April 26, 2011

Fire, Fog, and Deer

Young mule deer doe, April 2011
The warmer weather earlier this month had me setting out some camera traps.

I pulled this camera after a week, when the wet weather moved in. Since Sunday we have had rain, snow, sleet, and graupel—today with lightning.

I like this photo because, just by chance, the little doe positioned herself where the reflection in her eye would be in focus, which is what animal photographers strive to get. If the eye's highlight is in focus, you can have the animal's muzzle (or in this case, her butt) out of focus and the photo will still seem "right."

Two other camera traps are still out there. One is in a dry rock shelter, the other protected, I hope, by the fir tree to which it is attached. That camera is forty minutes' hike from the house, so I will check it later.

Partway through writing the post, I stepped outside, and it suddenly registered that I was hearing the fire siren blowing from down the valley. Before long I was dressed in my wildland gear and chasing the brush truck up the canyon along with two other members of the department.

Once again, the cause of the alarm was a lightning strike high up on a ridge on national forest land.

The conditions were damp and foggy, and it was far from any structures, so we notified the Forest Service and came back to the fire house. The FS may just choose to let it burn. In fact, we have a meeting scheduled with them Thursday to talk about all that.

As I made my way home, the deer were everywhere in the foggy evening light, wandering onto the highway and eating the fresher plants that grow along the road,  where the extra runoff from the asphalt causes them to green up quicker in a dry year.


barb glass said...

Lovely shot of th edoe...I don't suppose the strom will send enough rain the quench the fire? What a wonderful place to live!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Always good to hear the news out your way, and the doe shot is a keeper.