Cute kittens being petted by their foster parent

Wisconsin Doublethink

In his prescient political novel, 1984, George Orwell writes that “doublethink” is the “power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . .” Here in Wisconsin we are in the middle of deer hunting season. On the front page of last Saturday’s Janesville Gazette, the local…

Snowy owl perched in a tree branch looking at the camera.

Winter Birds

At the beginning of March I learned there were snowy owls not more than ten miles from my home in Janesville, Wisconsin. In fact, they had been here since November, and I did not know. On receiving this news, I immediately grabbed my camera and headed out to the solid white tundra that had been…

Phot of U.S. Capitol at night with captions: The Shutdown is Over. The Debt Ceiling Has been Lifted. - Until we do it all over again in 90 days.

When Politics Become Personal

Now that the latest manufactured political crisis is over, we can breathe easier for a couple months. We don’t have to worry about the government being shut down or a default on U.S. debt – until the next set of deadlines in about 90 days.  Are we are supposed to feel good, until the crowd…

Sandhill Cranes with Chicks Out for a Walk

It has been almost three weeks since I last visited the sandhill crane nest featured in my previous post. Yesterday I visited them and found the parents and two new chicks out for a walk. (You may click on the photos for larger sizes. Apart from being larger, they are sharper.) I watched as they…

Downtown Janesville, Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Gorgeous Fall Colors

Fall colors here in southeastern Wisconsin have surprised everyone this year. Now past peak color, the countryside sparkled with bright yellows and golds. The dark red and umber of sumac adorned many hillsides along the edge of forests. In the towns, the maples were magnificent in their display of red and gold.  Local wisdom claims…

Tree swallow sitting on a small branch against a blue sky

Tree Swallows Tending Their Young

Since the middle of May, I have been tracking the progress of great blue heron chicks at a rookery in southeastern Wisconsin. Once or twice a week I wade through the tall grasses that border the rookery, carrying camera, lenses, and tripod. Each time I go, I hope to bring back dramatic photos and video…

Marsh grass foreground, tall trees with nests in the background

Heron Chicks Trying Out Their Wings

Chicks at the local heron rookery are looking more and more like adults, but they still lack adult plumage as well as the ability to fly. Just like the chicks, the grass in the approach to the nesting area is growing rapidly. In the last week it has grown another foot and is now over…