Mid summer is a season of extremes, where observations and activities bridge the seasons. One minute I’m in the moment, enjoying the comforting stillness and beauty of cultivated fields of hay and grain. On another day, I’m watching young animals mature before my eyes or thinking of winter and tossing more seasoned firewood into the pole shed.
The “neighborhood red fox” that I first photographed in late winter snow is now a parent and at least two pups are following in their parents footsteps. We see one or two foxes several times a week, hunting, loafing, eating bird seed or scavenging in the compost pile. They’re crepuscular, so the light is usually poor when they appear. Movement is fast, silent and effortless as they drift through, like a wisp of smoke. There’s at least one adult and two pups in the mix.
Observing whitetails foraging and romping around in cultivated fields in summer and early fall is a treat that rivals the satisfaction of a pail of fresh-picked berries. Antler development in mature bucks gets everyone’s attention, but scenes of fawns in a meadow in late afternoon light is magical.
The wild apple trees are heavy with fruit this year, and deer have taken notice. They’re already responding, searching for early drops – the hard, green things that only a wild animal can enjoy.
I’m never far from wetlands and open water when out and about with the camera, so a summer story would be incomplete without a foraging heron or, unusual for this area, a wandering egret going “all in” for a frog!.
Happy summer from Central New York!
Photos by NB Hunter (July, 2019). © All rights reserved.