Not far from our home is the John Deere Marsh. This marsh belongs to the National Wildlife & Fish Refuge on the Upper Mississippi River. As the name suggests, it is located right behind the big John Deere plant here in Dubuque. The Little Maquoketa River joins the Mississippi in this area and both rivers have shaped the marsh. Joan and I had a little hike there today and beside enjoying the extremely warm weather we were watching out for migrating birds. Beside the always present Mallards, we saw American Coots, Northern Shovelers, and Blue-winged Teals on the lake that is part of the marsh land. We also made our first encounter of a few Northern Pintails. None of the ducks was within shooting range and so it didn't bother me a bit that I left the 50-500 at home today.
Instead I had the Sigma 150mm/f2.8 on camera, simply because I wanted to make pictures of frogs. Mating season is in full swing and there are probably thousands of frogs having a great time at the moment. This Northern Leopard Frog was hiding between old leaves along the levee that surrounds part of the lake. Direction and quality of the late afternoon light was good. I just darkened background and foreground a little in order to make them less busy and less distracting.