Nice light, nice night

May 5, 2009

My, oh my. Seems I have some catching up to do, so let’s get to it!

On Sunday before last (April 26) I set out for Shenandoah National Park intent on checking out a short section of the Appalachian Trail between Swift Run Gap and Hightop Mountain.

042609pathed

Along the route, I observed a few insects but little else. I’ve had luck in the past along that path with birds and squirrels. I’m not sure what it was, but none were out that day.

After emerging on Skyline Drive, I decided to walk the road back down to my car. As I quietly walked, I continued to scan for wildlife and observed a few hiding deer.

042609hidinged

Elsewhere, I saw plentiful insects and made a few goes at photographing them.

Winding my way to Big Meadows, I saw little along the drive.

At the meadows, however, I was pleased by the quality of the light and made several scenic images.

042609meadowsed

Noticing a group of deer a good distance in, I slowly closed the distance and crouched to observe them from approximately 30 feet out. As I sat, with buzzing insects beginning to surround me, the grazing animals approached. Closer. and closer. and closer. Soon I was unable to focus on a deer because it was too close. With my 200 that means the animal was less than 5 feet away. As I slowly lowered my camera and tried not to startle the animal, it stood and stared intently at me, leaning forward even closer. I watched the deer’s slow and deliberate attempt to pick up my scent and reflected on the oddity of the situation. After what seemed like forever (probably less than 30 seconds), the deer moved on, but was quickly replaced by another behaving in exactly the same manner.

042609ded

A third passed around me with a wider route and joined its companions.

As I prepared to leave, I took note of the emerging vegetation within the previously burned section of the meadow. It’s interesting how quickly such a destroyed area can bounce back. Pretty soon, I’m sure no one will even know the grasses had burned this year.

042609med

I have a few more posts to roll out, but to keep things interesting I’ll space them out. Check back tomorrow!

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2 Responses to “Nice light, nice night”

  1. Renee Says:

    wow, neat!

  2. Jim T Says:

    These are wonderful shots. We’re jealous that you get to the Park often enough to enjoy a great evening like this.


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