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frozen foxbreath

frozen foxbreath
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-27
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2009-04-02 9:58
Viewed: 4700
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another Cape Elizabeth post today, unusual in a different way, and somewhat more subtle than most. During one very cold but photographically productive morning catching the sunrise at our famous lighthouse, I was walking on one of the most popular trails in the park, which passes just below a steep and rocky slope. This hillside is so overgrown in summer that it is impossible to walk there or even see under the 1 to 2 m high plant cover. This day however, the leafless slope was clearly visible from the path, and I noticed a wisp of vapor catching the sunlight a few meters away in the middle of the slope.

Since it was colder than -20C, such free vapor was unusual. As I looked more carefully, I realized the vapor seemed to be coming continuously from one point among the rocks and branches. I could also see that the vegetation around this point was covered with rime. I made my way up the slope for a closer view and found that the source of the vapor was the opening of a very well hidden burrow, sized about right for a fox.

This town park is closed to human visitors from sunset to sunrise and foxes are well known to take advantage of this protection for their hunting. Many human residents of the town, myself included, have seen foxes inside the park at twilight.

After watching the wisps of vapor and admiring the ice crystals, I shot a few photos and left the fox (or whatever) to its slumber. This picture is cropped to include only the center of the original photo where the greatest ice deposition has occurred. The burrow opening is fully visible only from above (shooting right into the sun from an almost impossible viewpoint!), but in this image is located dead center to upper right center, partly under the large dark branches and roots. The thin tan stems in the right foreground are typical of the ice-free vegetation away from the burrow opening. The original full frame photo, with much more ice-free vegetation visible, is shown in a workshop.

tech notes- major cropping, highlight/shadow brightness balancing, significant contrast added, one step PS sharpening

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To matatur: observationBobH 1 04-02 18:59
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A fine image indeed Bob, and a very nice study in whites and browns. You fox (or whatever else warm blooded mammal) was surely producing a lot of damp vapor judging from the amount of icing on the vegetation. An excellent observation my friend.

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