24 May 2009

Wild Life

No, I am not talking about the "wild life" that I lead, although it does get that way at times. I am writing about all the wild life I have had a chance to photograph in this last week. The very first photo is right here in my own back yard. This little bunny let me get relatively close, about 35 feet. There are a whole family of them that live here with us, but they rarely allow photographs. I took 5 or 6. This is the best of the lot. Maybe he is just camera shy? We raised rabbits for food when I was growing up. I ate so much rabbit I should have long ears and a tail. My Mom even made rabbit tacos once. I would probably still like the taste of rabbit, but you see, these little guys are safe, they are bunnies. Wild little bunnies with adorable faces. Not food for me.

We went to the Great Smokey Mountain National

Park for a few days this week. The timing was perfect. The weather was good, not to hot or too cold and while there were plenty of other people around, it wasn't too crowded. We drove across the park from Cherokee North Carolina to Pigeon Forge Tennessee on the first day. With plenty of stops to look and walk a bit and take pictures.
Some of the lighting conditions were not ideal, but hey, when you see a wild turkey walking along the side of the road and your window is down, you take a picture. This one came out quite well. I do wish I could show you the scale a little better, this guy is quite a bit bigger than his cousins that live in the woods near our house. He just looks so proud of himself. Do you think he knows that Ben Franklin lost the argument, and consequently, he is not our National Bird?

This photo makes me feel tiny. The little tree with the big leaves is actually about 14-15 feet tall. It is a bit like an umbrella. We saw it on the hike up to one of the waterfalls. A word of caution if you go. Some of these trails are steep. Hubby and I were raised in the Rocky Mountains, quite a bit taller than the Smokies, but we have lived at lower elevations for most of the last 25 years. We were both a bit winded on our first day out. The altitude does make a difference even for someone used to hiking and walking.
I found this guy's (or girl?) web first. Right across my face. I must be the same height as a spider's favorite place to put webs as I walk into them regularly. This is a pretty good sized spider and he let me get quite close. He is not as big as he seems in the photo though, my camera is just doing a great job.

You know I can't resist a pretty flower.

This Dragonfly was quite patient with me also. I took 5 or 6 photos steadily closer before it decided to move.
Spotting the deer was pure luck. We were driving and my Sweet Hubby slowed for a curve. I said there is a deer! Since no one was behind us, he stopped and I rolled down the window. She was so far away, I did not think I would get the photo but I took several shots anyway and here she is. Can't you just feel how peaceful the setting is? I can almost hear the birds.

I am always on the lookout for butterfly and Moth photos. I need wings for more Fairy photos. I still have several great nieces to do. These two were dancing. That is just what it looked like. My usual method for photographing "Critters" is to put the camera on telephoto, aim, shoot, sneak closer and do it
again as many times as I can till they decide I am too close. (There are exceptions, I'll explain later). Anyway, that method worked great with these guys.
Have you ever seen such bright mushrooms? I think the color has more to do with the medium they are growing on than the type, but I really don't know. Notice how these look like a sliced log with wood grain?

I took this from the car. Hubby stopped and I leaned across. Good spotting! What a pretty bird.

More flowers.
You remember how I said there were exceptions to my method of sneaking up on animals? Well, I would not sneak up on anything that might be harmed by it. I do try not to frighten the animals. I would not sneak up on a baby, Mom might not like it. I also, do not sneak up on Bears. Nope, not going to do it. That is why this is the best photo of the lot. We saw lots of people pulled off the road taking photos so we decided to join them and see what was up. This guy was. We could see him but it was a difficult shot. Still, you can tell what it is, and I think we were quite close enough. I have some friends working in Yellowstone who may be jealous of this one. All I can say is that I hope they don't try to sneak up on Bears either. (Crocodiles are another thing I won't sneak up on, they have BIG teeth). On that note, I will close for now. Hope your life is good and at least a little wild.


  1. Great wild life pictures. I particularly like the dragonfly one. How lucky to spot the bear.

  2. Love the photos.
    The one thing with nature, be it sunlight, insects, birds, animals, is that you cannot control it. So if a bunny wants to turn its head away, they will. If the sun wants to disappear when the photo is about to be taken, it will. And that for me is what makes nature photographs a little bit more special and satisfying.

  3. Lovely pictures Kat and it's sooo good to see a wild turkey among the pictures. I've been reading Animal Vegetabel Miracle and turkeys are a hot topic, especially how farmed ones are unable to reproduce! Ultimately, nature does it's own thing and can't be controlled so wild pictures are more special :)

    Kim x


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