We drove to Lincoln, Nebraska for a wedding, and on the way we stopped to census the bird life with a few other birders at Weaver Dunes Nature Conservancy preserve in southeastern Minnesota: the day’s total was 77 species, and among them 14 species of warblers! This was part of the Nature Conservancy’s one-day state chapter competition. Last year MN came in second, and the pressure was on to beat Texas this year.
It took six people to find a Blue-headed Vireo in a tree.
Female Downy Woodpecker working on a nest hole — one of the 77 species we saw.
A rustic looking barn on a farm across the road from the preserve.
Prairie Violets covered the ground on some of the dune slopes, the first spring flowers blooming here.
Even the lichen were “blooming”: British Soldiers lichen with their bright red fruiting caps on gray-green stems, usually found on rotting stumps like this one.
I had a Sony RX 10 camera I was trying out on this trip, so before the wedding, we headed over to the Sunken Garden in Lincoln to see what was blooming.
Lots of mosquitos on the water lilies, but no frogs to enjoy them.
I don’t know what these trees were, but their new leaves were brilliant salmon red and pink. The red pigment in new leaves protects them from sun damage before the leaves have synthesized their chlorophyll pigment.
Black and white tulips — that’s a little different.
Spiderwort growing by a waterfall made a nice contrast. The camera has a wide range of shutter speeds for special effects, like silky water,
Quite a camera this Sony RX10, with its fixed 24-600 mm lens. And it weighs about 1/10 of what Big Bertha (my SLR and telephoto combo) does. Something to consider when you need a multipurpose, lightweight travel camera.