Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Winter Wildlife: Conditions Improve

Treacherous Walking Conditions

In the last post, we found the ground covered with a layer of snow, with a very hard crust that made walking extremely difficult for wildlife. Here, an adult whitetail doe gingerly walks across the glassy surface. The tracks in the snow were made when it was soft, but later there was a heavy rainstorm, which created the treacherous conditions when the temperatures plummeted below freezing.

For a time living conditions were difficult for wildlife, but we were fortunate enough to have a few days with temperatures in the 40s F, and the snow and ice melted through to the bare ground in certain spots.

The first areas to melt are usually ones shielded from the wind and facing to the southwest. These are the areas that receive the longest period of sunlight during the day.

Eastern Wild Turkey And Deer Feeding Where The Snow Has Melted

Once the underlying grass or leaves is exposed, life becomes much easier for wildlife and they often spend much of the day feeding and resting in these areas.

The squirrels are still coming to the bird feeding station. This is the best photograph of one that I have been able to get so far this winter.

Close Encounter With A Grey Squirrel

Stay tuned for more winter wildlife photos and a detailed account of the road hunting incident, which was discussed in the post of Dec. 13, 2008.


Anonymous said...

Very nice photos. So glad to hear the conditions are improving!

SaraG said...

All great photo's!!
Take care and thanks for sharing.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It seems as if summer might be on its way at last. I am always pleased for the animals in that it makes things so much easier for the animals. I love the squirrel pic Willard and am interested in reading the results of the December incident.

Philip said...

Great Shots I agree with Joan I am glad that Spring is on it's way for your wildlife !!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Neat shot of the deer and a nice look at the turkey flock.

Kerri Farley said...

Great shots Willard! Glad it warmed up some for you!

Stacey Olson said...

If your weather is like here, next comes mud.. we have mud now... calling for snow again, but the weather has been fantastic the last few days... makes it hard to come back in doors.. Wonderful work as always Willard.. I am still enjoying your elk video and the phenominal footage that you have captured.

Kekiinani said...

Great shots as always. I did try to take a few deer shots in Calif but was not happy with any of them. I had a difficult time getting an intersting image.. Yours are always great!! In March I will return and hopefully get to practice up some more.. :) :) I still check out your blog regularly and totally enjoy it.
Hope all is well. Aloha, Renee :)

Brad Myers said...

Good job again Willard, you really have a great spot to be able to set and watch deer and turkey feeding together at the same time is my kind of entertainment.

Carletta said...

I noticed my visiting deer doing the same thing this week. It almost looked as if they were skating. It was the first time I had seen it. I suppose in my mind I never associated the fact the ice would be slippery for them too.
Love the squirrel.

Unknown said...

Beautiful series. The cardinal is just cool, the deer so cute. The 3rd image is such a serene composition. I loved it the most.