Too Close? + Little Critters

Another shot of the original Foxy.  Foxy was and still is, the smallest adult Red Fox I have ever seen.  Calling her tiny is being generous.nDSC_6649 (19)

If Foxy was my favorite vixen, my favorite male was this guy. Nobody ever named him but Dad would have been a good name.  He worked tirelessly around the clock to keep his six kits and his mate well supplied in food.  All seven of them adored him.  He would give a call (unheard by we humans) for the little ones to come out and play.  They would bite on him and attack him. His patience was endless.  Then he would give them that silent signal and back to the den they would go.  It was time for him to go to work. He was an experienced father.  He had scars and chipped teeth but his beautiful young bride made a wise choicenDSC_6649 (20)

I show a lot of very close wildlife images. There are new people viewing Earth Images all of the time, and I think I should reiterate previous statements on my philosophy on how close is too close.  I do put some effort in getting reasonably close to my subjects, but remember, I shoot with a 500mm lens.  I always stop when I believe I am agitating an animal, or that I am directly affecting their behavior.  I let animals get as close to me as they choose. This goes for any kind of grazing or predatory animal. Usually those grazing animals are more dangerous. When I am really close to wild animals,  they have made the decision to get close.  I do not interact with them.  I do not feed them.   I also often work out of my car. As far as the two foxes above, Foxy has been within 2 feet of me.  One day while photographing owls in an urban cemetery, that male fox trotted within three feet of me.  In both cases they made it a point to ignore me.  In other words they never looked at me despite the fact that they chose to walk right past me.  They were sending me the signal that they meant no harm, and have no interest of any interaction with me.

When Ron and I were in Yellowstone we were amazed at the idiocy of some people.  They would pursue to a point within five feet of Bull Elk, Moose and Bison.  We never tried to get closer than 35 feet to those animals.  We did however allow them to come within 10 feet of us. We had no issues, except one Bison Bull that surprised Ron from the blind side of a rock.

When I view the great wildlife photographers of today on Facebook and other places, I am dismayed at how little responsibility they take in explaining of the field morals that they use.  I know that is because they earn their living from workshops and tours.   They want to get their customers as close as possible. Rather than be labeled a hypocrite they choose to remain mute on the subject. When you take people into the world’s special places, your responsibility stretches beyond just teaching photography.

Let’s take a total break from winter and celebrate the adventure and the art of our tiniest wildlife subjects.


1aDSC_6649 (14)

1dBeach2 222

1cnDSC_6649 (19)1DSC_45941eDSC_6649 (5)

Butterflies.  Nothing unusual here, just five images that are each different.  Different types, styles and techniques.

Little Yellow (Sulphur)1fDSC_6649 (22)

Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed1gTails 051

Pearl Crescent1hDSC_6649 (3)

Karner Blue1iDSC_7075b

Wood Satyr I do believe1jDSC_2450

The slow ones. There is something comforting about photographing slow-moving little critters. It is nice to compose and recompose much like I would with a flower, or even a landscape.

A caterpillar and a slug1kDSC_6649 (12)1lVPatton2 005

Have a great day,  Wayne

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