Today things didn't really go my way. I had planned to go to Mississippi dam #14 down in Le Claire and was hoping to make some Bald Eagle pictures. I wrote about this already three days ago. All camera batteries were fully charged, the CF-cards formatted, and the gear was ready to be used. As always, I like to be prepared when I go out for any kind of shooting. It wasn't the photo gear that prevented me today from seeing any eagles. After four miles of driving I pulled over into the parking lot of Heritage Pond just north of Dubuque. I wanted to check on some noise coming from one of the front tires. What I found was a little crack that made the tire already bulging. I thought it was too dangerous to continue driving for several hours under those circumstances. After using all the words that are usually beeped out on TV I decided to return home. Better safe than sorry.
Just before I left I saw that a flock of Canada Geese and a couple Mallard Ducks were resting around a spot of open water on the thin ice of the pond. The light was great in quality and quantity. I got the tripod out and made a very slow and careful approach towards the birds. I took about 15 minutes to get as close as possible to the geese without disturbing them. 45 minutes and 490 clicks later a lady jumped out of her car and made the same approach in about 30 seconds!! The geese, of course, turned around and moved further away and the ducks were even flying off. I bet her pictures suck… ;-) What can I say, I guess I made the best out of my dilemma today. I came home with a damaged tire but also with a bunch of wildlife shots, and most important, I had a good time shooting in great light for almost an hour.