"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold

"THE TABLES TURNED"

"COME FORTH INTO THE LIGHT OF THINGS. LET NATURE BE YOUR TEACHER"....William Wordsworth


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Light Of Day and Red Fox Kits

I was fortunate to spend some time observing and taking photos at a red fox den recently.  The first three photos began early in the morning, before the sun was visible on the horizon...


The kit plays with the remains of a groundhog that one of the adults brought to the den...


When interest in the groundhog waned it began looking for it's litter mates...


When the sun reaches the horizon a little more detail becomes visible and the overall scene is brighter...

 
 
Then, as the sun clears the horizon, comes the "golden hour". The time when the light is from a low angle, is soft and has that golden look...
 


 
Sunlight later in the day is less interesting but does provide for more manageable exposures...




Most wildlife photographers do not have the luxury of selecting the light of their choice.  When we see a potential subject we must take the photo then, or risk losing the opportunity.  The golden hour is available twice each day, just after sunrise and just before sunset.  Many photographers do not venture out at other times.

Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.



Saturday, May 2, 2015

Canada Geese on Catoctin Creek

I saw these Canada geese engaged in some serious communication recently.  I don't know what they were saying to each other...







After listening to all that the gander had to say the female turned about...

 
She led the male to a rock...
 

Where they preened for a while...

 
Next, the gander tried to impress her by offering her different views of his head and neck...

 
 
 
After that display, they both began talking at the same time... 




 
 
I guess they got everything settled because they left together, a lot more quietly than they arrived.

Coots at Lilypons

I visited Lilypons yesterday and found a second coot had joined the one already there.  It was fun to observe them as they fed on aquatic plants in the koi pond...








 

 
 

While not as colorful and flashy as other waterfowl, coots were once hunted, using decoys, for sport and food.




Spring Birds

This is a great time of year to see birds.  Some have been here all winter and some are returning migrants, but they all provide welcome photo subjects. Mourning doves seem to be everywhere...


A brown thrasher calls from a brushy fence row...


A pair of tree swallows have claimed a bluebird house for their own...


Goldfinches in breeding plumage...



Eastern kingbird...


 
Brown-headed cowbird...

 
Juvenile red-tailed hawk...
 

A solitary sandpiper preening and feeding along Catoctin Creek...





When other wildlife is hard to find birds can usually be counted on to make an outing worthwhile.

Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Monocacy Battlefield Signs of Spring

A visit to the Monocacy National Battlefield revealed a few deer feeding in a green field.  They are all still wearing their winter coats and look a little shabby compared to the sleek appearance they will have when their summer coat grows in...


A groundhog was undecided about making an appearance...


Two Carolina wrens were busy working on a nest near the parking lot...

 
 
No matter if your interest is the Civil War, or nature, you might find something to make your visit worthwhile.