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Thrills

Where do you get your thrills?

Some people may get if from climbing Mount Everest, closing a business deal, dangling from a bungee cord or running for political office. Not me. Those examples are no match to the thrill of watching and photographing magic moments with wildlife.

Back in May, on a desolate road in Yellowstone, my adrenaline rush lasted a full hour as I watched a gorgeous fox hunting in snow. I could hardly stop from shaking the camera as I anticipated that the fox would jump and dive deep into the snow in search of another meadow vole.

How is it possible that a fox can be walking on top of the snow and manage to hear a vole a number of feet away beneath the snow? Not only does the fox hear it, but manages to identify a location so precise to dive in and get it?

The beauty, grace and skill of the fox left me speechless. This is my favourite sequence of a successful hunt.

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I love the way the fox is tilting its head as it listens so intently.

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It crouches down and waits for a second …

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then leaps remarkably high in the air …

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making a beautiful arch with its leap …

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while extending that gorgeous tail.

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The focus is absolute.

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The fox’s paws move closer to the head to assist with breaking through the snow.

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Entry!

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Sending snow flying as it jumps back out of the hole it created.

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Holding on to the prize catch.

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Standing there with a snack as though it had just picked it off a shelf in the fridge. In some strange, and unbelievable way this was all normal activity.

Now that was a thrill to watch!

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