Woodchucks AKA Groundhogs

Last Summer, when I bought my new camera, I knew absolutely nothing about taking pictures.  Everyone told me, I had to have a tripod or I wouldn’t get good shots.  I no longer bother lugging that piece of hardware around because I’ve discovered the animals will very rarely wait around while I set the silly thing up.  As a matter of fact the tripod and the noise it makes kind of scares the crap out of them. 

I have one advantage though in the local state park.  Some of the animals have grown used to seeing me and don’t regard me as a threat.  The doe below had found a nice relaxing place to rest less than thirty feet off the hiking trail and showed only remote concern with me taking her picture.  In the early evening light with her laying as still as possible, she looked like a rock.  This photo, taken with the aperture set wide open and a shutter speed of around one/fifteenth is at the extreme limit that I can use and still get a picture, which is why this picture is so dark.  She watched me as I walked passed and took a few pictures, showing some concern.  When another man and woman appeared, over a hundred feet away, she immediately sprang to her feet and disappeared down the side of the hill.  She’s gotten used to me, but still retains her fear of humans.


The evening light prevented me from getting a decent shot of the doe and her two yearlings because of their secluded spot beneath the low forest cover which prevented light from getting through to them.  Out in the open where I noticed the fellow below, I could still get a nice shot.


Woodchucks or Groundhogs will not stray far from their dens and very rarely come out in the open.  Like I said though, these animals have gotten used to seeing me.  This little fellow stopped and while I pointed the camera at him stayed completely still.  He seemed to pose for me, because as soon as I lowered the camera and stopped taking his picture, he ran away.


Now if only I could get the park’s resident Red Fox to do the same.

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May 2009

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