Last week, I visited some of my favorite habitats in the lower Rio Grande area of Texas to search for wildlife photography opportunities. I hope you like the variety of subjects and life stages depicted.
Dr. Beto Gutierrez spotted these guys on a huge mesquite as we traversed his ranch in Starr Co.
Beto and I spent about a half hour beside Dorothy’s Pond on the Santa Clara Photo Ranch that day. The birds weren’t there so we captured a few dragonfly images before heading out. That’s a Thornbush Dasher hovering a Roseate Skimmer.
A week ago, many whitetail bucks were still wearing velvet-covered antlers while some had begun to shed the bloody, furlike skin.
Autumn starts today and I’m at home working on this report and trying to capture a few hummingbird and flower photos around the house. Let’s save those for next week.
I began photographing a few white-tailed deer and wild turkey in late August. Fawns were dropping in July and getting pretty active by August. Meanwhile, the big bucks finished growing new antlers. Late summer is always a magic time when I can capture images of fawns and large bucks at the same time and location. It’s also that time of year when some turkey hens still have young poults.
Here are some photographs from recent weeks:
In the image above, a cottontail rabbit jumps from the grass next to fawn. The rabbits seemed to play tag for a half hour or more with the little deer. On several occasions, they ran between its legs but the grass was too high for me to get a good shot
Bucks will be shedding velvet from their antlers for the next two-three weeks and I hope to capture nice shots of that. Maybe I can find some fresh fall migrant birds and autumn wildflowers, too.
In recent weeks, we had migrating birds arriving with the hurricane and with the latest weather fronts. I wasn’t getting out of the house to photograph until I saw a good concentration of hummingbirds Monday on the Fire Bush plants at my son’s house. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I was there for the action.
The following images were made without artificial lighting or any special setup. The bushes were covered in red blooms which made it difficult to isolate birds in flight. Instead, I focused a cluster of blooms with a clean background and pushed the shutter button as birds came to feed.
Here is a small collection of hummers from September 8 and 9:
If my identification is correct, this is the first Rufous Hummingbird I’ve been able to photograph in the lower Rio Grande area.
I plan to post again in the next day or two with a few deer and turkey shots.