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And, So It Begins...

Updated: May 9, 2023 bi-annual pilgrimage across the country from Southern California to Southwest Michigan. But this time, it's a bit different. Instead of rushing head-long into getting home with short nights in hotels along the 4-day trip, I've planned out some photography stops and based those visits on some beautiful wildlife treasures. Wednesday started with some boating on Lake Pleasant in Arizona with my friend and photography mentor, Ted Grussing. If that name doesn't ring a bell with you, check out his website and sign up for his daily missives:

This adventure starts at 6:00 am at Ted's house, where we start trailering his beautiful Alumacraft boat to the North Launch on Lake Pleasant. This lake is an incredible storage reservoir, part of the CAP or Central Arizona Project, serving the Phoenix area and surrounding communities. The park itself covers 23,000 acres, of which the lake comprises 10,000 acres, give or take. Fluctuations in lake level occur based upon the needs of the community and decisions made by the CAP authority controlling the dam. Go here for more info:

Needless to say, wildlife is found there in abundance! And one thing that may tickle the reader's fancy, is the preponderance of wild burros! Heeing and Hawing and dressing up the lake's shorelines for our boating entertainment! Apparently, this is also the season for them to act quite "amorously" among each other.

The bird photography started out a bit slow, but picked up as we spent over 4 hours touring all the channels and special spots that Ted keeps in his mental GPS. We found many of the usual suspects, Blue Heron, Great Egret, and many Grebes, both Western and Clark's variety. Adding to the fun were Osprey, Canyon Wren, Barn Swallow, and a beautiful Male Gambel's Quail. Top it all off with an Eagle (perched, nonetheless), and a mother Great Horned Owl, perched on her eggs in a small cave in the rock.

It was a great day; got 650 photos, and a fine start to my trek across the country. Next stop will be Socorro, New Mexico to explore the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I haven't a clue what to expect there, but thanks to Google, I'm going anyway. Wish me luck!

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