Georgie and I spent last Friday down in Sac County (Iowa) visiting the last of our designated 70+ sites for the NW Iowa Watchable Wildlife web site. Friday was a real crap shoot with the weather and had been raining in the morning, so we left in the afternoon. It wasn't as much fun as we would've liked because we were really on a tight schedule - to get photographs and video footage shot before daylight ended.
It was around 3-3:30 before we even saw a glimpse of sun, and then it was exasperatingly brief and unpredictable...but we found plenty of interest to keep us busy! Lots of waterfowl, Pelicans, Cormorants, etc. down on the Sauk Rail Trail area in the SE part of the county. And the Raccoon River had very nice color along it, as well as interesting features.
I'm not all that familiar with the Raccoon River, but I must say it is quite pleasant and worth checking out. The best part we saw was along the McDonald Greenbelt in the NE part of Sac County. It was the last place we visited and the sun had just finally broken through looser clouds. The sun was getting quite low and the colors in that valley along the river were very saturated. I love the color of the day's last light, but this was a little more challenging because the sun was in, then out, then in and out...and the valley was nearly back lit so I was contending with lens flare and the fact that the wind was almost too high for my carbon fiber tripod...my old trusty wooden ash monster was home of course.
The wind softened much of the landscape for me, the foreground of native grasses became a recorded blur, as did many of the middle ground trees, but the impression was really quite nice for the late autumn colored landscape.
The tree color here at Prairie Hill Farm has been disappointing this year, but the Raccoon River valley made up for it.
Now that we've visited all our sites for the year we'll be spending time putting together information, editing video footage, and building more pages on the web site this winter.
Have a good autumn while it lasts!