Announcing: Indiana Eco-travel [belatedly] - Stillwater Marsh

To better reflect the organic, evolving nature of the Natural Bloomington project, I’ve begun evolving the focus from Ecotours and More to the More, specifically Indiana Eco-Travel. Indeed, I just finished tweaking the website to de-emphasize [not delete] the ecotourism aspect of the mission and emphasize the eco-travel, through image and prose, of course.

In reality, this announcement is belated and recognizes a shift that occurred a while ago. I certainly will continue leading ecotours upon request. But the core of my work the next couple years will be, as it has been this past year, solo adventures. I only led two ecotours in 2016.

Besides, I will remain in the tour business with Indiana Nature Photography: Workshops and Tours, my partnership with landscape photographer Gary R. Morrison. And I do hope to continue leading Sierra Club hikes, including our annual Fall Colors hike with Hoosier National Supervisor Mike Chaveas.

I’m catching my breath from my biannual 15-week teaching marathon. [My last two weeks wind down.] And, other than exploring natural Indiana from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River, I am not sure what the eco-travel phase will produce. But I have a damned good idea. And I’m anxious to find out.

New lens: Still waters at Stillwater

One reason I don’t know for sure is the mint condition Nikkor 80-400mm zoom lens I purchased this past week. Over the past 43 years I’ve always shot with the high-end gear of the time. But I’ve never looked at nature from a 400mm perspective. And I’ve had little opportunity to test it out yet. My downtime and the sun rarely met.

I did give the new zoom a shot at the Stillwater Marsh wildlife viewing platform on a brilliant, Nov. 26 afternoon knowing, of course, there would be little to no wildlife to capture. It’s hunting season, and what the “Waterfowl Resting Area – No Trespassing” sign means is only hunters are allowed in.

Testing the lens’s (and my) capacities, the closest thing to wildlife I saw were some decoys, which I couldn’t see with my admittedly in-need-of-help naked eyes, floating around a hunter waste-deep in the marsh.

I did get some close-up reflections and hunter shots that I posted to the Stillwater Marsh Photo Album.

My classrooms obligations break on Friday. I’m ready to refocus from the Important Work to the Real Work for a while.

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