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Beaver Marsh in the snow...

Discussion in 'Nature' started by faithblinded, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    Hi folks.
    I decided to visit my favorite bird haunt today, while it was snowing. I took along my E-M5 with the 12-40 on it, and the E-M1 with the 40-150+TC. I've been neglecting both the E-M5 and 12-40 since acquiring the other combo. I strapped both to my hip with spider holsters, and left the pack in the car. I was determined to do a little landscape shooting, since the snow was so nice, and I usually focus on birds here. I love my E-M5. I had forgotten how awesome it is. Sadly I'm not stoked with many of the shots I took with it today. The thing I never thought about is that wide angle makes snowflakes smaller, so their effect on a scene is lost unless you view at 100%. Fortunately I took some landscape with the 40-150+TC as well, which I much prefer. It makes for snowflakes that appear much larger. I should have realized it long ago, but my duh moment has me wanting to shoot more landscape with telephoto. Makes sense since it's whats always on my hip anyways.

    Beaver Marsh is in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in northeast Ohio. This wetland lies between the cuyahoga river and the Erie Canal. The beavers dammed off part of the canal, which created the wetland. It is now designated an important bird area by the Ohio audobon society. In addition to the birds, it has deer, coyote, beavers, mink, otters, and more. It's a great place to take a walk and see any number of critters.

    Here are the landscapes I managed in the snow.
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    There is a lovely long boardwalk that cuts through the middle of the marsh, with a wide viewing area in the middle. You can see across the open water on either side, and there are some long dead trees poking up here and there one side. I noticed a scruffy bird perched atop one of the trees, but couldn't figure out what it was(I left my binoculars in the van). I used the 40-150+TC but he was way too far away. Here's an uncropped image:
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    After zooming in and double checking, I can confirm it is a Belted Kingfisher. This is my first! Woohoo! Now I just need to get a good shot of one, because this won't do:
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    Shortly after the boardwalk the marsh ends, and the river swings over close to the path and canal(the path is the "towpath", literally the path used by mules to tow boats down the canal). There are usually geese and ducks in this bend in the river, so I got down and crawled forward on my belly to the river edge to try and get some shots. Some mallards came close, but I'm not thrilled with any of the shots, and I was hoping to see some of the less common water fowl that often mingle with them, not the mallards. I thought some people might get a kick out of this though. Here is what I did with my E-M5 while I belly crawled to the river with my E-M1 in hand:
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    After this, I turned around and walked back down the trail. I saw nothing of interest on the way back down the boardwalk. The kingfisher had gone. As I was nearing the turn off to the parking lot, I saw a giant Pileated woodpecker cruising from tree to tree. I followed him into some large pines, hoping he would stop moving long enough to get a shot. I lost sight of him, but knew he was still nearby, since the stand of huge pines is small, and the peckers love it for shelter during weather. I stopped moving and was listening for the woodpeckers weird call, when I heard a curious chickadee questioning me nearby. He proceeded to land so close to me I had to switch to manual focus to grab him, and he more than filled the frame. Black capped chickadees are small! I love these little guys, they are always landing on people, and really want to know what we are doing.
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    I heard the monkey bark sound of a woodpecker and began to scan the trees again, thinking the pileated was showing himself. Instead, I chased this Red Bellied Woodpecker a few minutes before seeing him and realizing the Pileated was elsewhere.
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    After that I returned to the van and came home. Not my most photographically pleasing day at the marsh, but it was a great walk in the snow either way. Thanks for taking a look!
     
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  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Can you put your kayak into the water there? Where are the beaver photos?
     
  3. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    According to the park rules, I can put in and paddle anywhere that is deep enough for me to float.
    The beavers aren't very active in the height of winter, spending most of their time in the den, with their hoard of branches they gathered in autumn(munchies). A few folks have started seeing them appear over in the river, as the come out to look for a fresh snack, or just to see if the ice has started to melt off their pond(it hasn't). I've yet to have a good sighting.
     
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