Spring Goose Flights 2014

Downtown Frankfort, Kentucky seen from the helicopter.  Each spring I fly Canada goose surveys over the eastern half of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The sights from above are unique.  Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
Downtown Frankfort, Kentucky seen from the helicopter. Each spring I fly Canada goose surveys over the eastern half of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The sights from above are unique. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

Each spring I have the opportunity to survey temperate nesting Canada geese across Kentucky.  The surveys allow the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to monitor goose populations within Kentucky.  These surveys are part of a coordinated effort within the Mississippi Flyway.  Temperate nesting geese serve as a valuable buffer to the harvest of migrant goose populations.  We fly across numerous randomly distributed 2 square mile boxes and count all the geese and nests within each.  These are then used to predict a population within the state.

While transitioning between plot, I manage to shoot a few pictures out the window.  I am fascinated by the landscape patterns which can only be seen  from above.

 

A large rooster farm in Kentucky.  These roosters are likely used in fighting rooster matches.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
A large rooster farm in Kentucky. These roosters are likely used in fighting rooster matches. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

This spring has been a bad spring for forest fires in eastern Kentucky.  This fire in Letcher County was one of 6 you could see at one point.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
This spring has been a bad spring for forest fires in eastern Kentucky. This fire in Letcher County was one of 6 you could see at one point. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

A train moves thru a narrow valley near Lake Cumberland.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
A train moves thru a narrow valley near Lake Cumberland. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

The pattern of headstones in a national cemetery is unmistakable.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
The pattern of headstones in a national cemetery is unmistakable. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

Golfers play in a round in central Kentucky.  It is interesting that the course grasses (likely Bermuda) are much slower to green up than the surrounding grasses.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
Golfers play in a round in central Kentucky. It is interesting that the course grasses (likely Bermuda) are much slower to green up than the surrounding grasses. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

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A drilling rig prepares holes for a blast to expose new coal at a surface mine in southeastern Kentucky. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

A harness racer practices at a small track in eastern Kentucky.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
A harness racer practices at a small track in eastern Kentucky. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
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Makers Mile at Keeneland

Two time Breeders Cup Champion, Wise Dan, makes his move in the final turn on the Turf at Keeneland's Maker's Mile Grade 1stake.  Wise Dan would win the race.  Nikon D4 with Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII and 1.7 tele extender.
Two time Breeders Cup Champion, Wise Dan, makes his move in the final turn on the Turf at Keeneland’s Maker’s Mile Grade 1stake. Wise Dan would win the race. Nikon D4 with Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII and 1.7 tele extender.

 

I had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful Friday at Keeneland on the day before the Toyota Bluegrass Stake.  The highlight of the day was the Maker’s Mile, a grade 1 turf race. The star of the race was 2 time Breeder’s Cup Champion Wise Dan.  Wise Dan did not disappoint with a solid win in the Makers Mile.  Outside of the Stake race, there were large fields all day with great racing.  These are a few of the shots from the day.

 

 

Wise Dan in the Post Parade before the Maker's Mile at Keeneland.  Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR.
Wise Dan (John Velazquez up)  in the Post Parade before the Maker’s Mile at Keeneland. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR.

 

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Horses battle off the backstretch in one of the day’s early races. Nikon D800e with 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Wise dan is on the outside in the final turn before making his move to win the race.  Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII and Nikkor 1.7x tele-extender.
Wise Dan is on the outside in the final turn before making his move to win the race. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII and Nikkor 1.7x tele-extender.

 

 

Jockey Julien Leparoux battles for position.  Nikon D4 with 600mm f/4 VRII.
Jockey Julien Leparoux battles for position. Nikon D4 with 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

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Early clouds gave way to mostly sunny conditions during the day. Nikon D800e with 24-70mm f/2.8 VRII.

 

Horses battle off the final turn at Keeneland.  Nikon D800e with 600mm f/4 VRII.
Horses battle off the final turn at Keeneland. Nikon D800e with 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Doc watching as the horses round the final turn at Keenealnd.  Nikon D4 with 600mm f/4 VRII.
Doc watching as the horses round the final turn at Keenealnd. Nikon D4 with 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

An outrider with the forsythia making a strong showing.  Nikon D800e with 70-200 mm f2.8 VRII.
An outrider with the forsythia making a strong showing. Nikon D800e with 70-200 mm f2.8 VRII.

 

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Most fields on Friday were large with tight racing. Nikon D4 with 80-400mm f/5.6 VRII.

 

Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Corey Lanerie on Alakazan Alakazan (BRZ) before the Makers Mile.  Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR.
Corey Lanerie on Alakazan Alakazan (BRZ) before the Makers Mile. Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR.
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Opening Day at Keeneland-Spring 2014

Horses battle for position coming off the Backstretch during the third race of Keeneland's opening day.  Cloudy skies and intermittent rain followed by a strong wind greeted everyone out to enjoy the races.  Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Horses battle for position coming off the Backstretch during the third race of Keeneland’s opening day. Cloudy skies and intermittent rain followed by a strong wind greeted everyone out to enjoy the races. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

I look forward to opening day of Keeneland’s spring and fall meets every year.  It is fascinating to me to watch these amazing animals roar by at full speed and enjoy watching the tactics of a race as it unfolds.  The opening of the Spring 2014 meet was begun  in less than ideal weather conditions.  Light rain and  mist early on gave way to clearing skies but increasingly strong winds.  The racing was great even if the crowd was not as large as it might have been.  These are a few of the pictures from my day enjoying the races.

 

Rain gave way to mostly cloudy skies by midway thru the race.  The forsythia was just starting to bloom on opening day.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.
Rain gave way to mostly cloudy skies by midway thru the race. The forsythia was just starting to bloom on opening day. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G.

 

Jockey Joel Rosario heads out on the track.  Rosario has become one of the leading jockies at Keeneland and managed to win the Kentucky Derby last spring.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Jockey Joel Rosario heads out on the track. Rosario has become one of the leading jockies at Keeneland and managed to win the Kentucky Derby last spring. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Battle for position.   Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.
Battle for position. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII.

 

Outriders control the races at Keeneland.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VRII.
Outriders control the races at Keeneland. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VRII.

 

Hot walkers warm the horses up before the races in the paddocks at Keeneland.  One of the great experiences of Keeneland is the ability to see the horses up close and personal.  Here is H Town Brown before finishing second in the day's sixth race.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8VRII.
Hot walkers warm the horses up before the races in the paddocks at Keeneland. One of the great experiences of Keeneland is the ability to see the horses up close and personal. Here is H Town Brown before finishing second in the day’s sixth race. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8VRII.

 

Crowds were thinner than would be expected on opening day thanks to less than perfect weather.  Still, those who came had a great time.   Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 G
Crowds were thinner than would be expected on opening day thanks to less than perfect weather. Still, those who came had a great time. Nikon D800e with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 G
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