March 2013, Snow season

Winter has decided to stay late here in Northeast Missouri.  The eagles have hung around, and we’ve enjoyed some snow days as up sides.  After the big snow I went to Chicago for a conference, which was nice, but I missed the opportunity to enjoy the snow.  When I got back, the first thing I did was take Big Guy out to haul firewood with the sled.  He’s been doing really well with that–I think it’s easier to pull than the wagon.  He absolutely loves snow.  At his size and hairiness, he doesn’t get cold.  He’ll run around and play with Gretchen as long as she can stand it.  Here’s a short video of us working together: Snow hauling. Stacey was the videographer.

Big Guy pulls the load, From February 2013
I pulled out my cross-country skis for another attempt of last year’s skijoring adventure, when my boot broke after about 50 yards of fun.  This time I was equipped with a helmet cam and a newer set of boots.  He ran hard for about the first 70-80 yards, then slowed to my pace.  This is about the same sequence as when we run together.  I had no still camera, but the video is up on YouTube here, edited down to 5 minutes:  Skijoring.  My boot broke near the end (again!), but I have since glued it back together.
I revisited a photo technique that I had tried last year.  By prefocusing the camera at a point between a perch and the bird feeder I can capture birds in flight.  I still haven’t perfected it.
Although I don’t like photographing birds on a stick anymore, every now and then I get a good one.  Some of the species are hard to resist.

House Finch, From February 2013

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, From February 2013
Recently, I gave a talk on the wildlife advantages of native plants and prairie.  While putting it together I noticed I didn’t have any images of birds eating seeds out of the dead plants in winter.

From February 2013
Next time I’ll be ready.

From March 2013
This Northern Cardinal looks unhappy about something.  

From March 2013
White-throated Sparrows seldom give you much of a look when they’re off the ground.

Sometimes Gretchen doesn’t like to come in from the back yard.  I let her stay out too long the other day.  The ground was thawed, and this is how she looked upon her return.
From March 2013
She had been digging for a mole.  I wouldn’t have minded so much if she had actually caught the mole.  
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