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Old Jul 17, 2010, 5:34 PM   #1
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Default Discovering Horicon

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The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. Its the largest fresh water cattail marsh. A vast majority is off limits to humans on the federal half.

I've driven by a hundred times, but never actually visited. I took most of the day Friday off and hiked most of the trails on the federal half of the refuge. I didn't even have a camera, but wanted to see what I needed for a photo tour this morning.

Most of the work was with the 300/EC-20.

Pics follow.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 5:51 PM   #2
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Wearing a leg band.





Taking advantage of the boardwalk hand rail.



A morning swim





Mama....



And child.



Looking for breakfast.

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Old Jul 17, 2010, 8:41 PM   #3
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Those are very impressive!
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 8:46 PM   #4
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The marsh is a little larger than 30,000 acres. The Feds own around 20,000 and the state owns about 10,000. The federal refuge is pretty much hands off. One little corner has some trails and a three mile drive through loop.

There is also this nice little floating boardwalk that give insight into the aquatic aspect of the marsh, thousands of tiny minnows and millions of snails which serve as lunch to other birds and animals. All of the prior photos were taken from this boardwalk.



Some more from the boardwalk...







There were two green herons that were alot of fun to watch.



Clasic hunting form





This guy kept an eye on me the whole time.

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Old Jul 17, 2010, 9:07 PM   #5
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Default And The Prairie

There are some woodlot islands and some fantastic prairie land on the outskirts of the marsh. The trails are simply mowed paths through the prairie and footpaths through the woodlots. You are not allowed anywhere other than those paths.

Yesterday, I hiked the whole trail system. I didn't get to those paths with the camera equipment. Close to the boardwalk was one of the paths, and the wild flowers were awesome. The photo doesn't capture the explosion of flowers, and the smell was awesome.



Some 300mm/EC-20 floral shots from the day.





Bees and sunflowers.







I noticed the hoverfly after I got home.

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Old Jul 17, 2010, 9:19 PM   #6
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Beautiful images, Greg. Each and every one a framer.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 9:42 PM   #7
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Default Old Marsh Road...

About the only other place people are sometimes allowed is Old Marsh Road. It is restricted to foot and bike trafic on weekends only. In essence, its one of the main water control dikes. One entrance was just down the road from where I took the pics. Old Marsh Road is about three miles long, the width of the marsh. I drove around to the other entrance (by highway) and that entrance was a treasure trove of songbirds before it reached the actual dike.







When I got to the dike, the distance to the birds was longer than I'd hoped. I did the best I could.





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Old Jul 17, 2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Those are all very, very impressive, Greg. A very productive visit!
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 2:23 AM   #9
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I'm so jealous! What an awesome place to spend the day shooting. And like the others have said, every image is great.

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Old Jul 18, 2010, 2:40 AM   #10
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Impressive park, and shots. Those last sets must have barely been visible to be that size shot with the 300mm plus (I'm assuming) the EC20!
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