Recently I was asked, or rather challenged, by a friend at a local wildlife refuge to try and get a photo of a new critter that they suspect has been hanging out there. So I agree and take a day off my “real job” to sit in the weeds and stare at dirt. It’s not as bad as it sounds. A day out in nature will almost always beat a day stuck in a cube.
I headed out early on Friday morning, parked my vehicle, and began the mile hike to my spot. It is early November, but did I get a nice cool day? No! As with the rest of the weather the past couple of years, we are pushing a record high for this day in November in North Texas. I believe it got up to 89 degrees, and the sun was in my face all day. On the other hand, I got a nice tan on my face as I was seated facing south from sun up to sun down. I headed back out for a second try on Saturday and was able to stay until after sundown in hopes that the critter would come out then, but again no luck. But does that mean I shot no pictures? Of course not.
I caught this Great Egret on Friday morning while sitting there enjoying the early morning sun. It flew past me over the marsh with the sun highlighting the wings and illuminating the feathers from behind. A beautiful sight to see.
Several time that day I could hear and see a kingfisher flying over the marsh looking for a meal. It was great watching it hover over the water and then diving down to catch a small fish. Hard to catch it doing that with a big lens though. That little thing is fast! I was finally able to catch a shot of this Belted Kingfisher when it landed and tossed the fish into the air to swallow it whole!
And as I was leaving the area, I shared the trail with an armadillo. It was walking right towards me. Of course, they are mostly blind and rely on their sense of smell to warn them of other creatures. I guess I didn’t have much of an odor because it walked almost right up to me. I was able to lower myself to get a decent shot as it raised up on its hind legs as if to scare me away. I remained calm and it went on its way without incident.
So, even if I wasn’t able to get a shot of the new critter, there will be other days. New trails are being built now and I can’t wait to get out there and see what kind of critters I can spot!