Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Disappearing Act

The colors and patterns on many animals can make it very difficult to spot them in their environment. In addition to camouflage, they also use other techniques to hide. One common method used by many different animals is to simply stand completely still.

In this photo, the two male Wood ducks can be seen fairly easily over on the left. The left arrow points to a third half-hidden male and the arrow on the right is pointing to a Great Blue Heron that you might have overlooked if the arrow wasn't there.

I recall a mother raccoon that brought her two babies up on the deck one year and tried to catch my wife's goldfish out of her little pond. I went out there and the mother took off, but the babies froze in plain sight thinking that if they were simply completely still, they would surely be invisible. Even when I shushed them, they wouldn't move.  This is not the pond; it is the birdbath, where they were politely washing their hands before the main course.

I was painting around the front door yesterday afternoon when a herd of ten or more Whitetail Deer snuck down the ridge on the side of the house. I watched one acting just like a kid. It went from tree to tree hiding most of it's body behind each one and peeking around the side. This photo was taken last year from the same porch where I saw the herd coming from the back of the house. I beat them to the side porch and got real still before they passed. This female spent the longest time standing still and studying me to see if I would move and whether I was a threat.

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