Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pic of the Day

     Sorry for not posting sooner.  School has resumed and I have been very busy preparing for classes.  First day was Wednesday.  I currently have 102 students in one of my classes, and 15-20 in each of my other three (full classes).  I'm looking forward to a great semester.  Now that things are underway I should be able to post more often.   Bobby

    Pronghorn Antelope – Colorado:  ­­Driving north out of Craig, Colorado to Interstate 80 in Wyoming, I crossed a hundred miles of the beautiful and desolate country.  The rolling hills were green and inundated with pronghorn.  Along the road it seemed that I was encountering Pronghorn around every curve. 
     I saw plenty of lone Pronghorn and groups of males, but when I saw this buck with his harem I had to stop and shoot.  My first thought was that I would never get close to this animal.  But, much to my surprise the buck did not move his harem off in a gallop when I stopped.
     Fortunately the buck was just off the road, and very close to a cattle gate that gave me access off the main highway.  As I dove off the highway on to the side road the buck stood his ground, while watching me intently.  The females continued to feed, apparently relying on the buck to tell them when to run. 
     After shooting for about five minutes the male turned toward me, curled his upper lip and snorted.  After taking the shot, the buck turned and walked away.  At the males signal the females turned and trotted off in the same direction just in front of the buck. I was surprised that I had the opportunity to shoot and happy to have captured the behavior on file.

Interesting facts about Pronghorns:
     Pronghorns are the only living member of its family in the world.    It is the fastest land mammal in the world and can sprint as fast as 60 mph and can sustain a speed of 30 mph for miles.  The African Cheetah is often credited with being the fastest animal, but it is a sprinter and can not sustain its speed over long distances.  Pronghorns usually have twins and weight 5-7 pounds at birth.  Adults can reach 75-130 pounds.  Males have forked antlers consisting of Keratin growing on a bony core.  Only 40% of females have horns, and the female's horns never split and never get longer than their ears.  For more interesting facts about Pronghorns, click on this link:

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4 VRII,  1/160 @ f4, Handheld on beanbag from van window

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