Deer Butts

Deer Butts

Sometimes you get the shot you want, and sometimes you get the butt.

I was out for a walk at Carburn Park with my son when a herd of about a dozen deer charged out of the woods. I could hear a dog barking off in the distance (in the No Dogs Allowed part of the park) so I can only assume that they were spooked out. When they saw us they froze and obviously couldn’t decide where to go. I tried to make a some portraits but they were still pretty scared and they took off running down the trail. We followed them for awhile in case they stopped, but they slipped off into the woods instead of hanging around for a chat.

The Running of the Deer

Running Deer

I saw this big Buck standing in a farm field watching me as I drove past, and I really wanted to make a great portrait of him. Unfortunately the whole herd of Deer took off running shortly after I stopped. It was already past sunset and really quite dark, so my shutter speeds were very slow. Instead of trying to make really sharp images I worked on making some pan-blurs (where the background is blurred by panning along while the main subject moves, keeping the subject relatively sharper) as they ran past me instead. I really like the granularity of the final image and to me it has a great vintage look and feel.

Running Deer

Deer Butt

White-tailed Deer bounding over a Prairie Field

Sometimes you get the shot you want, and sometimes you get the butt!

I just missed a great chance to make some images of a tiny fawn because I didn’t have my camera ready. This shot of Mom’s butt was all I could get by the time I got my gear working. She stopped to watch me from a distance for awhile, but soon ran off. I saw the fawn trying to follow, but then it simply disappeared in the thick prairie grasses. The doe ran fast, so I really don’t believe that the fawn could possibly keep up, so I suspect that it simply laid down in the field and waited there until the doe felt safe enough to return…

In Search of Mountain Bluebirds

I took a trip Southwest of Calgary in search of Mountain Bluebirds as they are very common in that part of the city. I really enjoy making images of Bluebirds because they are very curious and they allow their visitors a very close approach. It helps that they are such bright and vibrantly colored birds that they are generally pretty easy to find.

The main reason I decided on this adventure on this particular day was because it was one of those hazy, gray, high overcast days where it’s really bright out, but you never actually see the sun. It was the perfect kind of day to make images of birds on or near the ground, and in particular for brightly colored birds like Bluebirds. And conversely it would have been a pretty bad day for making scenic landscape images or images of birds in flight (or even perched high in a tree) against a white background. I had heard many reports that the Bluebirds were already back in the area, so I packed up and headed out to a favorite location that I visited several times last year.

I found several pairs of bluebirds within minutes of my arrival in the area and I had several opportunities to make good images of both males and females. As is typical for many species of birds, male bluebirds are much brighter and more vibrant than the females.

Male Mountain Bluebird perched on a Fencepost

Even though I found my intended target right away, my success didn’t last long and I found only a few more Bluebirds during the rest of the trip. I found one final pair just as I had decided to head for home.

Female Mountain Bluebird perched on a Fencepost

I had a bit of a surprise when I found a Greater Yellowlegs in the glassy waters of a slough. This is another species that I had heard were back in the area, but this was the first that I’ve seen this season. They are very commonly found throughout the region later in the season, but there aren’t many around this early in the spring migration. This one posed very nicely for me and I made some of the best images I have of these elegant birds.

Great Yellowlegs wading in a slough

I saw several herds of Mule Deer in the farm fields while I was searching for Bluebirds. Mulies seem to be more common to the west of the city than to the east, and I haven’t been able to get this close to them very often. I have lots of images of White-tailed Deer, which thrive in the flat praire farmland to the east of the city, but I don’t have very many of Mule Deer. This solitary deer had become separated from a fairly large herd of animals that were further off in the same field. The rest of the deer wandered away when I stopped to watch, but this one kept eating and only occasionally looked up at me.

Mule Deer enjoying a snack in a farm field

After the rest of the herd had crossed the road and disappeared into the brush, this one also decided that it should be on its way. I was lucky enough to make some very cool images of it jumping the fences on both sides of the road. All in all it was a great day to be outside!

A cautious Mule Deer goes on its way

A cautious Mule Deer goes on its way