Mom Moose & Her Calf

I had seen her late afternoon the day before this photo was taken. She was a long distance away, too far to get a decent photo of her. However, as I watched through my binoculars, I thought she looked a bit stressed.

They normaly have their calves this time of the year so I thought this might be the day. It was late and the sun was going down so I left with the thought that even though I was going to Yellowstone the next day I’d be back late afternoon to look for her.

Well, after searching for about a half hour, I found her laying as you see her above. But, look at who else showed up!

It must have been just a few hours old. It would try to stand then fall. In a short time, it was standing on wobbly legs.

After a while, it was looking for nourishment. It nursed several times while trying to figure out how to work those legs. The image below is the one I like best.

It was getting late and the light was starting to fade so, soon after this shot, I left for the night. I hoped to see them in better light the next day.

The next morning, I searched for them for more than an hour. They had been across the Gros Ventre river but I just couldn’t spot them in the same area. I went up and down, back and forth along a half mile stretch of the river with no luck. I said to myself, they must have left but I’d try one more time. That’s when I saw an ear twitch. They were bedded down. I got my camera gear and just waited and watched.

A lot of people saw I had my camera gear. They’d stop and ask what I was photographing. I told them I was waiting for a bedded down moose to get up. Very few stayed. Many people just don’t have the patience.

Well, my patience really payed off!

Look who started to explore its world, on somewhat more steady legs.

Of course, mom was always close by. By the way, she looks so shabby because she’s starting to loose her thick winter coat. In a few weeks, she’ll look just fine.

After a while, the little one decided to explore close to the river. The current was very strong. I was concerned should it fell in, the current might carry it away.

This may be its first drink of water. She didn’t fall in and all was well for a while. I stayed for about an hour happily taking photos when I would spot them clear of the brush. Then the little one decided to explore towards the river again. And, OH NO!

Don’t go in!

It was heartbreaking to watch as it struggled.

But it finially got a foothold……

And made it out!

Everyone seems relieved now…. Whew!

Time to leave the river. Of course, I was relieved that it all turned out well but it goes to show that even a day old moose is a very tough critter.

I didn’t get to see them after this because the next day I was on my way to Idaho with hopes to see and photograph a golden eagle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this adventure as much as I.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bill

Shawnee Mission Park Early Christmas Morning

It has been tradition for me to walk through Shawnee Mission Park early Christmas Morning. My wife works Christmas day so I head there for some solitude and to be alone with my thoughts and always with the hope of photographing some critters too.

I started my walk before sun-up and was conserned because there was no wind. The racket I was making walking through the leaves could surely be heard a mile away.

My consern seem to be justified when I saw two differnt sets of three deer running way in front of me. Not only were they too far away to photograph but there just wasn’t enough light either. I kept trugging along without seeing a thing, even the birds seem to be evading me. After about a half hour or more, I finally saw this guy in the distance. I slowly moved closer and got this shot.

If you look closely, you’ll see it has already lost one antler. At first, I thought he was alone but suddenly this other one poped his head up right behind him.

As you can see, he is a little bigger and still has both his antlers. Then, this little guy comes running into the picture.

How cool is that? Three bucks hanging out together. These photos are cropped a bit because I couldn’t get too close. They were very jittery and kept moving away. However a short time later, I was able to get a decent shot of the bigger guy.

I always like it when I get to see a mom with her yearling fawn too.

My luck continued to improve as I finially was able to get some shots of a couple of birds in halfway decent light.

I saw a few hawks in the distance but they were too far to get decent shots. As I was about to leave, I saw this one. Now. I normally don’t like to take photos of birds on wires, fences or street lights but I just couldn’t resist. It just looked too cool!

Here’s a close-up, cropped version of the same Red-tailed hawk.

While it’s all puffed out like it must be cold, it really wasn’t cold at all. I would have prefered it to be about 20 degrees colder with snow but hey, sometimes, you just have to enjoy the moment. I know I did anyway.

Well that was my Christmas morning. I hope yours was as good as mine.

Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by.

Bill

Eagle taking flight at Loess Bluffs

I was at Loess Bluffs from sun up to sun down yesterday and took more than 1000 photos of a variety of animals. I’ll post some of those at a later time. I thought some of you might like to see the sequence of an eagle taking flight so, I decided to post this first.

I had been watching and photographing this young eagle for quite some time. I was hoping it would take flight in a direction where the light was good and still in view. Often, they take flight going away from you and behind the trees.

After about 20 – 30 minutes, it looks at me long and hard as if to say, What are you looking at?

After a while, it looks away. At first, I thought it had seen something of interest on the ground. Then, it does this……

It actually flew to a nest which was not too far away. I’ll post that photo at another time.

You too can get the same type of shots. You just have to wait, be patient and have a bit of luck that the light is right.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Thanks for stopping by.

Bill