Woodchuck Suprise

A woodchuck (groundhog if you prefer) pops its head out of a hollow this morning.

I’ve been fighting the mosquitoes lately at my pond each morning so I decided to head down to Crawford County and wade in the cool spring water to one of my favorite spots along Blue Springs Creek. After two hours in my turkey chair, I was contemplating why somebody like me would go out each morning to sit and wait, usually just staring into space for hours with nary a critter around. About that time, a woodchuck came running toward me and passed to my left along the bank. The light was so low I didn’t even try to swing my lens around on the tripod for an image as the little guy passed me and headed upstream.

A minute later I heard a sound to the left again and the woodchuck had returned. This time it went in a hollow at the base of a tree to my left, only about 15 feet away. As it disappeared into the tree I knew I had my chance. I swung my lens to the left and focused right on the opening. It couldn’t have been 15 seconds later before the curious Chuck appeared in the opening and gave me a nice long look.

Fortunately, woodchucks often freeze so still that you can photograph them in very low light conditions. The resulting full-frame image was taken with my 500/4 lens, using the best LLT (Long Lens Technique) I could muster. I knew I would need extra depth of field so I went up a full stop to f/5.6, further reducing my shutter speed to 1/8th second, which was a good move because the initial images at 4.0 didn’t quite get the critter’s ear in the focus plane.

“Thanks Mr. Woodchuck for making my morning more interesting. I hope your fur looks better when it cools down. It looks like the mites have been after you.”

By the way, I’ve been going to that spot for at least seven years and I’ve never seen anything in that tree hollow. Wow!

Happy Naturing,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery:  Danny’s Website

America is beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.

One comment on “Woodchuck Suprise”

  1. Having a plethora of blurred shots in low light, I am most impressed with this shot!

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