Thursday, June 14, 2007
1 in a Million
I am one of the luckiest wildlife photographers on this planet. Why? Because I have access to witness an extraordinary creature on an "at will" basis. A few years ago, a friend (Pam) told me about an albino whitetail deer she knew about, and has been craving to get a better look at it...She drove by the area hundreds of times, but had only gotten a few shots. She showed me a photo for proof, and...being that we are photography buddies, she revealed the site to me under the agreement that I would never reveal the location. ( I honor that to this day, so if you are wondering if I will give out that information, sorry, I keep my promises.) After cruizin by hundreds of times, one morning at sunrise, we made our usual trek to our favorite spots, including a drive by the "spot". To our surprise, the "white one" was pretty much as close as you can get, which shocked us. We were not expecting her, because we have become accustomed to "not" seeing her. We creeped into position, and let our shutters fly. Not much can be more exciting than that. My first close encounter of the "albino" kind. It was truly amazing! When I checked out the photos later, I just had to share them with my friends. I e-mailed low-resolution photos, and then one of my friends e-mailed me back, wondering if it (the white one) was near a certain area. Huh? How would she know that? I asked what she knew, and she told me about a co-worker who owned lots of land exactly where I saw her. I then told her that yes, that is where it was, and she asked me if she could forward my e-mail to her. I said yes, so then that person e-mailed me, wanting copies, because she had not seen such close photos of her. I printed off what I had and we arranged to meet. I asked Pam if she would like to go, so we did. They (property owners) were thrilled to recieve the photos, so with that, and with mutual respect for privacy, (for owners and the albino) they gave us access to their property if we wanted to venture about for wildlife. Since then, we have become great friends, and I get to see her (the white one) pretty frequently. This albino isn't a pet, she is completely wild, but we have gotten to know her habits, and during certain seasons, she can be quite regular with her favorite spots to rest and hide.
She has had many babies, all "normal" color, but experts say that albinos don't have albino babies, but do pass on that gene. We all are hoping that one day there just might be a pair out there that will mate and pass down the legacy, creating the next generation. The odds for albinos are 1 in a million...
Note: She has icy blue eyes, a characteristic of albinos, along with a pink nose, lips, eyelids, and inner ears.
Note: Killing an albino is against Illinois state law. The penalty is strict and unforgiving: Mandatory jail time, huge fines, and a completely selfish and defiant act of crime. No one wants to see a dead anomoly of nature hanging on someone's wall.