A Winter Walk (March, 2018)

Finally, after three storms and several feet of snow, the sun came out. I buckled up my snowshoes and set out to accomplish three things: pack trails for future walking and access to the property; capture some unusual, late winter scenes; and share this lovely late-winter day with friends who might be unable or unwilling to navigate waste-deep snow cover.

My woodland walk started at the house, followed a trail dating back to the construction of a small dairy farm in 1854, then looped back to the house. The adventure covered less than a mile but was nearly two hours in duration.

House15Mar18#0834E5c4x6

Home; the “1854 House”

AppleTree15Mar18#0837E2c5x7

A Wild Apple Tree

Trail15Mar18#0903E5c5x7

164 year-old farm trail with a packed snowshoe path in the center (1 of 3)

Trail15Mar18#0907E5c3x5

Chickadee15Mar18#0859E7c8x10

Chickadee feeding on White Spruce seeds in a windbreak/wildlife habitat planting (1 of 2)

Chickadee15Mar18#0864E3c8x10

Trail15Mar18#0901E2c5x7

Return trip down the woodland trail

AppleTree15Mar18#0840E3c5x7

Wild apple tree in snow and morning light; mission accomplished!

Photos by NB Hunter (15March2018). © All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Mid Winter Memories

IceWhitePine13Jan18#8247E2c8x10

Frozen rain drops on White Pine needles

WBNuthatch24Jan18#8750E2c5x7

A curious White-breasted Nuthatch

Cardinal30Jan18#8958E5c5x7

Female cardinal

Chickadee24Jan18#8770E2c5x7

Chickadee

RedSquirrel26Jan18#8893E2c8x10

Red Squirrel with piebald coloration (leucism)

Deer30Jan18#8945E2c5x7

Farmland whitetails foraging in a storm

FarmAM18Jan18#8595E2c3x5

A dairy farm at first light

Snowy17Jan18#8566E7c5x7

Snowy Owl gliding toward a late morning perch

Photos by NB Hunter (January, 2018). © All Rights Reserved.

Road Hunting in Winter

I often travel on personal “auto” tours to view and photograph wildlife in winter. More often than not, this is the only practical way to capture wildlife images while minimizing hardship – to photographer and wildlife alike. My loops incorporate secondary roads and parking areas near good wildlife habitat (ideally, a variety of food sources in close proximity to dense evergreen cover; sunny, south-facing slopes are critical winter habitat as well). Specific routes depend on snow depth, time of day, road conditions and so on. Valley farms are the key component of most loops.

RoughLeggedHawk7Jan18#7851E5c8x10

Rough-legged Hawk hunting farm fields (my first photo of this stunning species)

Turk4Jan18#7613E2c5x7

Mature Eastern Wild Turkey gobbler searching for wild apple drops in a storm

Turks7Jan18#7892E5c5x7

Wild turkeys foraging for waste grain (corn) during a January thaw (1 of 2)

Turks7Jan18#7903E2c5x7

Snowy10Jan18#8132E2c4x6

Snowy Owl at rest in corn stubble (1 of 2)

Snowy10Jan18#8129E5c8x10

Tree11Jan18#8197E5c4x6

A failed Snowy Owl search – but a landscape memory for the trip home

Photos by NB Hunter (January 4 – 11, 2018). All Rights Reserved.

A Wintry Scene

Significant snow hasn’t arrived yet, giving us a fleeting opportunity to appreciate the full palette  of colors in late November landscapes. I love the stark contrasts and simplicity of these scenes.

I hoped to find turkeys, but this cold, dark and wintry morning found me sitting roadside, watching hundreds of geese foraging on waste grain in harvested fields. They’d probably been feeding for an hour or more so it wasn’t long before they left, en masse, to roost on a nearby reservoir. Their exit was deafening and seemingly chaotic; geese being geese.

Geese27Nov17#6210E7c5x7

Geese27Nov17#6219E7c5x7

Photos by NB Hunter (27Nov2017). © All Rights Reserved.

Partly Cloudy

I don’t look up as often as I should. Yesterday, in the midst of whacking away at multiflora rose invading my trail right-of-way, I received a call from a friend: “Where are you?” half mile from the house, clearing trail, trying to avoid hornets. “Do you have your camera with you?” of course, in a fanny pack. “Look up – you can thank me later!”.

Clouds13Sept17#3347E2c4x6

Clouds13Sept17#3351E2c3x5

Minutes later, the entire scene was gone. I never got to where I needed to be, in order to do what I wanted to do. Love the way mother nature presents and teases with these fleeting spectacles.

Photos by NB Hunter (9/13/2017). © All Rights Reserved.