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Waiting for Miles

Waiting for Miles
Photo Information
Copyright: Karan Little (hester) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-23
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100 - 400 L IS USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite wild animal photos, TN Classics [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-28 8:36
Viewed: 5282
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am dedicating this photo to Miles Herbert (Captivelight) because on the 22nd December he posted the folloing comment in the forum:

"sigh ... you had to mention the water vole! I can NEVER get a photo of one..."

The very next day I found this fellow sitting on a river bank. I wasn't expecting to see one as they are less active in winter.

Getting the shot wasn't easy here as we had heavy clouds before christmas with very dull light. This chap was sitting on the far side of the river in shadows. It was like shooting indoors in poor light. I had to use a high ISO and the flash. It was also very wet and slippery on the river bank - I got very muddy!

Notes from the Wildlife Ark Trust
"There are two species of water vole in Europe, the larger southern water vole, which lives in western France, Spain and Portugal, and the northern water vole, which lives in Britain, North eastern France and the rest of Europe west of a north/south dividing line connecting Belgium and Italy, and in a broad swathe stretching to north-west China including Israel and Siberia.

The northern water vole is then generally divided into two main subspecies – Britain’s Arvicola terrestris amphibious, and the smaller continental Arvicola terrestris sherman. The British water vole is usually associated with water and does very little damage apart from where its burrowing may cause a riverbank to collapse, whereas its continental cousin is far ranging and is considered an agricultural pest across much of Europe.

The water vole, or water rat as it is sometimes called, came to prominence as Ratty, one of the main characters in the classic children’s book ‘The Wind in the Willows’. It can be most easily distinguished from the brown rat by having a shorter, less scaly tail and a blunter muzzle. One of the most evocative sounds of a summer evening’s walk along a riverbank was a loud ‘plop’ as a water vole made itself scarce by diving into the water. This also served as a warning to other water voles that there was an intruder about. Other water vole fieldsigns are their feeding stations and latrines. Their burrows no longer indicate the presence of water voles as many of them are now empty due to predation by mink.

Water voles live in burrows in river banks. They range in colour from medium to dark brown with black voles most common in Scotland. They are herbivorous and feed on over 200 different types of reeds, grasses, rushes, herbs, shrubs and trees. At approximately 300 gram, the water vole is the largest British vole.

Breeding lasts from March to October, with a female producing anything from two to five litters with each litter containing between three and eight young. Water voles do not hibernate and store food in their burrows for winter use. Water voles rarely live to three years."

CeltickRanger, vanderschelden, nglen, boreocypriensis, eng55, jaycee, uleko, jconceicao, eqshannon, Juyona, siggi, valy67, jeanpaul, Evelynn has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: More a stream than a river.hester 1 01-11 07:52
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Karan

excellent shot of this wonderful little wild animal
with fine POV and appropriate to the image vertical framing,
i love to see in the image his reflexion on the water,
beautiful luminosity, excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Hello Karan,
Good symmetry through the reflection...
Well composed.
This water fellow is very busy apparently:-)

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-28 8:56]

Hi Karren. One of the things i do like very much about this close up of the cute looking water Vole is the refection in the water. I love the way they use thier little hands. Good detail and natural coours in the Fur. Well done TFS.

Hi Karan, cuteee.... cuteeeee... :) a splendid shot in all around my friend. Reflection is like a mirror:).
TFS this beauty.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-28 9:14]

Hi Karan,
Excellent capture.POV,sharpness,clear details,exposure,reflections on water and composition are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-28 9:25]

Hi Neighbor,

This Vole is just precious as he holds his food in his little hands. Wonderful details of the face, wonderful eyes, and the aforementioned hands and coat. I just love the expression on his face and the reflection. A beautiful setting and composition.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-28 9:32]

Hello Hester,
Another superb capture of the Water Vole with its reflection in the water. I love its pose and the sharp details. Beautiful light and colours too. You must have been pretty close for the flash to work!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Ciao Karan, great portrait of cute creature with fascinating reflections, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Karan,

Beautiful photo with fantastic reflection on the water.
Wonderful colours with fantastic definition.
Lighting and composition are splendid.
Good notes.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-28 11:56]

Hello Karan,
What a great scene! excellent photo in splendid natural clear light and colours. Very sharp. Beautiful reflection and POV.

  • Great 
  • erve Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 3 N: 131] (620)
  • [2008-12-28 14:51]

Hi karan.

Superb shot! it hasnt suffered for the high iso that i can see. Great sharpness and DOF, and you did very well with the lighting. Also nice pose and composition, it looks like hes checking himself out in the reflection.



Hi Karan,
I haven't been able capture any of these cute little things either. Under dull conditions you have managed to get an excellent picture even with a nice reflection. Great pose and composition, sharp fine details and natural colours and BG.

Hello Karan

The silky texture and quality of the water is wonderful.
You have managed a sharply focused shot with excellent detail and the reflection is equally impressive.
The low POV is fantastic.
Great job, a worthy dedication.


The perfect reflection is beyond words....This is a classic Hester...seriously...a reflection shot that is not asking for something..it just "IS"!
PS...I love your eye...really!
the bio photo

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-12-29 2:14]

Hola Karan,
preciosa captura y magnífico reflejo...
encuadre y atractivo pov,
saludos amiga.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-29 5:07]

Hello Karan,
this is a very nice capture. Composition is great and good colours too. A good one, very well done. TFS.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-30 14:17]

Hi Karan,
this is a superb shot!
The reflection is great.
Superb composition.
Sharp and crisp.

Very well done,


He's probably frozen in his burrow at the moment!

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-01-01 13:06]

Hello Karan !
Even though you had terrible condition, you managed to get an excellent shot ! You captured some nice details on the fur, and I also like the nice natural colors, the composition, the POV, the pose of the Water Vole and the reflection on the water. Really a great picture, and it was worth getting mudy, didn't it ? ;-)
Greetings from France !

Wow Karan,
This is a very impressive photo. I am particulary impressed by the technique you used to make this photo. The flash did its job perfectly. I like the sweet pose but love its reflection.

Hello Karan
J'aime beaucoup l'effet de miroir de cette photo. Félicitation pour les couleurs et la netteté.Ce rat musqué se regarde dans son étang
Je te souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2009...

Merci et a la prochaine ...JP

This is a great shot Karan. I like the sharp details. I'm surprised that your flash carried so far... across a river?? It looks like it did the job though. I love his little hands holding on to that stem.

Evelynn : )

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