I had hatched a plan. Yesterday was pelting down rain all day and last night was freezing, so I knew that if I got up really early today and went to the lake, a couple of things were likely: 1. It would be very muddy and hard to get to. 2. It would be bloody cold. 3. I would have it all to myself. Correct on all counts!

It was 37 degrees when I arrived and the trees were all frosted in white. My breath steamed up my glasses and the grass crunched like potato chips under my boots. Birds don’t generally exhibit a sense of humor, but I’m pretty sure they were all chuckling over the Eskimo outfit the skinny dude with the giant lens was wearing. This, as they dove and swam and fished in the frigid water that held breakfast.

The lake was completely fogged over and I couldn’t see a thing, but then the sun crawled over the horizon and the entire area lit up with a glow that reminded me of the lava crater I had photographed in Hawaii. Within minutes it burned away every trace of the mist and the light was sharp as a scalpel.

I found my little friend the Kestrel almost immediately, and she endured me making pictures of her far longer than I could have expected.

I made the rounds and encountered the usual suspects, they were more tolerant of me than anyone has a right to expect, and I thanked them by keeping a respectful distance and making my pictures as quickly and efficiently as I could. It’s a mystical thing for me, I am tuned in to the light and sound and motion and I have only one goal…translate it all into a photograph that will take me back to that moment when I look at it.

I hope you enjoy seeing the images as much as I enjoy making them.


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