Sunday, September 30, 2018

Finally out of the eagle's shadow

Red Fox Kit Sleeping, San Juan Island, Washington

I originally planned to share these images with you five months ago — but a certain eagle stole the show (just like it stole the rabbit from the fox).

Like the eagle/fox/rabbit sequence, these images are from San Juan Island in Washington state. I try to keep some variety in my posts both here on the blog and on social media. The sequence got so much attention, I wanted a bit of a break before I shared other images from that trip.

The whole purpose of the trip was to photograph young fox kits in San Juan Island National Historical Park. The foxes aren’t native to the island — they were introduced in the early 1900s to try to curb the number of European rabbits, which were introduced about 10 years earlier. But the foxes are cute — especially when they’re just a few months old.

There were about a half-dozen kits in the group that I spent the most time with. The majority of their time was spent resting (as in the image at the top of this post) and playing.

Red Fox Kits Playing, San Juan Island, Washington

All of the foxes on the island are red foxes, even if they aren’t technically red. There was a gorgeous cream-colored fox.

Red Fox Kit, San Juan Island, Washington

Although the young black fox probably got most of the attention from park visitors.

Red Fox Kit, San Juan Island, Washington

While there are wildlife photographers and landscape photographers, I consider myself a nature photographer. I like both equally well. Even as foxes ran across the field, I saw potential landscape images.

This is one of my favorite landscapes from my time on San Juan Island. The weather wasn’t great, but I loved the red grasses sprinkled across the meadow. I used the gray rocks and sky to help them pop a bit more.

Prairie in Summer, San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington

San Juan Island is remote, so there’s actually a fair bit of wildlife. Canada geese may not be rare, but I couldn’t resist photographing this family of geese exploring a bluff over Smallpox Bay — a gorgeous area with an ugly history. The bay is named for a smallpox outbreak in 1860. Indians on Vancouver Island who contracted it were brought across Haro Strait to San Juan Island and left to die.

Family of Canada Geese, Smallpox Bay, San Juan Island, Washington

I managed to photograph one sunset. Here, we are looking across Haro Strait toward Vancouver Island.

Sunset Across Haro Strait, Westside Preserve, San Juan Island, Washington

Abstract patterns on weathered trees are another favorite subject of mine. I found plenty of photo-worthy trees on the west side of the island. Here’s one of my favorite images.

Patterns in Madrona Bark, San Juan Island, Washington

(The bald eagle/fox/rabbit image sequence is featured in the brand new edition of Kevin Ebi's bald eagle book, Year of the Eagle, which tells the story of a year in the life of Pacific Northwest bald eagles. Follow his photography on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.)

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