I’m itching to get some wildlife shots with the new camera

My wife tells people she’s raising three boys – my two sons and me. Sometimes, I think she might be right. Especially when I’m waiting for a new toy to arrive, and sometimes after it finally comes.

I fully admit that I’m just a little kid trapped in a grown-up body. Especially when I’m waiting for something I’ve ordered. Not too long ago, I ordered a new camera, and I was as antsy as my sons are before Christmas waiting for it to get here. When it finally came, I spent three or four days just playing with it. I put all my lenses on it, one after another. I fiddled with the flash. I hooked up the shutter release and clicked away. I shot pictures of the dogs, the horses, the kids, my computer, my guns – you name it, if I could see it, I took a picture of it.

I might be a little more grown up than my kids, because I didn’t tuck it into bed and cuddle up to it at night like my boys do with their new treasures. Although I have to admit, if I thought I could do it without breaking it, I might have tried.

The new toy syndrome isn’t over yet, though. I still buzz like a five-year-old on a sugar high when I scoop up my camera bag. I’m afraid that giddiness is going to last until I finally get to do what I got the camera for in the first place – take pictures of wild animals with it.

I’m dying for a nice weekend day when Amy’s off work and the snow isn’t hip deep on a bull elk, so I can go up to the Snowy Range and try to catch a deer or moose browsing on the first new, spring-fresh growth on aspens or willows. Being stuck in town with a new camera is torture.

There’s a pretty good-size herd of antelope that hang out in my neighborhood, and I’ve clicked a few shots of them in the last few days, but they don’t count. They’re more tame than wild, and besides, the scenery behind ‘em isn’t exactly virgin. They’re great for practicing with shutter speeds and f-stops, but I won’t be content until I get a memory card full of actual wild animals in actual wilderness.

Barring the usual early spring dump of snow, I should be able to get out pretty soon. Until then, I guess I’ll have to keep playing paparazzi with my dogs, horses, and neighborhood speed goats. Ah, well, it could be worse.