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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!

Latest Comments

  1. Toza and Anita says:

    So cute! And nice sequence of shots 😀

    Like

  2. hebrewofyhwh says:

    That was an amazing series of pictures. How long did that take from start to finish? 10 seconds?

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed them. It was a thrill to watch. Good question on the timing. The fox would be walking across the field stopping occasionally and cocking its head to listen. That would be ongoing. As soon as it got into a crouch position, I learned that it would always jump and typically do it fairly quickly. From the time it started to crouch until it came up from under the snow would be 2-3 seconds.

      Like

  3. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Wow! Here’s a fantastic series of photos of a fox hunting in snow. I like how he cocks his head, hearing something underneath the snow and then goes into action.

    Like

  4. Pushpita says:

    Amazing Pictures…

    Like

  5. Swati Singh says:

    Amazing pics.
    On a lighter note, the third picture looks like a joint logo of Firefox and Puma 😛

    Like

  6. rickfurmanek says:

    Absolutely spectacular! What a treat. I’m jealous … but happy for you. Very, very well done.

    Like

  7. rhonaanderson169 says:

    Now this is for me what wildlife photography is all about, being in the right place at the right time and having the skill to tell a story using images. Great Stuff

    Like

  8. iseebeautyallaroundbyrobpaine says:

    this is just an incredible series of photos!

    Like

  9. doriswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle, Superb sequence and excellent shots. Regards, Ganesh.

    Like

  10. artsifrtsy says:

    Wow – what a great set of captures!! I have seen terriers that can identify creatures below ground and dig very accurately to snag them – but in snow it’s so instantaneous. Amazing!!

    Like

  11. zannyro says:

    I love this series….also loved the shadows of the fox as they changed…wonderful!

    Like

  12. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    What a great sequence of photos! I bet that was cool to see.

    Like

  13. Colline says:

    Stunning! I loved seeing the movements of the fox.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      It was a remarkable show the fox put on and I had ring side seats! OK there were no seats and it wasn’t that close but you know what I mean …

      Like

  14. niasunset says:

    This was so exciting, so beautiful, and GREAT photographs… You are amazing. Thank you, love, nia

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I am happy that I was able to convey some of the excitement that I felt at the time. It was an amazing experience. I’m glad you liked it and I appreciate the reblog.

      Like

  15. parth893 says:

    Man you’re awesome 😀 great work ❤

    Like

  16. melodylowes says:

    Super cool. Love the suspended animation and tension of all four feet in the air!! 🙂

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. That’s probably why I stick to still photography. I could have captured a movie clip of the same action and it would be good but there’s something about that extra tension of stopping time. We don’t get to do that in real life.

      Like

  17. gimpet says:

    I certainly have a greater appreciation for timed millisecond captures after my many (failed) attempts to get just one decent firework photo! This series was truly spectacular and I share your amazement watching this magical, yet mundane, moment.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. It’s nice find people with the same fascination. I like your description of a magical but mundane moment. It certainly was all of that.

      Like

  18. hannele says:

    Great capture, Lyle! Beautiful fox, too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this sight that I’ve never seen in real life.

    Like

  19. caleephotography says:

    Wow!! Fantastic photo sequence, Lyle. I love foxes, they’re so cute and cool 😀

    Like

  20. Fotografin Thee Ballmer says:

    Wow, this little story was exiting like a crime. I was waiting and hopped to find out what’s one menu for lunch:-) Amazing, great job. LG Thee

    Like

  21. Rejoice For The Day says:

    These are great! I can only imagine how thrilling this all would have been. What an amazing creature.

    Like

  22. Erco Travels says:

    Wow, Amazing! superb click at every moment. Great cleverness.
    Nice post!

    Like

  23. Mike Powell says:

    The beauty, grace, and skill of the fox may have left you speechless–your photos have the same effect on me. The technical challenges of getting such beautiful images in the snow are daunting by themselves and when you factor in the adrenaline surges that you described, it’s amazing that you were able to hold your camera steady for the whole sequence. For many single shots, the type of camera does not really matter, but a sequence like this helps to remind me that an experienced photographer with the right equipment at the right place and time can produce magic. Lyle the Magician–it has a certain ring to it. I can’t wait for your next magic trick.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks so much. I think the magic was mostly the fox and I may be all out of tricks – I’m not sure what could top this for me. You rightly pointed out some of the factors that contribute to a shot sequence like this coming together but there is definitely some good fortune as well. It was a magical day.

      Like

  24. mflahertyphoto says:

    This is what it’s all about, great post Lyle.

    Like

  25. Office Diva says:

    Awesome photos! Really enjoying your posts and blog.

    Like

  26. vanbraman says:

    Great sequence of photos!!

    Like

  27. choppy123 says:

    I am with you , I get a thrill in catching our wildlife doing what comes naturally but doesnt normally get seen, thanks for sharing these great photos

    Like

  28. che'hanin says:

    Truly amazing shots. Somehow they remind me of scrat, the ice age character. 🙂

    Like

  29. dda53 says:

    It makes a trip worth everything you have done. Awesome!

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. There are so many lonely, unproductive times wandering around seeing nothing … and then this miraculous scene happens right in front of me and I get hooked all over again.

      Like

  30. Kodiak My Little Grizzly says:

    I agree with you… Capturing wildlife or amazing photos like aurora borealis is a huge adrenaline rush. These shots are perfect and tell an amazing story not everyone gets to see… Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

    Like

  31. Mind Margins/Run Nature says:

    Amazing photos! Our last trip to Yellowstone we saw quite a few foxes. They are such beautiful creatures–and those tailsl!

    Like

  32. Deb W. Trotter says:

    I share your definition of a thrill. Wish I could have seen it live, but your photos are good enough for me to imagine what it was like! Thank you!!

    Like

  33. Seenorway says:

    I understand that the fox by sound may judge how deep in the snow the mouse is, but what I don’t understand is how it may assure itself that there is no stone/rock 2 inches under the surface? It may prove a nasty surprise and as far as I know they don’t have a dentist at hand?
    Did you take a peek at the bear and the lynx that I have displayed recently?

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      There are so many things that have to go right to enable that fox to get lunch including the nasty surprises you mentioned. It truly is a miracle.
      Thanks for the heads up on the bear and lynx – those were great shots.

      Like

  34. Mary says:

    That was thrilling! No wonder your adrenaline kicked into high gear – these are some of the best photographs of a fox in its own element w/o a clue that it was being so closely watch. Congratulations for these incredible shots – I think they are prize worthy.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed them. It was hard to describe the feeling of watching that scene repeat itself, the smile on my face was big! I really appreciate the comments.

      Like

  35. 1107photography says:

    WOW… just WOW. What a thrill indeed! That was incredible and really cool to view in that sequence. Major kudos!!

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks so much. I was left in wonder after watching that and so pleased that I had photos to record the experience and bring back some particularly fond memories.

      Like

  36. rabirius says:

    Excellent series.

    Like

  37. Solveig says:

    Your pictures are impressively clear! Amazing sequence and such a beautiful animal!

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      It really is a gorgeous animal and I felt so honoured to be able to watch it from a distance. I’m sure it must have been aware of my presence but wandered freely about the meadow searching for food. I have a little rule about the photos – I only post the clearer ones but there are lots of others. I was fortunate this time.

      Like

  38. Buzzwordz says:

    Snow! Say it ain’t so! Last evening, sitting on the dock at our cottage in Northern Ontario, we heard a splash behind us. Upon investigation we found a giant Blue Heron grabbing a quick snack close to shore. I was able to get about 10 feet from it, but alas, my iphone camera just could not handle the job. I thought to myself “hmm, that Lyle Krahn would have gotten the shot!”

    Like

  39. Katalina4 says:

    You could make a flip book with those! Beautiful shots, beautiful fox, splendid sequence…

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. It was a glorious opportunity to be there and I was so pleased that I had some images to show from that wonderful time. Glad you liked them.

      Like

  40. Honie Briggs says:

    Thrills indeed! What a fantastic series, Lyle. Excellent capture, both for you and the fox.

    Like

  41. Sheldon says:

    Another great article with a delicious main course of fox eye candy.. This is something i would love to experience Lyle 🙂

    Like

  42. Sue says:

    Fantastic sequence. I assume you set the camera up for multiple shots? Nice focus in all of the shots! It surely is amazing that they can hear the position of the mouse so accurately.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. Yes I was taking 10 frames per second starting at from the third photo so the whole jump is only only about half a second. I was pleasantly surprised that the fox was in focus for all of them. The accuracy of their hearing is really beyond belief.

      Like

  43. Gunta says:

    Amazing sequence. I can surely relate to that adrenalin rush.

    Like

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