Field Work For Wildlife Painting

A big part of my creative process involves being out in the woods, observing wildlife in action and getting a “hands on”, or in my case, an “eyes on” approach to seeing things in it’s natural environment.  Occasionally this means a long hike into the woods, and when lugging all my camera gear and a camouflage tent, it can seem like a death march but the effort is always worthwhile.

moose call

My husband accompanies me on most of my forays…he’s good at carrying the heavy stuff.  He also seems to have a compass in his head, since he always brings us out near where we’ve parked.  I, on the other hand, would end up being raised by wolves or something because it would be years before I found my way back!

Recently, we went in search of moose in the northern area of New Hampshire.  Having built a “moose call” ahead of time, we headed for a swampy area we’re familiar with.  Finding the right habitat is the first key to successful wildlife sightings and then knowing what times to be there is the next part.  Moose are becoming more active now since it’s their rutting season and they’re “looking for love in all the right places” as the song goes.  A note of caution…this is a very large animal and can be dangerous, especially during this time, so don’t do foolish things… like try to get too close.  I use either a 300mm or a 500mm telephoto lens, which allows me to be close enough for taking photos but not so close that animals might feel threatened.  Alas, no moose sighted on this trip but we saw several partridge, a rabbit, small flock of turkeys and a small hawk so it was a good day in the woods.

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