Apr 262010

I have three Kids (adults now).  How my wife and I saw there upbringing wasn’t always in-sink.  I believe in a “mother’s instinct”.  Seen it work many times.  What does my family have to do with a fox family?  For nine hours I witnessed family and individual fox personalities.  Not a scientific study.  But it was an incredible experience that showed me a lot about the fact that animals in the wild have individual personalities and…..ideas on how to raise a family.

omandpupslookingat camera

Mom never and I mean never took her eyes off the blind I was in.  The end of the lens was the only thing that she could see except the blind.  I have read that the huge glass in the lens draws attention with wildlife.  She was incredibly nervous.  Pacing and obviously disturbed with the new object (blind/lens glass)60 yds or so too close to her kids.


Then there is the Fox dad.  (Mom is the one standing with the disturbed look and the half ear).  He’s like a “Disney” dad.  Not at all concerned about the blind, glass, or anything much more than feeding and playing with the little foxes.  This photo really portrays what happened a lot of the time I was there.  Mom nervous – Dad not nervous.


Then it happened.  Mom started chasing the little ones.  Not to play.  But rather to pick one up.  She was out of there.  And the kids where going with her………


Off she went with the first of six fox cubs.   Oh, by the way Dad was off hunting when she carted the first fox away.


Dad came back with breakfast.  One less cub and my lens.  This is one of only two times that I photographed him looking at the blind.


Many times Mom tried to take a cub.  The cubs thought she was playing.  She would look over at Dad almost as a confirmation to take the cub.  Note in this photograph she is not looking at me she would key in on the dad every-time she tried to pick up a pup.  When Dad was not paying attention she took another pup.  Two down four to go.


Mom’s third attempt Dad interceded.  He would not let her take a pup.  Then off he went with Mom in tow.


Dad was bringing back the pups.  WHAT?  Mom was nowhere to be found just Dad and a mouth full of Fox pup.


Dad’s second trip back Mom was right behind.  This went on for hours.  Mom would take one and Dad would bring it back.  Until they each had three.  For the last two hours or so Dad was sleeping, playing and feeding the pups.  Who knows what Mom was doing…maybe taking valium or just fuming about the whole thing.  In some ways I felt bad that I was the cause of her consternation.  Dad however made me feel that maybe she was just being a true MOM with motherly insincts.  Not all bad looking out for your kids welfare.


In the end Dad seemed normal and Mom….well I am not sure because she was just over the hill watching her three cubs that she ended up with.  I left when Dad went hunting and the cubs were in the den.  Hopefully everything is back to normal today.

 Posted by at 9:53 PM
Apr 252010


Have you ever spent 9 hours in a blind?   A camouflage blind – not something related to vision.  It started this morning for me at 3:30 a.m.  A fox family of eight.  Mom, Dad and six little ones.  An adventure of a lifetime.  I can’t post it all tonight.  Watch for tomorrows post.  It really was incredible!   This photograph is of the mother (the one with the partial ear), Dad (the good looking one), and two little foxes.  Quite a story filled with humor and adventure and that’s just the fox family.

 Posted by at 9:57 PM
Apr 242010

Wet Egret

Have I ever noted how much I love to photograph the Egret?  This has to be one of the luckiest shots I have ever taken.  Lately a lot of my time photographing is near my home.  It almost always includes bird photography.   I recently have had to shoot auto focus only  My retina tear and giant floaters in the other eye have made it hard to manually focus.  I am very lucky.  The shot is one of my favorites.  Notice the long feather off the front.  It curls around and has a string of droplets falling from it.  Note also the droplets behind the egret from his feet as he just took off.  A panning shot that by shear luck caught the detail I wanted.  Yet it still was a slow enough exposure so the very fast moving wings are slightly blurred.

Nikon D3s, 200-400 f/4 lens, 1.7 teleconverter, 320 ISO, shot at f/6.7, 1/1000 second.

 Posted by at 8:39 PM
Apr 232010


I have been watching and waiting.  The little ones are starting to appear.  The mother goose was trying to get the little ones to go into the water.  For a while they were not in the least bit interested.


Home sweet home.  What better protection than under mom’s wing.  There is not just this one under here wing. They are all under her wing.


After a lot of coaxing the little birds took to the water.  Pretty incredible parents.  I enjoyed my time with them tonight.

 Posted by at 6:37 PM
Apr 222010


The White Faced Ibis is beautiful!  The colors are incredible especially when faced with the late day sun.


Another bird of incredible color is the Barn Swallow.  A tiny very fast flying bird.  This little guy is difficult to photograph in flight.  In this particular photograph the bird had just taken off from a branch.  My luck was with me and my autofocus mode.

 Posted by at 8:45 PM
Apr 182010


The first bird this morning was an Egret.  My first of the 2010 season.  I will never get tired of these incredibly beautiful birds.  Luck was on my side with the backlit wings when it took flight.  Incredible!


The pheasants out west are in this crazy territorial funk right now.  They are constantly yelling at each other.  I’m not sure but I think it is to warn other males.  Or maybe it is an invitation for the opposite gender.  The pheasant in the photo above would first raise up and make a unique call or yell.  then it would……


Flap it’s wings.  It almost sounds as if he is beating his chest with his wings.   An amazing spectacle of nature.


The whole time I was watching the pheasant this Kestral was making sure that I was not to get any closer to it’s nest.  No dive bombing just a lot of “hey look at me” moves.  Another beautiful bird that I love to watch.

 Posted by at 5:58 PM
Apr 172010


Morning silence is broken by the familiar song of a Meadowlark.  The song is short but it is usually in response to another singer in the distance.  This particular bird is shy.  It allowed me a chance to get a few frames before it chose a new location to serenade all that would listen.

 Posted by at 8:26 PM
Apr 152010


Tank set day in Buffalo, Wyoming today.  Usually an early start.  The Fire Marshall couldn’t be at the site until 2:00 p.m.   I heard the wild turkey hunt was open.  Lot’s of Wild turkeys around.  Off I went late tonight.


It was my first experience with wild turkeys.  And boy it was “wild”


I am sorry but these guys are really ugly.  Though the female gobblers aren’t exactly cute either!

 Posted by at 11:02 PM
Apr 112010


The wind was blowing like the Dickens this morning.  Not a lot of bird action.  If it was me I would be out dive bombing other birds using the wind to my advantage.


I am not sure that I have ever seen Mallards hunkered down in a plowed field.  Lazy or just scared of the wind?

cormorantflightI love the way most of the birds run on the water as they take off.  It was a little tough today with the undulating water surface.

 Posted by at 12:45 PM