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on Apr 8, 2009 in Wildlife Photography

Plate River Day1 PM

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Everything we had been experiencing up to this point was just a warm up for the real show. At 16:20 we entered the blind, we wouldn’t emerge until 10:41 the next day (that’s shy of 18hrs). The blind was on the Platte River at the Rowe Sanctuary, a great little place that runs three blinds. Now just to make this clear, once you enter the blind, you can’t leave until the next day when you are picked up. In case you’re wondering, they give you a bucket for inside the blind.

You take in the blind everything you need for the night along with your camera gear. It got down to single digits that night with only a sheet of 3/8″ plywood between you and the outside. The floor of the blind is a tarp with outdoor carpeting covering it which helps, but the wind like we had that night comes right on in. Mark had a down sleeping bag and his lovely wife made sure there were two pillows, one for me which was nice. I didn’t have a sleeping bag and was fine other than the @(#)(*& rock that was right under my hip all night.

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The really, really, really cool thing is the 3000+ cranes right outside the blind. When they come in, it’s wave after wave after wave. Each piling on top of what seems like an already chuck full river bottom. The volume of calling increased and increased and increased with each wave. I’ve never slept with cranes before and wondered what they did at night. Other then for a short period of time, there were always calls.

Now whoever cut out the holes in the blind never pointed their lenses up, panned or had a MooseCam. That was frustrating. Them portholes were small and I hadn’t planned on that. Shooting video required my taking the 600VR off the tripod so I could shoot video, I handheld the HF10 for the MooseCam. So, it’s not the best footage but it does give you a little flavor of what we were so fortunate to experience. I’ve already solved my video problems for next year. Oh yeah, we’re heading back, today’s phone call sealed that deal. So again I’ll let the cranes narrate the evening celebration. MTC

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Photos captured by D3, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film (ISO200)

MooseCam captured by HF10 on Lexar digital film