Wednesday, June 06, 2007

animals! and, erm, birds

In addition to running a golf-predicting blog, Doug has also been busy documenting his various encounters with the natural world in another blog I was unaware of until today. I have put an appropriate perma-link up in the panel on the right. It's all fascinating stuff, including the lengthy saga of the blue tits in the bird box in Doug & Anna's garden - I won't spoil it for you.....

Anyway, I was inspired into thinking about interesting wildlife photos I've taken over the years. Now generally I'm a landscape and natural features man myself, but I've snapped a few animals as well, as anyone who read the fox post a couple of months ago will know. Here's a small selection harvested from a very brief trawl through my photos (or that subset that I've scanned in in a digital format, anyway). Hope you like them:

#1: me attempting to commune in a manly primate-to-primate manner with a Barbary ape on the Rock of Gibraltar in (Christ) 1996. These (despite the name) are actually monkeys - the only wild monkeys in Europe.

: a pair of Cape Hyraxes lounging around in the shade near the top of Table Mountain. These strange little creatures are most closely related to elephants, dugongs and manatees, despite looking a bit rodent-y.

: a lady with her hand up a cheetah's arse. This was taken in a cheetah sanctuary in Namibia.

: A dead elephant in Chobe National Park in Botswana. There was a gentle breeze blowing towards us (we were in a boat) when this picture was taken, from several hundred yards away. Even at this range the smell of a dead elephant is pretty eye-watering, I can tell you. Unfortunately I failed to capture the moment when a female lion sauntered casually out of its ribcage after stopping in for a snack.

: A kea wandering round the roadside rest area near the eastern entrance to the Homer Tunnel between Te Anau and Milford Sound in New Zealand.

#6: A rather shaggy donkey hanging around outside a pub in the New Forest.

#7: A grey heron perched on a weir near Caversham Bridge, on the Thames in Reading.

#8: A mystery duck photographed in Roath Park, Cardiff a couple of weeks ago. Well, it was a mystery duck at the time - I've since done a bit of research and determined that it's a ruddy shelduck. That's not swearing, that's really what it's called. Strictly speaking the shelducks are not actually ducks, taxonomy fans, but a subdivision of a larger family that includes the ducks and geese.


The Black Rabbit said...

Animaaal photo #1: a great photo, but I'm intrigued-

How on earth did you manage to get that Barbary Ape to don a pair of sunglasses and a rucksack?! Amazing!

ohhhhhhh.... hang on a second...

The Black Rabbit said...

photo #3: yes. I assume thats what they teach all the posties in Namibia then. Like the British posties (remember what I said, and the hand actions to go with?), but not for angry dogs, CHEETAHS...!
That's obviously what she's doing - getting the Cheetah to open its gob, by fisting it.
Easy to remember.

NB. Tip - never stick your finger up a woodpecker's hole