Monday, July 31, 2017

Deer Morning

What could possible be better than a cool summer morning spent photographing does and fawns?  Watching the interaction between animals reminds me of the similarities between the actions of animals and humans at times.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cleaning Up

I have been gathering scrap metal around the farm for the past three years.  Finally tiring of waiting for scrap prices to rise, I arranged with a local scrap dealer to deliver dumpsters last week.  Using our small JD tractor loader filling the hoppers wasn't that bad of a chore.  Now the eyesore is only photographs and memories.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

All's Well That Ends Well

According to my records Cow #21 was due to calve about June 29th.  I was concerned for her for when she delivered her first calf last year, as a two year old, she had gone into labor during the night after last herd check. When I checked her in the morning she could barely stand and the calf was stillborn.  Now this year she was going overdue raising the possibilities of a very large calf.

Sunday evening she left the herd so I knew that the onset of labor was imminent.  Not wanting a repeat of last year or worse, I checked her frequently and at 8 PM her water broke.  Two hours later, while obviously in labor, she had not progressed in birthing; it was time to call a Vet.  The answering service told me to call them back in thirty minutes if I did not hear from the vet on call, but in less than ten minutes Dr. Beidel was on the phone.  Discussing the situation he felt that his services were needed.  

My wife and I herded #21 in from the pasture and had her in the stable by the time Dr. Biedel arrived.  A quick examination determined that she had a live, very large calf, and that it hadn't entered the birth canal.  The next step was trying to pull the calf.  After using ropes and chains and doing all that two strong men could muster the calf's head was through but its shoulders were too large.  Dr. Biedel thought that any further effort would be futile so he moved on to performing a c-section.  By 2 AM the surgery was done, the calf, slow to wake was still struggling occasionally to sit up, and the mother was resting upright.

By morning 21 was standing but the calf was having problems standing, possible caused by the pulling of its front feet during the attempted delivery.  It seemed most likely that the calf had not nursed so milked 21 and bottle fed the baby.

Checking on them this morning, the calf is walking much better.  It is now able to take five or six steps before its weak ankle buckles.  Again, I milked mama and bottle fed the baby but I expect that he will soon be able to stand and nurse all on his own.

And as for Dr Biedel and Mid-Maryland Dairy Veterinarians I cannot say enough good!  This is the second time this year that Dr. Biedel has came to the farm on the weekend and made the best of a bad birthing situation.  The first time the the calf was already dead and he saved the life of the cow, this time he brought both through.  With a little TLC from me, I'm confident that both will do fine.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Gray Fox Den

Photographing the gray fox pups is pretty much a hit or miss proposition.  The times that they decide to spend above ground seem not to have much rhyme or reason other than they do like to sleep late into the morning and become active as darkness arrives.  Since they are primarily a nocturnal creature its understandable that they would need a nap after being active throughout the night.  With that being said they do often appear toward noon, the time when the first four photos posted here were taken, and occasionally during the afternoon.  The remaining photos were taken when they became active after sundown.  While two pups are pictured in most of my captures, the litter consist of three.  

I hope you enjoy viewing these cute little canines as they go about their daily business.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hay Making and a Wildlife Surprise

As the summer rolls along my summer's hay making is now in the past.  In years past our entire family pitched in to bale, haul, and store the square bales away in the barn.  With our small acreage not warranting the investment in round baling equipment, the cutting, raking, and baling are now accomplished through custom hire.  Below are a few scenes from this years haying.

The bonus came when the mower uncovered a den of gray foxes.  Knowing that they probably wouldn't stay long with their cover gone I worked aggressively, using the truck as a blind, to photograph the cute little canines.  The next post will be a selection of the better shots from the three photo sessions. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

Summer Morning Photos

With summer here, the opportunities for wildlife photos abound.  Wildlife is activity peaks in early morning before the heat and insects drive them to seek shelter.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pennsylvania's Winter Wonderland

The dreary grays and browns of winter were changed quickly this morning when a heavy snow shower blanketed our area.  With snow falling through the air and building on the ground, I enjoyed  a few very special hours photographing some of the birds and mammals of Pennsylvania's Winter Wonderland. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blue Sky Backgrounds

While spending some time at the bird feeders today I decided to focus upon bird photos with a clear blue sky background.  After some trial and error I found that having the exposure compensation of +1 gave the best results in most cases.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Autumn Splendor in an Ugly Land

Autumn in Pennsylvania is a most beautiful time of cool foggy mornings and colorful foliage.  The beauty is unsurpassed by any other season however this year is different.  It is not the season, it is not the colors, but it is the people engaged in the messy business of selecting a president.  Never in my 61 years have I seen such a campaign with so much hate, propaganda, and lies on display.  This election season has brought out the worst in so many people who feel the need to share an endless stream of the above on social media.

My hope is that as the leaves fall from the trees and November's somber grays smothers the landscape; with this most divisive election in our review mirror, our nation can experience healing regardless of the candidate selected.  

Friday, September 30, 2016

Elk County 2016, a short visit

The elk rut in northern Pennsylvania is one of the greatest wildlife shows that the Keystone State has to offer.  Whereas most wildlife activity goes largely unnoticed, Pennsylvania's elk are easily seen and are not particularly wary of humans.  While this has been the case with practically all of the elk I have encountered in different parts of the elk range it is particularly true in the Winslow Hill/Benezette area.  This area has become a popular tourist attraction for those wanting to experience elk and the elk rut in particular.  Having only a short time to photograph the elk rut this year I focused my attention on this area.  The following are a few images from my two mornings and one evening of photographing these awe inspiring animals.