Monday, August 4, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

A few days ago I was telling you about our easy access to the Tekakwitha Woods preserve and our frequent walks with camera and telescope to attempt to photograph birds. Sometimes you are lucky, more often than not you you don't take any photos, sometimes you get something unexpected.

The day before leaving for RAGBRAI I made a midafternoon jaunt down the bikepath, for some reason taking the lighter 200mm zoom instead of the telescope and I lucked out. Down near the bottom of the hill, about 40 yards up from the river, I glanced left into the woods and spotted a partially obstructed deer face watching me intently about 50 feet away. I stopped walking, and took a few photos and had time to reposition myself for a better shot. She hardly moved the entire time, yet never looked away from me and after a couple minutes, I continued on my walk. About 20 minutes later, I headed back up the hill, but she was gone.

I stopped by the nature center for the preserve to talk to some staff there, and darned if I didn't see another about 50 yards away from me. More likely it was the same one, as she had moved only about 100 yards from where first spotted, and with the safer distance, she didn't have the staredown with me - she twitched her tail, and allowed herself to look around while I watched. The staff confirmed she was a whitetail and while not uncommon, midafternoon sightings are...

As I continued up the hill to where I was parked, I also spotted some new birds - my first photo of a hairy woodpecker, and I also got a poor photo of a male cardinal, which generally don't stay around long enough for a photo! For such a short walk, it was rather productive - fortunately I had the right lens for the job mounted up for the deer photo!

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