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Just what is this mess?


Just what is this mess?
Photo Information
Copyright: Callie de Wet (Callie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2002-05
Categories: Mammals
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Great cats - Grandes felinos, African Felines, Felidae of the world: Second series [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-18 10:10
Viewed: 5425
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
“When the rooster calls at the break of dawn, look out your window, & I’ll be gone” sang Bob Dylan nearly 40 years ago. Well, this is about how early we are ready to venture forth on our “treasure hunt” in the bush. Sunrise generally catches you a couple of kms from the lodge. We were too early at the site of the killing, hence there was no trace of leopard. Our moody chops indicated clearly that this was unfair game viewing practice. We have seen “our” leopard cub the previous day, the new day was getting on, so just where were she and her cub? Don’t they know we have only a little time to stay? This is so often the real situation in the bush; anticipation, waiting, and then – just nothing! The game wardens are in constant radio contact and the two words ricocheting across the ether that morning were “Ingwe” and “bamba”, meaning “kill”. The word was out – they are at the tree. When we got back to the killing tree, Cutie was already in the branches.
It is interesting to note that the female “plucks” the fur & skin off the impala to allow the cub easier access to the succulent meat below. We observed three times how she climbed into the tree & pulled on the area around the rump. She also walked around the tree and “cleaned-up” the “house”, so to speak. Because blood & other body fluids drip down on the ground below the tree, it makes for easier detection of the prey item. The female therefore covers all traces of these telltale signs by first detecting it by smell, & I am sure, also by sight. She uses her forepaws to spread soil and leaves over it.
This is a photograph of a very green, young kitten having her first experience of these things. They need their moms to teach them how to survive. The wardens told us about a leopard that lost his mother quite early. He managed to survive into adulthood on odds & sods, but he never really picked-up the stealth & finesse required by these greatest of ambush killers in the wild. He used to stalk his prey, then started charging-in from way too far away, only to end up empty clawed! Leopard are opportunistic killers, and will kill when the situation allows. They will stash prey their as well. I have seen video material of the Wildebeest migration across Sernegetti, where a single overfed leopard had three wildebeest calves stashed in his tree. I have also seen material where the cat was just lazing under a bush near water. An inattentive impale ram ventured into his range – an 8-feet leap into the air, combined with a beautiful summersault, and the ambush strike was successful, even without trying too hard on the leopard’s side.
[I am currently stuck for time to comment on TN– tutorial letters, practicals & new study material all must be print-ready by this coming Thursday, before we go gallivanting into the bush – AGAIN! So I apologise for not commenting.]

mogens-j, marhowie, Robbrown, jhm, japie, extramundi, gerhardt, PDP, RAP, touristdidi has marked this note useful
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To marhowie: DylanCallie 1 09-18 11:29
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Critiques [Translate]

So cute and curious. Very good capture of this little newcomer exploring the neighbourhood. Techniques are perfect as usual.

We will miss your pictures and comments but best wishes for an entertaining trip to the bush. I can easily understand that one get dependent on that.

Callie, Nice Kitty! Excellent photo of this baby in the wild. It's always refreshing to see these shots in the natural settings. Enjoyed your narrative..Enjoy your tromp!! P.S. I'm an old Dylan fan myself ;-)

For some reason, I am all but certain this was shot on Sensia, which I normally don't care for, but I think had it been shot on Kodak, it would have been too red/yellow because of the early morning light. Very nice shot here, although perhaps a few too many branches and twigs in the foreground to make it really perfect. Not much you could have done about that though. Very pleasing tones and a very catlike expression on the young one, this could be any feline.

It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe

That light I never knowed

An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light,babe

I'm on the dark side of the road

Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say

To try and make me change my mind and stay

We never did too much talkin' anyway

Don't think twice,it's all right

I am a big Dylan fan too, even though your DVD captures a concert that is older than me. I need to find a reason to work the lyrics to Desolation Row into the captions for one of my photos.

Very intresting information Callie of a very cute cub and one begins to understands how so few make it to adult hood.Yet again you can see how they beautiful creatures blend so easily into the background, being so simular in colour.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-09-18 13:36]

Callie, de pels van dit dier is werkelijk zoals het is, zo scherp gefotografeerd, geen enkele schilder zou zoiets beter kunnen doen, ik hou van uw foto's Callie en de beschrijving is ideaal voor in een school dier en natuurkunde te geven. Een groot fotograaf was hier aan het werk!

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-09-18 15:00]

Pragtig. I love these cat shots of yours and I am still trying to find some baby cheetah's for us. Beautifu capture and I learnt a lot from your note. Groetnis

Callie, this series of yours is awakening a new kind of hunger. I love the cats. I think I must plan a trip. Lovely capture. So inquisitive, this critter. The warm natural light gives a nice look to it overall. Your storytelling notes always make good reading.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-18 17:31]

Superb shot! Lives up to her name, and has the curiousness of youth. She's great and it's great. Fantastic note.

Hope you have a good trip, look forward to seeing the photos.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-18 18:53]

Otra bonita imagen de este cachorro adorable.
Las mismas consideraciones que para las anteriores imágenes de esta secuencia.
Bien hecho.

Another pretty image of this adorable puppy.
The same considerations that the previous images of this sequence.
Well done.

I have already said everithing about this series, thanks Callie.

Wow, I never knew any of this. Moms are always cleaning everywhere in the world I guess.

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