I went duck-hunting last week with outdoor writer/photographer Joe Richard, arming myself with a Nikon, not a Remington 870 like Joe’s. Although I don’t hunt anymore I still love being on the marsh at sunrise with ducks in the air, and I was also interested in seeing just how cold a human being could get standing thigh-deep in water for four hours in Iowa in November (nothing a Thermos of hot tea and a hot shower afterwards didn’t cure). Although we were on the water, under the full moon, two hours before sunrise there were four boats ahead of us, so we got stuck a couple hundred yards off the flyway. We set up a burlap “hide” in the willows and Joe poled the boat away and hid it. Most of the ducks had been around for a while and seemed to know where the refuge boundary was but Joe coaxed a few into the decoys and shot a mallard and a green-wing teal for the freezer. All images ©2013 Mark Tade, all rights reserved, no usage without prior written permission.
I spent a stunningly beautiful October day on the Maquoketa River in NE Iowa with a canoeing & fishing buddy recently. The river was crystal clear, cold, with a sand and gravel bottom, perfect for wading and fishing in shorts and sandals. Eagles and ospreys swooped overhead, pileated woodpeckers squawked, the smallmouth bass were biting our lures, it was heaven.
I attended Bryan Hansel’s 3-day kayaking/photography workshop in July. The workshop was based in Grand Marais on Lake Superior although I stayed further north at Naniboujou Lodge, close to the Canadian border. Bryan got us up early and kept us out late and the weather cooperated. A thunderstorm of biblical proportions rolled through the day before the workshop, dumping up to 7″ of rain along the North Shore, so the lake was a little muddy from all the runoff, but the atmospheric after-effects were fantastic.
My favorite magazine, a photo here from a trip I took with my sons and a friend to Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario in September, 2011.
A young veteran (5 years in the Marines/3 tours of Iraq) is trying to get a start in farming–he is working 8 acres of his uncle’s land in NE Iowa. Here he stands in a 2-acre patch of winter wheat he will mill on-farm to market as locally grown, custom-milled wheat flour. He’s also growing a variety of heirloom vegetables including tomatoes and potatoes and a large, red-kerneled “Indian” corn that he will mill for flour and corn meal.