Merry Christmas from the Kasper family !!
Merry Christmas from the Kasper family !!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge located three miles east of Seymour, Indiana, on U.S. Route 50. Established in 1966, it comprises 7,802 acres in its main area of eastern Jackson and western Jennings counties, and an additional 78 acres in northwestern Monroe County, near Bloomington, Indiana, known as the “Restle Unit”. It was established thanks to the selling of Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It was Indiana’s first National Wildlife Refuge. The name comes from the Muscatatuck River, which means “land of winding waters”.
Converted farm lands comprise 60% of the total land area of the refuge. Several archaeological sites in the refuge are on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the tree cover is deciduous forest.
A visitor center, eight hiking trails (ranging from a fifth of a mile to four miles (6 km) of easy to moderate hiking), a four-mile (6 km) driving tour, two pioneer cemeteries, and a log cabin of historical significance are available for the 125,000 annual visitors to the refuge to enjoy. The refuge is open for visitation from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.
The primary wildlife protected in the refuge is waterfowl and other birds, including mating pairs of bald eagles.
On December 23, 1998 a small flock of four trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) were re-introduced to the refuge when they flew from Sudbury, Ontario accompanied by an ultra-light plane. This was the first time trumpeters had migrated to southern Indiana in over 100 years. Although these trumpeters returned to Sudbury in 1999 and 2000, the flock appears to have died out, although other re-introduced trumpeters visit the refuge in the winter today.
Also migrating tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) winter at Muscatatuck every year, usually a month or so before Christmas.
In 2001, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership raised whooping crane (Grus americana) chicks in Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge then guided them to Florida’s Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, utilizing Muscatatuck as a stopover site on the migrations. That population has been successful and by 2010 there were up to 105 migrating birds established in the eastern United States for the first time in over 100 years. The migrating birds are regularly seen during migration stopovers at Muscatatuck, often in the company of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis).
A serene scene from Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana. Warm fall light helps to create a very peaceful mood in this image I captured at the park. There are many much larger and more photogenic falls here but this one always brings me back for a visit because of its solitude and peacefulness it exudes.
Wildflowers aren’t they only thing I get to photograph, here is an example of a wonderful Luna Moth that I came across on a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I found this wonderful subject laying on a boulder getting ready to take flight, and for what seemed like an eternity this beautiful flying flower stayed in this one position and let me capture some really incredible images of it !!
I was really blessed to find such a beautiful and majestic creature, most specimens of moths that I come across seemed to be severely battered, but this beauty was in all it’s glory and I was so thankful for such an experience. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, hope you enjoy the image !!
Here are a few more images from a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This time I thought I might share a few shots from the Cucumber Gap Trail “love the name” a trail which begins just above the Elkmont campground and makes a wonderful 5 mile loop that travels up thru a lovely hardwood forest and then loops back along a rushing boulder strewn river.
The trail is covered in beautiful wildflowers and here are an example of three that I really liked, Painted Trillium,Foam Flower and Beaked Violet. These are just a few of the indelible number of wildflowers that grow in the Smoky Mountains. I just wish I had the time to share all of them, I hope you enjoy these and if you ever get to the park in the spring definitely make Cucumber Gap Trail a must for any hike you take !!
Here is a shot from a recent session, instead of people I actually had some time to get out and shoot flowers, this doesn’t happen very much these days so I better take advantage of this. These weren’t shot at some far out wilderness destination,but actually came from my own backyard here in Madison Indiana, so if I got a little hot I could go back inside and sit in the AC for a while….I know I am soft !!
Most the flowers in my yard have pretty much bit it for the season because of the heat and lack of rain, but my coneflowers must love these type of conditions because they seem to flourish in them. Once again instead of just shooting this flower I tried to get a little more adventurous and shoot them with an artistic feel, hopefully I was able to convey that to you and you enjoyed my take on this often photographed subject.
Coneflowers are a can’t miss subject if you are into photographing flowers, they have a beautiful color and structure and are relatively close to eye level so you don’t have to kill your back bending over to photograph them. Just be mindful of your background as not to add too much cover and shoot them wide open for that artistic feel!!
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, and don’t forget to click on the images for best results !!