In the Celery Bog
Before moving to West Lafayette, I was warned about the winters here. They would be way colder than I was used to, with snow for months on end. It was indeed quite cold before Christmas, including a little snow. But January has so far not complied with my expectation, with temperatures rarely going below 0°C and no snow. Instead, it has been very cloudy, with a lot of rain in the last day.
Today we finally got really good weather, up to 18°C and clear skies. So it was time to go out into nature and play with my new 70-300mm telephoto lens. North of my place, about 45 minutes on foot, there is the Celery Bog Nature Area. There used to be a farm there, growing a lot of celery, which explains the name. But after that closed down and they stopped draining the area, it has filled with water again to create very nice wetlands, which function both as a nature reserve and a recreational area.
In such an area there are of course many opportunities for photography newbie such as myself to try out a bit of wildlife photography. In fact, already on the way I found a couple of birds posing nicely in the open for me.
But the main focus for the day was on water birds, mostly ducks and especially geese.
After spending some time at the largest of the small lakes, where the birds were mostly staying in the water, I wandered a bit further northwards and found a very nice spot at one of the smaller ones. Here, the geese where much more active, flocks of them constantly taking of to fly a round or two around the block and landing again. I had the sun at my back and got very nice views of them.
Spending so much time with birds, I was very happy when a little muskrat decided to show up and spent some time cleaning itself on a nearby log at the shore.
Having spent all morning in the bog, I returned home in the early afternoon, my memory card bursting with pictures. You'd be surprised how many picutres you can take of flying geese in two hours. The Celery Bog is a really nice place, and there is still lots to discover. Of the 150 bird species that are supposed to live there, I have seen four so far, so there is room for more. But for my first day out with a telephoto lens, I am very happy and had a lot of fun.