Tuesday, December 6, 2011


On one of my recent jaunts to Dodgeville I noticed a rather large bird perched atop one of the utility poles. (We used to call them telephone poles but, that's not necessarily true anymore.) As I got closer I still couldn't make out exactly what it was and being on a errand of mercy I didn't want to take time to stop and check it out. Suprisingly, on my way home, about an hour or so later, I noticed that the creature was still sitting up on it's lofty perch. Now I had time . . . and a camera. I pulled onto the shoulder across from it and just started shooting, The lighting conditions were so poor that even with my zoom lens I couldn't clearly make out exactly what it was that I was photographing. It wasn't until I got home and dumped my pictures into iPhoto that I realized that I had run upon a wayward Snowy Owl. With a little computer magic I was able to extract a suitable image or two. A few days later our newspaper ran an article about these owls being spotted in our area. Seems that the Lemming supply in the far north is low and they're looking to Wisconsin for vitals. (Not sure if they're into fishfrys) At any rate, about a hundred have been seen which, I guess, makes me one of the lucky few who got to see one up close. This just adds another thing on my list of stuff to watch for as I roam the back roads of the area. I've taken a couple of trips up along The Mississippi to check out the migrating Tundra Swans and have observed quite a few Bald Eagles on those rides. (I counted forty-one on the last trip) And, I'm always on the lookout for deer but, now another critter not native to the area has been spotted. Quite a few people (most of them sober) have seen Black Bears stomping around down here well south of where they normally stomp. This, along with several sightings of Pumas, kinda makes wildlife watching a little more adventurous than normal.

Here's our fine feathered friend on a lookout for a lemming lunch.

Some Tundras working on their more vegetarian diet.

About a half mile closer than I want to be when I spot one of these guys!