Who's behind the bush?
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Yes, there's someone with a camera watching you, guys. Young woodchucks (which I assume these were) are clearly less cautious than the adults that disappear at the first sign that a human may be too close. This is one of numerous shots I was allowed to take before they realized that somebody was in fact watching them. Notice the scar in the middle of the animal's body. I have no idea what could have caused that. |
Some info from Wikipedia:
The Groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as the Woodchuck, or the Whistlepig (particularly in the Southern United States), is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Most marmots live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the Woodchuck is a lowland creature. It is widely distributed in North America; for example, it is found in Alaska, Alabama, and Georgia. In the west it is found only in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia and northern Washington.
Groundhogs are typically 40 to 65 cm (17 to 26 in) long (including a 15 cm tail) and weigh 2 to 4 kg. In areas with fewer natural predators and large quantities of alfalfa, they can grow to 80 cm (32 in) and 14 kg (30 lb). They can live up to six years in the wild, and ten years in captivity.
The groundhog is one of a small number of species that have grown greatly in numbers since the arrival of European settlers in North America, since the clearing of forests provided it with much suitable habitat. It prefers open country and the edges of woodland. As a consequence, it is a familiar animal to many people in the United States and Canada.
Groundhogs are excellent burrowers, using burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating. The burrows generally have two exits, and the groundhog rarely ventures far from one of them for safety. While preferring to flee from would-be predators, the groundhog is known to viciously defend its burrow when invaded by predators such as skunks, foxes, weasels or domestic dogs. It can inflict quite a bit of damage with its two large incisors and front claws, especially when the predator is at a disadvantage inside the burrow.
The Wall Street Journal quotes wildlife expert Richard Thomas as calculating that the average Groundhog moves approximately 1 m³ (35 cubic feet), or 320 kg (700 pounds), of dirt when digging a burrow.
Usually Groundhogs breed in their second year, but a small percentage may breed as yearlings. The breeding season extends from early March to middle or late April, following hibernation. A mated pair will remain in the same den throughout the 28-32 day gestation period. As birth of the young approaches in April or May, the male will leave the den. One litter is produced annually, usually containing 2-6 blind, naked and helpless young. Young groundhogs are weaned and ready to seek their own dens at five to six weeks of age.
pablominto, elefantino, aido, hester, SkyF, thor68 has marked this note useful
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Pleasant capture of your little friends!
Great poses, very alert I'd say...
Superb details in this fine composition, lovely textures in the fur coat!
Love the composition and the DOF ! Very nice, also great detail's
TFS Greetz Kristies
Hello, Mark. lovely shot!
Nice compo, great light on the eye and good note.
- [2006-08-22 9:34]
A nice shot here, I like the effect of having the second animal in the background and defocused, I've tried that myself in the past. Great detail and textures and nice light in the eye, good rich colours. Nice work! As for the scar, could it be that he survived an attack? I know usually the yound don't survive predatory attacks but I have no idea other than that.
- [2006-08-22 10:28]
Bella foto di marmotte, Mark!
Ottimi i dettagli ed i colori, forse un poco sottoesposta..., bravo!
that's realy cute - I love both - the one in the back looks so friendly ;-)
Very nice shot of this moment, lovely
Sabine - wishnugaruda
- [2006-08-22 14:53]
This is really beautiful. The composition is wonderful and the light and colours really natural. Wonderful
- [2006-08-22 22:29]
those little guys look great. Wonderful how curious they are, so you get a chance to take a great shot of them. Beautiful composition, I love the POV and the DOF. Lovely natural colors and good detail.
- [2006-08-23 7:04]
Bravo pour cette belle prise,la netteté et les détails sont excellent et j'aime bien voir le deuxième flou en arrière plan.
- [2006-08-24 15:16]
aren´t they cute! lovely shot of the two hairy friends, mark! :-)
superb low pov through the grass, well composed with the
sharpness on the one in front and the second one blurred in the bg, watching.
excellent sharpness and lighting showing all the nice details,
especially the patterns the hairs make.
well seen & captured, thorsten.