Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nature Challenge

Today was Day 18 out of 30 days spending a minimum of 30 minutes per day in nature. Every day when I head out I wonder if I'm going to find anything new to take photos of and every day I do! Unfortunately there is much I'm not able to photograph, such as the various birds, as they don't sit still long enough for me to find them in my lens and take their picture. If there's a knack to it I don't know what it is.

I've had many encounters with rabbits and deer, chipmunks and racoons and wild turkeys, and now I've had two sightings of Mr. (or Mrs.) Wile E. Coyote! Very exciting!!

These photos are from two days ago - I was wandering through a thicketed area when I saw movement to my left. I stopped to have a look and spied the coyote. He glared at me a couple of times but most of his attention was involved with diving head first into gopher holes. It was quite comical as it would leap up in the air and then it's entire head would disappear in the hole.

Taking a dive!
I'm watching you watching me!

I don't know what he found but he was successful as I noticed him chewing after one of his dives...chipmunk? mouse?
I made so sudden moves (I really didn't move at all!!) just clicked the camera a few times. He made no move toward me or me to him. Duh! I wasn't afraid - he didn't seem very big though of course I'm sure his teeth are very sharp. Believe me when I say I walk quietly and carry a BIG stick!

Eventually he wandered out of view and I made a big detour to stay out of his way. That was Monday.

Today, just minutes after talking to a fellow whose dog was off-leash (the dog was large and the owner said in all of his years walking through the area he'd never seen a coyote so he wasn't worried) I saw a coyote AGAIN!!  He was trotting along a path to my left; he saw me but just kept trotting along at the same pace. Again I took a detour as the last thing I want to do is surprise or startle or frighten him into attacking.

Both times after the coyote moved off I saw/heard deer moving away from the area. Today I saw just the hindquarters of a deer bound away as the coyote got a little too close for comfort.

Needless to say this 30 day challenge has become much more than I thought it would. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the daily changes in the forests and meadows. One day I sat and watched a threatened species of bird - "bank swallows" skim just over the surface of the water scooping up their weight in insects. I was in awe of their ability to fly continuously without landing. Their homes are little burrows in the grassy overhang at river's edge carved out by their bills, feet and wings. Amazing creatures. I have since read that they rarely land.

I've been getting lots of great comments on facebook - I'm glad that so many people still appreciate what nature has to offer. It's fascinating as it never stays the same and the inter-connectedness between birds, animals, fish, environment and plants/trees is complex and magical.

Just 12 more days to go!

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