Happy Frogs

Always be happy.

When people are in a bad mood,

the last thing they want

is to hang around with

happy people.

~Kermit the Frog, Muppet

AS4A1904-78-31-1

Springtime in the marsh includes the many voices of frogs calling out to potential mates.  The variety of songs is fascinating!  Here is just a sampling of calls in a northern Minnesota wetland:

Rough-legged Hawk

“Behold my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”

~ Sitting Bull (1831-1890) Chief of the Lakota Sioux Nation

AS4A1283-1
Rough-legged Hawk taking a look at me and my camera.

AS4A1256-1AS4A1243-1

The Rough-legged Hawk breeds in the arctic during the summer months, but winters in the U.S. and southern Canada.  I feel fortunate whenever I see one in the spring as it migrates north back through Minnesota.

This handsome bird had a partner off in the distance.  I’m hoping their nesting season is a successful one!

One Day at a Time

“The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.”
~Abraham Lincoln

AS4A2237-1

This is a male Goldfinch in his muted winter wardrobe.  When he starts to transition to his bright yellow and solid black plumage, one can be assured that spring and the mating season are just around the corner.

Open Your Eyes

Open your eyes that you may see
The beauty that around you lies,
The misty loveliness of the dawn,
The glowing colors of the skies;
The Child’s bright eager eyes of blue,
The gnarled and wrinkled face of age,
The bird with crimson on his wing
Whose spirit never knew a cage;
The roadsides blooming goldenrod
So brave through summer’s wind and heat,
The brook that rushes to the sea
With courage that naught may defeat.
Open your eyes that you may see
The wonder that around you lies;
It will enrich your every day
And make you glad and kind and wise.
~Emma Boge Whisenand, Open Your Eyes

AS4A2858-7-1

As a Minnesotan, I find the fact that the Great Egret is native to my state to be amazing.  Seriously!  This is a shot of an egret during mating season.  Doesn’t this bird look too exotic to be sitting on a branch in a local Minneapolis wetland?

According to allaboutbirds.org, the pristinely white Great Egret gets especially dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Called aigrettes, those plumes were the bane of egrets in the late nineteenth century, when such adornments were prized for ladies’ hats.  I’m glad that tradition has gone out of style.

As a nature photographer, I count myself blessed whenever I open my eyes to see a sight such as this one!