Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Learning from my failure!

" Hmm... no pictures"? you say. that was my failure today when I encountered a Ruffed Grouse looking over a snowbank. I was sure it would cross the highway in front of me So I got my camera switched on, checked my settings and had my canon zoom 100-400 mm with me and I had time to roll down my window leaving the glass slightly up so as to rest my heavy camera and lens on it.
And I waited and waited and waited, but the grouse did not reappear! where was it? I steered the car across the road so I could peer into the ditch where the bird had been! It was not there!! what disappointment I experienced! I drove on down the highway and then returned. I scanned all of the roadside birches nearby thinking it may have perched in one of the trees there at roadside. but none were seen there . It had totally disappeared. This same experience had happened to me earlier this winter when I was congratulation myself on the great Ruffed Grouse picture I had hoped to get. But suddenly the grouse had totally disappeared as was my experience today. I decided as soon as I returned home to do some research. Meanwhile back at home I googled a search using such words as 'ruffed grouse',' buried in snow' and found a lovely informative northern woodlands website which I direct you to here: Its a great read!.

I learned that apparently Ruffed Grouse will make tunnels in the snow and stay in the tunnel for warmth or hide there. If such was the case today, it worked! I had considered getting out of my car and examining the snowy ditch carefully but I have a fear of dogs and didn't know if there were any around that location( Most rural home dwellers in that area have a dog or two). all I could visualize was a hostile dog chomping on my ankles.

So this has been my explanation of how I learned about Ruffed Grouse today from my failure of not getting a picture of the one I had seen.
My purpose in going for a drive in rural areas today was hoping to find a flock of Snow Buntings I had seen and photographed earlier this week. I was almost home when I saw to my left flying parallel to my car a small flock of snow birds. flying so close that I could see their distinctive black markings very clearly. this was not my lucky day as there was traffic coming up closely behind me, making it difficult for me to stop quickly. By the time I could pull over onto the highway shoulder and stop safely the snowbirds were gone. They had flown over my car and went into a large field to my right and the disappeared into the white camouflage of the snowy field where they had settled down. A few moments of anticipated waited on my part did not yield any further camera fodder for me to strive for.

Thus I conclude: this posting today has no pictures accompanying it. Q.E.D.


Becky said...

Now this is how wildlife photography usually goes for me. It turns out you can paint a picture with your words as nicely as you can snap one with your camera!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I'm sorry that you missed your most perfect shot, but we all have learned something in the process--I'd no idea grouse's did that, how cool is that?

Mary said...

Very interesting! I've never even seen a Ruffed Grouse, so you are doing better than I am :-)