I am continually amazed at the diligence and physical toughness displayed by waterfowl hunters. The temperature is about 8 degrees, blowing snow, 15-20 mph wind, and very little open water that is very tedious (we won’t even discuss safety issues) to access—and away they go. Pulling a sled with decoys and shooting gear is a way of life and passion for these guys and a few ladies. Yikes! I can recall making a few feeble attempts at this sport when I lived in Kansas City and made trips out here to hunt. At that time I never dreamed that I would migrate here and be able to observe a re-run of my youth on a daily basis. I think we went back to the motel when conditions were like this.
On this day there were four groups of hunters either set up or going out to hunt. One group was from South Carolina according to their car tags. We have many visitors with many different ideas such as hunting, photography, and birding that visit our marsh. I have seen some bike riders touring the Bottoms in milder weather. I think the strangest person I have seen was a artist with a easel in 30 degree weather bundled up and painting the sunrise about 7 a.m. one morning impervious to the weather. I stopped and visited for a few minutes and admired his work. His eyes were bright and he was very focused—I didn’t interrupt him for very long.
My passion these days is photography of our marsh. These two pictures are the last of this year. The deer leaping was a fun shot just south of the Bottoms. I captioned it “Trying out for a job with Santa Clause” and got more Facebook hits that any image I have ever posted. I love slanted light and the evening sun on this milo field was the last image of a beautiful pheasant hunt.
I am grateful to each of you that read this little column. I am so glad that some of you call me when you see something that is worthy of a photograph. I always do my best to get those images for all of us to share. It is gratifying to me to be able to capture the things that you see and appreciate. I hope we all encourage each other to stop and look at our pretty place. It is very special, and so are you.
Thanks for this year! Merry Christmas and let’s see what Mother Nature gives us in 2017!