This weekend my husband and I traveled just south of Galva, Illinois to fish on some strip-mine ponds. The ponds are privately owned in a pasture area and provided a wonderful, secluded area to enjoy a beautiful day on the water. Before I got in the boat, I decided to hike around and see if I could find something to photograph. I came upon a group of beautiful blue-winged teals. They didn’t seem to mind as I tip-toed ever closer to get a picture. Blue-winged teals migrate long distances. Some travel all of the way to South America. So, they are among the first to leave their northern homes as fall migration approaches.