A. J. Windless-Silent Nature 
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ring-necked pheasant
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Last of the Pheasants
For me to capture an image like this in my native state in current times, as attested to by my sister,  is unbelievably surprising. She lives and works on farms in southern Pennsylvania, where traditionally most of the pheasants roamed. She told me she hadn't seen one in so many years that she didn't think there were anymore. Even as a teenager, decades ago, when I hunted small game with my .22 rifle I never once fired a shot at a pheasant. Now, in this day of fading wildlife, to have one pose for me like this at close range in the northern part of the state while on one of my visits, is about as likely as winning the Pennsylvania lottery. My contention, however, has always been that it's not so much luck as it is persistence. I spend so much time in the field that I am bound to get some pretty special takes. If I hadn't been here photographing this bird at this moment in time, I might have been one county away photographing something even more beautiful.
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