One of my favorite wildlife photographers is Thomas Manglesen who lives in Jackson, Wyoming near Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks. Tom has made a life out of capturing moments in the wild. and many of his images are spectacular. You can see some of his images at this link.
Tom teaches that wild animals have comfort zones around them. If you get within them they will react, usually by leaving. He also notes that walking directly towards a wild animal will cause them to react sooner than if you approach them by walking at an angle. Near a herd of Bison, he takes his students back and forth walking sideways to the herd to get closer. He also teaches that you can sometimes float close to a wild animal if you stay still and let the current take you toward the animal.
While floating I grabbed my camera out of its waterproof bag, and took a few photos while I drifted silently closer. The early evening light was perfect for the photo shoot as was the dark green and brown background of the island behind him. I adjusted the camera's aperture to obscure the background and highlight the bird.
As I drifted, I watched and shot photos as he moved around. He seemed oblivious to me and the large orange "log" I was sitting on. And, as you can see, he continued his fishing.
At this point, I was a good 10 minutes into my silent float and less than 20 yards from the bird. He was aware of me and looked at me from time to time but then went quickly back to his business, even lowering his head to get a drink of water.
It was not until I drifted within 10 yards of him, that he finally started to think about flying off. When he did, it was with no sign of alarm. He just pulled himself up and flew off.
I counted my blessings. I have been on the water for years without ever getting this close. I sat for a minute and started to think about packing up the camera. As I started to reach for the paddle, however, something told me to look around.
When I did, I was greeted with this scene just 25 yards upstream. The heron or one of his cousins had landed in some floating brush and had no concerns about the floating orange lob nearby.
All photos and text are copyright by Clinton Richardson. Moe images from the Jurassic Cove Gallery can be found at TrekPic.com, click New on the home page to be directed to the gallery.
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We write for creative doers who seek inspiration from experience. Our readers are students of life, interested in travel, photography and ideas.
Clinton Richardson, has been writing and photographing for decades. His acclaimed venture strategy series is now in its 5th edition. His Ancient Selfies is an International Book Awards Finalist and an eLit Award Gold Medal Winner. Many of his images can be seen online at TrekPic.com.