Sometimes you need to step away from your camera and just taken in nature. When I’m out shooting I always take time to just look around and soak it all in. It is amazing looking into the night skies and seeing all the stars and the occasional falling star or listening to the coyotes howling in the distance. I have had interesting visitors while shooting. Once I was out in the countryside shooting the stars when I heard something rustling through the grass and leaves and moving towards me. I could not see anything but when the noise got close enough to me I shined my flashlight towards the noise and what I saw was very unexpected it was a skunk and he was about 10 feet from me. He looked at me and just stopped and sat there watching me. I spoke softly to him and told him it’s okay to watch me but please do not show me your backside. After about 5 minutes he got bored and walked off. This morning I was out at the river to shoot the stars and sunrise. It was a clear night with a half-moon that lit up the ground which made it easy to navigate through the water and rocky terrain. At first it was pretty quiet and peaceful but that all changes when I heard a couple of otters start to bark at me. It was still dark at this time but I could see there silhouettes and they stayed about 20 feet or so from me just barking up a storm. I got a good kick out of it, they were not happy I was there, ho well. When it became lighter outside they moved in for a closer look they got about 5 feet from me and stop and looked at me for a minute and then jumped into the water next to me and started barking again. They went down stream for a moment all the while barking. Then they came back up stream close to me but this time they were quiet and just watch me and played in the water close to me and then final they went up stream where they had come from. What a cool experience and exciting to have them come so close to me and then hanging around playing, I guess they figured I was no threat. I love these encounters with wildlife.
Camera settings: F/7.1, 30 sec, ISO 800, focal length 16mm
Equipment: Nikon D750, Nikon 16-35mm f4 lens