Animals shelter when the temperature drops and the snow flys. They hunker down and protect themselves from the elements and predators seeking food sources.
So when the storm is over, we go out searching for critters coming out of hiding to gather food.
I always laugh as we bundle up to be the first ones out in the fresh fallen snow looking for animals. It seems like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but we are more lucky than not, and often find a number of wildlife, and even manage to get their picture (though not always).
… and luck is the apropos sentiment, as we leave our home and debate, ‘which direction should we go today’?
I admit to being very fortunate when we go out, but we also go out a lot, are prepared for what we might encounter, and tenacious enough to keep trying even if we aren’t successful the first time. They say, fortune favors the bold, in our case it favors the tenacious photographer.
Photography is like golf, or any sport or hobby for that matter. You know, when you get that really great drive, perfect putt, or if you’re so lucky the coveted hole-in-one. It’s euphoric, and keeps you coming back for more.
That’s how I feel when I get that great shot. We go out every time it snows, looking for animals, hoping for that great encounter to capture.
With over 2′ of snow, we were hopeful that the ‘day after’ would bring the animals out foraging for food. We even saw a fleeting bobcat, but alas, didn’t get a photo. Darn!
But we did manage to see elk and deer. It makes me want to go out again! Bring on more snow.
We were lucky enough to see this beautiful herd of big horn sheep as we left Alstrom Point. We saw the herd in the distance, so drove ahead of them, and I walked out behind a rock to see if I could sneak up on them. I’m not sure who was more surprised when we saw each other as I crotched down from behind a ridge – me or them. It was a fantastic moment.
Admittedly, I am not a big fan of coyote. They are scavengers and corral & hunt my precious deer and elk. So I’m just as happy not to see any. But I did this year, and got a decent photo that makes the cut.
We don’t see many fox, so I was thrilled when we saw this pup this year. So cool!
All babies are cute, especially the 4 legged animal variety!
Speaking of babies… it was super cute to get so see this affectionate family of javelina with new born babe.
And elk baby, or calf.
The next best thing to new animals (at least for us), or baby animals, are those big boys… elk bulls
The cuter and better expression, the better!
I got a ton of chipmunk pix this year, they were just too darn cute.
Deer Doe and fawn
And finally, pretty much any animal in the snow. Just wish we had more of it!
Our elk baby sightings have been fleeting since the Tinder Fire hit us two years ago now…. that is, until now.
I was so excited to see a herd of elk momma’s with babies in tow. Seeing their tired and beat up bodies, I wondered that their absence wasn’t so much the fire, as predators. One elk baby had a gash across her back that was bigger than she was. It’s amazing she survived whatever attacked her.
Watching their interactions and cute newness, was a real joy.
I hope they’ll be back, and bring their babies with. I can never get enough of these precious animals… they just make my heart feel good.
This last storm met the predictions of the weathermen who projected 2′ of snow.
With it, brought animals looking for food.
It was great fun to see this little baby deer enjoying it’s first snow. It reminded me of Journey when we get snow, as she runs around and loves to ‘snorkel’ in it.
There is something so pristine and beautiful about the new fallen snow… apparently the animals think so too.
I suppose the cold white stuff is a novelty for them, something they don’t see often… so it’s new, fun, and refreshing as they walk through the cool stuff. Like a new toy, it’s invigorating and exciting. Whatever it is… it’s a pleasure to see happiness at any time or place. Bring it on.
The herds of elk come mingle about in Morman Lake every year. One can see them from Forest Road 3 on the way to Flagstaff. The new borns play in the grass, and the moms laze around in the soggy dirt.
I watched this one little guy very quizzically stalk a blue heron.
The young elk was very amused by this strange looking long necked ‘thing’ strutting around in the weeds.
The blue heron, on the other hand, didn’t think the curiosity or affection was quite as amusing. I watched the elk follow that blue heron around the pools at Mormon Lake, and the other elk soaking up the water. Nature at it’s finest!
A year wouldn’t be complete without my wildlife photos that I strive so hard to capture. This year has been especially unique with some terrific ‘up-close-and-personal’ shots of a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, antelope, and big horn sheep. Picking the top shots is the hard part… what an awesome problem to have. : )