It Takes Planning

I have several kinds of photos on this blog; from landscape scenery, to wildlife, aircraft, Civil War reenactments and even pictures of my backyard.  The reenactment and aircraft photos took some planning.  Getting there and being there for a scheduled event requires planning.  I’ve gotten some nice pictures from the US Air Force museum using a point and shoot Kodak.  Recently, I’ve been getting some nice pictures of deer as I figure out how to use my new camera.  I’m learning that the light meter plays an important role in getting a good picture.

I wanted better pictures of the deer and for those of you who visit this blog regularly, you know about that annoying question a friend asked, “Can you get closer?”  I have a desire to take pictures of Eagles, but haven’t gotten any photos that I’m satisfied with.  Getting pictures of moving critters, especially something as fast as an Eagle, is somewhat elusive.  Plus it requires patiently waiting where the Eagles might be in hopes of getting a few shots.  The biggest problem with taking Eagle pictures is, if they see you, you won’t see them.  Oddly enough, they don’t like humans, which means I have to be hidden to take their picture.  So I bought a portable blind.  A couple weeks ago, with that annoying question tickling the back of my brain, I thought, Hey, I could use that blind to get closer to the deer.

Into the woods I headed.  Portable blind strapped to my back, carrying a fold up chair, with one lens in a carrying case hanging from my shoulder, and my camera with another lens around my neck.  I realized in the short hike I took to get to an area where I know the deer live that I wouldn’t want to lug this gear very far.  I found a suitable location to setup.  It offered good cover and helped to hide the blind’s silhouette.


I have been able to fool a few people by asking them if they could see it without telling them what “it” is.  The blind is in the center of the picture above.


Here you have a closer view of the blind.


So I sat and waited.  I took some nice pictures of the woods around me.  Got some really nice shots of a Downy Woodpecker and his cousin a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  And I waited.  And waited.  I could hear the deer moving around, but they stayed just out of sight.  I could hear them bleating and snorting and if you ever heard a deer and know their sounds you know what I mean.  Three hours I sat there and not one single deer moved to within sight.  So I took a few shots of my rig, got some nice shots of a Mourning Cloak Butterfly, strapped my pack to my back, folded my chair, hung my camera and lens around my neck and hiked out.

I stuffed the gear back into my car and headed to a place that I like to hike from.  When I got to the park, I noticed something odd.


Woodchucks will move around during the night mostly, though they will move around during the day, usually not very far from their den.


When I moved closer, I realized he wasn’t breathing.  I don’t know how he died, but it struck me as sad that he had survived a very cold and snowy Winter only to die just as the weather turned warmer.  Leaving the little critter to rest in peace, I headed down the hiking trail.  Now mind you, I’ve just spent three hours sitting in a blind hoping to get better deer pictures.  I hadn’t gone a hundred feet down the hiking trail when I noticed:


Three deer stood watching me begin my hike.  Good thing I planned, huh?


1 Response to “It Takes Planning”

  1. 1 morningjoy
    April 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Oh, yes. It’s the story of my photographic life. I tell myself I just need more patience–don’t point and shoot; wait and work it. I bought a blind, too, but it stays in my closet. I really need to get it out, pack some sandwiches and drinks and go spend the day waiting and watching. I missed the last deer I saw. Maybe they’re still there…

    I enjoyed your photos and your story. Thank you.

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