I haven’t been out on the woodland trails much this summer (soccer injuries, international travel, other family commitments, etc), so when I received my 80-200mm f2.8 back from Nikon’s repair depot, that was all that I needed as a reason to head out to the close-by Sarsaparilla Trail with a bag of sun flower seeds in my hand to visit the local wildlife that I hadn’t visited since early in the Spring. It was a bit late in the day and the lighting in the woods was a bit tricky for photography but it wasn’t long before I had the Chickadees eating out of my hand, the chipmunks scurrying among the leaves at my feet to find the dropped seeds, a red squirrel coming to the handful of seeds placed on the nearby log, and the Blue Jay patiently waiting in the branches overhead hoping that I would leave a few seeds behind for him as well. A female Downy Woodpecker thumped methodically at the trunk of a nearby tree and a White-Breasted Nuthatch flew by a few times but not within camera range. Glad I had a reason for a walk in the woods. It was nice to get away from steel and concrete again if only for a short period of time.
Aside from the fact that it was a bit dark for photographing among the shadows of the woods, the weather was perfect, the ducks were gathering in the local beaver pond and getting ready for their upcoming migration, and a few apples were ripening on the old apple trees scattered along the trail.