Me in front of my blind on Lake Ladora, Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, CO. I used a folding chair to support my point and shoot camera for this shot. (I’m aware that the horizon is crooked.)
Planning ahead for cold weather, I set up my blind on Lake Ladora at RMA today. I’ve been watching winter unfold as geese and ducks congregate in huge numbers on a small patch of open water. The other day I counted 25 bald eagles on the ice, the most I’ve ever seen at once. They were just hangin’ out; then as if on cue, they dispersed for the day’s hunting. They leave the roost at the end of the lake in early morning and come back starting around 3:00 in the afternoon. They’re more punctual than some people I know.
The plan for the blind is to make images of ducks and eagles, maybe the blue phase snow geese that have been spotted this season. I’m counting on freezing temps to bring the ice and the birds closer to shore where I can make closeup photos. I use blinds fairly often and in every season – it’s a great way to enter the world of wild animals without disturbing behavior. I’ll climb in the blind in early morning darkness (when normal people are snug in their beds) and wait in the cold for light. A folding chair, pack boots, and a down parka make all the difference when the thermometer dips into single digits. With any luck, my rip-rap tie-downs will be strong, the blind will stay put, and I’ll have a bunch of cooperative birds. Check back and I’ll let you know how it turned out.