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FROM READERS: March wildlife photos

Sunday, March 18, 2012 | 8:56 p.m. CDT

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

Most Missourians thought the world came apart Friday when their basketball team lost in the NCAA tournament. My grandson was upset with the Tigers so we went to an early breakfast where I think I convinced him it was "only a game." But, I wasn't sure that what I told him was correct, so I harnessed up the team of English Cockers and my wife and I took a short walk through the neighborhood. It appeared to me that what happened to the Missouri Tigers in Omaha didn't have a great deal of effect on the city where they reside, except like yesterday when they were in Nebraska.

Actually, the photos are in reverse order but that doesn't matter a whole lot. One photo shows the dog who loves pickup trucks telling my wife he wasn't going in the house. Rather, he told her that he'd wait until the old guy caught up and they could head out into the hinterlands and look around.

The order of photos starts with a bit of Pelican watching and then seeing some deer where they probably didn't belong, on an island. But, they were far from being stranded.  

I was shooting the photos of the Pelicans and deer with the large lens resting on the truck.  Shortly, I heard a noise and looked up and saw a Juvenile Bald Eagle land in a tree not 25 feet away.  At that point what I needed was a small lens.  There isn't a human ever created who could/can hold that 800mm lens used for the distant photos perfectly still. So, some of the photosare a feeble attempt to steady that lens without a tripod. That will explain why some of the features of that 2-year old Bald Eagle were a bit clipped.

Next in line was a Red Wing Blackbird and then some Lesser Scaups practicing their swimming strokes for the Olympics.

I did run into a family situation in one photo when I noticed the Turkey Vultures had found a bottle and weren't about to leave it.  I heard one tell the other that there was a nice dead fish nearby and that one of them should go get it.  However, it was a standoff as they all decided to stay with the bottle (6177b).  Ralph, on the left, is getting an earful from Gertrude about his lack of ambition and aversion to work . As it turned out, Gertie went for the fish dinner and Ralph hung at at the beer joint with the boys.

Most of the rest of the things seen in this set of photos are pretty common.  The Sandpiper clan were out milling around the shopping mall while a Red Wing Blackbird decided he would join the ducks in a few aerial acrobatics.

While photographing the nesting Bald Eagles I heard the sound of 12 hooves and three deer had come out of a ravine and were headed toward my camera sitting on a tripod.  Only when they saw me did they hike their tails and go back in the same direction from whence they came.

Those are a few things that I saw today before a thunderstorm came up quickly and drove me out of the wildlife area. At my age that is about as wild as life gets.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.


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