There's a millpond near me that used to provide the motive power for a grain mill in the small town next door. The mill is still there and actively making feeds and other supplies but it has moved to electrical power to drive operations. The pond remains as a place for fishing, boating, picnics and walks along the water. It's also a nice refuge for waterfowl and other aquatic creatures as there's no development on the shores. One side is a band of woods along a bike path and the other side is a small town park.
Our rainfall this year is significantly below the average and the millpond depth shows it. Not only have water lilies taken over a sizable percentage of the surface but herons and cranes are hanging out more since the shallow water makes it easier for them to wander around looking for food. They must think the foliage provides some type of cover because they don't seem to mind people walking along the shore.
I was out the other day looking for any interesting photo compositions and noticed a tan spot among the green lily leaves. The 300mm on my Nikon D800 gave me plenty of telephoto power and sharpness, and the full frame sensor allowed quite a bit of cropping to zero in on a sandhill crane doing some afternoon grazing. It's hard to know if they are bothered by people watching them since they seem to move at the same speed whether they are "running away" or taking a stroll. One benefit of being a big bird, I guess - not much to be intimidated by in the world.
Nikon D800, 300mm, f/5, 1/320 sec., ISO 200
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