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Bombay Hook was off-the-hook! Yo!

May 10, 2009

Yes, I do know exactly how lame that headline is. Especially coming from a 41 year old white dude.

Bombay Hook was fantastic. Despite the forecast of dreary and even threatening weather, we actually had great weather. There were many high points to the morning, but one really stands out. Tom (a guy from a workshop I did in Dover a few months ago who came out to shoot with me) and I had stopped to photograph some colorful songbirds on some bare trees near the edge of one of the big marshes. We were casually chit-chatting when he mentioned that he’d love to see a fox. Not two minutes later, lo and behold! There, about fifty yards away was a red fox hunting in the grass at the edge of the marsh behind us.

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We turned and both began photographing the fox. After about ten minutes it disappeared into the taller reed grass. Just then, a car came around the bend. It was another photographer we had bumped into earlier (I never asked his name). I waved him over and told him about the fox. As it turns out, he was there specifically on the hunt for fox. So he got out his camera gear and set up.

Just in time too because just then the fox reappeared from the tall reed grass. So the three of us stood there and shot the fox for a few minutes. Eventually, the other guy packed up and moved on. Tom and I stood there in the road discussing where to go next (Bombay Hook is a big place with about 12 miles of dirt roads criss-crossing the preserve).

All of a sudden I began hitting Tom on the arm. He turned around to see the fox trotting down the road right toward us with a large fish in its mouth. In fact, it passed within about ten feet of us as we snapped away madly. Not that either of us would have, but it was so close we could have run over and kicked the thing! It seemed in no hurry and not particularly concerned about us.

Once the fox trotted past, we hopped in our cars and zipped down the road at the breakneck speed of about 10mph. We got 100 feet or so ahead of it and jumped out to get more shots. We did this several more times, leapfrogging the fox and photographing it as it simply kept walking with that huge fish in its mouth.

Eventually, we caught up to the other photographer. And then a couple more. We discovered that this was a mother fox bringing breakfast back home to her kit. Oh my god what a treat!

I mean a treat for us, though I suppose it could be taken to mean a treat for the kit as well.

Back at her den (which we never saw because it was in the tall reed grass on an island across the marsh) the kit emerged with the now ridiculously oversized fish. It pranced around proudly with the fish in its mouth. The roadside looked like the 50 yard line at an NFL game. It was lined with photographers, many with giant telephoto lenses on sturdy tripods.

Like its mother, the kit was cautious but not particularly afraid of us. (We were all very respectful and tried to maintain a reasonable distance.)

The morning was so amazing, I bought an annual pass and plan on going back several more times this summer.

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