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.