Holden Beach, NC — While enjoying our family vacation, a sister-in-law spotted a reddish colored cat running through the dunes between our beach house and the strand of Holden Beach.
While walking to the beach and back, you see several animal foot prints in the sand. Most look like dogs and birds (and there are several dogs in the area), though we even found deer tracks as well.
Tonight, while I was walking to the beach in an attempt to shoot some landscape photos, photos of the beach house and the sunset, my friend Murphy struck again. At least this time I had my camera.
I was surprised by a red fox.
I came to a fast halt hoping he had not seen me. Armed only with a Wide-Angle-to-Medium Telephoto lens (a Nikkor 24-120mm VR lens), I was not prepared to try and shoot wildlife. My 80-200 F2.8 would have been much better for this. Ergo, Murphy’s law at work.
Well the fox spotted me and my attempt to get the camera up to shoot him, spooked him and he took off running. The camera was set on ISO 100 and the lens’s minimum F5.6 @ 120mm pushed my shutter speed pretty low considering it sunset. So I tried to pan along with the bounding canine (see the inset photos.)
I knew after looking at the blurs on the background, that I had gotten some okay pan photos, but it still wasn’t what I wanted. For some reason I bumped the camera up to ISO 800 for the remainder of my walk to the strand.
Not more than 5 steps away was a second fox. This one had not noticed me yet, so I slowly brought the camera up to my eye and eased forward. I got 4 photos of the 2nd fox while he was reasonably still. He eventually caught my wind and bolted.
I wish I had my 80-200mm lens mounted, but the above photo is detailed enough for a web photo of the fox.
No cats this time. The mystery is solved.