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final sunburst

Dear Friends, i am getting desperate, the weather has been cold, windy and drippy, don’t want to get my camera wet so i have been staying indoors, this is not the true frozen photographers spirit, but soon the sun will shine again and i won’t have to resort to indoor photoshop, but while i am indoors, i am learning some new (to me) tools in photoshop.  This was the result of transforming some ovals from a picture and skewing the results as multiple transforms were done, still learning, til Tomorrow MJ

Skunk cabbage

Friends, this is also one of the early blooms in Crex Meadows. It is Skunk Cabbage and grows in very wet ground along streams or flowages.  I got my feet wet shooting this image, but i think it was worth the effort. The difficulty in this shot is portraying the pod-like bloom with the purple husk alongside the bright green of the huge leaves.  The name skunk cabbage comes from its rotten smell when the plant is crushed or physically disturbed.  I didn’t touch and left it undisturbed.  til Tomorrow MJ

Hooded Merganser


Friends, it was a rough day on the water when this little male Hooded Merganser decided to appear in front of my camera.  He is one of the first ducks to arrive on Crex in the spring and has found some food underwater.  As he rose from his dive, he was startled by my presence and his white and black crest was raised in alarm.  In this image the hood is still being raised as he motors away. I had to focus quickly and hope that i was on the right target.  til Tomorrow MJ

Spirit stallion

Friends, this handsome fellow has always followed me around the badlands. A sighting of him always lifts my spirits hence my title. A short story, when I was young,like many young girls, I longed for a horse and my father would ask what kind of horse. I would tell him a white horse with a black mane and tail. He would just laugh and say that no such horse existed. The summer after his death, I ran to the badlands to get away. I was sitting high on a hill and a herd of horses came in sight led by a white stallion with a black mane and tail. I had the last laugh. Now I know that this stallion is gray, but after a summer of sun his coat had faded and he appeared more white than gray. Several times when I have come here to photograph, this horse (or horses of similar markings) have come to me and even posed for pictures. Til Tomorrow Mj


Friends, meet mister and missus bison from the North Dakota badlands.  These creatures once roamed the plains in the millions, but were hunted nearly to extinction.  Both males and females have horns that are retained from year to year.  This male is fairly young as his horns are in great shape.  Later in life the ravages of time wear on the horns, blunting the ends giving them a  raggy appearance.  The union of bison yields a bright orange calf shown in the image below. It has buttons where its horns will grow. til Tomorrow MJ

Dysfunctional Swan Behavior

Friends, not the pretty swan picture that you are accustomed to seeing, but normal behavior during the breeding season, chasing away the competitors, and this takes place in Crex Meadows before the ice melts on the lakes, i like to think of them chasing away the cold weather and ushering in the warm, no Pasque flowers yet but 66 degrees F yesterday so warmer times are coming 🙂  I am ready, til Tomorrow MJ

Sunset Landing

Friends, these Sandhill Cranes are landing in the evening on their roosting site in Crex Meadows.  Every morning they leave the roost and every evening they return about sunset.  As they set their wings for landing, they look like parachutes.  Their legs drop and they float on the wind into the sandbar.  The sunset is reflected in the clouds and the cranes in silhouette.  Hope you like, ti Tomorrow MJ

Weekly Photo Challenge:Contrasts

Friends, the contrasting textures of the brick wall and closed door to 451 made me wonder what was behind this door.  Closed doors hold a fascination for me, to know what is beyond, a mystery to be solved.  The tall grass outside serves to add to the abandoned motif, but the patched cracks suggest that someone cares what is inside and that the entire building does not collapse around the bolted door.  til Tomorrow MJ

Green-winged teal

Friends, this sassy fellow is a green winged teal waiting on the ice for spring to begin. They are migratory and appear to be resting up after their long flight to our northland. I love the little detailed feathers along his side and his beautiful green eye stripe.  Does this mean that spring is around the corner, no, it means i made this image last spring. :), til Tomorrow MJ

Trumpeter Swan, summer

Friends, this summer Trumpeter Swan is stretching his wings and sports the latest in neck bands.  This flapping of wings is thought to be a form of exersize or simply a stretch of his chest muscles.  These muscles need to be very strong to propel him back and forth on the migratory route.  His pectoral muscles serve to push the wing down, while the supracoracoideus muscles raise the wings.  His red band suggests that he was released from Iowa and now makes his summer home in Wisconsin, Crex Meadows. Your anatomy lesson for the day . :), til Tomorrow MJ

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