Wildlife - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer
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Hoarfrost Hunting

Teri and I slowly walked along the only free channel of the mostly ice covered Mississippi River. La Crosse was shrouded in a very dense fog. Only vague dark shapes of trees crusted in hoarfrost lace lined the shoreline. The open channel was a deep, slate gray ribbon that silently slid by. Occasionally we'd spot a duck drifting by, only defined by their ashen silhouettes. Then I spotted it. A dark hulking shape sitting motionless in the fog. I took a few silent minutes to angle closer without scaring it off. By the time I could find it in the fog with my zoom lens, focus, and take this shot it was doing this. Just sitting there with it's head tilted back, beak open. It never made a sound and soon began to preen itself. Soon after it simply strolled off, disappearing into the fog.

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