Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

April 7: Picture of the Day

April 07, 2010 at 09:56 AM

I had two decent ideas for a picture this morning. I knew I had to get something early, since I was headed to the office all day and the forecast for this evening looks dicey.

My first option was to get a picture of the fox kits in town. But as for the past few days, they did not cooperate by coming out of their den. I suspect the mother may actually have moved the group, since their den is in a fairly public place.

That left me with my backup pictures, which I shot first thing in my mini-prairie. One clump of little bluestem that I had burned a few weeks ago had two small, green sprouts coming up. One had two droplets of water on either side. I snapped a few pictures and hustled off, thinking they would be throwaway shots once I got the foxes.

Obviously, that was not true. What I learned again this morning was not to trust the monitor on my old Nikon. Things that look very much in focus on the monitor are not always in focus in real life. Oh well, I’ve got 362 more days to undo this error. Look for another picture of sprouts in a burned out little bluestem clump soon.

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Illinois hunting and fishing

April 6: Picture of the Day

April 06, 2010 at 09:33 PM

I took plenty of fish pictures today. The bite was fantastic and some of the fish were impressive. A 19-inch bass. A 15-inch crappie. But the best shot of the bunch was this one of a redear coming out of the water along a shallow, weedy flat in a Peoria County strip-mine lake.

This one was taken with my little old Canon Power Shot S5IS. I have truly beat this camera to death over the past two years and it’s still working. In my book, that’s the sign of a good camera.

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Illinois hunting and fishing

Aiming for a picture a day

April 05, 2010 at 09:33 AM

Years ago I had a chance to interview famed nature photographer Jim Brandenburg about his unique book “Chased By The Light.”

For 90 days in the fall of 1994, Brandenburg took only one picture per day. Illinois hunting and fishingHe captured some amazing images during that span ... and a few he wished had been better. One of the fascinating parts of the book for me were his descriptions of the pictures and how hard he worked to get the perfect shot each day. The overall idea was cool enough that it has generated many imitations in the years since. In fact, Brandenburg did the same thing in a 2003 book, “Looking for the Summer.”

Anyway, while mired in a funk recently I decided to tackle something remotely similar, albeit much less difficult and undoubtedly less impressive.

For the next year I hope to post an outdoors-related picture every day to my Scattershooting blog. Understand, I’m not going to limit myself to taking only one picture per day. But I will post just one picture per day.

Now this is certainly not a novel idea, as there are plenty of Web folks who have already tackled this concept. Click here to read a page that gives advice on how to pull this off.

But I need something to get me energized again. There are too many negatives swirling around the world of newspapers. Careers are ending. Papers are closing. The future is in doubt. Enough said.

It’s my hope that taking pictures of the natural world will help me put that in perspective. Then too, part of my motivation for trying this is that I frequently see images I wish I had taken but failed to get because the camera was elsewhere. I am going to force myself to carry the camera everywhere this year.

Above is my first effort, dated April 5, 2010. This pair of Canada geese was feeding in a small pond located near the corner of Heinz Road and U.S. Route 150. Look for plenty more goose pictures in the weeks to come, since I enjoy watching these big birds as they prepare to nest and raise their goslings.

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Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

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