Complaining works!

DT6C9326, fox

Apparently “shaggy” was worried that I wouldn’t notice that big tail!

Who ever said complaining doesn’t work?

We are driving down a familiar highway into a sunset. Conversation is relaxed and intermittent.

My brother asks about my next blog post. I bemoan that events have conspired against my wildlife photography in the last few weeks. Am I still a wildlife photographer if I’m not taking any photos? It’s not exactly a direct answer.

A little while later, my brother casually mentions that he sees a fox in a monotone voice suitable for noting a small change in the price of gas. What?

DT6C9332, fox

There’s nothing quite like munching on a snack.

I immediately demand to know where the fox is while squeezing the brakes. When I learn it disappeared into the trees, I let off the brakes knowing that it’s most likely a lost cause. I’ve seen that movie before. We keep driving.

My daughter laughingly tells my brother that when driving with her dad, wildlife sightings always create a big fuss. It is a novel concept for him.

The sun drops lower into my eyes making driving more difficult. The kilometres drift by.

Suddenly my brother says there’s another fox – this time with a lot more enthusiasm. I quickly manoeuvre to the side of the road and my daughter hands me the camera. I immediately discover a dead battery. Sheesh. I quickly change batteries. Spare camera batteries can be one of my best friends! I take a test shot through the window and quietly open the door.

Foxes aren’t exactly the dullest knife in the drawer so I know that it will notice me. Still I don’t want to make excessive noise or movement that might scare it off. I sit down in the ditch and take aim. My plan works. The fox looks up, decides I’m not a threat and keeps on hunting.

In short order, the fox and I are both successful. It grabs a snack and I get some shots. Soon we are both heading off into the sunset with smiles on our faces.

I wonder if the fox also complained about not getting anything to eat?

DT6C9343, fox

Happily heading off into the sunset.

 

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Latest Comments

  1. Joe Valencia says:

    Great story to go along with some great photos!

    Like

  2. melodylowes says:

    The ‘gold on gold’ is pretty. There is only a small window of opportunity for that combination of background colour and fur colour, isn’t there? I’m glad your car-mates didn’t complain about the braking!

    Like

  3. krikitarts says:

    It’s so great to have a companion who not only doesn’t mind the occasional sudden(ish) stop but also is quite willing to help with the sudden opportunity. I know, because that’s not always the case! What a magnificent fox–beautifully done!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes that’s true and I’ve heard it quite often. Thankfully my wife is very patient with me so we’ve stopped many times. Glad you enjoyed the fox.

      Like

  4. Mike Powell says:

    Despite the fact that I usually like to be on my own with nature, I have to admit that it can be a real advantage to be with someone else who can play the role of a spotter. I suspect that is especially the case when you are preoccupied with keeping your car on the road. Sometimes I think a photographer, like a race car driver, needs a pit crew to ensure that the equipment is at hand and ready to operate all the time and a Sherpa to tote the gear when you are walking.

    I can’t help but join the chorus of kudos for your shots of that photogenic fox in the gorgeous late-day light. Did you take the shots handheld with your 500mm or were you able to use a tripod or monopod?

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I’m with you all the way in balancing the desire to be alone in nature as opposed to the luxury of a pit crew and sherpa! Ideally the whole entourage would magically appear when I need them. When my wife drives when we are on holidays, I definitely get a lot more shots.

      What with changing the camera battery and grabbing my camera, I didn’t risk taking more time to grab anything else so I handheld the 500mm lens. Usually I handhold first to make sure I get something and then get the monopod or tripod if I sense I may have more time or my arms give out.

      Glad you enjoyed the fox.

      Like

  5. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great series of shots, really like the opening one…the face/eyes are crisp and contrast so well with the surroundings. Also enjoyed the write-up. Cheers!

    Like

  6. Marco Pesaresi says:

    Excellent set Lyle and caught at the perfect time during the golden hour, beautiful light and a beautiful subject, well done indeed sir.

    Like

  7. hannele says:

    You’re really good at story-telling, Lyle. 🙂 Thanks for sharing that, and the beautiful photos! (that is quite the tail)

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks. Telling the story this way was my daughter’s idea. It’s a lot of fun to encounter interesting wildlife and be able to tell the story. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Like

  8. whichwaynow101 says:

    Beautiful late afternoon light on foxy!

    Like

  9. idiotphotographer says:

    I love those moments that just happen like that. Lovely shots.

    Like

  10. bits and pieces on photo says:

    That first photo is absolutely worth being in a ditch. with its furry tail up the fox is almost cute! 🙂 Good work.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks. A ditch works for me if I can get a fox. I was surprised that it kept that tail up almost the entire time I watched. It was like a signal that it was serious about hunting.

      Like

  11. westerner54 says:

    Sometimes you just have to be absolutely clear so the universe knows what you want. I don’t call that complaining, but not sure my husband would agree!

    Like

  12. janeslog says:

    The light sets off the colour of the fox’s coat very well.

    Like

  13. RobynG says:

    Beautiful light! Fabulous captures!

    Like

  14. nliakos says:

    That’s a beautiful fox!

    Like

  15. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    He’s gorgeous. Any idea what the snack was?

    Like

  16. Stefano says:

    Great work as always, Lyle. The opening shot is just gorgeous!

    Like

  17. Sue says:

    Don’t you love serendipity?!

    Like

  18. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Lovely shots and a great story…can’t ask for more!

    Like

  19. janemwoodman says:

    Just gorgeous! Thank you.

    Like

  20. soonie2 says:

    Success indeed!! Beautiful animal, magnificent captures!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I appreciate that. It’s so amazing to encounter a beautiful animal and be able to capture the moment. No more complaining – at least for awhile:)

      Like

  21. Beth Walsh's Photoblog says:

    Beautiful images and a very funny post. I was laughing when you got to the battery, its always the way. You got lucky this time so no complaining… 🙂

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      My lips are sealed from complaining after a happy ending! I’m usually pretty good with bringing extra batteries but Murphy’s Law is usually lurking around the corner somewhere! Happy to hear about the laughing. Thanks.

      Like

  22. Steve Gingold says:

    It’s all good here, Lyle. Three really nice shots that should have dulled the complaining for a night. That is a magnificent tail for sure and the look makes it so dynamic. I love the swirling corn rows (an assumption and you know what that gets us) in the background in the last one. Everyone likes a good snack shot. 🙂

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes the complaining is dulled but something tells me there’s a lot more where that came from:) Glad you enjoyed the photos and the snacks. We actually don’t have a lot of corn grown around here so the stubble field was likely from a grain like wheat or barley. I was worried the swirls might be too distracting so I’ll just set that aside.

      Like

  23. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat says:

    I love that he looked straight at you.

    Like

  24. Seenorway says:

    Sometimes, Lyle, sometimes you just don’t get what you’re looking for . . .
    🙂

    Like

  25. Scott Marshall says:

    amazing to see this colour combination and that tail in the first shots is something else

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That setting sun (we actually have it around here) really does interesting things with the colour. Glad you enjoyed that impressive tail – I particularly foxes because of that.

      Like

  26. Susan Portnoy says:

    Your post made me smile. Not easy after a long… way long.. day like today. Thanks, Lyle!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      You just made my day. So pleased to hear about the smile on your tough day – unfortunately there seem to be those days sometimes. Thankfully they are not all the same.

      Like

  27. Phil Lanoue says:

    Lighting, setting, and fox are all perfect! It must have been quite a thrill, I know I would be going crazy over this.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks. Sunsets are just an amazing time. It was a thrill especially since I missed the first one and thot that would be it for that trip – as though there’s some logic to all this.

      Like

  28. Lavinia Ross says:

    Beautiful tail on that fox! I was lucky enough once to live near an old barn that had fallen down. A mother fox gave birth in there, and towards evening she would bring the little ones out to play slide on the old barn roof that was now ground level. It was fun to watch them climb up and slide down.

    Like

  29. Honie Briggs says:

    Oooo, dead batteries are the worst. I was recently shooting a friend’s graduation when I realized my SD card was full. I immediately began deleting old photos (which I never do) to make room for his debut on stage. Deleting photos takes time when you have to look at each one to deem it unworthy to remain on the card! Gaaahh. Thank goodness for those fresh batteries. That is a reminder to me to check my gear. By the way, I received a monopod for Mother’s Day. Can’t wait for a chance to use it.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yikes. I’ve had to scramble to delete photos before but not under pressure like that. It really is annoying how many things can go wrong – best not to count and bring spare everything. A mother’s monopod – nicely played. I have increasingly used my monopod over the last few years. Enjoy.

      Like

  30. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    Persistence works too. 😀 Beautiful.

    Like

  31. Gunta says:

    Seems your daughter knows the routine well! Though you might teach her to check the battery for you! Hmmm… I’m wondering if that trick of sitting in a ditch would work with my herons or egrets? O_o

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes my daughter is quite familiar with the chaos that wildlife sightings bring – she’s a good sport. Sitting in the ditch is an ancient photographers secret bound to give you great success or attract mosquitoes.

      Like

      • Gunta says:

        I’m surprised and honored that you were willing to share such a well guarded, ancient secret. Given our mosquito problem last summer, I may have to do some serious thinking about how much blood I’d be willing to sacrifice for this great success.

        Like

  32. Debra says:

    Nice!

    Like

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