Springtime in the Woods

05/17/2018
Story and photo by John Adamski

Living in the woods can offer some great wildlife photography opportunities at any time of year but springtime with its promise of new life is without a doubt the best season to have a camera on hand. Actually, four of them—each with a different dedicated lens attached—line one end of my dining room table and are always ready for action. Whichever one I’ll reach for depends on the distance that I’ll be shooting, should some wild creature come into view. For example, I’ve been able to photograph everything from black-capped chickadees to black bears right through my windows without having to leave the comfort and security of my house.

Four generations of whitetail does have delivered twin fawns in close proximity to my house every year for each of the 16 years that I’ve lived here, giving me the opportunity to find and photograph their newborn babies almost every one of those years. Three of those does were born here themselves and obviously feel that the nearness to human activity provides them with some security from predators. The whitetail deer birthing season is poised to begin again and I’m excited about the prospect of yet another year of fawn photography.

Last spring, I was rewarded with the photo featured above, which I treasure more than any of the other thousands of whitetail images in my catalog. My resident doe trusted me enough to let me approach close enough to photograph her and her newborn twins early one morning in late May. After shooting a dozen images, I quietly backed away and let them be. She spent another hour or so lying with them before she moved each one to a separate location elsewhere in the woods. I did not bother them again but began to see them on the move a week or so later, which let me know that they were doing okay.

I have photographed many different species of North American wildlife but nothing is more thrilling than finding and photographing whitetail fawns. I feel that it’s nature’s special gift to me. You can read more about it here: https://www.lifeinthefingerlakes.com/finding-fawns/.

In addition to the wildlife photo ops, I am also enjoying the birdsong—most noticeable at dawn and dusk—which is accompanied by the percussive territorial claims of various species of woodpeckers, as well as the fragrant aroma of honeysuckle and the heavy morning dew on the grass. Yep, it’s hard to beat springtime in the woods.


John has been a published writer/photographer for 40 years and is a 4-time award-winning member of New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Two of those awards were for these “Life in the Finger Lakes” articles: Plight of the White Deer and From the Brink of Extinction.