Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Swan Lady

Earlier in February, I was lured by Ken Conger into going to Minnesota to photograph Trumpeter Swans and Owls. Our first stop was at Monticello, where the Swan Lady, Sheila Lawrence has been feeding Trumpeter Swans for about 22 years. About 1000 Swans congregate in her backyard that borders the Mississippi River. Next to her home, there is a small park where visitors cant watch and listen to the cacophony of trumpeting swans calls as well as their up-and-down bobbing of heads, part of their courting rituals. At times when a bald eagle flies overhead, calls become synchronized and a "hoooook" sound blast of alarm is heard. Both adults and yearlings are seen and the young ones follow their parents around, but these will chased away before this year's nesting season. As was the case with the Eagle Lady's backyard (see previous post) you cannot miss getting great photos of these majestic birds or the the commonly seen Canadian geese, mallards...and the occasional bald eagle. There was an attempt to stop feeding this year by the state's Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Wildlife Service. This ban was rescinded because the swans did not migrate to Texas and other states as expected by the officials and to the reports of dying birds due to lack of food.

Jean Keene and Sheila Lawrence have helped wildlife despite opposition by wildlife purists, I have named them the "Bird Ladies". I am sure that there are others that by their love of birds, have generated great joy to those who love and photograph nature. I thank them.

10 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You have captured the action in the first shot with amazing clarity Jose. Brilliant shot.

fishing guy said...

Jose: What a neat capture of the swans, I love the spread wing shot. I'm visiting from Ken's blog.

Salty said...

Your photography is truly stunning!

I came here by way of Ken's blog and am so very glad I did.

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Hola José, encantado de saludarte! Al ver tu blog enseguida he reconocido tu imagen de las águilas peleando (espectacular!!!!!) y que conocí a través de Fotonatura. Enhorabuena por haber conseguido ese gran premio. Tu web es excelente, con imágenes de mucha calidad y espero recrearme con más tiempo viendo escenas tus viajes por el mundo y el resto de galerías. Ojalá que en tu próximo viaje a España tengas más suerte con la climatología!!Ánimo con tu blog! Un saludo....y Blue skies!!!!

Misty Dawn said...

Amazing! I just finished telling Ken that he is what I strive to become as a photographer. Then, I come over here and see your talent. You both are absolutely amazing photographers!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thank you for your kind words on Craig's blog Jose. I am looking forward to seeing more of your photograohs soon.

Bradley Myers said...

Welcome to the blogging world, I linked off of Ken's site and like what I see. I will be looking forward to many more great photographs.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Enjoyed reading your post. Your tribute is most appropriate. Blue Skies Don Jose.

gidje said...

These two images are amazing, beyond beautiful! I'm in Awe. I also wanted to say that it was a pleasure meeting you that morning at the swan park. As I drove away that morning, I realized that I never introduced myself! For the record, it's gidje (aka Brigett). You and Ken are both an inspiration. thx!

Anonymous said...

The matchless theme, is pleasant to me :)