. When I went back to the stream, I looked for a closer path to the Wood Ducks. I found one closer, but the ducks were gone.
It was a fun day and I'm planning on going back soon to see if I can find the Sandhill colts and Wood Duck ducklings.
Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Always remember, your best photographs are the result of one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.
Comments always welcomed.