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Flocks, Herds & Schools Assignment Winner David Hammond

Cold Morning Union County Refuge by David Hammond

Cold Morning Union County Refuge by David Hammond

David Hammond:

“This photograph was made about 10 years ago at the Union County Wildlife Refuge, located in the extreme southern tip of Illinois in Union County. This is a small vernal pond area of the refuge that is normally dry, but at this time of year is flooded for a resting area for the waterfowl. I was photographing the geese at this site the afternoon before but the light was very poor, with heavy cloud cover, so the area looked very drab and without much character. I noticed however, that the warm water being pumped in was mixing with the cold air and creating a large dense area of fog, and knew that the overnight weather forecast was for clearing skies and temperatures in the single digits.

“I returned to the area before daylight the next morning hoping that the geese would still be resting on the pond and that the fog and mist would be frozen on the trees. As it turned out, I was fortunate on all hopes. The early morning light was diffused by a very light cloud cover, the trees were covered with thick hoarfrost, and the geese were still resting on the pond. I managed to get about one roll of film shot before the geese started to leave that spot and go feed in the surrounding corn fields.”

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Equipment: Nikon F100 35mm film SLR , Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens, Fujichrome Velvia 100 film, homemade beanbag window rest