Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Giddy Up!   1 comment


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As has been said, “It’s turtles all the way down.”

I still submit that turtles are great subjects for photography — they don’t move around very much; they have features that are unique one from another; and the various postures they assume while sunning themselves leads to interesting compositions.

Such was the case with this pair on the Silver River in Florida. I had to spin the kayak around and work back upstream to catch this team. I caught several frames before they decided they had had enough. Actually, the big guy on the bottom had enough, and took the little one into the water with him.

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Wood. Duck.   3 comments


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From his log perch on the Silver River in Florida, a male Wood Duck keeps a close eye on his mate and their brood of baby ducklings.

For my preferences, Silver River is an amazing place to photograph wildlife from our kayaks. Motorboats are allowed to travel only at idle speed. No fishing is allowed. The five mile stretch of the Silver is essentially a wildlife sanctuary, attracting all manner of creatures. In fact, if you leave the Silver River and travel the nearby Oklawaha River, with fewer restrictions, it’s like night-and-day.

April is a great time to visit. The sun is getting warmer, flowers are starting to bloom, and the local critters are busy making ever more critters.

In this scene, I took some time to float near the male Wood Duck, who seemed quite unaffected by our presence. At the time, I thought he was solitary, but as it turns out, his mate was nearby and had a brood of eight or nine ducklings. (I’ll have an image of the brood coming up soon.)

If you haven’t yet seen it, one of my images of the Rhesus macaque monkeys at Silver River was picked up by Seeker Daily, part of the Discovery Network, and featured in a short video piece. You can find that video on YouTube, titled “Is There A Monkey Island In Florida?”

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No, YOU Pull His Tail!   4 comments


A bale of turtles contemplates their next prank at Silver River, Florida.

My thanks go to Jennifer McGowan. We were having dinner with her family the other night before we attended a taping of NPR’s “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” Her words of encouragement inspired me to sit down and get back to publishing some images, this being the first in quite a while.

Part of my absence was due to travel. We hit the road for the month of April, traveling to Florida with a pickup truck loaded with kayaks, bicycles, and SCUBA gear. While on these trips, I don’t take any devices that would allow me to process or publish images; I simply prefer to stay fully engaged with my surroundings rather than being distracted by FREDs (Frickin’ Ridiculous Electronic Devices.)

The other reason for not publishing many images is just due to the time it takes from every day. I do love creating these things, but every time I do, I look up at the clock and wonder where my morning went.

Every now and then, though, someone comes along almost out-of-the-blue and says such very kind words about the effort, reflecting their enjoyment of what they’ve seen posted here. That particular reflection let me know that I’m not doing this in a void — as it sometimes seems to me — and that there is something to it all that is very worthwhile.

Posted May 25, 2015 by Rob Hanson Photography in animals

Mother and Child   1 comment


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Early one morning while camping at Dolly Copp Campground near Gorham, NH back in 2010, we were treated to a visit from a mother moose and her young one.

While we were sipping coffee, the pair passed through our campsite only a few feet away from where we were sitting. The two were more interested in browsing on the late season foliage than they were with our presence. We dared not budge until they had moved along, after which we grabbed the cameras and stayed at a respectful distance while grabbing as many shots as we could.

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The Lineup   6 comments


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Again at the Silver River in Florida.

This was taken on the back side of an island that used to be a tourist attraction. Whether the boat was used for ferrying guests, or was used as a prop for greater realism, I’m not sure, but it makes for a great haven for turtles.

I think that turtles make fascinating subjects. Even though they don’t move very much — which is good — the way they huddle together on exposed logs can make for interesting compositions.

I had any number of funny albeit puerile titles and captions in mind for this one, but Susan said, “Oh, don’t be such a boy.” So I promised I wouldn’t.

Suffice it to say, I wonder what’s inside that they’re willing to wait for so long?

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Fine Dining at Anhinga’s Cafe   Leave a comment


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Ahh, sushi… It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Paddling toward the headwaters of the Silver River in Florida, we passed by a small, forested island that held a large colony of Anhingas, water birds that dive underwater for their catch, which is usually fish and amphibians. Rough nests were scattered across the island, most having two or more juveniles waiting for food.

Mom and dad go out to catch fish, letting them, um, settle for a while, before hacking up their catch to the young ones. As the feedings continued despite our close presence, the cacaphony of squawking juvies was almost overwhelming. With several young ones in the nest, competition for the one provider was intense.

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Grouch   3 comments


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After the chill of the evening wears off, a number of cold-blooded animals climb out of the water to warm themselves in the sun. Alligators tend to favor land or vegetation mats, turtles tend to climb up on logs that stick out of the water. In both cases, the chosen location is a good one in case a quick escape is needed.

This little guy — a Suwannee River Cooter, I believe — is actually only a few inches long, perhaps 5″ at most. I slowly nudged my kayak toward his carefully chosen log and snapped a few frames at 210mm.

Why “Grouch?”

This was the look he gave me just before grudgingly dropping into the cold water.

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