Need to relax? Our jobs and stresses of life can get many of us wound up pretty tight. I find a nice walk in nature a relaxing way to put all the stresses of life behind me for a few hours. What many of us don't think about are the stresses the wildlife endure as they struggle to survive. Right now, they are preparing for winter. They don't know if they will have a sufficient supply of food or water but they do know they need to prepare. While I "relax" by staring at views like this one at Lake Arthur, sights and sounds around me prove that preparedness is essential in the wild.
Hidden Gem of Lake Arthur (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, f/8 @ 24mm, 1/50, ISO 200)
I could hear scratching from a Gray Squirrel sitting in a walnut tree feverishly spining a walnut, using its teeth to scrape the hull from the hard shell holding the nut meat that it will rely on this winter. The colored leaves glowing from the rising sun surrounds the scene. The squirrel removes the hulls and stores the walnuts in various places above and below ground.
Gray Squirrel (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/60, ISO 400, +1 EV)
This Yellow-rumped Warbler stopped to watch me as it hopped around the ground foraging for insects under the leaves.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/640, ISO 400)
At one point by the lake, I spotted many ducks along a far shore 295 yards away. I usually ignore scenes like that because I cannot get a nice close-up photograph. However, after taking a photo and enlarging it in camera, I saw this group of Wood Ducks sitting on a log. Of course, today I didn't bring my shutter release cable so in order to get the sharpest photo, I focused the camera and released the shutter using the self timer. In doing so I prevented camera movement from the action of pressing the shutter button.
Wood Ducks (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/1250, ISO 400)
This morning I was also greeted by a Great Blue Heron preening while it perched on a broken tree. This Heron twists its neck into a better position to preen under its wing.
Great Blue Heron Preening (Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 300mm 2.8L, 2X EF Extender III, f/5.6 @ 600mm, 1/400, ISO 400)
Wherever you live, make time to take a walk with nature on an early autumn morning.