In Plainfield, on the edge of a babbling Meadow Brook, a great blue heron steps into focus. No more than two feet away from the camera lens, the heron cautiously continues to work the edge of the water. A few days later, in the woods of Heath, a Coyote darts through a clearing, but not before a few photos capture it mid sprint.
These pictures take people deep into the woods, alongside some of the most beautiful and wild animals around, much closer than most would be comfortable with if in person.
Luckily for both the photographer and the wildlife, none of these were close encounters. The photographers of these photos were volunteers for the Franklin Land Trust, who had set up game cameras days in advance.
At a workshop set up by the Franklin Land Trust, the volunteers learned tips about avoiding direct sunlight in their shots, what features in the landscape are prone to having more activity, and what to bring with them when they return to check on the camera.
They then set out to capture the natural community that hides within the land we conserve.
Game Cameras have a huge variety of use and are growing in popularity, while they remain a helpful tool for hunters, they are also deployed by land owners, researchers and photographers worldwide.
With this spectacular tool, and the help of volunteers, FLT is able to gain insight into the wildlife that relies on the land we have worked to protect, and see firsthand how land management decisions affect our natural communities. They allow us to see a mother doe carefully lead her fawn across a brook with a buck following them close behind, a coyote on the hunt, and a heron wading through a woodland brook on a foggy morning. With each photo comes a renewed drive to do more with the land, to see more that dwell upon it, and to connect and interact with it in new ways.