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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Early morning frost coats the wetlands

By John Hall/Missourian Reader
November 14, 2012 | 4:28 p.m. CST
Missourian reader John Hall shares this photo of frost seen during an early morning drive.

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

It seems to me that we run from crisis to crisis in this world. Last week it was the elections that took center stage, and now it's some officials of the Army, CIA, FBI, biographers and assorted nuts who are hogging the headlines. That is why, many years ago, I gave up on trying to be abreast of and worrying about the news since it is always bad, sensational or repugnant.

In order to clear the cobwebs, which I had a big dose of yesterday, to the extent my wife was fearful I was having a stroke, I loaded up the dogs — first off with some fresh tomatoes and then a little bit of spaghetti — and headed into the hinterlands. The temperature in the old Ford truck said it was 25 degrees.

By the time I left the city limits, the vegetation had taken on the appearance of a light snow. It was just the early morning frost, sparkling much more than the finest diamond in any jewelry store in the area. So, for a while I was taking photos of frost on just about everything. I knew that I wouldn't be able to go far into the wetlands for the "big game hunters" have the place to themselves each morning.

Over the years I've turned to rooting for the underdog, in this case the ducks. As I went back the way I had come, there was a chance to take some photos of ducks who were smart enough to be across the road from where the boom, boom, boom of shotguns echoed in the early morning chill. I kept clicking photos of the ducks out of harm's way and kept wondering how many of their kind didn't live through the morning. I have an idea that the older hunters get, the more they would rather watch ducks than shoot them.

There were a few hundred ducks on the "right side" of the wetlands, and I probably saw 500 to 600 them. They were doing a pretty good job of hiding in the trees and tall grasses. None of the photos shared of the ducks were taken under ideal circumstances. They were quite some distance away, and there was a lot of material in the way from the camera to the duck that had a tendency to prevent very many clear shots.

On the way out of the wetlands, one of the English cocker spaniels asked if we could take a look at the Missouri River. Then, we came home and started making plans for our next trip.

If you can't see the slideshow above, you can view it on Flickr here.

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. Supervising Editor is Joy Mayer.