Surprise Nature Encounter – New York
The other day I was out creating some photography. My goal for the day was flower and macro photography with some scenic shots mixed in. I used four different cameras over the course of the day. One of which came in handy in a way I was not expecting.
When I set out to take photographs and I have a goal in mind, I take the gear I need to create those types of photographs. I often will also carry one other camera body and lens combination that will be useful if I come across just the right subject. I may not be planning for that subject but I want to be prepared just in case I am presented with that opportunity.
Frequently my subjects are flowers or scenic nature shots as they were on this day. I plan accordingly and take the gear I will need for the shots I have in mind. But I also love wildlife and I would hate to miss an opportunity to capture wildlife images if the opportunity presented itself while I am out. Usually what I think that means is photographing some birds I encounter along the way or also some turtles like I did during this outing. To that end I try to always carry my 300 mm lens attached to a body when I am out.
During this trip I was at the Cornell Botanic Gardens in Ithaca, New York. I was exploring the whole garden trying to photograph as many flowers as I could. As usual I had my 300 mm lens with me in addition to my other gear. I had photographed some birds and turtles already with it.
As I walked along one of the windy roads near the back of the arboretum an adult gray fox and its pups emerged from the trees right in front of me. They were so close that I was stopped in my tracks and said “Holy Shit” out loud to no one but myself. It was such a surprise encounter that I did not even have a chance to photograph the adult fox before it had crossed the road.
The pups were more timid and unsure of themselves. Fortunately for me they took longer to cross the road. I was able to recover and capture some images of them as they crossed the road.
After they left my immediate area I tried to watch where they seemed to be headed. I circled around the area and walked down into a grassy field between two groves of trees. I needed collect myself and I wanted watch and see if the foxes would reappear.
I did not have to wait long. I was able to see the two small fox pups making their way through the trees. They actually were moving along a path that would take them right in front of me again. This time I was a little more prepared to try and capture some images. I watched them through the trees and they crossed the field a little way away from me and ran up a bank and out of site.
It was so nice to see them. I have never seen foxes so close for so long. Especially not in broad daylight. Sometimes having things go differently than you had planed can be a good thing. You just have to be prepared. I would never have expected to have this encounter with foxes here. I was glad I was ready to capture some photographs.