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Hunting for Wildlife

Yesterday, I got up super early and headed out to a place where I was guaranteed (by my motel owner) to find Big Horn Sheep.  It was a dirt road off a dirt road off a dirt road, each one getting successively harder to travel.  Bob has 4-wheel drive and there’s no road I won’t at least try, so I drove on, over roads barely wider than my wheel base, picking my way through ruts, mud and standing water that looked suspiciously like it might be deeper than my truck.  I drove for miles and miles and didn’t see even one sheep.  So it goes.

Sometimes it’s like that.  Maybe the sheep were there,  pointing and laughing at me behind their hooves.  I admit I was more focused on watching where I was going rather than looking behind every rock.  I’ll never know.  It was a nice ride though in a kind of wow, I’m lucky to be here but I wish there was something to photograph kind of way. I made it back to pavement without getting stuck, lost or hurt.  You gotta take the wins as they come.

That was my entire morning.

As I drove on, still very much in the looking for wildlife mode, I passed a campground.  Campgrounds are often great places to find wildlife because people are slobs.  They leave garbage and food everywhere they go like a trail they’ll never follow back.

It was a big campground next to a lake, with very few people around.  The people were mostly towards the front, so I headed to the back.  As I navigated around the furthest point, I spotted an Osprey nest way up at the top of a tree.  I could see that something was moving up there, but that was about it.

I set my Nikon D500 with my 200-500mm lens up on my tripod, walked into the woods to get the best angle I could, and waited.  It took nearly two hours of patience, but I was rewarded.  Turns out there was a mother and young bird living up there.  When she came back, my luck turned.

 

 Mom’s home

You can just see the little one’s eye peaking up if you look carefully.

She was trying to get him to fly, but he was having no part in it.

That’s when the real magic happened.

 

These were all taken at f/8 (a little extra depth of field to get both birds) and 1/5000 insure the capture.  The ISO was 2200.  Noise? Sure.  I got over it.

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