Wet Spring and Summer

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By one of life's twists I have been afloat lots this summer and spring. And wet spring-like weather has persisted, so the rivers routinely have good water.

I had planned to descend the Greenbrier River over several trips. It's not going to happen. All my camping has been at elevation.















Oops.





I shoot a pocket digi, and because I've had so much seat time in the boat, I've developed even a little wildlife technique. With a max focal length that would be about 110mm to a 35mm camera, technique means getting close. The canoe makes that surprisingly easier.

These last two were shot with 28mm(35mm equivalent).

The fawn, of course, was less than a week old. Probably only a day or two. I was scouting the island when I looked down and saw it at my feet.

Around here fawns were fairly littering the ground this year.
 
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Wow! That's some high water! Beauty shot on the fawn! How did that happen? It's absolutely stunning!
 
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YC,

That's a new one for me too. There are a few species that grow on beaches, but I don't know the Superior region and I don't know fungi much either. But try Agaricus devoniensis.


M,

Our whitetails are like cows. The does spend little time with the fawns when the fawns are very young. They stay somewhere around, but they come in only several times a day to nurse and clean up and have a little quality time. The idea is that the mother's presence and scent is a draw to predators.

For weeks the fawns are slow and helpless, so the best defense is for them to avoid detection, which means moving around little and staying on the ground, where they are out of sight and from where their scent is a bit less likely to drift. Like all infants they mostly sleep anyway. So strong is the instinct to stay put that for more or less the first week you can walk right up to them and stand over them and they will not budge.

I routinely stumble onto fawns in June, the peak of the season around here. Two fawns is the rule for a mature doe, and now and then I'll find a pair huddled together.

During the latter part of the first week they become increasingly prone to get up and run for it if you push them, but still they are so slow and feeble that sometimes you can outrun them.

A fawn that doesn't run and no doe in sight, is read as "Motherless fawn!" by many. They get scooped up and taken home.

A doe that sees a human or predator in the area of the fawn goes on alert but takes no action. Better to see if the fawn will go undetected. But if the fawn is chased or attacked and bleats in terror, she'll charge in. I've seen does chase dogs and coyotes chasing fawns.

This year has been a good one for coyotes. Lots of fawns and a wet late spring and early summer, which means that scent holds a long time on the ground. Usually June gets dry, scent boils off fast, and fawns at their most vulnerable stage are somewhat safer because it's harder to detect their movements.
 
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The beach mushroom looked like those I found growing in the forest. I don't know mushrooms either, but its a boreal forest climate. Seldom does the temperature even in summer top sixty and the winter temps are well below minus 20-30 F.

Other plants growing in the sand are of the arctic nature.
 
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YC,
That is interesting. Plants that live in more or less extreme places often do OK in mainstream locations. It's just that they get crowded out by species that do much better. Maybe those woods near the beach are not so kind as they might. Appear at first look - sandy soil, high soil temps - or maybe the beach dwellers somehow got established their first after a disturbance.

Just guessing for now.
 
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YC,

Still I have not been to the library about that mushroom.


M,

Your question about the fawn picture, it finally occurred to me, might have been about picture taking and not about fawns.

The most effective step toward better pictures, and the least expected, is an introduction to the pictorial language via an understanding of basic composition.

All images are nothing more than points, lines, shapes, planes, colors and tones. These are the elements of the pictorial language, and their arrangement is called composition. We all have a greater or lesser instinct for this stuff.

A little deliberate study, however, is a BIG help. It can approach revelation: scenes and pictures begin to look different.

In my experience by far the best pieces on the fundamentals are the easy, short and simple little books written for painters in the middle 1900s. They were illustrated with pen and ink sketches.

Edgar A. Payne's classic of the genre, COMPOSITION OF OUTDOOR PAINTING, is now over 40$$ for the hard cover 7th edition. Years ago I got my early edition in paperback for 2$$. Try the library these days.

As recently as 10 years ago, the last time I looked, the composition books for amateur photographers were fluff.

Critical attention to what you look at is way ahead of smarter and more expensive gear.

A famous writer was asked, "What does it take to be a good writer?". He answered, "Do you like sentences?".

Something like that can be said for photography.
 
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Critical attention to what you look at is way ahead of smarter and more expensive gear.


Very true. Echoed by my photo professor who is a pro. He spends almost no time discussing gear and lots of time discussing lines circles, framing etc.
Which is why I am not in rush to get a full frame DSLR. Sure it can do more than basics with the right lenses and a tripod. But my little Canon Rebel does OK.

I found the book "The Photographer's Eye" by Michael Freeman quite informative.

Surprisingly my I phone is not too bad for straight snapshots without fiddling with depth of field. Being portable has its advantages. I learned that you never know when pic opportunities could happen.

 
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YC,

Nice! Besides the design and color, I can feel the texture of the leaves.

The phone cameras are so good and sell so well that they are hitting the pocket camera market hard. Excepting specialty models, look for development of pockets to slow down.

I have not seen TPE. The approach of the old painter's composition books, though, is hard to beat: these are the pictorial elements, these are the mechanics, these are examples of successful designs and what they demonstrate.

In other words, these little books tend to be mini survey courses in the pictorial language.

The photographer's composition books that I have seen are phrase books.

But again, I have not tried Freeman's.


Long ago I had a handful of the type. Guess I lent them out. I liked reading them and still would. There's always some new angle to think about.
 
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