Welcome to my 2018 Twelve Days of Photos, where I look at one of the images I chose to include in my best of year selection and talk a bit about it. To see the entire list of images I chose and learn more about my year in photography, please check out my 2018 Best Photos of the Year post. You can also look at all of the images over on my Smugmug Portfolio Site, and I’ve embedded a slideshow at the end of this post. To see a larger version of the image, you can click on it.

Columbian Whitetail Deer, Ridgefield NWR, Washington

Later on in the trip we ended up at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington, about an hour north of Portland. It’s a wonderful place to bird, although when we got there, it was clear the summer birds had migrated out, and the winter birds hadn’t yet arrived, so it was really quiet, at least as far as birds were concerned. It was also really quiet as far as people, which often means the other critters that normally stay hidden from people will come out.

Ridgefield did not disappoint, as we found muskrats roaming the grounds, and more muskrats, and yet more muskrats. We also ran into a small group of deer that I later identified as Columbian Whitetails. Both were new species to me for photography, and the deer were a new species for me completely.

That made for a nice, quiet, relaxing day, some nice images of new critters, and at one point, the deer even stopped and posed a bit. How could that be anything but awesome?