Monday, January 30, 2017

What A Difference a Week Makes

Civil Twilight, Goose Lake Drumlins SNA
Shortly after my last post, winter came back to Wisconsin and fascism was unleashed on America like NEVER before with one recklessly impulsive executive order after another. All in a week's time. This Trump nightmare is all-consuming. How can I possibly endure this for four years when just one week feels unbearable?

Northern Shrike, Goose Lake Drumlins SNA
This past week my outdoor diversion (from an otherwise living hell) lead me to Goose Lake Drumlins State Natural Area (SNA) in far eastern Dane county (Wisconsin). It's a new destination for me and one I am likely to visit often. With reports of the bogs of Goose Lake having orchids, I am excited to explore this place further when spring arrives! (Do I dare look forward to anything?) In the meantime, investigating new terrain comprised of drumlins, marsh and tamarack bogs, as well as reliable encounters with Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk have enticed me to return multiple times in the span of a week.

Northern Shrike, Goose Lake Drumlins SNA
Sunday's visit provided a most delightful distraction: watching this Northern Shrike hunt the drumlin and marsh for nearly an hour. The bird covered quite an expansive territory from treetop to treetop, to dogwoods and snags, to hovering over a field looking for prey. At times the bird was rather confiding, seemingly oblivious to my presence. Often when I've observed other Northern Shrike they flee the scene at the slightest approach to move toward them. Not this bird. It seemed quite engrossed in the hunt. I sure was hoping to see it catch prey. Unfortunately this never came to fruition while I watched. At one juncture it pursued a small passerine but came up empty.

Northern Shrike, flight shot (hehe), Goose Lake Drumlins SNA
Since I was in explorer mode I had the smaller of my cameras with me, my Nikon 1 V3. The zoom didn't quite have the reach necessary to achieve the images I was hoping for. The lighting was not in my favor either. Perhaps next time... Nevertheless, my mind's eye holds some pretty amazing images of the event. Anything else, a better photo or another future encounter is just icing. I take nothing for granted these days. Everything good in this life suddenly feels poignantly fragile. Truly "nothing gold can stay."

Northern Shrike, Goose Lake Drumlins SNA


Seagull Steve said...

I've never seen a confiding NSHR. I've also never seen a drumlin...I think.

What is a drumlin????

one of many said...

A fancy word for "hill." More precisely it's a hill left by receding Glaciers. You have mountains out west. We have drumlins and moraines (aka hills). :D