On a recent walk through the roads of Fort Chaffee in Arkansas, I came upon a Cottontail Rabbit basking in the sun and taking a dust bath.
The rabbit was completely relaxed and oblivious to my presence, which allowed me to get up close and personal for the perfect shot. Dust baths are a common practice for many mammals, including rabbits, as it helps them remove parasites from their fur. It was fascinating to witness this natural behavior and be able to capture it in a photo.
Years ago, I used to spend a lot of time walking the roads on Fort Chaffee with my camera. However, after the 911 bombings, it became difficult to get onto the base, and I stopped. But this photo, taken during one of those walks, is a reminder of the beauty that can be found in the natural world.
In conclusion, this shot is a testament to the power of patience and observation in wildlife photography. Whether it’s capturing a dust bath or any other natural behavior, being present in the moment and attuned to your surroundings can lead to stunning results. I hope this photo inspires others to take the time to appreciate the beauty of the wild and to always have their cameras ready for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.
• Location: Fort Chaffee (Arkansas)
• Date Taken: June 26, 2008
• Aperture: f5.6
• Shutter speed: 1/400 sec.
• ISO: 800
• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
• Focal Length: 400 mm
• Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
• Camera: Canon EOS 40D