Portraits of a Young Red Squirrel, 2016

Cool, dark days with occasional rain shifted my extracurricular activities from nature photography to firewood and habitat management. Every time I left the house to do something a family of 4 or 5 young red squirrels ran for cover. All but one. I think he viewed my presence as an opportunity rather than a threat: he could gobble up bird seed in the absence of sibling competition.

Needing a break, I got the camera and approached slowly, keeping a low profile. Eventually I was motionless, in a prone position, and he resumed normal activity. Shutter noise aroused his curiosity, but didn’t drive him away. I can now share an intimate, 20-minute peek into the daily life of an adolescent red squirrel!

(PS: the pinkish flowers in the background are Dame’s Rocket, a garden escapee that closely resembles Phlox).

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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Late Spring Scenes, 2016

Becoming immersed in the continuum of spring scenes from March to June is a bit like viewing a blog post that features an endless gallery of world-class images. Each phase of spring has exceptional, defining visual qualities and it’s virtually impossible to pick favorites.

Young Red Squirrels are maturing rapidly, but still show the fearless curiosity of a juvenile.

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Buttercups are in full bloom…

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As are the Dame’s Rockets…..

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Tiger Swallowtails, our most common, large butterfly, liven up the June landscape as they follow the sequence of bloom.

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Tiger Swallowtail on hawkweed

And it’s not all about youngsters and flowers: large herbivores seize the moment, feasting on succulent new plant growth (throughout the day if undisturbed).

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A young doe (yearling) foraging in a brushy meadow

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Wildlife Odds and Ends

I walk often, usually traveling short distances on local trails. Late Spring is a wonderful time to do this because there’s so much going on in the world of wildlife.

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Wildlife populations are approaching their annual peak as new recruits arrive daily!

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Juvenile Red Squirrel

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Goslings

Songbirds are in various stages of nesting: some are building nests, some are sitting on eggs, some are feeding young. Regardless of the species, males can usually be heard singing on the nesting territories.

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Chestnut-sided Warbler above a dense thicket of shrubs and young trees

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Great Crested Flycatcher nesting in a “Bluebird” box (1 of 3)

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Reptiles and amphibians have come alive in the summer-like heat. This American Toad has claimed my compost pile as home.

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.