Sunday, June 8, 2008

Nature in Disguise

Today I'm sharing photos, which I didn't originally plan to include on this blog. After thinking that it's all very well and good to get a great or even the "perfect" photo (of e.g. a wild animal in its natural environment), I know that's never easy when visiting the African bush. Also, it "costs" a lot of patience. Now I invite you to share the "joy and pain" with me when going on safari:

A tree with 2 trunks (left)? Oh no, that looks like crossed legs and yes, there's an inquisitive head sticking out above the foliage!

How just a few thorns (right) on a near-bare bush can hide as large an animal as a giraffe! As in the first photo, this giraffe is as inquisitive as I've noticed most of these giants in nature tend to behave. Talking about humans wishing to determine what's hidden (disguised)!?

Nature at its best! How well-camouflaged are these 2 grey rhebok? Yes, the one on the right isn't too difficult to spot, but what about the second one further left?

Are we playing a game of hide-and-seek? Well, it looks as if this kudu female (right) "thinks" so.

Click to enlarge and then - look again, as I had to do after thinking I had detected a klipspringer on top of the front boulder. In this, its natural habitat, a small klipspringer antelope often stands like a statue - as if frozen to the spot. Luckily and since my obsession with collecting as many photos as possible of birds, I've developed a "good" eye for detecting small creatures.

Not a real disguise (right) - yet if you look "deeper" into the bush, you'll discover a herd of antelopes "hidden" behind the 2 kudu females.

The elephant (left) is fairly visible, but sometimes, even as large an animal as this one is completely camouflaged by bushes. If you don't believe me or haven't experienced this before, trust me, the one moment you think you're seeing an elephant, but the next moment - it's gone!!

Leopards are notoriously difficult to spot. Luckily this leopard (right) didn't "get away". Not the clearest of photos, but then I had to "zoom in" to just get a good glimpse of him, because it was "in hiding" far away from the road on which we were traveling.

Another cat (left) - hadn't the lioness lifted her head, I don't think we, in an open safari vehicle, would have spotted her well-camouflaged by thick grass. [If you want to see what this magnificent specimen looked like - once she sat up - go back to my entry on this blog under the heading "The BIG 5", photo 9 - it's one of my most treasured photos].

Look closely (or click on photo to enlarge, right) to see the "virtually" hidden "shadow" (?) of a cheetah behind tall grass. No zooming in was necessary during this occasion, because this magnificent creature was walking right next to us and parallel to the road - yet it was impossible to get a direct/clear view of it, other than what I present to you. To a certain degree, this one got away (painful to admit when you're "dying" to take a picture - so close, yet so ...... far?).

This photo is proof how important binoculars are, apart from a camera with a powerful zoom-lens, when on safari. The landscape is "teaming" with not one but two of the Big Five - elephant and buffalo (an unusual and therefore very special sighting). Our son-in-law, Quinton, had the "right equipment" to take this photo when we stood on the hilltop at the archeological sight of Thulamela (northern Kruger National Park). The animals in this photo aren't disguised as such but nonetheless difficult to spot - that's camouflage in the bush for you!

Animal spotting at its best - extremely exciting on the one hand, yet very frustrating at other times.

I didn't "doctor" (enhance) the above photos in any way so that the full effect of life in the bush remains "untouched".

No comments: