Stop. Look. Listen. Doing those three things will help you discover the abundance of wildlife you have nearby. You have wildlife in your yard, nearby park, local pond or lake and just about anywhere around you. We often overlook opportunities to photograph these animals because we are so used to having them around us.

We live in a community with beautiful green belts, old oak trees, a creek and the wildlife that enjoys it. I walk my dog, Gem, every morning. He and I are used to seeing a variety of animals each morning. Sometimes we even catch the nocturnal skunks if we’re out early like at daybreak during the summer. I’ve picked him up three times when I’ve seen coyotes. Twice, I’ve seen deer looking around for something to munch on.

Beyond my complex, I’m fortunate to live near parks and nature centers where wildlife abounds.

Let’s start with the pond we have in the middle of our senior complex. It has fish for catch and release, turtles and the usual geese and ducks.

Oh, we must give special attention to our wild turkeys that seem to take over the place only to be daunted by the coyotes. I’ve only seen coyotes while walking my dog and I’m without a camera. You’ll note that the last group of turkeys is not that sharp. That’s because it was taken with my cell phone, which doesn’t have a great camera. I just wanted you to see how they congregate. These turkeys are protected so there’s no thinking of enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with them on the platter.

Moving a little beyond my community, about 15 minutes away (I gage in time not miles!), is Effie Yeaw Nature Center. It’s right on the banks on the American River. It’s nature at its wildest. I’ve been there and seen deer carcasses that have been ravaged by vultures and other animals. On the brighter side, most of the time the deer know that humans are not their predators.

About the same distance, but in a different direction is the Gibson Ranch County Park. It has stables and a pond. On a recent visit, a family was feeding the squirrels. This one was a cutie. And I found a goose that was not a Canada goose.

Further down the interstate, about a total of 30 minutes away, is the Vic Fasio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. We find mostly birds when we go around the dirt route, and in this drought, they are even a rare sighting. Here are a great egret and blue heron I photographed during our last visit.

From squirrels to birds, wildlife is around us. What non-domestic animals live in your neighborhood or nearby? Do you have feeders to attract wild birds? Look through your archives or take a nature walk with your camera. Maybe some of those flowers have bees looking for nectar with which to make honey? Lizards, praying mantis or spiders may be lurking around the rocks. Oh, how about butterflies? Let us see your wildlife. Remember to link to this post and use the Lens-Artist tag.

I had fun and learned some new things while responding to Sophia’s Exposure challenge. I hope you did too. Next week I’m pleased to tell you that our guest host is Jude of Cornwall in Colors. Look for her challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

117 thoughts on “Lens Artists Challenge #225: Wildlife Close to Home

  1. Very nice collection, Anne. Although this would be the perfect theme for me, I won’t participate, because I‘m on a trip at the moment. I even won’t check my WP reader on a regular basis for the next 2-3 weeks

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  2. Beautiful photos of your friendly neighbourhood wildlife. I’m sure that description is not too appropriate for the goose; they can get pretty aggressive when challenged.

    Talking of that, a great challenge. I hope my link appears on schedule this week after the failures of the last few weeks.

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  3. Among a lot of great photos that egret one is a real stand-out! It’s a lovely idea for a theme too but I’ll give it a pass this week as I only got back from Nepal yesterday and have several thousand photos to sort through 😮

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    1. Thanks John! Regarding the pudgy squirrel, a family was feeding them peanuts and I did take advantage of the situation. As much as people are told not to feed wild animals, they still do. But, this one was so darn cute. I just hope it remembers how to forage on its own or more people come to fill its tummy.

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  4. Terrific challenge Anne, I loved all of your wildlife images, but especially that one of the turkeys congregating!! We have them here as well but I never have a camera when they’re around. The males with their tails out are so funny aren’t they? And they DO get the ladies going!!! Great selection – how nice to have so much nature so nearby!

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  5. This is such a nice post – places to go and critters to see. It reminds me how important it is to remember our place in the natural world, not above and separated from it all. Work like this is always a pleasure and you got a lot of cool shots.

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  6. Looks like you see a good variety of critters near a pond too, Anne. Nice turkey pictures! We saw at least 100 on a recent country drive. That looks like it might be a greylag goose. We had a couple years ago – good as watchdogs, bad as pets! 🙂 Beautiful egret photo.

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    1. Thanks Siobhan! The greylag goose is also bad as a pond visitor. We had three visit our pond a couple of years ago. They attacked seniors walking around the pond. One went after a woman using a walker, knocked her down and she broke her hip. Wildlife rangers relocated the three. When I saw them at Gibson Ranch, I didn’t go near them.

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  7. A great challenge, Anne, and one we need to be reminded of – the wildlife around us. It is decreasing every year, the numbers, and we can see it with our own eyes.
    Wonderful wildlife you have around you, I don’t have the big ones, only the small ones…and turkeys? We only keep them in stables for food…
    First I thought I would not find much for you, as my first thought of “wildlife”was the African savannah – but of course the little creatures are wild life as well. From my garden and the forest for you tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

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