Juvenile Hooded Merganser Portrait While Swimming, Upstate New York

A few bits of news today. I spoke to a friend who knew some people who spent a week at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge recently, and he warned that this year was going to be nothing like previous years. Apparently the refuge management did not plant any corn (which is what attracts and brings the Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes in close) this year, and also have not been regulating the water levels, leaving stubble from last years crops poking above the surface of the water. Not exactly picturesque! At first bummed about this news, Alex and I quickly began hashing out a new plan. At this point, we are going to skip Bosque entirely and either head north to the Four Corners area and San Juan mountains of southern Colorado, or head south to the White Sands and some other relatively unphotographed mountain ranges depending on the weather forecast. I'm actually more excited now than I was before! Just one short week until takeoff. Continuing with the theme of my previous post, here is an image that I just processed a few minutes ago for my website. This juvenile Hooded Merganser was one of three "hoodies" that were born in a small beaver pond near my grandparent's house in Upstate New York. The year this image was taken, I was pretty much living up there for the summer, and left my kayak near the pond to photograph them whenever possible. I spent many hours with them, and it is still to this day one of my favorite experiences while out photographing nature. Combined with their natural juvenile lack of fear for humans, they grew very accustomed to me and would swim within feet of my kayak on a regular basis.

Juvenile Hooded Merganser Portrait While Swimming in a Beaver Pond, Upstate New York, United States.