Thursday, March 21, 2013

First photos of Spring 2013

Today is the second day of Spring 2013 and here in my corner of the woods in upstate NY we still have snow in the upper elevations such as where I live. I have been trying to be more active of late. I have been bored with regular exercise routines and wanted to do something that I enjoy more but is still a good workout. I decided I would take that motivation and use it as a reason to go for a nice hike at one of my favorite locations, Tanglewood Nature Center.

Going out for any type of outdoors activity always initiates an internal debate for me. The debate I have is to just go out and enjoy the experience or bring my camera so that I don't miss any photographic opportunities. I have learned over the years that as a photographer I usually regret not taking my camera. So I have learned to be able to take my camera and just limit my photo taking to the truly good opportunities and still focus my trip on the original purpose such as getting some exercise.

So, needless to say I grabbed my camera. And I found a good use for it as soon as I got under way. I was presented with a nice photo op literally seconds after I left. At my neighbors two houses away there were three deer grazing right in their yard. So I pulled over watched and took a few shots. Not the greatest light or the best shots but I always like to get as much work in as I can especially if it has some sort of challenge such as difficult light and situation. I was already happy I took my camera.

When I got to Tanglewood the birds were singing. It was cold but beautiful and relaxing. I watched the birds and snapped a few shots but I didn't want to get distracted from my goal of exercising for pictures that weren't going to come out good so I stopped and started hiking. A little farther down I saw some deer tracks crossing the path that looked fresh. I stopped and looked around and at the edge of the woods and the field I spotted a deer. As the deer moved off I saw the white tails of several others also moving away.

I then hiked my three miles that I had intended. At the end of my hike I came up out of the woods into the field. I heard birds singing. Birds that sounded familiar but they were not the usual Winter birds. I didn't recognize them. Then I got closer and saw the birds swooping down of bushes to the ground feeding and singing. When I was close enough to see them clearly through my lens I could tell that they were Eastern Bluebirds singing and feeding near the nest boxes in the field. Spring really was here after all.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Foster Kitten

Over the last several months my wife has been fostering kittens from our local SPCA. She is on her third foster now. This one was a difficult decision to take on and worried her a lot. The mother cat seemed to be very shy and scared. She did not seem interested at all in caring for her kitten. The mother cat did not pay any attention to her kitten at all.
My wife was not sure if she would be able to bottle feed a newborn kitten if the mother was unwilling to care for it. It was unknown how to proceed. My wife had bottle fed a kitten that had no mother but it was an older kitten and she had raised newborn kittens but they had a very caring and attentive mother. This was something very new and for my wife scary.
It has been  a few days now and things seem to be going ok. The mother is apparently becoming a little more attentive as time goes on. My wife worries that the mother will suddenly stop caring for the cat without us knowing with catastrophic results.
Today we were messaging back and forth and talking about the kitten. My wife said she hopes she is not going to end up being crushed by this experience. She is worried that she will get hopeful now that things seem to be going well but then something bad will happen. My response to this concern was that something bad can always happen with animals and that is the risk we as humans take in caring. I t9old her that she is one of the most caring people I know and that opens her up to big emotional risk and it will surely hurt if something bad does happen, but it will be a great feeling when nothing happens and the kitten and her mother find their forever homes.