A Warm Kind of Cold

Last week, I complained about the long brown winter we’ve had, and wondered when spring was coming.  Well, it’s still brown – we missed out completely on the last snow, which had been forecast to give us up to four inches of photographic beauty.

On the upside, I went out to my favorite wetland yesterday, and while it was only 16 degrees F, it actually felt much warmer than that.  A lack of wind helped, as did periodic sunshine, but the air just felt like it was warming.  It’s an odd thing, isn’t it?  The unemotional thermometer said 16 degrees, but  I think my knowledge that the temperature was going to get above freezing later in the day (it did!) helped warm me up.

There were other signs of impending spring.  Red-winged blackbird males have returned to begin setting up and defending their territories. (Females, the smarter ones, are apparently content to wait a few more weeks until it warms up and the boys have fought their silly little battles.)  Sandhill cranes are starting to fill the sky as the annual migratory phenomenon begins again here on the Central Platte River.  I’m still waiting for the first song sparrow to begin singing, and I’m guessing it’ll be a while until I see the first bees emerging, but things are looking up.

Here’s a photograph from my short hike yesterday.  I’ll share more later this week.

A panoramic photo made up of nine different images stitched together.  The Nature Conservancy's Derr Wetland Restoration, Nebraska.

A panoramic photo made up of nine different images stitched together. The Nature Conservancy’s Derr Wetland Restoration, Nebraska.  Click on the photo to see a larger version of it that better portrays the feel of the site.

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Photo of the Week – January 2, 2014

I’ve had a couple recent posts about the timelapse imagery from our Derr Wetland restoration.  We get to see some amazing things when there are cameras out there shooting photographs at regular intervals…

At the Derr Wetland, we have one installation that employs two cameras mounted right next to each other, allowing us to merge images from them into wide panoramas.  I’ve done just that with four pairs of images that show a pretty good range of conditions and seasons at the site, including quite a bit of variation in water level over time.  The photos are also pretty attractive for just being automated shots.  You can click on each image to see a bigger, sharper version.  I hope you enjoy them:

July 13, 2012. A prairie ecologist talks to a tour group about the restored wetland site and is caught on camera doing so.

July 13, 2012.
A prairie ecologist talks to a tour group about the restored wetland site during the drought of 2012.

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November 30, 2012.   Clouds turn pink from post-sunset light on a late fall evening.

November 30, 2012.
Clouds turn pink from post-sunset light on a late fall evening.

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February 25, 2013. A flock of migratory Canada geese enjoys the snow-covered wetland.

February 25, 2013.
A flock of migratory Canada geese enjoys the open water and the snow-covered surroundings.

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October 16, 2013. The groundwater level rose this fall after irrigation was over and we had some good rains in the area.

October 16, 2013.
The groundwater level rose this fall after irrigation was over and we had some good rains in the area.  As a result, some of the higher side channels filled up with water.

For more information on this kind of timelapse photography, contact Moonshell Media.

You can see more timelapse imagery from this site here and here.