A few hours at Rend Lake

A rare capture of a Water Ostrich striking its signature pose.

Rend Lake is a man-made lake/reservoir about a half hour from where we live. On occasion, when Melisa has something going on nearby, I take the opportunity to drive around the lake and hit most of the boat ramps and day-use areas. Sometimes, I take photos.

Oh, wait . . . not a Water Ostrich. It’s a Great Blue Heron messing with me.

OK, so those weren’t the first photos I snapped. This Eastern Box Turtle takes the honors.

Why did the turtle cross the road?”

I don’t know. Sadly, many don’t make it, killed at the hands of drivers not paying attention, or drivers who are sick bastards who enjoy running down animals.

This particular specimen was crossing the road ahead of me, and I stopped to make sure it got across. It actually moved pretty fast. Fast enough that by the time I got out of the car with my phone, it was already in the grass on the other side.

Anyway, back to the heron . . . this bird obviously knew where to set up because, in the short time that I was there, it caught, and ate three fish. Actually, he caught four, but, as we shall see, it let one of them go.

You can see another fish jumping on the left side of the photo.

This is at the Rend Lake Dam Spillway, and I also shot a few videos.

Be aware that I didn’t lower the volume of the ambient sound (water rushing), so I advise turning the volume of your speakers down before playing these clips.

This first clip is the heron eating the thrift fish it has caught.

In this next clip, the heron catches another fish but lets it go. I believe it’s because the previous fish are still in its throat, and it doesn’t have room (you can see how thick its throat is) . . . or, it’s practicing catch-and-release.

Finally, it decides to move elsewhere . . .

That last video was shot with the Samsung S23 Ultra with the 10x optical zoom camera. Not bad.

Next up, a Blue Jay on a stop sign . . .

These next few photos aren’t that great, but I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph an Indigo Bunting. This being the breeding season, the males sport a bright blue plumage.

I have better photos later on, but since this was the first bird that let me capture it, I figure I should share it.

Got me some wildflowers and grass, too.

. . . and a few trees. This one looks good in monochrome, and it happens to be from my phone.

Then, I was lucky to get a few shots of an Oriole feasting on some seeds. The bird, not the team from Baltimore.

. . . looks like he’s really into it . . .

More grass (or flowers— I can’t tell) . . .

. . . before catching a few more Buntings . . .

This is the female.
This is the male.

Some evergreens details caught my attention . . .

. . . followed by more trees and wildflowers . . .

I was also lucky to catch another Bunting. There was a small flock foraging in a patch of the above flowers, but despite repeated tries, I missed capturing them because they kept on the move (they are small and fast) . . . until this shot:

Let me show you a closer crop of that shot . . .

Then I found a neat dead tree. The first shot is a monochrome version of a photo snapped with the phone.

Next is a similar shot with the Nikon . . .

Then I have three stitched panorama shots. If you want to see the full-size versions, click on the photos and then click again to zoom in, then either scroll around the photo or click again to zoom out. For them interested, there be a couple of ‘faces’ to be found in the texture and features of the tree.

Note: there should be three panoramas, but since they are linked full-size, they might load slowly. Also, clicking on them is only advised for people with a decent Internet connection.

5,834 x 7,700 pixels
4,059 x 11,529 pixels
5,884 x 8,208 pixels

Here come a couple of phone photos of Winter wheat . . .

And these next ones are from another field where the wheat is a bit further along . . .

Just a few comments about these photos, primarily for new users.

Many of these could have been offered up as single photos in a dedicated post, perhaps with more processing and care about their appearance. Showcasing them so might make readers appreciate both the subjects and the photos more than having them a part of a long parade of photos.

Here’s the thing . . . As much as I can agree that it’s the photographer’s role to present stuff in a manner that engages viewers, I also think the viewer bears some responsibility. Namely, taking it upon themselves to evaluate the photos that interest them. That’s why I link the SmugMug gallery; it allows interested readers to go beyond the offering in the blog.

Few people avail themselves of the option, and that’s fine. For them, the above photos or the slideshow below is more than enough. But, if one or more photos are of interest, I suggest the best way to examine them is in the SmugMug Gallery (HERE). The next best thing is the slideshow below.

The post is for them who like to casually peruse the photos and perhaps enjoy some of my banter.

Anyway, here’s the slideshow:

Slideshow of the Rend Lake May 10, 2023 SmugMug Gallery — 61 photographs

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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