I have two photos for you today. The one above is from earlier this week, taken at lock & dam #14 in Le Claire, Iowa. It seems it becomes more and more common that some pelicans stay here during the winter. In Le Claire, about 90 miles south from Dubuque, the main channel of the river is open and they can find apparently enough food.

Dam #11, Dubuque, Iowa

It was a gray and foggy day today here in Dubuque and not very inviting for any bird photography, but the temperatures were way above freezing. In the second photo you can see that the snow is almost gone around here. The ice was jammed above the dam, hence the fog in the background. What you don’t see is any Bald Eagles. Today was the annual “Bald Eagle Watch” but I felt bad for the visitors at lock & dam #11. I saw only two eagles on the ice and they were far away. The US Army Corps of Engineers had Brent, one of their Natural Resource Specialists, on site and he was answering questions and helped people with spotting scopes that were provided to watch the birds.

He told me that there was more going on in the Grand River Center in Dubuque and so I went there next. Natural resource agencies and organizations had educational displays and information and there were also some activities for kids.

At one of the vendor’s tables I met with Ty Smedes, a well known nature photographer here in Iowa. I have seen him on TV and read some of his articles in the IOWA Outdoors Magazine before. We had a good conversation about many aspects of nature and photography. If you like to check out his work, here is a link to his website http://www.smedesphoto.com . I bought one of his excellent books and Ty was so nice to sign it.