Green Frog, Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

The last three evenings were used to paddle the Mississippi River and its backwaters, but only yesterday I took the camera with me. Aiming for wildlife during the last two hours with daylight and shooting from the low level in the boat have been often a key for success.

The mix of duck weed, algae, and aquatic plants that have reached the surface is a great habitat for many species. Don’t worry, this is usually just near the shore, the main channel in the backwaters of Mud Lake is clear and easy to paddle. This Green Frog blends right in and the reflection of its eye in an open spot of the water made me choose this image for today’s blog post.

Young Barn Swallow, Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

A new generation of swallows is learning how to catch insects in flight. I have seen all five species we can find along the big river but this young Barn Swallow posed perfectly on top of a water lily.

Painted Turtle,  Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

Painted Turtles enjoy the sun as much as we do, but most of the time they slide into the water as soon they detect some movement. This one seemed to know that I was not a thread in my kayak and stayed on this piece of drift wood until I was only five feet away.

Eastern Kingbird,  Mississippi River, Mud Lake, Iowa

The young Eastern Kingbirds were hunting for insects right at the boat ramp. Even if I’m not always in favor of a backlit situation, I still prefer this shot over the ones I took while I left the boat launch.

Sure, I could make an image of all these critters from shore, but shooting out of the kayak delivers most of the time a perspective that is almost impossible to obtain by standing on land, much higher above the water level.

All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens