Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sky Watch Friday-Wildlife In The Meadow

The weather has been very unsettled lately providing many opportunities for photographing unique cloud formations. I spend most early mornings and late evenings at this time of year at a favorite meadow, which I described in the previous post. I captured these beautiful cumulus clouds as I was leaving the area on last Friday Morning.

Canon 40D: 17-40mmF4L at 17mm 1/750 sec. f8 ISO 100

Late May and early June brings exciting action to the outdoors. The young of many species are born in this time frame. A family of woodchucks made the day on the morning of June 1. I had loaned "Salty" of Country Captures my 100-400mm lens since I seldom used it. He liked it so well that he purchased one recently, so I pressed mine back into service and I am finding that it works much better on the Canon 40D than it did on the 10D. I had found that this lens would not stand up to severe cropping on the 10D while the superb 500mmF4 and the 70-200mm 2.8 would. Salty used the lens on a Canon 30D and it was obvious that this lens performed much better on that camera. I am pleased with the results so far on the 40D. This lens is not as sharp as the 500mmf4, but one misses a lot of opportunities with that lens because of the difficulty of getting it in action unless one is on stand with it mounted on a tripod, waiting for wildlife to appear. The 100-400mm allows one to take the quick shot of a situation that is not going to last.


Canon 40D-100-400mmLF3.5-5.6 1/180sec. f5.6 ISO 400


I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first newborn fawns. This is perhaps my favorite doe. She is totally acclimated to me and spends a lot of time feeding near my stand. She is six years old. She had a single fawns for two years, but had a set of twins last year-one a buck and the other a doe. Judging from the size of her distended abdomen I predict that she will have twins again this year, but I may or may not see them. It is common for deer to lose one or all of their fawns due to problems in the birthing process or predation. In this area the most common predators are coyotes and black bears. Does are more likely to lose the fawns at birth following a severe winter as the strain of survival can negatively impact the fawns development. Since it was a mild winter the chances for survival are excellent.

Canon 40D-100-400mmLF3.5-5.6 1/180sec. f5.6 ISO 400

In all likelihood she will give birth in the next few days. This morning I noticed that she did not follow her fawns from last year when they went to the mountain to lie up for the day, but slipped into the brush near a stream. This is a good indication that birthing time is quite near.


I hope to be able to post photographs of the newborn soon, but they do not always co-operate. I have seen fawns within a day of when they were born, but sometimes it is a week or more until they appear. (One can tell birth has occurred by observing the doe closely. If she looks like the doe above one day and appears the next with sunken flanks and a smaller abdomen, one knows the fawns have been born.)

For more Sky Watch photographs visit Tom at Wigger's World

31 comments:

DeeMom said...

OH what joyous news about the birht, I hope you get pictures.

Your sky is beautiful all of your phots are top notch

DeeMom said...

OH what joyous news about the birht, I hope you get pictures.

Your sky is beautiful all of your phots are top notch

Bradley Myers said...

I can't wait to see the new borns and the black bears you mentioned. The bears are getting closer to me in my area, I have been scouting them out but no luck yet.

quinttarantino said...

These are fantastic shots.

fishing guy said...

Hi Willard: What a great Sky picture and an interesting post.

SandyCarlson said...

What a way to start the day--and in a great place with great company. Thanks for these.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Whatever it takes. These are beautiful, Willard.

Anemone said...

So nice the 1. picture was. If you turn it up side down..., it looks like the snow we have wintertime.

so really nice animals to...

Nice weekend to you, from Anne in Norway.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

I am so looking forward to seeing your photos of the newborn. Good luck with that!

Beautiful sky photo, it seem to stretch forever!!
Rocky Mountain Retreat

For The People said...

Nice shots.

Texas Travelers said...

Great sky and great post.
Keep us informed.
Nice SWF.

My sky is wet.
Come visit,
Troy

Champ Townboy said...

Great shots!!

Daniel J Santos said...

beautiful pictures, great post.

Voz do meu Coração said...

Simply beautiful, also liked to live in a site well, congratulations

WomensDaily said...

Those pics are stunning!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Cheers Willard for all these pictures.. I've been on the look out for young ones around here.. mostly birds.
That Doe looks heavy.. I look forward to seeing more from your favourite meadow.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Nice photos! You've worked hard to become friends with the doe. I hope her fawns make it and that you capture them with your camera.

Sharon said...

These are wonderful, as usual! The sky looks like cotton. The woodchuck family is cute. I too hope your are lucky enough to get a picture of the young one.

Have a great weekend!

imac said...

Great sky Willard, hope to see the pics from the birth, lucky man.


My lady and her lamp - are now up and running.

Ida said...

Great Sky Watch!
You are an excellent photographer! :)

Sherry said...

Excellent sky shot! I love those soft cloud formations.

Your wildlife photos are excellent as well.

chrome3d said...

Good cloud photo. Soft, round and big. Good story too, thanks!

Chuck Pefley said...

Nicely done.

The 100-400 is a nice lens, but of course not nearly a costly as your 50 f4. Not as heavy either, but far more versatile.

Andrea said...

Love the puffy whites in the sky.
Your wildlife shots are great too.

JORDI said...

Buenas imagenes , un saludo

Island Rambles Blog said...

Happy Sky Watch!!! I enjoyed your photos, lovely colors contrasting the light clouds and the blue of the sky and some wildlife too.... cheers!!!!!

Kerri said...

A Most EXCELLENT post Willard! I just love the skywatch shot.....and seeing little babies (of any kind) is just fabulous!

I have NEVER seen a pregnant deer before.....Wow..she does look BIG!
I hope you get a shot of the newborn fawns when they arrive!

Dina said...

Good luck to mama doe and the
fawn(s).

Jill said...

Can't wait to see the fawn! Let me know when you've got the photos!

I see you've got the groundhog babies, too. I saw a family of these last year. Very cool!

Jill said...

P.S. I'd love to be able to comment on your blog without having to use Blogger. Just a thought to have more options than Blogger. Great blog!

lv2scpbk said...

I've been seeing alot of groundhogs lately along the road. That's a spectacular sky photo.