Elegance on Ice

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A very special place for critters, birds, Sandhill Cranes, in particular, is NWR. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been coming here forever and this week being here with dear friends is extra special.

Sandhill Cranes are an amazing bird coming to Bosque to overwinter, storing up reserves to make the flight back north in the spring to raise the next generation. Their biology at Bosque is pretty straightforward, eat, eat, eat and not be eaten.

They roost at night is the very shallow ponds so the approach of predators can easily be heard, then head to the fields during the day to forage. They do all of this with amazing grace and elegance.

Gtr captured by D5 / 800mm

Those shallow ponds that afford the Cranes a prewarning can turn this otherwise elegant birds into a comedy act. There are mornings like this morning when the air temp gets down there (13 degrees this AM) and a surface layer of ice forms.

It’s not so thick that the Cranes are frozen in place but frozen enough they can walk on it and it leaves a ring of ice around their legs. Now to get airborne, the Cranes have to take a few running steps which, with their long legs is easy in the shallow water. But when there is ice, that can’t gain any traction and that’s when their elegance goes out the window and they seem to know it.

You can see them look around, you know that look of “hope no one is watching” as they take that first step. That’s the fun to try to photograph. This morning was full of that kind of fun which what makes wildlife photography so enjoyable!

Gtr Sandhill Crane captured by D5 / 800mm

 

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Moose Peterson

Moose Peterson

Moose’s true passion has always been and remains photographing the life history of our endangered wildlife and wild places. Since 1981 he and his wife Sharon have dedicated their lives to this pursuit. Educating the public about our wild heritage is their hallmark. In recent years Moose has added aviation photography to his pursuits with the same goal of preserving our aviation heritage, pictorial and oral for future generations. Along the way Moose has been honored for his photographic passion: a Nikon Ambassador USA, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, just to name a few. He’s part of Epson’s Finish Strong ad campaign. Moose is creative producer/photographer of his acclaimed film: Warbirds and The Men Who Flew Them. He shares his knowledge through his writing, being published in over 143 magazines worldwide, author of 28 books including his latest, Photographic FUNdamentals, Taking Flight and best seller Captured. He lectures across the country to thousands upon thousands of photographers every year. One of the original Nikon shooters to receive the D1 in 1999, Moose embraced this new technology, becoming the only wildlife photographer in the world to shoot strictly digital in the early years. While a beta site for all the major hardware and software manufacturers, Moose continues being a creative innovator of new techniques both behind the camera and the computer, which is the driving force behind his photography and goals.

Moose Peterson

Moose Peterson

Moose’s true passion has always been and remains photographing the life history of our endangered wildlife and wild places. Since 1981 he and his wife Sharon have dedicated their lives to this pursuit. Educating the public about our wild heritage is their hallmark. In recent years Moose has added aviation photography to his pursuits with the same goal of preserving our aviation heritage, pictorial and oral for future generations. Along the way Moose has been honored for his photographic passion: a Nikon Ambassador USA, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, just to name a few. He’s part of Epson’s Finish Strong ad campaign. Moose is creative producer/photographer of his acclaimed film: Warbirds and The Men Who Flew Them. He shares his knowledge through his writing, being published in over 143 magazines worldwide, author of 28 books including his latest, Photographic FUNdamentals, Taking Flight and best seller Captured. He lectures across the country to thousands upon thousands of photographers every year. One of the original Nikon shooters to receive the D1 in 1999, Moose embraced this new technology, becoming the only wildlife photographer in the world to shoot strictly digital in the early years. While a beta site for all the major hardware and software manufacturers, Moose continues being a creative innovator of new techniques both behind the camera and the computer, which is the driving force behind his photography and goals.

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Bhuvan R

Elegant shot.

A Conscious Bridge

Family puddling together.