Archive for September, 2009

Shelbyville again

It sure seems like I am spending a lot of time at Lake Shelbyville.  I have spent more time there this last month that normal.  Last Saturday I went camping to give me more time to photograph around the lake.  Saturday night I arrived and drove my truck around to photograph deer.  There were many to be seen.  Just driving through the park on the main road you are almost guaranteed to see some.

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There were a lot of does and some fawns.  There were even a few bucks to be seen.  This one was close to the campgrounds at Wolf Creek and I spent about ten minutes photographing this it.  The truck makes for a great blind.

After photographing the buck, I set up the tent and went into Findlay to eat at Stan’s Steakhouse.  Having a full belly and some nice pictures, it was time to head to camp.  Off to sleep it was.  Laying there listening to the sounds of nature, I heard the hoofs of a deer sliding around on the concrete fire pad next to the tent at one point.  The deer walk around the campground throughout the night along with raccoons and other critters.  Don’t leave a bag of potato chips out.  Been there and done that.  The raccoons love you for it and the sounds you hear are expressions of their gratitude while getting their fill.

Sunday morning I awoke to the sound of a pack of coyotes howling.  I love waking up to that song.  They did not last long, but they gave me the treat I hoped for.  It was up about thirty minutes before sunrise thanks to the coyote alarm clock.  Time to eat a snack bar for breakfast and off to look for more deer and there were more to be found.

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Later on I looked toward making landscape images.  I walked down a small hill to the lake a little area that I will call the beach.  Right now the whole lake is a beach.  With the water being low there are some great beach shots to be found.  The lake is a feast for a photographer right now.  I hope when the leaves turn colors this fall, desert will be served.

Sitting on the sandy ground I shot away.  Changing compositions and moving around.  A treat in this image is the deer track in the lower left hand corner of the picture.

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More towards noon I headed to photograph a small island in the lake.  This scene has given me several great images.  There is something about the island the attracts me.  Maybe someday I will take a trip out to it to explore it a little.  Hopefully I won’t get stranded 🙂

Yes the picture was taken around noon.  Lots of people would be disappointed with cloudy and drizzly weather.  I enjoy it.  It gives me the opportunity to photograph all day if landscape is the subject of the day.

_DSC8640_n_p_wOn the way home I stopped by some other places.  This one was at the end of the Old Depot Road.  This area would be fun to canoe.  This area and up river would produce great images.  The lake is still a little wide here, but you are getting into the up river area of the lake.  Things are more secluded here and it has the feeling of a backwoods area.  There were a lot of herons and egrets in the area, but they were to far away to photograph.  So I stayed with capturing landscapes.

Lake Shelbyville is unique for Illinois.  It has the feel and look of a more southern lake with the high banks.  Table Rock Lake and others like it have rocky cliffs for the banks.  Shelbyville has high banks made of dirt and sand.  When the water is low, there are rocks, and downed trees exposed to photograph.

The day was over and time to head home.  Who says you can’t play in the rain and not get wet.  The proof is in the pictures.

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Fish Hook

I became a little restless this afternoon and went for a drive to Fish Hook.  Fish Hook is a wildlife management area on Lake Shelbyville.  Talking with the Corps of Engineers earlier this week there was a possibility of some shorebirds in the area.  I was hoping to photograph some, but no luck.  There were none to be seen.  It may have been the dove hunting on top of the hill had scared them away.  Also, the area had a large group of people down by the water talking and enjoying the sights.

Looking areound, the mud flats had a lot of shorebird tracks and some raccoon tracks also, so the area has been holding a lot of birds.  Hopefully I will have better luck next time.

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 That being said, I worked with what was available.  The trees and scrub brush has always intrigued me the few times I have been here.  I wanted to take a walk down the bank, but the mud was really soft.  So I took some images from the area around the parking lot.  I talked with a some fishermen and a family walking some dogs.  They agree the area is a great resource for recreation.

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 The sun had set behind the treeline and was starting to give off it’s photographers glow.  Reflections and rocks are always a plus.

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Even the drive home gave up some beauty.  This was taken south of Sullivan near one of the marina’s.  The light was going fast, so I had to work fast to get this one.

This was a great way to end a three day weekend.

No Deer Tonight

I went out tonight to photograph deer at a place that will be really 090903_013_n_p_eproductive in the next month or so.  I did see three does, but they did not stick around long.  This spot can really be nice.  I am able to drive into a field and use my vehicle as a blind.  The deer don’t mind it at all.  But tonight all that was available were birds.  I took a couple pictures and then went on.

The trees are producing lots of berries now and the birds are starting the migration.  I talked with the Corps Engineers at Shelbyville today and they told me about a place that should be good to photograph some shorebirds.  One of the best places is shut down to the public now do to an early hunting season.  Hopefully I will make it out to the other place this weekend and capture some images of the birds.