I can’t believe my youngest son is already one-year old. It just seems like yesterday that I took him on his first wildlife photography venture. It was May 15th of last year and Bjorn was 9-days old. I figured he’d sleep through the whole trip up to Sax-Zim Bog and back. Isn’t that all newborns do? Sleep, eat, poop. Just to be safe I took a bottle of formula.

Ryan Marshik followed along behind me as we slowly cruised the backroads at dawn. All was quiet in the bog and the backseat. Just then, a Red Fox popped out of the Tamarack woods with something in its mouth. We sped up to try to see what it was. A Muskrat! The fox had a LIVE Muskrat in its jaws. The light was beautiful so we parked alongside the road a few hundred yards ahead of where she disappeared into the woods. Wouldn’t you know it…she got ahead of us. So we started up the road again, but every time we caught up with her, she sauntered into safety of the woods. It was just then that Bjorn decided he was HUNGRY…It is amazing that such a tiny creature is born with lungs that can make that volume of sound! Since the fox was probably long gone, I pulled over, got the baby out of the car seat, and fed him his bottle in my lap.

There must be some law of nature that something urgent happens when you are in the middle of feeding a baby, for it was just then that the fox came out into a big clearing a quarter mile down the road. It is at this point that I will find out if my wife reads my blog or not; I GENTLY laid the half hungry/half full crying baby in the passenger seat of my Subaru while I SAFELY drove semi-quickly towards the meadow [Bridget: please note capitalized words!]. I was able to snap a couple of frames of the fox as she popped up onto a log and before she disappeared for the final time. Of course, I finished feeding the baby, returned him to his car seat and resumed our photography outing. The irony that I stopped feeding my baby to photograph another parent off to feed their babies was not lost on me.

The lesson here? Wildlife photography is possible with a 9-day old infant…But bring a bottle and save the stories for a year from now.

My photo assistant hard at work. Bjorn Nikolas Stensaas at 9 days old.

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