Posts tagged predator

For wallflower1891
I met this little hyena pup when I was in the Mara in Kenya. He may as well have been sitting on the sofa drinking a beer and watching Family Guy…

For wallflower1891

I met this little hyena pup when I was in the Mara in Kenya. He may as well have been sitting on the sofa drinking a beer and watching Family Guy…

I am very proud of this very early morning bald-headed eagle sequence. Extraordinary birds. (click to enlarge)

This is for my very dear friend who is saying goodbye to her Mom today. She is soaring around up there now Di and will live on in the hearts she left behind. xo

This is for my very dear friend who is saying goodbye to her Mom today. She is soaring around up there now Di and will live on in the hearts she left behind. xo

One day in March of 2010 I was discovering a new woodland I had not visited before. An elderly couple asked if I had seen “The Owl?” They lead me off trail to a dense thicket and showed me my very first Barred owl! I stayed with that owl for a couple of hours as he pretty much napped on his branch, occasionally looking down at me with amused eyes as I shivered in the snow. I went back the following two days and tracked him down in the thick of the bush, feeling pretty good about my abilities to find him again. As I usually do, I spoke constantly to him; “Hey buddy, how you doing today.” “Hey buddy, what’s up.” I am indeed a bit of a looney-tune in the bush, but I do believe animals have a sense of us and that gentle talking can intrigue and relax them. (Or maybe I just tell myself this so I don’t feel a little crazy.) Anyway, on the fourth day I could not find him perched anywhere is the section of forest we had been spending our time in. I walked around for 20 minutes calling his name and speaking constantly to him to come out and visit, but he was no where to be found. Then I turned towards a narrow clearing in the trees to go back to the trail and there he was, flying low, right towards me at eye level!! He was absolutely silent as he swooped in and landed on a low branch a few yards away from me looking right at me as if to say “you called!” I froze with a gaping but silent mouth. My dazed and amazed brain forgot to send a signal to my shutter finger and before I came around to my senses, buddy flew off again, back in the direction he had come.
For those of you who have asked what some of my greatest moments were photographing wildlife, I can’t say this is one of them. But it is certainly one of my greatest memories of missing the shot!

One day in March of 2010 I was discovering a new woodland I had not visited before. An elderly couple asked if I had seen “The Owl?” They lead me off trail to a dense thicket and showed me my very first Barred owl! I stayed with that owl for a couple of hours as he pretty much napped on his branch, occasionally looking down at me with amused eyes as I shivered in the snow. I went back the following two days and tracked him down in the thick of the bush, feeling pretty good about my abilities to find him again. As I usually do, I spoke constantly to him; “Hey buddy, how you doing today.” “Hey buddy, what’s up.” I am indeed a bit of a looney-tune in the bush, but I do believe animals have a sense of us and that gentle talking can intrigue and relax them. (Or maybe I just tell myself this so I don’t feel a little crazy.) Anyway, on the fourth day I could not find him perched anywhere is the section of forest we had been spending our time in. I walked around for 20 minutes calling his name and speaking constantly to him to come out and visit, but he was no where to be found. Then I turned towards a narrow clearing in the trees to go back to the trail and there he was, flying low, right towards me at eye level!! He was absolutely silent as he swooped in and landed on a low branch a few yards away from me looking right at me as if to say “you called!” I froze with a gaping but silent mouth. My dazed and amazed brain forgot to send a signal to my shutter finger and before I came around to my senses, buddy flew off again, back in the direction he had come.

For those of you who have asked what some of my greatest moments were photographing wildlife, I can’t say this is one of them. But it is certainly one of my greatest memories of missing the shot!

If you are curious to know about this cheetah kill in Phinda, SA check this out:
http://tinyurl.com/3c2vd9j

If you are curious to know about this cheetah kill in Phinda, SA check this out:

http://tinyurl.com/3c2vd9j

At Second Glance
As happens many times, I take a shot in a certain frame of mind, paying attention to certain details. In this case I had just tracked this spotted hyena coming through very tall, wet grass and out into the open. I was mostly delighted to get a full view of him, albeit from the back. I particularly liked his wet, muddy paws and wanted them in the foreground. I was also struck by the the colour of the dirt road stretching out in front, in deep contrast to the lush green he had just walked through. Now, looking at the photo with new eyes, an entirely new and more personal reflection has comes to light. The hyena is a pack animal-referred to as a clan of hyenas actually- and I have seen hunting clans several times, including in the dark of night. But when I took this I wasn’t really thinking of that. And yet now when I look at this composition I feel a tremendous sense of solitude. Not a word I would have normally associated with a hyena. I am really happy with the emotion of the shot-far more so than I was aware at the time I took it. I love this about photography. It has such an ability to tell stories and reflect back experiences in new ways. I hope you like it. (click to enlarge. It has more impact.)

At Second Glance

As happens many times, I take a shot in a certain frame of mind, paying attention to certain details. In this case I had just tracked this spotted hyena coming through very tall, wet grass and out into the open. I was mostly delighted to get a full view of him, albeit from the back. I particularly liked his wet, muddy paws and wanted them in the foreground. I was also struck by the the colour of the dirt road stretching out in front, in deep contrast to the lush green he had just walked through. Now, looking at the photo with new eyes, an entirely new and more personal reflection has comes to light. The hyena is a pack animal-referred to as a clan of hyenas actually- and I have seen hunting clans several times, including in the dark of night. But when I took this I wasn’t really thinking of that. And yet now when I look at this composition I feel a tremendous sense of solitude. Not a word I would have normally associated with a hyena. I am really happy with the emotion of the shot-far more so than I was aware at the time I took it. I love this about photography. It has such an ability to tell stories and reflect back experiences in new ways. I hope you like it. (click to enlarge. It has more impact.)

The Hyena is the second largest carnivore in Africa, after the Lion. They are not related to dogs (or cats, as some think), but rather, to the group of animals that includes the meerkat and mongoose. They are very capable of hunting alone, and are formidable when in a pack. Interestingly, females produce higher levels of testosterone, making them not only more aggressive, but larger than males. The genitalia of hyenas looks very similar, and at one time zoologists considered them to be hermaphrodites. The alpha female is the largest and best fed pup in the clan. (A group of hyenas is also sometimes called a cackle.) Do they really laugh? The nickname “laughing hyena” comes from the “giggling” sound they sometimes make-often when fighting with other hyenas. I have spent many a night in a tent listening to their more common “oooooh-WHUP” sound, which generally signals good news with a kill. That sound travels very well in the night!!

The Hyena is the second largest carnivore in Africa, after the Lion. They are not related to dogs (or cats, as some think), but rather, to the group of animals that includes the meerkat and mongoose. They are very capable of hunting alone, and are formidable when in a pack. Interestingly, females produce higher levels of testosterone, making them not only more aggressive, but larger than males. The genitalia of hyenas looks very similar, and at one time zoologists considered them to be hermaphrodites. The alpha female is the largest and best fed pup in the clan. (A group of hyenas is also sometimes called a cackle.) Do they really laugh? The nickname “laughing hyena” comes from the “giggling” sound they sometimes make-often when fighting with other hyenas. I have spent many a night in a tent listening to their more common “oooooh-WHUP” sound, which generally signals good news with a kill. That sound travels very well in the night!!