“Unofficial” Starve Rock Photography Club: Last Hike 2017 (December 30, 2017)

This was my first hike back with the “unofficial” Starve Rock (State Park) Photography Club since May of this year.  I was excited to see everyone again and to be able to take part in our last hike to end out 2017. At least I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would be able to take part.

It had snowed most of Friday and our region received a fresh blanket of snow along with temps in the single digits. Fortunately, the snow had stopped in time for the roads to be cleared and salted down before I headed out in the morning at 6 a.m. for an almost 2 hour drive to Oglesby, Illinois.  I was also a little fearful of the possibility of  coming across black ice on the roads that early in the morning, but I took my time and once the daylight broke around 7:15am, I felt a little better and sense of relief about the conditions on the roads.

There was a lot of salt spray from other cars and trucks passing by me.  I had just replaced my windshield wipers, so I was good on that end, until…I went to turn on the wipers and use the windshield wiper fluid and the driver’s side fluid nozzle was not spraying.  Not good! Luckily, the passenger side nozzle was working and the windshield wiper would push over some of the fluid over on to the driver’s side and it would clean it just enough that I could still see pretty good. Also, another good thing was that traffic was still light at that time of the morning.  By no means was my view to see the road resistricted and I was not in any danger driving.  As I am getting closer to Ottawa, Illinois, the passenger side nozzle froze up.  It was only about 4 degrees out and the fluid was freezing up on the blade as well.  Good thing I was getting close to the park and could make it there without cleaning the windshield again.  Well, I try to look at it this way…it wouldn’t be an adventure if everything goes as planned.  Here’s to another year of hiking adventures.

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Red Bellied Woodpecker4W4A7487

Illinois River4W4A7529

Tufted Titmouse (The photograph is a little blurry, but this was the only picture I was able to capture of it. They are just adorable birds.)4W4A7550

Chickadee4W4A7560

American Goldfinch4W4A7579

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Dark-eyed Junco (a.k.a. hovercraft on snow)4W4A7596

Chickadee (No one can resist more than one photograph of a Chickadee)4W4A7607

White-breasted Nuthatch4W4A7621

American Goldfinch snacking on some berries.4W4A7627

Canvasback Ducks on the Illinois River4W4A7644

Glittering Diamond Dust blowing around.4W4A7696

Bald Eagle maybe around 3 years old. It doesn’t quite have the distinctive white head yet.4W4A7790

Winter Wonderland (It was 4 degrees which felt like -13 degree with the windchill.)4W4A7834

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Love pinecones4W4A7882

The USRPC Crew: Marie, Bill, Angel, Megan and me (not pictured, Tamara and Marcia)IMG_6319

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