June: Something for Everyone!

The month of June bridges seasons and showcases the best of two worlds – Spring and Summer. There’s a surprise around every turn that appeals to our senses of beauty and wonder and connects us to the natural world.

My journey through this wonderful month always begins with a camping trip to the Deep Valleys Section of the Allegheny Plateau. An annual renewal of mind, body and spirit begins in this place, where largely forested watersheds and deep, shaded valleys spawn cold springs and freestone streams and a delicious sense of wildness.

Pink Mountain Azalea usually greets us on the approach to our destination.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” – John Muir

Unspoiled, forested watersheds – a threatened natural resource to be sure – support diverse aquatic ecosystems that include mayflies and the wild trout that devour them. In these settings, catch and release fly fishing provides Zen-like experiences where one is completely absorbed in the moment.

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in” – Henry David Thoreau

The appeal of small, mountain streams is much more than the drag-free drift of a dry fly and the explosion of a fooled trout. The sights and sounds that envelop and animate these environments enrich and complete the overall experience.

Great Blue Heron foraging in a wetland habitat

A Fisher, our largest member of the weasel family, hunting squirrels in the early morning hours

Upon returning home, I’m still surrounded by the myriad wild things and events that make June so special. But, there’s also a backdrop of civilization and the constant reminder of its profound impact on the natural world.

A Catbird guarding her nest in a nearby thicket.

Tree Swallow at the entrance to her nest, guarding the helpless babies

A young Cottontail from the first litter of the year, looking all grown up

Cultivated farm fields bustle with activity in June. Fields of corn, hay and oats dominate the landscape and animals adapt quickly to the cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.

A whitetail family group foraging in a hay field. The fawns are no more than three weeks old and facing the steep learning curve that is critical for their survival.

A mature doe in uncut hay; her fawns are invisible in the tall grass.

Young animals are vulnerable to the operation of big farm machinery in fields, as well as predation and other mortality factors. However, A carcass in a recently cut hay field doesn’t go to waste. In this instance, several crows and an immature Bald Eagle made sure of that.

We met, eye to eye, on a recent summer evening. While walking along the edge of a developing corn field to set up for pictures, I surprised two antlered bucks munching on the succulent new growth of corn stalks. A mature whitetail buck in velvet is a beautiful thing!

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity, but great fulfillment.” – David Attenborough

Photos by NB Hunter (June 1 – June 28, 2020). © All rights reserved.

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “June: Something for Everyone!

  1. Beautiful!!!

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    • Thanks MJ! There’s usually something in these stories that relates to your family farm in some way or another….I’ve beaten a path from home to Hamilton!

    • Thanks… means a lot coming from a serious wildlife photographer like yourself. Must check out recent activity on my site and see what you’ve been up to — always a treat.

  2. You have the eye, the patience and the right thoughts to bring these creatures and places to us for sharing in the best possible way.

    • Many thanks Anne. Feels good to know that I sometimes reach people in other parts of the world in a meaningful way. Your feedback is always a high point of a post.

    • Hi! This is a case where “out of sight” does not mean “out of mind”. I trust you guys are well, and making the most out of a bad situation. Thanks for the visit.

  3. What a lovely collection of images, Nick. You know I especially love the deer. We are raising three orphaned doe fawns this year, and yearling buck Tukker is still hanging about, sporting some nice antlers in velvet.

    • And, you know that I always anticipate feedback from you when I include deer in a post! Must get caught up on your latest stories. They’re always entertaining and informative. Hope you and your family (including the 4-legged ones) are well.

      • We are doing well, Nick. This year I took in three orphaned fawns. And Tukker deer is still hanging about, sporting some nice antlers in velvet!

  4. Such lovely and appropriate quoted words here… and the joys of all these lovely wild ones. It must have been a thrill to ‘catch’ a Fisher. I’ve never had the pleasure! We are watching baby violet-green swallows in the nest box Eric built. The biggest, bravest is either about to fledge, or perhaps already has. Hard to tell from just those little heads poking out. It really is a great time of year! Thanks for showing off your delightful captures.

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