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Woods Canyon Lake Trail - Mogollon Rim
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mini location map2013-07-02
44 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Woods Canyon Lake Trail - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2013
Hiking5.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
400 ft AEG17 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A Hike scheduled around the Lake today...I wanted to see and try to get pictures of the Juvenile Bald Eagles before they left the Nest...As it turns out, I was just in time, they are ready to leave any day... :)

Until yesterday, it had been 18 years since I have visited this Lake...39 Years ago, before there was ever a Trail, I did what was probably my first real Hike, around this Lake...My Mother and Older Sisters thought it would be cool to "walk" around the Lake...After all, it didn't look that big...Sooo, following the Shoreline the entire way, that's what we did...I was barely 11... :sweat: The Elders didn't take into consideration that there were "fingers" to this Lake that you couldn't see and soooo, what looked like a short Hike turned into one much longer...We got back right at dark, after a start about 4 hours before that, to a Father/Husband who was on the verge of calling for help... :sl: So I guess you can say that there is a little bit of Nostalgia going along on this Hike today as well... :D That Nostalgia really smacked me in the face about 1/4 of the way around...I'll let the Photo do the talking on that one... :lol:

Start the Hike going CCW, as I was hoping that the Lighting would be better when I got to where I was going to set up, to Photograph the Eagles...Thanks to tibber for Geocoding her Photos when she was there, I had a real good idea of where they were and where I wanted to be...My CCW Lighting Plan ended up backfiring though...More on that later...

Started from the Store Parking Lot and hadn't even gotten to the Dam yet, when I missed shots of a Western Tanager... ](*,) It turned out ok though, as I went back the following day and got him!!! :DANCE: Crossed over the Dam following the Trail, but whenever the Trail started to move away from the Lake too far, I left it and followed more of a Fisherman's Trail down by the Water...After a bunch of Photos and experiencing a little Deja Vu, I took a break about halfway around...

Was really enjoying the Hike and the Osprey that were constantly above me, hunting...Saw at least one of the Adult Bald Eagles flying around also...On my Break, some other Birders stopped and that stated that the Baby Osprey were in their Nests about 1/2 back on the Trail...I had seen some Nests when I was following the Water, but they were empty. They stated that the Nests were right on the Trail and the Babies were screeching up a Storm, so I couldn't miss them if I backtracked on the Trail...Backtracked, but it was quiet and the only Nests I saw were the two from before, still empty...I think that the "Babies" were flighted Juveniles that just happened to be back at the Nest when the other people went by....

Turned back around and Hiked the Trail until I got back to my Break spot, then hit the Fishing Trails again...Got back on the Trail along the long West end, since it was close to the Water anyway. And then, I was there...Straight across the Channel from the Nest...Both Juveniles were at the Nest and I found a spot where I had a clear shot of them. Got the Tripod set up and watched the Lighting go to :pk: within minutes of setup...A wonderful bright, white Cloud Bank moved in over and behind the Eagles...They may as well have had a Spotlight backlighting them... :( Dark against Bright White did not work well and then the Wind picked up, making me wish for a very heavy Tripod... :sweat: But, I made the most of it, although I knew that there would not be any "awesome" shots today, at full Zoom with those conditions... ;) Regardless of all of that, it was so fun to watch them, as they are days from leaving the Nest for good...Stretching their Wings, getting some "Air", it was very cool!!! :D

I stayed there an hour and then moved on...Got to where the Biologist would have been set up, but he was not there...His assignment may be done. Took a couple of more pictures from that spot and probably would have set up again, but the Weather was really starting to look ominous, so I kept moving...Got back to the Escape just as the Rain started...It didn't let up until about 2 hours later...

Got the Camera a little wet on the drive out...Spotted a Foursome of Elk near the Group Campground and stopped...They didn't seem at all concerned about people, I think they hang around this area a lot...I finally got out of the Vehicle and followed them for a bit, in the Rain, getting some pictures, before finally calling it a Day and driving back to Camp. Just managed to get the Tarp set back up before the heaviest Rain hit... :sweat:

My mother has her pictures dated February 1974...Looking at the Pictures, I think she's off by a couple of months, although I can say that it wasn't "Summer" yet....We were wearing/carrying Jackets and there was no swimming...My sister had a dried bunch of Flowers/Weeds in her hand in one shot, so stuff hadn't started growing yet....

First one, the Lighting is really bad, but I actually got a little Audio of one of the Eagles vocalizing in the Nest...

Second and Third One, I made some adjustments for Lighting and the Action got better as they really started catching a little "Air".... :D

Posting too many bad ones, but I decided to have fun with the Commentary...I also took more liberties with Editing using some HDR and other things to try to make up for the poor lighting. Ended up "salvaging" a few pics that way....The Photography Learning Curve continues on.... :sweat:

Another great day on the Rim!!! Slight disappointment at the Eagle Shoot, but I'll be back next year. Any day you get to sit and watch Eagles play in their nest, is a good one!!! : app :
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Woods Canyon Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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