An Unexpected Surprise

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and excuse a few typos its 2 a.m. and I’m on an offramp in Indiana typing this.
On my last day in Illinois I decided to take the morning before meeting my dad for lunch and try one last run in Busey woods for a few bug and amphibian shots. It was overcast and it had just finished raining but it was cool and I kept the camera covered between the raindrops that still fell here and there. I made my way around the area set aside for the prairie reclimation project with lots of grasses and wildflowers and then I decided to head into the woods for a bit of bird/bug shots, after crossing the river I turned to the first trail, an undeveloped trail that heads into the deeper side of the woods and not 10 ft onto the trail I saw them, just a flash of brown in the emerald green of the woods, 3 deer. I’ve been playing in these woods for 35 years and I never saw more than one deer and that was a long time ago, so this was something special for me. I froze in place not wanting to spook them as they foraged in the woods for tasty morsels. I stood transfixed at they saw me but did’nt seem to care. I watched for a while judging the light and cloudcover trying to set the camera for the dark woods. My camera is not dark friendly so I had to make alot of adjustments on the fly, but I finally got the settings right. It was like I was in a dream, one big buck and two does. Then out of the corner of my eye 2 more does and a young buck crossed the trail right in front of me not 20 feet away, they gave me the wary look and kept going to join the rest, it was too cool!

So after watching the herd for a while I decided to leave them alone and continue my hike, besides the mosquitos were eating me alive! I crossed over to the north side of the woods and followed the boardwalk trail to a side trail which leads to a small bridge where I get alot of good dragonfly pics when I see a doe staring right at me not 30 feet off the trail, I just shot about 150 pics of deer so I did’nt bother her and continued to the side trail. I got there and decided to set the tripod down and take a break and turned my hear to the left and was staring right at 2 fawns in the underbrush not 10 feet away! My heart stopped, I froze, not wanting to spook them I moved very slowly but the one just looked right at me and continued to chew something and I think he/she was more intrigued by me than I was of it. I turned the camera and just started taking pics, its sibling did’nt even turn to look at me. I spent a few minutes and moved on beacuse I did’nt want to draw attention to them from other hikers and loud kids.

The rest of the hike to the bridge and pond was a bust, the dragonflies just were not there, bummer, but the deer made it all worth the trip, until I had to take a leak in the woods, BIG mistake, ever get a mosquito bite on your privates? Not fun.. Well I hope ya’ll enjoyed this long post, probably the longest one I have ever done. Have a great weekend..:-)))

Early Morning Deer..

Last Thursady while in Michigan waiting to get a load I was trying to talk to my mom and shooting some pics of deer out the passenger side window at the same time, add in that it was low light and I used the window as a platform for the long telephoto lens and I think this one turned out pretty decent.

See ya’ll tomorrow for Sunday Stills…:-)

Hunting 101

This post stemms from an encounter I had Wenesday evening in a Wal-Mart in Seymour Indiana at 3 a.m.
I was perusing the pocket knives in the sporting goods section when I accidentaly over heard a conversation between a sales associate and a customer who was looking at a .22 rifle. As I approached the dynamic duo I heard the customer ask if the rifle could bring down a deer? Yes folks you read right, he actually asked if a .22 could bring down a deer, the sales associate replied that he did’nt know….. I was speechless! They looked at me and all I could reply was the only way you were going to bring down a deer with a .22 was if you sneaked up from behind and put a couple in behind its ear like a mob hit. The two things I learned this evening were
1. There are people who just should’nt own firearms.
2. Wal-Mart has no idea how to staff certain departments.
As I drove south that evening I started to think ( a dangerous thing at 4:30 in the morning) I have no problem with hunting if you need to put meat on the table or get rid of, coyotes, burrowing animals ect…..
The problem I have is with the macho Douchbags who kill animals for no reason, the guy who shoots a grizzley bear while it was hunting berries or drinking from a stream then has the taxidermist pose the bear in a freocious pose like the ass was in danger when he shot it..Or the uber macho man who travels to Africa to shoot a bull elephant, for what? so he can go home and tell his buddies about the great hunt from the back of the jeep, and how the elephant almost got away because he spilled his champagne. Or how about in West texas wild game farms, where for a fee you can shoot a farm raised gazelle, at least you can eat that one. O.K. I’m winding down here, NOT!
How about the people who go hiking in the California foothills and their poodle gets eaten by a mountain lion? What do they do? they go out and hunt the terrible beast that ate their stupid dog! Look it you don’t want to loose fluffy or get mauled by a cougar stay out of the mountains, or bars after 2 a.m.
The same goes with people who are attacked by sharks, some surfer or diver gets attacked and next thing you know there are shark fisherboys out killing everything with a pectoral fin.
Take the Black Bears in the Eastern U.S., they aren’t overpopulated, they don’t usually attack people unless they feel threatened but still every year some red-neck jackoff is showing off a photo of his great bear kill at the local gas station. Do you think the bear is happy knowing his skin is on the floor of some trailer with who knows what being done on it? YEEEECH!
This could go on for a bit longer but I’ll cut it short, like I said earlier I have no problem with hunting for food or to protect livestock from predators or varmits who create burrows that some poor cow or horse can break a leg. Even I could put some lead in Bambi, Thumper, or Rudolf if I were starving.
O.K. I’ve gone on long enough, if you read this all the way through congrats!
Well time for bed, ya’ll have a great weekend and I’ll see ya for the Sunday Stills Challenge, Later…Ed

Cades Cove: Wildlife

After posting the church interior pic yesterday I decided to dedicate this week to Cades Cove national park near Townsend Tennessee. Today I’m highlighting some of the local animals that can be found in the cove. The most prevelant are the deer, they are everywhere! I have a ton of deer pics, some wandering,scratching,eating,jumping, and just plain having fun. There are Black Bears also I managed a couple of pics at a distance and it seems like everyone had better pics than me..Oh Well. The other thing I love to stalk and take pics of are birds and I’ve got pretty good at it. There were loads of turkeys both toms and hens, alot of Bluebirds and Eastern Meadowlarks, Red bellied woodpeckers, and Pilated woodpeckers and of course Crows were everywhere. I can’t wait for spring for my next trip and day long photorama.
Tomorrow I think I’ll do a scenery/landscape post then the buildings/cabins of the cove to finish off the week.

An Intimate Moment

dsc_0673Time for a humor check…
I find myself enjoying looking through my pics trying to find that one pic that tells a story. Unfortunatly this pic says it all, just some deer trying to have a moment alone and there is some dumb schmuck with a telephoto lens snapping pics and giggling like and idiot. Guess who the schmuck was????? So there I am trying to focus and laughing so hard I could’nt. Well I got the pic and left Bambi to finish her business in peace. Just kidding, I kept shooting till she got up and left..
Shot data: Max telephoto 500mm, ISO 400, f3:5, 1/2000sec, tripod mounted.