Right place, right time
Our friend Krystoff is rather befuddled how we seem to be in the right place at the right time to capture really good animal pictures. The truth is that we live and work at home, and for the most part, the animals come to us or they reveal themselves to us on our walks. The only luck that is involved is that I happen to have my camera around my neck, always outfitted with my zoom lens (55-250).
We were hiking up to Windy Ridge yesterday morning when we passed a fellow who shared that he was able to photograph a type of grouse high up in the hills. Not two minutes later, I saw a little movement in the trees and this fellow appeared.
As we began the drive home, a mama black bear and two cubs were eating and playing, respectively, on the side of the road. Heather snapped this shot from the safety of the car. It will inspire a future painting or two for sure.
We are extra fortunate that wildlife just appear in our yard, or just beyond on the hill that sits on the other side of our back fence. I'm always keeping half an ear on what might be visiting. I've learned to keep my camera loaded with a memory card and easy to grab as getting good shots can be fleeting. You typically only get that one shot to get a great shot.
An exception might be our neighbourhood Great Horned Owl. We have seen him on three occasions now with three very different light conditions. Our most recent encounter offered the best shot, in terms of the direction of the sun and the bright blue sky. However, he was rather sleepy that day, and refused to open his eyes.
Part of my captures these images for the sheer joy of connecting with nature. The other part is thinking with my painter's brain, and is intent on capturing a reference photo that will lead to a new original work. This pine cone is a great example. It screams painting.