Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Outstanding Evening!

It seems fruitless to read the weather forecasts as they have called for rain every day this week, but we have not gotten any as of yet. The mornings have been bitter cold-until this morning. Today was the first day of the week that really felt like spring and this afternoon was exceptional except for a strong wind, so I spent the afternoon in my favorite photographic blind. While I was driving to the blind I noticed these flowers by the roadside and photographed them by lowering the window and resting the camera with 300mmF4 lens on the door edge. I am not sure of the proper name for these flowers, but we called them "Easter Lilies " when we were young as they are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in our area and that often coincides with the Easter season. Within a week or so they should have numerous large blossoms.

Canon 40D-300mmF4

The main object of my excursion was Eastern Wild Turkey gobblers as I continued my quest of trying to photograph one strutting and gobbling, but I have not observed that activity yet this year. As happens on most evenings, a flock of young gobblers and hens put in an appearance. Two mature gobblers with long beards were with them and I took this shot when one stretched and flopped his wings as they usually do at some point during an encounter. It would have been nice to have had the entire left wing in the picture, but that is what happens when one is using a fixed power lens and there is no time to change to a smaller one.

Canon 40D: 500mmF4

After that I did change to the 300mmF4 in hopes of getting the entire turkey in the shot, if he repeated the performance, but that was not to be.

It still paid off as in time I noticed one of my favorite deer standing quite near the blind and the lens worked well to take a portrait of her. This doe was a fawn in 2002 and I have seen her almost daily since that time. She was aware that I was in the blind and in fact she was there, hoping that I would give her a hand-out. She watched me carry the camera equipment back to the Chevy Blazer. I had to make numerous trips, to store both the video and still equipment and she walked near the Blazer and waited for me, permitting me to walk within a few feet of her. I am able to touch her on occasion, but today was not one of those times.

Canon 40D: 300mmF4

She has often followed me when I take a walk in the area, usually walking a few feet behind me, and somewhat off to the side, stopping when I do and standing there staring at me. It is truly a thrill and pleasure to gain the trust of a wild animal like this!

She has had two fawns in past years, and currently has a doe fawn and button buck. Her first fawn developed into a six-point buck and dispersed in his first autumn with antlers, while the second buck was gored to death by another buck in a sparring match.


Anonymous said...

awesome photos!

West Bremerton florist

Anonymous said...

Willard, photography just doesn't get much better than this and the narrative makes the story so complete and worthy of attention. Nice work.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio.

Kerri said...

WOW! I would say that was Definitely an Oustanding Evening! And your storytelling skills.....those are outstanding too!

How exciting to see the turkeys and the deer...especially one you've created a bond with.
I hope you have more evenings like this to share with us!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post.
Glad to hear about the bond between you and the deer.

fishing guy said...

Willard: Just loved the photos and the story. You have some great outdoor pictures and I so enjoy visiting your sight.
I thought the flowers looked like Daffodils that I have in my yard.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Well it's all been said above Willard... your walks with the deer or should I say her walks with you must please you no end. I walked early this year with a group of horses and that was great.. these were not of course wild horse.. just semi tame but I was thrilled to have them follow all the same.

Travis said...

Your photos are just great. I really enjoy your site. I really like the shot of the turkey in this post. Great job. Keep posting.

lv2scpbk said...

We've been getting some rain here. I always thought, mid as well go outside and look at the sky yourself, than depend on some of the weather forecasts. I love your photos, especially the one of the turkey.

Susanne said...

Hallo Willard,
your fotos are fantastic, I love them. I allways enjoy the visit here.

imac said...

Willard, you are an amazing Photographer, I sit and only wish I was with you seeing these beautiful animals.

Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful thanks for the pictures and the story!

Marvin said...

Excellent work, Willard. I admire your skill and patience.