[an error occurred while processing this directive]


  Field Notes From
At Home With Flickers

<< Back to Feature Page

At Home With Flickers On Assignment

View Field Notes
From Photographer
Michael S. Quinton

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Cindy L. Quinton


At Home With Flickers On Assignment At Home With Flickers On Assignment
At Home With Flickers

Field Notes From Photographer
Michael S. Quinton 
Best Worst Quirkiest
    I did almost all of my work up in Alaska during June and July when the weather and amount of daylight was absolutely fantastic. This made the whole assignment really enjoyable, especially since I did about half of it by remote control. For four hours every day, all I did was sit in a lawn chair with my control and wait for the flickers to show up and do their thing.

    While setting up remote camera equipment is easy, getting good photographs from it is not. I worked on this assignment every summer for four years. I kept hoping to get a better shot of a flicker flying out of its hole, but I never got it. I'd often see some great action happening just a couple of inches from my camera lens, but there was nothing I could do about it. My camera was fixed.

    I was photographing in an aspen grove in Alaska when I heard some rustling. I turned and saw a black bear staring at me—on the one day I forgot to pack my bear spray, which is made from cayenne peppers and sends them running. It took off after I yelled at it, but only a few minutes had passed before I saw it sneaking back over as I stood on a ladder changing my film. I started banging on my ladder until it ran away, but 15 minutes later the bear was back. After that, I decided to pack up and head out. Even if it was a pretty small bear, I wasn't up for any wrestling that day. Maybe it had never been around humans and was just curious, or maybe it had become so habituated that it wasn't afraid of people anymore.


© 2004 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe