|Photographing Dead Creek State Wildlife Management Area
|Twenty five minutes before sunrise.
If the sight and sound of several thousand snow geese sounds exciting to you, in New England the place to be in October is Dead Creek.
Dead Creek is located on Route 17 in Addison, Vermont, about three miles east of the bridge crossing Lake Champlain from Crown Point,
New York to Chimney Point, Vermont. This is in the Lake Champlain valley, about 100 feet above sea level, and the area is predominantly
agricultural. To the east are the Green Mountains of Vermont and to the west The Adirondack Mountains of New York.
The major access point for public access is a gravel road about 1/2 mile long that is known as the goose viewing area. It is fenced from the
refuge so people can't go onto it. Unfortunately for photographic purposes, this area faces south. However, the road is long and from this
access road it is possible to choose an angle where you are not shooting into the sun, particularly if the geese are close to the viewing area.
I have found that about 1 hour to 1/2 hour before sunrise is a good time to get there, to get your equipment ready, and to observe the geese.
Sometimes this will allow you to get there before the geese arrive from roosting on Lake Champlain and you can watch them arrive en masse.
Unlike many refuges which are open from sunrise to sunset, Dead Creek is open when you get there. The only posted rule concerning hours
of operation state "No Overnight Camping". While there are no guarantees, the geese seem to be pretty active the first couple of hours of the
day and being positioned in a good spot at the goose viewing area can yield some good photo opportunities.
After the first couple of hours of the day the geese seem to settle down for the day, and they may or may not be close. If you get there and
they are close to the viewing area take advantage as they can choose to move at any time.