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.