Saturday, October 11, 2008

Something Watching Me

Whenever I go hiking on a nature trail or in the forest, I hear animal sounds of all kinds. Sometimes I'll hear scurrying sounds. Sometimes I'll hear the different cries and calls of the forest animals. Usually when I get close, the sounds stop.

When those sounds stop, I know something has detected my presence. Usually I never see what that something is. Creatures in the forest are very elusive. They almost always see you before you see them. That gives them an initial advantage over you.

It can be very frustrating when you're walking around with a camera, and you hear a very busy forest, but you never see anything. Other times you'll see a few animals running away, and you never have time to get a picture. That's the breaks. You'll have to accept that animals are good at getting away. It's how they survive.

There are some occasions though when an animal thinks it's well hidden, but you can see it spying on you. Their curiosity has gotten the best of them. Maybe they're checking to see what kind of threat you are. You can get some interesting pictures in situations like this.

I was walking along a nature trail, where there were a lot of birds and other small animals. I was trying to be as quiet as possible, but they knew I was there. They were determined not to let me get any pictures of them. I had to resort to something a little creative.

So I stood still, and waited. I scanned the trees for the smallest movement. I kept my movements very slow and deliberate. That will usually lull an animal into thinking you are less of a threat. After a few minutes I saw what I was waiting for.

There was a small bird looking out at me through the brush. It knew I was there, and was watching me to see if I was dangerous. I had my camera ready, and zoomed in to get as good of a shot as possible. I saw through the viewer that it was looking right in my direction. You can clearly see the shine of it's left eye.

Here's a fine example of a curious critter. This little chipmunk was very interested in me for some reason. The only problem for me was that it was scurrying around very quickly. It was running around all over these fallen trees, and I wasn't fast enough to get a picture.

Every time I would lift my camera it would disappear. Then when I would put the camera down, there it was again. It must have popped up at every place on these logs. It was like playing camera whack a mole. I don't know why it found me so interesting, but I'm glad it did. It came back one too many times, and I got the picture I wanted. After that, it was gone forever. Maybe it wanted to be a star.

You know, I like getting pictures of animals right out in the open, where I can see them clearly. A picture of a whole animal like that looks pretty cool. And when you show that picture to others, you can pretend you are an expert animal photographer.

Sometimes though, I would rather get a picture like the two above. Maybe I can't pretend I have psychic, animal mind control powers. But I can tell anyone that's listening that I had a great adventure, and I have the pictures to prove it.

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