After meeting up with my parents at a campsite just outside of Springdale Newfoundland we began our journey further west to Gros Morne National Park. I will admit I had dreams of seeing huge Bull Moose feeding along the road side or a Cow Moose with her calf on the edge of a pond or even Woodland Caribou feeding along the Tablelands. Sadly those dreams were not to be and in typical Newfoundland Moose fashion they stayed deep in our thick Boreal forests. This trip was family focused and we enjoyed visiting many of the near by ports, taking in all the scenery and some of the local attractions.
Most mornings I would sneak out early and see what I could find to photograph. One particular evening while returning from one of our drives I spotted a few rabbits foraging around the campsites. Having never spent any time photographing Snowshoe Hares I thought maybe this could be a great opportunity.
So, the following morning I slowly crept out of the camper and headed down a near by trail hoping to spot a hare or two foraging in the forest. Unfortunately the forest was very quite; not even a song bird calling. The trail looped back to the heart of the campground where I decided to following another path to the outskirts of the camping area. There I found a nice clearing where a group of Song Birds were foraging and playing among a patch of alders. I stood listening, trying to ID what calls I was hearing when suddenly I heard some movement in the alders right next to me..out pops a Snowshoe Hare only a few feet from me.
With very slow movements I lowered myself to ground level and captured this image.
keeping my movements slow I belly crawled around as she foraged along the edges of the forest.
At one point she slipped out of sight down to another clearing. As I walked across to this clearing I was surprised to see another hare feeding in the open who appeared to be larger then the first hare I was photographing..then…from the out of the thick tall grass appeared the cutest little bundle of fur I have ever seen…
You can see from the blades of grass just how small this little one was. By now I realized I must have stumbled upon a small family of Snowshoe Hares.
I belly crawled my way along the edge of the forest and got into position as they foraged on the grasses at the far end of the open area. It took me awhile to reach them in this fashion but by the time I did they were completely comfortable with my presence as long as I was low and did very slow movements.
The larger and what I considered to be the Dad of the family was quite the grumpy looking fellow but was the first to approach within very close range. Below are a couple portraits of sir grumpy
Of course the star of the show was the baby hare which was very shy at first but eventually came further out into the open and closer to me
At one point it came so close I could barely fit it in the frame but did manage to pull off this shallow DOF portrait
With bellies full the hares eventually made their way into the thick cover of the alders and out of sight. Super happy with the images I captured it was time for me to head back to the camper for some breakfast and begin our journey back home.