Wild Westhampton

…nature in the Hamptons…

Posts Tagged ‘Animals

The Egret in the Grass

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A very common scene on the East End.

When I was taking this photograph, a truck drove out and parked behind me. The man came out, talked to me for a little while, about how he had seen that I was taking photos of birds, and if I was interested he had this magazine that was all about animals and conservation. For a split second I thought he was trying to sell me something, but as it turns out he was a fisherman who just wanted to share something that was near to his heart. So, anonymous fisherman, if you’re out there, thank you.

The Egret in the Grass
12 May 2009
Quogue, NY

The Squirrel at the Boardwalk

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This squirrel, like me, wants to join the circus. This squirrel, unlike me, is actually training for it.

The Squirrel at the Boardwalk
09 February 2009
Cupsogue Beach, Westhampton

The Bird on the Beach

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My friend L asked me the other day, “Why do you take pictures of dead animals?”

To which I really had no good reply. I suppose at the heart of it, it’s for the same reasons that I take pictures of living animals, or of anything, really. Firstly, to have something to study later in depth with more resources at hand in order to identify the animal. Secondly, to be able to point to these photos as proof that this creature did exist, if only for that moment, and that I did see it. Time gets the best of every living thing, and we humans are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have an awareness of it that enables us to act against death and attempt to memorialize our lives while we are still living. Animals don’t have that luxury. The only memorial they leave behind is in the genes of their offspring, if any, and perhaps a fossil of a bone or a dropping millions of years down the line.

So, even though consciously I know that these photographs, too, will perish with time, that the technology used to create and store them will become outdated or decayed, and that not even this will last, I take their photograph. Call it morbid. Whatever you want.

Back to the picture: I imagine that this is a Canada Goose, though its markings are a little different than normal (maybe because of what looks like dried blood on the side of its head?). My mother thinks it was an eagle of some sort, because of its size and coloring, but to me, that beak screams goose. Any ideas? Another camera angle here and here.

The Bird on the Beach
09 February 2009
Cupsogue Beach, Westhampton

The Pintail as It Preens

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Hygiene is important to ducks, too!

The Pintail as It Preens
02 February 2009
Quogue Wildlife Refuge, Quogue, NY

The Lemur with a Stick

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Shot through a chain link fence (hence the strange patterned bokeh), this guy was brandishing his stick, as though to conduct the rest of his clan in song.

The Lemur with a Stick
18 September 2007
Long Island Game Farm, Manorville, NY

The Kinkajou in the Cage

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This poor creature. It gets all the fruits it wants but it gets woken up by its keepers at feeding time so that people like me can gawk at it through a lens a mile long through a chain link cage.

I didn’t really know much about the kinkajou before the talk at the Long Island Game Farm. Turns out this endangered species is omnivorous and native to Central & South America. This fellow has apparently escaped his cage at night, and turned up on a neighbor’s porch, eating happily from her fruit tree.

People sometimes keep them as pets, which I didn’t know was legal here in the US. Apparently toilet or litter training them is not likely to happen. Ooh, boy.

The Kinkajou in the Cage
18 September 2007
Long Island Game Farm, Manorville, NY

The Goat at the Game Farm

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One of my favorite places to go in the summer is the Long Island Game Farm. I even had my 8th birthday party there! Walking around there is a great way to spend a day, from stretching your neck to see Gerry the Giraffe, to walking around in the deer enclosure, to feeding eager baby goats from a bottle. This little guy was one of the latter, and after he had dispensed with his meal, decided he had an inch to scratch.

The Goat at the Game Farm
18 September 2007
Long Island Game Farm, Manorville, NY