Creatures big and small passed in front of my lenses over my past photo year. No matter their size, all were special to see from the pika and mink to the bison, bighorn and pronghorn. Here’s a look back at my favorite mammal captures from my past photo year.
American mink keeps watch along the South Platte River. Going back to this charmed encounter from October and this cool creature. I shot a ridiculous number of pics of the little one as it bounded along the river, even catching a fish. Here, after stashing its catch, it returned, seeming to want to try its luck again. It paused briefly on a rock along the river, sticking its nose up as if smelling something.
Jumping back to the end of October and the charmed encounter I had with this little one. Mink are not often seen and if they are, they are not ones to linger, preferring not to be in the limelight. This one, however, was an exception.
For almost a half hour it entertained myself and others as it scampered up and down the South Platte River and even caught a fish. Here, it pauses briefly on top of a rock on the opposite riverbank, giving a nice pose.
An American mink watches from above hoping to spot a meal. Jumping back to this charmed encounter from a couple of weeks ago. I took a ridiculous number of pics during the half hour this little one was running around so here are a few more. Having already caught and stashed one fish, the mink returned hoping for more. It spent a good while hopping around these rocks, peering into the water and looking for fish. Intermittently it would dive in after a target but ended up with only its initial catch.
Well, this was an insanely fun encounter. My trip to the foothills Saturday was primarily to photograph the bighorn sheep. However, the focus quickly shifted from the biggest animal in the area to one of the smallest.
A passerby saw the mink and a couple of photo friends were trying to spot it. After a short while, we did and it went on to put on a heck of a show for the next half hour. It scampered up the river a good ways to a spot with rocks in the river. From there, it caught a brown trout and then ran into the grass on the other side of the river.
We thought the show was over but then it returned a few minutes later, without the fish, and continued to give us some cool captures. Its other fishing expeditions weren’t successful and much to our surprise, it ran back into the grass and returned with the previously caught fish, giving this pose before it finally headed off to dine in private.
Lots of fun and one that allows us to call this #MinkMonday.
I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or this little guy. Ha!
Taken last September, I had spotted it as it hopped in and out of the rocks but was not having any luck getting a clear shot. It seemed to be moving overall in one direction though so I hiked ahead, hoping to catch it as it continued on.
Sure enough, I did, but far closer than what I anticipated. As I scanned the rocks, I suddenly saw motion right in front of me and there it was! We were both a bit stunned and it hesitated and seemed curious, allowing me to grab a few captures before it disappeared again.
Back in June I spent some time photographing one of these rarely seen creatures. Last weekend I returned to the same general area where I had heard rumors of an entire family of American minks hanging out.
It appears I was a bit late to the party as the little ones have grown and started to disperse. However, I did get to see two of them (separately) and both gave me some nice shots.
Judging by the size of this one versus the other I saw that day, this one is a juvenile and it was absolutely adorable. Being young, it wasn’t quite as shy as older ones and at different points seemed just as interested in me as I was in it.
I reckon since this was taken a few months ago we could call it one for #ThrowbackThursday.
I spent a half hour photographing this little cutie as it darted in and out of the rocks and water, hunting for breakfast. As this was only the second or third time I had ever photographed a mink, I was pretty darned giddy with the opportunity.
While these little guys are not uncommon or rare, it isn’t often they are seen. Not too long ago, I got word that a family of mink were at this spot which is fantastic to hear that I may get another chance to see them.
Let’s call it Mink Monday. The final capture I took of this beautiful, little creature a few weeks ago.
After having entertained me in a virtually non-stop flurry of action darting in and out of rocks and the water, the mink decided it had enough and headed for home. As it hopped away along the shoreline, it stopped, just briefly, and looked back at me.
I, in turn, thanked it for blessing me with the opportunity to photograph it. I opted for a wider view with this shot, giving a nice environmental shot of it.
Oh my goodness! By far this little guy / gal was the highlight of my photo outings this past weekend.
I initially spotted it Saturday but dim light and the little one’s fast, erratic movements yielded sub-par pictures. Returning on Sunday, the conditions were far better and the mink more cooperative.
For almost a half hour it gave me some decent views as it darted in and out of the rocks and water, looking for breakfast. It was indeed successful, at one point catching a small fish but it opted to immediately scurry out of view to eat.
While they are not a rare creature, they are rarely seen so I am pretty darned pleased to have gotten this opportunity.