Monday, April 14, 2014

Wildlife Welcomes Spring

On a recent frosty morning I was able to photograph a male Red-winged Blackbird as he perched on a grassy hummock singing lustily.  The males always are the first to arrive late each winter with the females arriving later.

Noticing a large mound of bare dirt that appeared in one of our meadows as the snow was beginning to melt I assumed that a woodchuck had reopened an existing burrow.  Although I often looked in the direction of the burrow I had not spotted any animals using it.

This all changed Sunday morning when I noticed a red fox disappear only to remerge a short time later followed by a fox pup.  While I had no luck photographing them at that time I returned in the afternoon to find the young foxes cavorting about the den when a adult lay nearby.

After shooting a few images at long range (over 200 yards) I tried to close the distance.  The adult quickly noticed my approach and began moving off followed by one of the pups.  After the adult stopped for a few seconds the pup turned back to the den and the entire group of pups disappeared underground.  Although I waited for over an hour they did not return leaving me with only the long distance photos.

At one of the cattle watering holes a killdeer stood stock-still hoping to go unnoticed. 

And a snapping turtle lays basking in the bright afternoon sunshine.

Vernal wetlands are teaming with life now and the singing of various frogs and toads fill the air with the beautiful song of spring.  The photo above is of a wood frog eggs mass while a wood frog itself is shown below.


Ruth Hiebert said...

WOW! Lots of spring action in your world. Too bad the foxes did not allow you to get closer,they are so cute.

Arija said...

How wonderful to be able to stalk a foxes earth when there are pups about. That mass of frog eggs at first glance looked like a shed snakeskin. Delightful ground shot of the snapping turtle with reflections.
Such a lot going on at your end of the works.

Arija said...
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Lois Evensen said...

Your images of Spring are wonderful as are all of your images. :) Ah, yes, Spring!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Great to Catch the foxes. So they had a tunnel just out in the field? Our foxes have it among rocks and dig tunnels from there.
Our spring is coming too but very slow. We still have Cold nights.
Have a great day!

Naquillity said...

so many wonderful images you've shared. i especially enjoyed seeing those foxes. maybe another trip out and you'll be able to get a closer shot. have a great day~

Montanagirl said...

Love the foxes. They are very wary I've found. And once spooked, no matter how long we wait for them, they won't reappear.

Anonymous said...

I love the call of the Red-winged Blackbird! These are beautiful photos documenting the spring activity in your area.