Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods

Red-tailed Hawk and November Snows             26 November 2014

This image was made with a Canon 7D and Canon 300mm f4L IS lens along the Mississippi River as a gentle snow fell upon the surrounding forest.   A beautifully plumaged adult Red-tailed Hawk surveyed the changing landscape, and its patience with me helped to create an image I have been pursuing for more than two decades! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Sense of Everywhere...

Closer to the Wild Than You Thought!                    November 6, 2014

A mouse of the genus Peromyscus

My students and I have been compiling population information on small mammal populations for fourteen years in the same ten acres of old-field, forest, and bog.  This year saw an unprecedented jump in the population of white-footed mice.  In "Boom" years, mice use every corner of available habitat and begin spilling into adjacent habitats of poorer quality.   Our Mark-and-Recapture estimates of the Peromyscus mouse population indicated densities of roughly 85 mice per acre.  To put that into perspective, let's imagine the mice are evenly distributed throughout the forested acre. Since an acre is roughly 4047 meters square, that leaves approximately 48 meters square per mouse. Some familiar math, we take the square root of 48, and, Presto! That is an area of just under 7 meters by 7 meters.  That is an area of about 23 feet by 23 feet.  Put yourself in the middle of such a square, and you are at most just twelve feet away from a mouse!  A quiet, frozen, and seemingly empty woodlot is teaming with unseen life, potential beauty for the most astute observers!

This image was made opportunistically with a Nokia 928 Lumia Smart Phone and its Carl Zeiss optics.