Make with the cute

By now, you’ve probably figured out I’m not a wildlife photographer, but will take the opportunity when it presents itself. I got a few of those lately so I wanted to put together a critter collection post. Spring certainly is springing and everyone seems to be out and about, even this guy –

I haven’t come across one so early in the season before. Because it was chilly (50s) it was way less wiggly than newts usually are.

Along another trail I nearly trod on this beauty sunning itself. I can’t believe it stayed and let me photograph it with my 12-35mm which is pretty short in terms of focal length. Basically I’m right up in the snake’s face. After indulging me a few seconds, it slithered away.

There’s a small pond at the Garden in the Woods and the bullfrogs are basically in charge –

Chairman of the Board

I have a big picture window in the front of my house and big glass door in the back. Unfortunately these confuse our feathered friends and they sometimes crash into them. So far no bird has killed itself, but a few have been stunned enough to be vulnerable for a few minutes. I always go outside to check on them whenever I hear one hit. This gorgeous little yellow-bellied flycatcher is the latest casualty. I only went to get the camera after I saw enough improvement to know it would be ok. Again it’s shot with my short little zoom and so I had to get right up on him. A few minutes after this he was on his way, flying through the trees and away.

Ready for takeoff

Last but not least is another fleet-flyer, a newly-emerged dragonfly. This one was still sheltering in some grass while its exoskeleton and wings firmed up enough for it to head for the skies. I deliberately angled and cropped to get a more unusual view of this favorite subject. The sheer perfection of its wings is amazing. Wonders of nature for sure.

Unblemished

So that’s my wildlife experience so far this year. I’m sure there will be more, but this seems like a good start!

 

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9 thoughts on “Make with the cute

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  1. I hate having birds crash into my windows too, especially if it’s fatal. This year I learned about some spider web decals that work well for birds. I’ve found packages of 2 at Blue Seal Feeds, but have seen packs of 6 online. I far prefer them to the “cute” holographic decals, which are less effective for birds and interfere much more with humans’ visibility thru glass. Research has shown that birds know to avoid flying into spider webs. This has inspired some glass companies to start making glass with a special ultraviolet (UV) reflective coating that is almost invisible to the human eye, but looks like a spider’s web to birds. This is even better than the decals because it covers the whole window. Here are a couple of links (if they post correctly here):

    http://www.songbirdgarden.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=3209
    http://phys.org/news202023577.html

  2. I loved these nature shots. The view of the dragonfly’s wings was really stunning, and how lucky to find a garter snake who was willing to “work it” for the camera! 🙂

  3. Thanks everyone. Taking photos of moving things is way harder than landscapes or macros, let me tell you! lol
    I keep meaning to get some kind of deterrent to scare them away from the windows, but I forget. I shall click the links now.

  4. Apparently garter snakes freeze as a protective measure. I had one do exactly the same as you describe (and in the same head raised position) and I was using a macro lens so was right up next to it. It didn’t even blink. I thought it was remarkable until I read that you had the same experience, so I just did a web search and found this in a list of defensive behaviors:
    “Freezing – Garter snakes contacted by a predator may also react by keeping completely motionless. In this situation, tongue flicking stops or is reduced to a minimum and the garter snake attempts no movement, using its camouflage as its primary defense.”

  5. thanks much folks. yeah, that dragonfly was something special. It isn’t often they’ll sit still for you like that.
    Interesting about the snake behavior. I think it must happen with ribbon snakes, too since I had one pose for me in a similar way a few years back. I though tit was just scared stiff, which I guess in a way, it was.

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