Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
July has been a very long month. With home improvement projects, family health issues and trying to get to the bottom of some health issues of my own I have found little time for wildlife photography. I have spent more time with doctors, nurses and other medical personnel in the past two weeks than I probably have in all of my previous years combined.
Hopefully August will usher in a change for the better.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Usually the first indication that a bullfrog is close by is a peep, kersplash, plop as the frog leaps for the safety of the water from its hiding spot.
I located this frog sitting out in the open of the wetland amid the vegetation growing in the shallow water. By approaching slowly the frog sat as if transfixed while I maneuvered into range of the 400mm lens with a 25mm extension tube attached.
As I photographed the frog the only detectable movement was its throat movement as it breathed. Note the two small leaches attached to the frog's throat.
Once finished photographing I backed away to maybe 20-30 feet before turning around to walk away. As soon as I turned I heard the distinct peep, kersplash, Plop! The frog had waited until I was no longer making eye contact to execute his evasion actions.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
While the Wood Ducks are the most commonly observed duck at the local wetlands, they are not alone.
I observed a hen Hooded Merganser with a brood the same evening as when I seen the first Wood Duck young although I was unable to capture a suitable image. During each of my visits I have been able to locate at least one young Merganser and occasionally have been successful photographing it. The Merganser young are often widely separated, not flocking together as the Wood Ducks and Mallards are prone to do.
This young Hooded Merganser caught sight of me as I moved into position one recent morning. After spending nearly an hour concealed behind a small island it finally moved into view checking to see if the intruder had left. After only a couple of clicks of the shutter the young bird submerged. Fortunately for me the bird had chosen a spot with good lighting to check from
A few minutes after the Merganser encounter this flock Mallards who had flown in a few minutes earlier checked me out from nearly the same location. I believe this to be a flock of juvenile Mallards as immature birds and hens are very similar. The bird farthermost to the right may be the mother although the oly difference that I can see is that its bill coloration is somewhat different from that of the others.
Again with only a couple of frames exposed the Mallards scooted to safety, this time behind the nearby vegetation. In this location I was not hidden nearly as well as I would have preferred and once the camera drew the duck's attention to me they wasted no time in retreating.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
More than birds visit the natural bird feeders.
This little Chipmunk has visited the natural bird feeders with the big glass focused upon him so often that he is no longer camera shy. Posing cutely for the portrait he probably wonders why he's receiving so much attention.
While unconcerned about the cameras and camera men he still keeps a sharp lookout for the hawks who occasionally disrupt an otherwise peaceful morning of raiding the till.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
For more Critters of all Kinds
Visit our friend Misty at
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
When only a few yards away the mink suddenly became aware of our presence; stopping momentarily before reversing direction as rapidly as it had approached. Here you can see the initial escape leap as the mink began fleeing.
Thinking of this encounter I believe that the little rabbit owes its life to our presence this morning as there is absolutely nowhere that a rabbit could go where the mink could not follow. And then again looking at the encounter another way I guess the mink could blame us for its hunger pangs brought on by a missed meal.
I was fully intending to continue today with yesterday's wetland encounters but after this heart racing encounter with a creature so rarely seen I simply had to share this extraordinary encounter today.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
As the summer progresses the wetlands are in a state of constant change. With no appreciable rain fall in well over two weeks the water level is receding rapidly leaving much of the previously flooded areas dry and baking in the hot sun. The change of water level along with the vegetation growth forces me to change vantage points frequently.
This morning I chose a position overlooking a small pool that would be subjected to strong sunlight coming from my left once the sun rose. Shortly after sunrise I spotted vegetation shaking about in a shallow portion of the pool. A moment later I was able discern a muskrat swimming rapidly towards me with a bundle of leaves in its mouth.
Photographing the muskrat continuously as it approached; the best shot of the session occurred as the rat turned to is right allowing the sun to light its head along with the leaves it was carrying. Before I could trip the shutter again the muskrat dove out of sight; but not before leaving me with the my very best muskrat capture ever.
If this image had been the only good image I came away with this morning it certainly would have been a worthwhile outing. Instead it was only the beginning of what was to be a very memorable morning spent in the wilds of the wetlands.