On Nature Photography Outings Plan Ahead But Be Flexible: Out Foxed by the Horses

I rolled out of bed early this morning with a solid plan for some nature photography on Carrot Island. I’d launch the boat at Fisherman’s Park, Front and Gordon Streets in Beaufort, and make the forty-five second paddle across the creek to beach my kayak. I’d then go on foot to photograph some of the island’s feral horses. Whether your shooting an event, portraits or making like a nature photojournalist, it’s always best to have a working plan for your shoot. However, you also need to be willing to shift gears and abandon the plan if circumstances dictate. It’s extremely easy to get locked into a plan and miss other opportunities. As fate would have it, this morning was one of those days where the game plan fell through. Carrot Island is usually the perfect location to be to photograph some horse but this time they were nowhere to be found. Apparently they were all on one of the other sections of the reserve.

Very early into my hike I spotted a pretty little red fox out playing on the dunes. It’s not unusual for me to see foxes on this island, but usually as they slink off into cover trying to avoid me. This little guy was totally unawre I was there! Now foxes are one of my favorite wild animals. I’ve always been fascinated by them. Any time I see one I consider it a good day in nature. If I get to photograph it… well, that’s just about a perfect day! As the moring progressed it became painfully clear that I just wasn’t going to get any horse photos. But I didn’t let that spoil my day. I already had some fox shots “in the can,” and there’s always plenty of photographic possibilities to be found on the island. I shot wildflowers, birds and even landscape while exploring the island in search of wild horses.

This red fox looks over his shoulder trying to determine if I might be a danger to him.

A red fox explores the dunes of Carrot Island.Wildlife photography on the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

Red fox on a barrier island near Beaufort, North Carolina.

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  1. Karen Mann June 22, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Great photos! A friend of mine went to Carrot Island last weekend and didn’t see any horses either. I wonder where they’re hiding!

  2. admin June 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Thanks Karen. There’s what, a total of five islands in the reserve? I’m not sure where they are. I may go for a paddle in the morning. While I’ll plan on shooting shore birds I’ll keep and eye out for horses and see if I spot them. If I do it may initiate a game plan change. I’m really wanting to do some more horse photography.

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