Sunday, February 15, 2015

Unexpected Encounter

With winter fully upon us the creek that borders two sides of the family farm has frozen sufficiently that it is mostly safe for walking.  I took advantage of the ice conditions yesterday to hike along one side of our farm looking for photo opportunities. 
The perspective one gets from walking on the water is quite different than what is available most of the year.

And the frozen water lends a different look to the scene as well.
As I was taking this walk looking for landscape shots and not wanting to be burdened down with heavy gear, I was carrying a Canon EOS 6D with a 24-105mm lens attached.  With that outfit I was unprepared for what was to happen next.

As I approached a small area of open rapids I noticed a small animal swimming in the water.  At first glance I thought muskrat but a moment later as it pulled itself out on the ice I could see that it was mink!  Now mink are not uncommon in my area but seeing one certainly is as they are a very secretive animal.  As the mink hadn't seemed to have noticed me I continued moving its way as it hurried along the shoreline towards me, searching for a meal.  While the smooth ice allowed me to walk quietly I was surprised that the mink as so engrossed with checking the shoreline that it didn't notice me walking towards it with no cover whatsoever.  I was able to get to within about forty feet of it before the ice cracked under my weight, making a hollow booming sound as the pressure crack seemed to run the length of the ice sheet.

With that the mink took notice of me and after staring me down for a moment wheeled, ran to the open water, and slipped in.  The encounter was over as quickly as it had began leaving me with both memories and images of a rare sighting in the Pennsylvania Outdoors.


Montanagirl said...

Wow Coy! That's a real memory keeper encounter - glad you managed a couple shots of him. Bet you were wising you had your big lens! LOL.

Montanagirl said...

P.S., that's why a bought a Canon Powershot SX50. Took me awhile to get used to framing shots by looking through the panel on the back instead of through a viewfinder. But I really like the camera, and it has a huge zoom range, yet so lightweight.

Ruth Hiebert said...

That is a memorable experience and you managed to get some good pictures as well.

Woody Meristem said...

Good sighting. Most mink seem rather fearless and will approach humans as long as the person remains still or moves very slowly

Anonymous said...

What a find while on your hike! Great shot of the mink! When my parents were first married in the mid 1940's, they raised mink!

Coy Hill said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

I hear what you are saying Mona, the DSLR's and lens can be a real pain to carry around and a neat little unit like your powershot is always handy are ready to go.

Woody, It has been my experience as well that mink are not particularly timid, however mink sighting are fairly rare in my area so I do not have much experience with them.

Elaine said...

Beautiful shots along the stream, and what a wonderful encounter for you!