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Posts Tagged ‘busy’

As I wander about in Huntley Meadows Park, I see lots of signs that winter is on its way, including this tree that I encountered in what seemed to be the middle of the woods. Clearly the beavers have been as busy as, well, beavers. I am hoping to be able to capture them in action in the upcoming months.

If you read this blog frequently, you probably noticed that this image is quite different from my “normal” wildlife close-ups. When I stumbled upon this tree on which a beaver had been gnawing, I was struck by the interplay of light and shadows. As I framed this shot, which is uncropped here, I was trying to capture the almost monochromatic look of the scene in a very simple composition. I’m pretty pleased by the different textures that I was also able to capture in the shot.

North American Beaver

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The beavers at my local marshland park have built a lodge that spills onto a bench on the boardwalk and the entrance to the lodge appears to be in the waters underneath the boardwalk itself. There are signs that the beavers have been actively getting ready for winter with new mud walls and fallen trees each time I visit. I’ve only seen a beaver a few times and it has always been a time of reduced visibility, i.e. early morning or late in the day.

As I was walking back toward the park entrance yesterday evening after taking photos of the sunset, I heard noise near the beaver lodge and saw that a beaver was visible through the brush. I snapped a couple of photos, but realized that ISO 400 would not work, so I cranked up the ISO to 1600, the highest that my camera would go. This was uncharted territory for me, because I had already seen prominent grain when I set the ISO at 800. Even with the ISO set that high, the shutter speed was around 1/15 sec, so I tried to keep my camera on my tripod. The beaver was somewhat preoccupied and did not immediately dive, the normal reaction of a beaver when I see them, so I was able to get some shots of the beaver in action.

In many ways, these are aspirational shots, for they reflect photos that I want to take in the future with better results. I am sharing some of them, however, because I find them to be interesting, poor quality notwithstanding. It will definitely be a challenge to figure out a solution to the dilemma of getting quality shots in limited light.

Gathering more sticks for his lodge

Gathering more sticks for his lodge

Beaver close-up

Swimming beaver

Beaver with open mouth

Beaver with open mouth

Beaver looking at me

Beaver looking at me

Swimming toward the light

Swimming toward the light

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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