Moose cow and calf near a creek, Targhee National Forest, Clark County, Idaho
Spring is the season of birth and rebirth, the leaves of trees unfurl, the dormant grasses and forbs poke up through the ground, flower buds burst open and flowers in all the colors of the rainbow appear on the landscapes, birds nest and incubate and wild animals give birth to their young. Spring is a season filled with awe, wonder and young wildlife.
Who could resist photographing the mug of a young Moose? Not me. Those dark eyes and cute muzzle just enticed me to raise my camera & lens to photograph this calf standing near the cow Moose when I saw them near a creek in the Targhee National Forest of Idaho in 2014. The Moose cow stood protectively close to her calf and she’d get downright nasty if anyone approached it too closely. Having a long lens is safer than getting your butt kicked or your body stomped by a ticked off momma Moose.
Young Yellow-bellied Marmot pup on a lichen encrusted rock, Box Elder County, Utah
Female Yellow-bellied Marmots aren’t as aggressive as a cow Moose but they keep an ever vigilant eye on their young too. Yellow-bellied Marmot pups are great fun to photograph as they scramble over rocks, feed on grasses, rest, cuddle or squabble with their siblings or as I learned this year on the day I photographed this young marmot, climb fences.
Young Pronghorn fawn in the Centennial Valley, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Beaverhead County, Montana
Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I have a huge soft spot for Pronghorn fawns. I can’t resist their big dark eyes, the way their faces always look like they are pouting or how fast these little ones can run to keep up with the herd. When I photographed this young Pronghorn in the Centennial Valley in 2016 it was close to its mother and I got to watch it nurse from her twice. I so wish the light had been better to catch that tender moment with my camera and get light in both the pronghorns eyes.
Red Fox kit on the move, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Box Elder County, Utah
I don’t get to photograph Red Fox kits very often but in the spring of 2010 at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge I was able to photograph four fox kits that had a den close to the auto tour route. They seemed completely unafraid and at times came too close to the vehicle to focus on them. They tumbled around with each other, while some were learning how to stalk prey (imaginary or not), stretched, rested and yawned. Their amazing eyes draw me in.
Young Wild horses playing, West Desert, Tooele County, Utah
And then there are the young Wild Horses of the West Desert. From the time they are born and can stand they are playful, adorable and wild. They watch the older horses and learn from them how to belong to the herd, how to play and how to survive. The herds have a familial closeness that even some human families can’t match.
I have more young wild animal photos I could have shared today but for now I will share just these. I think we all need a bit of cuteness now and then to remind us that even when things look bad… life begins and goes on.
Life is good.
Always, always stay back from wildlife and their young. It is wise to remember that their safety and well being is ALWAYS more important than a photo.