Photographer's Note

Wow, they are really hyping Hurricane Irene on TV aren't they? I live in Florida and find it amuzing to watch as the folks in the northeast freak out at something we would take in stride. So much for the commentary, now on with what is truly important:

At the foot of Devil's Tower is a huge prairie dog community with thousands of the cute little creatures running around all over the place. One of the fascinating things about them is they obviously have a communication system and a "language".

This little guy seemed to be the lookout for his neighborhood, barking out warnings to the other prairie dogs about intruding photographers, little kids, or maybe even the house pet of a tourist. I discovered long ago that the best way to photograph small animals and birds is to get down to their eye level as best you can. When doing this the animals are much less afraid and the point of view is second to none.

The lens used was a Canon 400mm f2.8 w/ 2x teleconverter. I cut down an old monopod to just a few inches long so that I could support the big lens efficiently while lying flat on my stomach. Once I was all the way down on the ground this guy quieted down quite a bit but still barked out an occasional warning when somebody else approached or when I needed to re-position myself. They are small but intelligent creatures for sure!

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Additional Photos by Gregory Wagner (fotoguy22) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 126 W: 60 N: 671] (4795)
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