Another walk in the woods

April 30, 2010

This time of year is both a blessing and a curse. With the forest canopy filling in, shooting in the woods becomes a mental exercise of what settings to shoot in the shadows and how to quickly adjust for sunlight streaming through the trees.

I’ve always been a fan of soft light from cloudy days, but Thursday was as bright as could be.

On a trek through a long informal trail in Huntley Meadows, I found a lot of mud and a lot of difficult lighting conditions, with a few surprises thrown in.

Early in the trip I noticed a dark mass I’d seen once or twice before. It was a black squirrel.

I could be wrong, but I think it’s just a variation of the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Regardless, I spent a little time stalking it and managed to get pretty close before he started to notice me.

Elsewhere in the forest, I stumbled on a group of at least five deer. They’re very easily frightened in this park, so I’ll have to keep at it to get results that I’m satisfied with.

Along the boardwalk the vegetation is filling in pretty nicely, which is already making some nice areas for animals to settle in for the spring.

It’s difficult to go any distance on the boardwalk without seeing or hearing something. The downside to the boardwalk is the lack of privacy. If I get into a good shooting situation, it’s guaranteed to be interrupted by loud talking, foot stomping parents and children. I imagine that will only get worse as kids finish up the school year.

In between yesterday’s distractions, I found a few nice sights.

A mother duck with her kids was wary, but stuck around long enough for me to grab a simple shot.

I also found one of the small birds I [mentioned yesterday] that took a break from nosediving toward the water to land, sing and clean itself a little bit.

The Osprey was out and about again and I followed him back to his normal hangout area, where he calmly sat on the far tree until another bird intruded on his comfort zone.


I really like the moment, but wasn’t able to make a quality image out of it. What you see above is cropped almost into 100% of the image, so it’d never reproduce well in print.

While I was watching the action above, I also caught movement from the corner of my eye and saw this little guy.

It almost looks like birds I used to see running along the sand in Virginia Beach, but I don’t know any specifics about what it really is. Yet.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a little challenge. I had fun playing with my 10mm lens on this outing. See if you can spot the beaver in this scenic shot. It was in the same spot I’ve seen it the past two visits.

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One Response to “Another walk in the woods”

  1. Renee Says:

    Again, great shots! I love looking up through the trees like that. And the bird photos are great!


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