Critters dealing with new snow

Eastern Gray Squirrel  

Winter and its weather have never left us really since December last year and today we were reminded that any thought about spring is ridiculous right now. A winter storm came through today and left plenty of the white stuff on the ground. I could talk about birds that have been here all day long but I also took some images of the critters with four legs that came close to our house today. We have lots of Eastern Gray Squirrels here that try to get a good share of the bird food in the feeders. Most of them are really gray but we also have a few black morphs here in the neighborhood. There is one exception and this little guy has really some color in its fur. We wonder if some Red Squirrel was mixed into the equation. We have never seen a Red Squirrel here up on the ridge but we know there are a few down in the valley. The one I show you is definitely as big as a Gray Squirrel (Red Squirrels are much smaller) and we really wonder how this guy got its color.


White-tailed Deer


Any time the ground is covered with snow there is a good chance that the White-tailed Deer will show up in our yard at dusk. Today we had our usual group of two does and two fawns here. I saw them too late to open the window before they arrived and had to shoot through the glass. It was still snowing and the falling snow messed a few times with the autofocus system in the camera. Daylight lasts much longer now already and this image was made at 1/60 of a second. I know, the books will tell you that you need at least 1/320 of a second if your focal length is 320 mm, as in this picture, but I try to shoot long exposure in order to keep the ISO settings as low as possible for best detail in my photo.