Moraine State Park: Always A Good Day At The Lake

February 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Moraine State Park is nearly 17,000 acres in size and contains Lake Arthur, a 3,000+ acre man-made lake.

At least four continental glaciers reached to areas just north of the park.  When the glaciers retreated, they left behind debris, which is called a moraine.  In the 1800’s this swampy land was drained and used for farming and other mineral collection including coal, gas and oil.  Over 100 years later, the land was reclaimed and Muddy Creek was dammed to create Lake Arthur.

Moraine State Park offers hiking, biking, swimming, picnicking, boating, fishing, and more to over one million visitors a year. 

Davis Hollow Marina @ Lake Arthur

Davis Hollow Marina (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, f/5 @ 24mm, 1/125, ISO 400)

 

Every year in August Moraine State Park is host of the Lake Arthur Regatta.

Regatta Fireworks 

Regatta Fireworks (Canon EOS 40D,  Canon 35-70 4/5.6, f/11 @ 70mm, 4sec, ISO 200)

 

The park, containing trails throughout, also has a large expanse of woodlands and fields.  The park has many varieties of wildlife including White-tailed Deer, Black Bear, and a large variety of birds and waterfowl. 

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer & Fawn (Canon EOS 40D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/2.8 @ 300mm, 1/60, ISO 800)

 

The lake is also a popular stop for our migrating feathered friends.  Most of the year you can find Herons like the Green Heron below, Mallard Ducks and Canada Geese.

Green HeronGreen Heron

Green Heron (Canon EOS 40D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/2.8 @ 300mm, 1/2000, ISO 200)

 

Mid-March to April offers a chance to see migrating Tundra Swan and Bufflehead Ducks along with more common diving ducks.

Tundra Swans

Tundra Swan (Canon EOS 40D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/2.8 @ 300mm, 1/500, ISO 200)

 

Bufflehead

Bufflehead (Canon EOS 40D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/4 @ 300mm, 1/1250, ISO 200)

 

Occasionally, during migration, you can see a Ruddy Duck.

Ruddy DuckRuddy Duck

Ruddy Duck (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 1.4X EF Extender III, f/4.5 @ 420mm, 1/1600, ISO 400)

 

Even more waterfowl pass through August through November.  Lake Arthur has a lot to offer to waterfowl from marshland to shallow grassy water to deep water.  

Lake Arthur South Shore (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, f/11 @ 33mm, 1/200, ISO 400)

 

Red-winged Blackbird (female)

Red-winged Blackbird (female) (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/320, ISO 400)

 

Swamp (Canon EOS 40D, Canon 35-70 4/5.6, f/16 @ 38mm, 1/45, ISO 200)

 

Below is a shallow grassy area designated for waterfowl observation.

Waterfowl Observation Area

Waterfowl Observation Area (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, f/11 @ 50mm, 1/25, ISO 100)

 

Last August I found this Great White Egret at the Watherfowl Observation Area of Lake Arthur.

Great White EgretGreat Egret

Great White Egret (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 1.4X EF Extender III, f/5 @ 420mm, 1/640, ISO 250)

 

American Coot

American Coot (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/1600, ISO 400)

 

Photographic opportunities are endless at Moraine State Park.  That's why when I only have a few hours and don't have time to drive to faraway places, Moraine State Park is always a great choice for many activities especially photographing wildlife.

You can find these images and many more in my photography galleries.

Until next time,

Dan

 

 

 


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