When looking for wildlife photography opportunities, the one thing I have close to home at the moment is the local rabbit population. We get a steady stream of these guys coming through the back yard and eating what could loosely pass for grass in my yard. We get some bigger buns and there are some tiny looking ones that I assume are young rather than a different breed. They are usually pretty jumpy so getting shots is not always easy but a couple of them seem pretty relaxed with me showing up.
I had stopped off by Lake Washington to get some late afternoon photos and, as I walked back up to the parking lot, a couple of rabbits were snacking along the path. Since the camera was still out, I figured I would get some quick shots. Unfortunately, a family was following me up the trail and the kids spotted the rabbits. Being young kids, their instinct was to run to the rabbits – it won’t surprise you to know that the rabbits did not hang around to see if their intentions were good. I did get a couple of shots before they had vanished.
Photographing aircraft can often involve quiet times when you are waiting for something to show up. Sometimes, you can get so relaxed and still that you cease to be apparent to the local wildlife. I was sitting at the top of a hill on a bench doing nothing much at all. A jackrabbit came wandering along the trail towards me. He wasn’t terribly close and only seemed to notice me relatively late. He didn’t seem too alarmed but was a bit wary. Even so, I was able to raise my camera to get a shot or two of him.
This didn’t startle him either. However, he obviously had other things in mind and he turned and hopped off down the trail. I wonder which one of us was more surprised?
If you head across the Dumbarton Bridge at Fremont, you will pass Ardenwood Historic Farm. On the right side of the highway as you head towards the bay, this farm has been a feature of the area for over 100 years although it is now a fraction of its former size. However, it is now under the control of the East Bay Parks District and open for the public to visit. It is a combination of little bits of what a farm would be. You could say it perpetuates some of the myths you have as kids about what farms are like since we grow up thinking that all farms have a bit of everything rather than just being a cattle farm, growing a single crop or raising chickens en masse.
However, it does provide an opportunity to see some aspects of an old style farm much as they once were. The farmhouse itself is quite impressive. The family that owned it became quite influential in the area and had the house to match. The grounds are nicely laid out and it was a pleasant spot to spend some time as the chickens that were scrabbling around in the dirt near us also seemed to think.
There are goats, sheep, pigs, horses and cows in the grounds. They get a lot of attention from the visitors and we were no exception. The goats were the most active seeming to be more interested in the leaves on a tree above a bench in their enclosure than the food that they had been provided. A couple of the kids were desperately reaching under a fence. I guess the grass really is greener…