Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The 2 + 3 = 5 that got away

with 6 comments

What? A pictureless post in a column on photography? Yes, it’s true. Yesterday morning, you see, I went out to take pictures as I so often do. I chose a place I hadn’t visited in several years, one that had had and turned out to still have dried milkweed vine pods hanging from the trees. I set my heavy camera bag down and was looking at the scene around me when suddenly out of the nearby underbrush came a fox. I’d heard people say there are foxes in Austin, though I’d never seen one. What luck! And no sooner had the fox come out than a second one followed it! But before I even had a chance to take my camera out of the camera bag both foxes ambled down an embankment and out of sight.

And there’s more. Late that afternoon, when I walked out of my garage to drop a letter in the mailbox across the street, I found three young armadillos rooting about in the ground adjacent to the driveway. They showed no fear of me at all, letting me walk right up to them. I quickly went into the house and grabbed my camera, but by the time I got back outside all I could see was the tail end of the last armadillo disappearing under my neighbor’s backyard fence.

So call me zero for five for mammals yesterday, but I did get some good plant pictures in the morning, and a few of those will make their way into this column in the days ahead. (Update: the picture posted on July 23 is one of those compensations.)

© (though why bother?) 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 1, 2011 at 6:51 AM

Posted in animals

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. It’s so very dry, so little forbs or seed heads available for wildlife. I’ve seen 2 gray and a red fox here on the cliff, this week. Also a young coyote, a porcupine and several armadillos visited the water trough.
    I put in a new bird feeder, and keep lots of water out and the birds have visited non stop. I have several pairs of painted buntings and yesterday there were 4 male painted buntings, at the same time, visiting the bird bath and feeders. The squirrels have learned to climb the pole and knock the feeder down so all the seed spills out. The deer are skinny…………………… Pray for Rain!!!

    susie fowler

    July 1, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    • Wow, what a menagerie you’ve got out there Susie, in spite of the drought. Even without water, though, some of the plants are thriving, among them the Clematis drummondii that I have so much fun photographing. And the urban deer in our neighborhood don’t seem to be doing badly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2011 at 7:33 AM

  2. This is a slow beginning to a career in wildlife photography….or at least megafauna pictures! Grin. And I wondered at where you could be that you “hadn’t visited in several years”…


    July 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    • Yes, a very slow beginning to megafauna wildlife pictures! The place with the milkweed vines hanging from trees and the foxes (which to my knowledge hadn’t been hanging from trees) is on the south side of Spicewood Springs Rd. just to the west of Wexford Dr. (you can look on a map to see where Wexford is). There’s a large opening from Wexford Dr. to undeveloped land behind the houses on the west side of the street. I don’t know who controls that land, but it’s not fenced, so I treat it as a de facto greenbelt.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2011 at 11:32 AM

  3. Yep, I can totally relate to your post. So sorry you missed those fox photos! I missed a moose photo a couple of weeks ago. It’s only the second moose I’ve seen in the Upper Peninsula. I was in an anti-photography mode (refusing to carry the camera EVERYWHERE like I have for three years.) And there was a bull moose. Sigh. It’s sad. Thanks for visiting my blog!


    July 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    • And I’m sorry you had to miss a moose—although the phrase miss a moose has a certain charm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM

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