Carol Wolfe Photography

Cats and Critters

My Photography
Composing Photos
Cats and Critters
UP Michigan
Smoky Mountains
South Carolina
Western US
Jersey Shore
Woodland Spring
Woodland Spring 2
Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
Ferns, Mosses, and Mushrooms
Woodland Fall

Praying Mantis

Red Spotted Newt

Turkey Hen

Aside from doing nature photography, I love to photograph cats and various other creatures with four (or more) legs. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Tabby Cat

This is Rooster Kitty. She was born in 1981 and named after Chineese Year of the Rooster. Here she rests beside a west-facing window, softly lit by the afternoon sun. I got this shot using my Cannon AE-1 and Kodak Royal Gold film. I scanned the negative on my Nikon Coolscan and made minor adjustments using Photoshop.

Hermit Crab

This is Periwinkle, named after the shell he selected. It was difficult to get this shot because hermit crabs are rather shy. I set up the camera on the tripod over the aquarium, and shot at a slight angle from above. I used my Nikon N80 along with my 200 mm micro lens.

This is Pussy Willow; she is our sweet and timid Tonkinese.

This is a picture of Pussy Willow. She is a Tonkinese.


Ant (place-holder until I upload a photo of Clementine)

This is Clementine, an orange tabby. We adopted her from a local animal shelter called Paws and More.


As I pulled into the parking lot on Clingmans Dome in the Smokies, this girl ran over toward my car. I slowed down and started to talk. She just stood there and watched me. It was April 1, 2008, the first day the road had been opened since Dec 2007. I decided to call her "Lucky" because I felt so lucky to have seen her. When I got out of my car, she added some distance between us, but still let me get this (hand held) shot. I went back several times during April, and each time she was there. When I returned in mid May, however, she had left.

Red-Spotted Newt

It was around noon when I was walking with a friend, heading back from a 2 mile walk to a waterfall on a cloudy day in June. As we came around the corner, my friend saw this bright orange newt on the trail. We had our cameras with us, of course, so I got mine out. I set up the Nikon D200 on my tripod and attached the 200 mm micro lens so I could focus close. Due to the dark conditions, and the movement of the newt, I had to open up the aperture somewhat. This reduced my depth of field, so I focused on the eyes and shot.

Praying Mantis

I found this praying mantis in my back yard in Sept 2005. It was late in the afternoon, not long until sunset. I grabbed my camera and tripod. I got this shot using my 24-85 Nikon zoom lens that has some "micro" (closeup) capability. I was able to get close enough to let this little mantis fill the frame. I had to open up the aperture pretty wide, so there is not much depth of field. The important part was getting the eyes in focus.

Black Bear

I was heading up Newfound Gap Road in the Smokies when I stopped at an overlook to photograph some trees. It was April 2, and the springtime colors made a nice mosaic. As I admired the view, I heard a noise in a tree toward my right. About 100 feet from where I was standing. I saw this bear. I turned my lens in the bear's direction, reset the camera settings, and got this shot. It might not be the best bear shot ever, but it was my first.

Snail in the Smokies

I found this snail "sprinting" across the trail about 1 mile from the trailhead to Ramsey Cascades in the Smokies. I had to time the shot carefully so that the snail was not moving when the shutter snapped. Snails may have a reputation for being slow, but this one moved rather quickly.

Black Bear

This is the same bear (as shown above). After hanging in the branches for a while, the bear decided to climb down the tree. I did not hang around very long just figuring that I had gotten my shot, and now it was time to move on.

Buttercup, our Tortoise

Buttercup rested in her circular bed beside the sliding glass door. The diffused light helped make this photo work so well.

Ginger, our new Tabby

We adopted Ginger on Sept 27, 2008. She is about one year old. She loves to walk around the house carrying a certain short piece of string. She is so playful.

Snail in the Smokies

I found this snail while walking along the Cove Hardwood Forest Trail in the Smokies. I spent about a half hour watching the snail and photographing it. It moved its head around a lot. My goal was to get a shot that showed the eyes clearly, and in focus, and to fill the frame with the snail and shell.

Spring Tail and Mushrooms

I found this springtail and these little mushrooms in a rotting log in the Smokies, just a few feet from the snail (see left). This "alien" landscape was a perfect scenic shot for my close-up lens. The springtail is only about 3 mm long, about the size of a flea.


In this shot, Cinnamon is about one year old. He was the fourth of four kittens in his litter, and he was the runt. We adopted him and his sister shadow when they were about six weeks old. I used my Nikon D200 and 24-85 zoom.


I got this picture of Snowball in the late 1970s. It was a film camera, of course, and I used a Focal brand flash attachment that fit on top. Being somewhat new to photography at the time, I did my best to figure out the proper setting for the aperture based on the distance between the subject and my camera. With a white cat, it was important not to over expose!

Shadow on Cinnamon

Here are the kittens when they were just a couple months old. They loved to cuddle and play, and in this shot, Shadow took the initiative. I got this shot using my Nikon D70 and my 24-85 mm zoom lens.

Shadow Finds a Box

We adoped Shadow and her brother Cinnamon back in August 2006. They have been so much fun. Shadow is one of the most cuddly cats I have ever met. And like most cats, she cannot resist a box! In this shot, she sits in a "perfect pets" box, which is a box that contained a toy cat. The box fits her well, since she is indeed a perfect pet!

Sunshine, Neighbor's Cat

I got this picture of Sunshine during the fall of 2008. I wanted to get a shot with a neutral background so that her beautiful pattern would show up.

Sunshine, Calico Neighbor

My son got this photo of Sunshine during the spring of 2008. It's a nice shot. The only problem is that the background distracts somewhat because it blends in with the colors on her face.

Prairie Dog

I found this prairie dog in the Badlands of South Dakota. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was nearly ready to set. This little brave dog came right up to me as I sat there in the field. It even nibbled on my tripod leg. Later that day, I realized I had been bitten by fleas.

Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

I found this caterpillar nibbling on a branch in a bog in Seeney National Wildlife Refuge in the UP Michigan. I used my Nikon D200 and 200 mm micro lens.

Tortoiseshell Cat

Buttercup is a Tortoiseshell cat. She is also very shy. For this shot, I used Cannon AE-1 with a "Focal" brand flash attachment. I had to set the aperture settings based on the type of film I was using and the distance between the camera and my subject.

Afternoon Dragonfly

This guy is also shown on my UP Michigan page. I found this dragonfly at Seeney National Wildlife Refuge in August 2006.

Dew-Covered Butterfly

This butterfly also appears on the UP Michigan page. I found this butterfly early one morning in a dewy field. It was too cold and heavy to fly away so I had plenty of time to "work" with it.

Ant Lion Hole

I know this might seem a bit strange, but this is one of my favorite photos from my very first trip to UP Michigan. It was August 2002 and I attended my first Rod Planck workshop that year. This is also one of the first shots I got using my micro 200 mm lens. In those days, I was using a Nikon N80 and Fugi slide film.

Caterpillar on Rosy Twisted Stalk

I found this caterpillar while walking along a trail in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I love the way this photo shows camouflage in action. As usual, for a small subject, I used my Nikon 200 mm micro lens to get in and focus closely. It was April 2006 and I was using my Nikon D70 camera body.

Green Frog in Michigan

I got this green frog back when I was still shooting film with my 35 mm camera. However, I happened to have my new Nikon Coolpix digital "point and shoot" camera with me on this day. I was surpised at how well this camera worked to capture this scene. This is a full frame shot, not something that I cropped severely.

Candian Goose

I know these birds are rather common, but I still enjoy photographing them. I positioned myself on a hillside near a pond with my Nikon D70 mounted on the tripod, and used my 200 mm micro lens. I didn't need the micro capability for this shot, I just wanted to zoom in. I had to use a rather quick shutter speed to stop the action as the goose swam by.

Cows in farm yard of the Phoenix Zoo

I found these cows when I visited the "Harmony Farm" section of the Phoenix Zoo. This was one of the few shots I got that day because I don't like to photograph animals in cages.

Big Horn Sheep wandering somewhat freely at the Phoenix Zoo

These sheep were behind a fence but had a very wide range in which to wander. However, I suppose from their point of view, they would still consider themselves captive.

Little Lamb in Arizona

I saw this little lamb on the Serengeti Safari at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park near Sedona, AZ.

Zebra in Wildlife Park

I found this zebra when taking the Serengeti Safari at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, near Sedona, AZ.

Boys Riding an Aligator!

These boys got to ride a metallic aligator while visiting the Phoenix Zoo.

I will be updating this section (below) soon. For now, there are three copies of the calico cat, two serving as place-holders for future photos.

Sunshine the Calico

This photo, by Isaac Wolfe, shows Sunshine, our neighbor's cat. She gets her calico appearance by having one X chromosome that codes for black pigmentation and one X chromosome that codes for orange. Combined with another gene for white color, this leads to the spotted pattern.

Sunshine the Calico

This photo, by Isaac Wolfe, shows Sunshine, our neighbor's cat. She gets her calico appearance by having one X chromosome that codes for black pigmentation and one X chromosome that codes for orange. Combined with another gene for white color, this leads to the spotted pattern.

Sunshine the Calico

This photo, by Isaac Wolfe, shows Sunshine, our neighbor's cat. She gets her calico appearance by having one X chromosome that codes for black pigmentation and one X chromosome that codes for orange. Combined with another gene for white color, this leads to the spotted pattern.

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