Friday, February 10, 2006

Not much birding!

A fresh blanket of snow covers the ground this morning with light flurries still falling, but it’s melting pretty fast. I decided to take the scenic route to work and see what birds I might find. On my way out of Waunakee there was a perched Cooper’s Hawk near Jesse Peterson’s house. I found a few Horned Larks along Woodland Road and a Northern Harrier working the fields north of Meffert Road. A Northern Shrike remains the hunter of the prairie restoration area of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, though the most interesting observation came earlier in the week - a flock of around 100 American Robins spotted near the small springs.

I’m relieved it’s Friday with a two-day weekend to rest up. I’m still recovering from my recent illness and it has settled to my lungs – I’ve felt pretty unmotivated to do much of anything outside beyond driving to and from work this past week. I doubt I’ll do any birding over the weekend, restricting my observations to backyard birds.

The top picture is a shot of the southern stream corridor of Pheasant Branch from a few weeks ago, post-processed in Adobe Photoshop using the Orton Imagery technique. I hadn’t heard of this technique until reading about it on Cindy Mead’s blog. I’ve often wondered how she achieved such softness while retaining detail in her images. It’s a pretty easy process that works especially well for landscapes and scenery images. Who says you can’t teach an old Photoshop dog a new trick?

All images © 2006 Mike McDowell

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