Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunrise: The Most Beautiful Time of The Day

For many of us the day begins without notice.  For some the new day arrives before their alarm clock sounds while others are already at work, busy with the day's activity.  For me the latter is the case for five days each week so when the weekend arrives being up and out before the dawn becomes a high priority.  While some will argue the case for evening being the most beautiful time of day it is difficult to make the case for evening when comparing it to the incredible beauty of a dew-soaked mid-spring morning.
The above panoramic image was created by merging 14 vertical photos capturing approximately 180 degrees of view.  The individual photos were shot with a Canon 6D, 24mm-105mm lens set at 24mm,  F7.1, 1/320, ISO 160

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tranquility ?

What could be more tranquil than a spring evening on a small rural Pennsylvania farm? 
I took this photo while making my evening rounds.  Dad loved his cattle and even though both of his hips and one knee had to be replaced over the past decade he still took care of the day to day chores tending to his herd of 25-35 cattle.  With his passing in February a decision had to be made as to the future of his herd. After discussing it with my brother, Willard of Pa Wildlife Photographer, and my wife I decided that I would continue the tradition with only minor downsizing of the herd to take place later this year.  The downsizing will be necessary to provide more land for increased wildlife food plots.  As for now the herd has been increasing with the spring calves still arriving periodically.   

As tranquil as the meadows seem one needs only to step to the edge to find some little predators just now beginning to explore their new world.  There is no doubt that they and their parents eliminate any chance for tranquility in the life of their prey living nearby. 

With each passing day the little foxes ventured farther and farther away from the den.

Checking out every nook and cranny

And engaging in playful roughhousing

This fox pup retreated to the one of the den entrances when I approached a little too close for comfort.  From the safety of the den the little fellow watched me intently and unmoving for better than five minutes before dropping below ground for good.
Since this series was photographed the fox pups have disappeared.  As they were regularly leaving the den for extended periods of time I don't know I am just missing seeing them or if they have moved to a new location.  This was my first time locating and being able to photograph an active fox den making it one of the high points of my spring.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Catching Up

I noticed last evening that it had been nearly two weeks since I last updated Country Captures.  This year has proven to be very busy for me but busy or not it is time to do some catching up here.
Across Pennsylvania hunters were up and out early in hopes of calling in a big tom this morning as today was the opening day of the 2014 spring gobbler season.

Most of the year wild turkeys are just big black birds but when they puff up into full strut with the sunlight lighting up their colors they are sight to behold.

And this big fellow really lit up when the early morning sunlight hit him.

With turkey hunters in the woods my attention turns elsewhere.  Today I began the day checking out some of my favorite crappie spots.

And later spent some time photographing some solitary sandpipers.  While checking on the cattle last evening I noticed that a number of solitary's were feeding in a wet area along side of the pasture.  With better light this evening I returned and was able to photograph three of them as they bathed. 

Checking in on the fox den I was delighted to find the pups outside.  When I closed in as close as the fence would allow three of the pups sat on top of the den watching me closely.

However they soon relaxed and went back to playing.

With the light all wrong and the distance a little on the long side it was impossible to get truly great shots but it was still a thrill to watch the little canines.