Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Escape

We have had little snow or ice in my portion of southcentral Pennsylvania until very recently , while other parts of the state and nation have not been as lucky.  This changed in the last two weeks and today we are in the middle of the largest snowstorm of the season so far.

Wildlife Struggles To Survive: Canon 7D-Canon 17-40mm@40mm ISO 400-1/400 sec. f 8.0
It  is not an especially severe snowstorm, but it is still somewhat problematic for wildlife as the ground is covered with a few inches of snow from a previous storm that was saturated by rainfall and then froze. This formed a hard crust, which makes it difficult for wildlife to dig through the snow to find  food in the meadows or on the forest floor.

Mature Gobbler in Falling Snow: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 5000mm f 4.0  ISO 400-1/1000 sec. f 4.5
Mature Gobbler Close-up: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 5000mm f 4.0  ISO 400-1/500 sec. f 4.5
Winter is difficult for all wildlife, but it is especially hard on the whitetail fawns.  While we can go in warm houses to escape the bitter cold and snow, they cannot do so.  The fawn in the photo below tried to find what shelter it could by the side of a round hay bale.

Fawn Seeks Shelter:Canon 7D-Canon 17-40mm@31mm ISO 400-1/400 sec. f 8.0
 I fully expect this animal to survive the winter.  Although it is small it is extremely healthy.  In spite of this, I can"t help but feel pity for the animal that it has to face this type of weather with no where to escape.

Hopefully conditions will improve soon and life will be easier for the creatures of the great outdoors.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.