Published! - Camera in the Wild

I became a member of the Carolina’s Nature Photographer’s Association a couple of years ago. It’s made up of several regions in North and South Carolina. Our region meets monthly and schedules field trips and photo ops to enjoy. One of the best things about being a member is being able to associate with like minded people who enjoy your hobby as much as you do.

As part of the yearly membership fees, members receive a copy of their quarterly publication, “Camera in the Wild”. Members can submit ideas for articles or submit a story for their regular story sections

I submitted a story for their section “Behind the Shot” about my morning trying to photograph the white squirrels in Brevard, NC and it was published in the Summer issue! Yay!

They had to shorten the story in the publication a little bit because of space, so here’s the full story here!

“The day was a beautiful one.  I met up early with a few photography friends to roam the mountains and capture the beauty we might happen to find.  We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but we had a general direction planned and knew the mountains would provide us ample opportunity for some brilliant landscapes or nature.

I was traveling from north of Asheville, and we agreed to meet at a specified spot in Brevard, NC before venturing off for the day.  As I was traveling through Brevard to the meeting spot, I had the fleeting thought that if I happened to come back through this area on my way home I should try and find a white squirrel.  But I had no idea exactly where we would wander to, or if when we were done for the day this direction would be the best way home.

 After meeting up, we headed out onto the winding roads toward Connestee Falls.  We stopped for a bit there then continued on down the mountain to Caesar’s Head State Park in SC.  Eventually we made our way to Table Rock State Park.  After a wonderful day of adventuring and shooting it was here that we parted ways to return home.

 I was still thinking about those white squirrels so I decided to retrace my steps to get back to Brevard.  I had packed my absolute favorite wildlife lens, the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary, so I was ready.  Passing through town, I drove up to the spot where they hang out quite often and sure enough, a white squirrel scampered across the lawn.  I quickly found a parking space, attached my lens and headed out to photograph a white squirrel.

 There were quite a few scampering around so I ran around here and there trying to get close enough to capture a good image.  Each time I would get nearer to one it would bury itself under some leaves, or hide under the brush, or climb up a tree and mockingly stare down at me before climbing even higher up in the tree so I couldn’t see it. 

 I’m sure I was quite a site, running back and forth across streets and lawns trying to capture one of these beautiful creatures on camera.  They simply weren’t going to let me and after about 45 minutes I gave up.  It just wasn’t going to happen this day.

I got back into my car feeling defeated.  The few images I did manage were not very good.  I resigned myself to trying another day.  I started my car, checked the rear view mirror and put the car in reverse. Just before starting the car to leave I checked the side mirror.  And there, pretty as you please, was a white squirrel hopping up the sidewalk just outside of my driver’s side window. 

It plunked itself right outside my window and looked up at me.  I placed the car in park.  I thought, ‘Do I dare?’ decided ‘yes’ and rolled down my window.  I slowly turned my head and it was still there looking up at me.  Again I thought ‘Do I dare?’ decided ‘yes’, reached for my camera on the passenger seat and slowly brought it up to the window.  At this point I knew for sure he was going to scamper away.  But to my surprise, he didn’t.  In fact, it looked like he started to pose. At each click of the shutter he would turn slightly, this way and that.  I had finally gotten the shots I wanted of the white squirrel.  I put down my camera and looked at him for a moment as he was still just sitting there pretty as you please.  I thought I should thank him, so I nodded my head slightly.  At that, he ventured off to find some more nuts and berries and I headed home happy.   “

And here is that silly little squirrel…