Yearling among Flowers

This looks to me to be a late season fawn from last year. It was feeding with two adult female Whitetails, one of which was obviously pregnant.

There is a story behind the images. I was 90 minutes early for a bird walk I was coleading last Saturday at the Acadia Birding Festival in Acadia National Park (misread the schedule), so I shouldered my digiscoping rig and was hiking along the shoulder of the road between the Seawall proper and the Seawall Campground entrance, looking for cooperative birds. A huge, industrial scale, white dump truck approached at speed, and hit is hydraulic breaks hard just as it came parallel with me. It literally skidded to a stop about 100 feet beyond me, and this huge hairy arm dropped from the driver’s window, up there 10 feet in the air in the cab, and snapped its fingers. I could see the driver looking at me in his rear view mirror. He was a dump truck driver: sleeveless tee, a bit tattered and smudged, beard and a fringe of longish hair around a bald plate. Big as his truck and just as tough. He snapped his fingers again, and, getting impatient, jammed his truck into reverse and started back. I hustled over.

“Hay,” he said, “There’s deer in the field about 200 yards down the road on the left, right out in the open. Great shot!” And he grinned and nodded. “Well thank you,” I said, and he jammed into first and rumbled on.

Humm? Deer? Whitetails would be nice, but, honestly, what were chances of 1) their still being visible when I got there, and 2) their not running off as soon as they saw me?

Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I hurried down the road, trying to remember where the first open meadow was, and wondering if I would be able to see the same deer from road level he could see from 10 feet up in his cab? Turned out to be closer to 400 yards, but eventually I came up to an obvious meadow opening on the left. I could not see any deer from the angle I had. I crossed the road and edged up to the last blocking shrub and peaked around into the meadow.

And, of course, as you can guess from the images above, there they were: the two adults and this obvious yearling, the two adults together and this guy ranging ahead of them further into the back of the meadow.

So, down tripod, up scope, focus, camera in, camera on, zoom to eliminate vignetting and take the first shot. (Not one of the ones above 🙂 ) I was able to work the three deer for 20-30 minutes, taking hundreds of exposures. The light was great: gentle under light cloud cover. When I had enough to think I might have some keepers (my rule is 10 exposures for every keeper you hope for) I backed away and left them to their feeding. When I passed in the car 30 minutes later they were gone.

So, I want, right here, to thank that dump truck driver for the extraordinary kindness of stopping his rig to tell me about the deer he had just seen. I never would have known. 

Canon SD1400IS behind the zoom eyepiece of a Zeiss Diascope 65FL for an equivalent focal length of about 2200mm (first two) and 3400mm (last one). Exif  f5.9 @ 1/200th @ ISO 160 and 200. Real f-stop closer to f12 (based on the scope).

In Lightroom 3, Fill Light and Blackpoint considerably right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Narrow Edges preset. Auto White-balance to remove yellow cast.

And, once more time. Thank you.

6 Responses to “6/14/2010”

  1. 06/14/2010 at 6:01 am

    What a fabulous story! And GORGEOUS shots to go with it!

  2. 06/14/2010 at 6:03 am

    Nice capture! Pretty cool that the truck driver helped out.

  3. 06/14/2010 at 6:22 am

    Beautiful nature photography, thanks.

  4. 06/14/2010 at 12:03 pm

    Great pictures! You never know what will turn up.

  5. 06/14/2010 at 4:40 pm

    Lovely animals.

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