Stuck in

Ashleigh Scully, USA

Amateur Photographer - - Wildlife Photographer Of The Year -

Win­ner 2017, 11-14 years old

Deep snow had blan­keted the La­mar Val­ley in Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park. This fe­male Amer­i­can red fox was hunt­ing be­side the road. Ev­ery so of­ten she’d stop, stare, tilt her head from side to side and lis­ten for the move­ment of prey – most likely a vole – be­neath the snow. Ashleigh was also poised, her cam­era lens rest­ing on a bean­bag out of the back win­dow of the car. Just as the fox came par­al­lel with the car, it stopped, lis­tened, crouched, then leapt high in the air, punch­ing down through the snow. She re­mained bot­tom-up for about 10 sec­onds, be­fore us­ing her back legs to pull out of the hole. Ashleigh, who has been pho­tograph­ing foxes for years, mostly near her home, says: ‘It was hum­bling to ob­serve how hard the fox had to work to find a meal. I re­ally wanted her to be suc­cess­ful.’ Un­for­tu­nately, she wasn’t, and the im­age, says Ashleigh, ‘il­lus­trates the harsh re­al­ity of win­ter life in Yel­low­stone’. Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 500mm f/4, 1/640sec at f5.6 (+1.7 e/v), ISO 1000

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