Photowalk with Woodland Animals
May 9, 2017
The other day Nathanael and I went for a walk through a local park area with forest and trails. Being one of the first sunny AND warm days of spring, we didn't expect to see much more than a few birds or the occasional squirrel. Because it was the middle of the afternoon, I was tempted not to bring my camera. After all, mid-day light is full of harsh contrasts and not terribly flattering for, well, any kind of photography. Besides, at that time of day, any animals would most likely be hiding somewhere to rest and keep cool until later when they'd usually come out in search of food. Despite all of this, I decided to bring my camera anyways and was I ever glad I did! It seemed as though the local wildlife was out to enjoy some spring warmth too!
Walking through tall green grass dotted with purple Camas flowers, Nathanael was first to spot the little Eastern Cottontail sitting in the middle of the path. He seemed to be watching us, but didn't take off so I switched lenses to use my short zoom as quickly and calmly as I could, afraid he would take off before I could make some images. The little rabbit stayed on the path keeping a careful eye on us. It was only after the photos were finished and we headed towards the fork in the trail that the rabbit had had enough of our presence and hopped off into the grass.
We had barely parted ways with the rabbit, when another movement caught our eyes - a doe. She was far more wary, and quickly settled herself in some tall grass underneath a tree. Still with the zoom, I took a couple photos, but realizing we weren't welcome, moved on. Three hummingbirds took turns flying around us, as if they were sizing us up. Turkey buzzards soared overhead, gradually moving towards the coast. And suddenly a crow decided we'd looked at him the wrong way and took a dive towards us! I suspect we'd wandered too close to a nest, because he didn't follow us as we moved on (sometimes they will do that).
Vancouver Island's grass fields are full of colour right now - not only is the grass rich and green, but the fields are dotted with purple Camas flowers and small yellow blossoms. That's the best kind of contrast - colours that are on opposite sides of the colour wheel!
Continuing along the trail, we paused at a lookout point. The words "I wish we'd see a deer over there" were barely out of my mouth when glancing down, I noticed another doe. She was skinnier than the first, and listening to us, but did not appear to be in distress. In fact she seemed quite calm and enjoying her rest. So, remaining quietly in place, I made some images of the little doe nestled in the grass just below us on the hill. Content with the images, but mostly with having encountered so many woodland creatures, we soon made our way back to the main road as various birds darted among the trees.