Word and Image

Animal

Willow

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Snapshots, photos, and others – my categories of images. Images is now the term because it is no longer film. Digital reigns. No more film, long live film. I mostly take snaps with my iPhone. Photos are for my Nikon. Others are more photojournalism. And the lines blur because I don’t consider much; the quality is pretty good. I just press the button. So here’s one crazy cat. He likes water. Cats don’t like water? But Willow comes running whenever the faucet runs. He can do a standing jump to the ledge from about 40 inches. I’m impressed. You should be too. That’s a lot of height for a cat to jump. And then he perches hunched over the sink and tries not to fall in. He licks the drips. I cheated. I wanted an image. So I turned the water on low. Voila!


Border Collie

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The fair had a border collie demonstration. These are working dogs. They are trained to herd. And they are very good at their job. They are taught to work together to herd sheep according to command. And the dogs are a whole lot better than my spaniel who would be easily distracted. These dogs were totally focused and followed commands accurately and instantly. The sheep went where they were herded.


Underbite

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Llamas have dental problems I guess I did not notice before. I was editing the shots and I see the problem. He’s not a tiny guy so it would seem that there is no hindrance to growing up big and strong. And I am not aware llamas need sparkling smiles.


Out For A Walk

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I am in the old city and around a corner there are camels being led. Two camels stopped at a barrier and a crowd coalesced immediately. The kids started taking pictures. Smart phones were clicking away. For me, I don’t see camels very often. I guess this crowd doesn’t see many camels either.

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The tent is actually a cover. A man was hidden riding with his identity concealed. The two camels marched up and out of sight along a narrow alley. I got distracted by some other subjects headed my way.

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Nellie

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My dog Nellie was always anxious whenever anyone was out. She would sit by the door just dozing. And the moment there was noise in the driveway, her head would raise and she would perk up to see if the missing member of our family was home yet. Somehow it was easier when Nellie worried. She did enough worrying for both of us.

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And this is the screen saver on my phone. My kids were unhappy when I told them I loved my dog more than them. I was kidding of course. Nellie had a knack for blinking whenever the flash fired. It was quite a trick. But she could do it consistently. How the heck do you distract a dog?

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Moose

_DSC2590 copyI had only one actual moose encounter in three years. It got to be a joke where people would tell me where to go to find moose. But it was always a bust. Finally driving randomly through the park in rural Maine, I stopped where a couple cars were along the roadside. There were four moose, two males, a mama, and a baby. They are large enough to be nonplussed about human contact. Since they weren’t moving too quickly I had ample opportunity to get the shots I wanted. The shot I missed was the one I think about. There were four photographers. Two of us had some experience. The wife of the other photographer couldn’t set up her camera. I was helping her. What was her husband doing? The last guy was strictly amateur and walking downhill on a big male moose with a point and shoot in hand. His big grin was scary. He surely had no back up plan in case the moose decided to charge uphill. That was my shot! Well I have it in mind. It was definitely an encounter that made all the searching worthwhile.

 


San Diego Zoo

_DSC7227It’s world famous! Until I had been to Africa, this was pretty good. Now that I’ve had a completely different experience in the wild, this zoo is and interesting series of images in retrospect. If you isolate the animal and the background, you might convince yourself you are in the African veldt._DSC7315 It’s like going to the aquarium. You can get a shot but you know it was from behind the glass in a tank._DSC7171


Greased Pig

_DSC6160It’s another event I came across at one of the Maine County Fairs. Throw a series of pigs into a pen and let kids try to catch one. Each kid gets a bag and the mission is to put a piglet into the bag. It’s pretty chaotic. Everybody wins. There are enough piglets, one for each kid. Cute? This is a lot of piglets all crowded around to feed from mama. They make their money/profit on the lottery to pick which kids get into the pen. I’ve heard of greased pig contests ….


Bullriding

_DSC6592http://rodeo.about.com/od/bullridingfaq/f/bullbucking.htm

Nothing is done to intentionally hurt the bucking stock.
This includes binding of testicles (a popular lie spread by certain groups against rodeo), drugging, beating, burning, etc.

It’s written in “bold” on the website. Where did I see this? In Maine in the autumn of 2007 at a county fair… It was a serious competition for points. It was not a mega event. It occurred on a very chilly evening in the dark, a highlight of the evening’s activity.

I arrived early to ‘scope out the venue and pick the best place from which to get photographs. I brought a flash expecting to need the extra light. I was really to far away to be in an ideal position. At the earlier hour of sunset the bulls were peacefully standing in the coral, perfectly docile and crowded together. To look at the bulls you would never consider them to be a ton of angry bucking muscle.

_DSC6594If you look closely there are two ropes. The first is for the rider to hold dearly hoping to make 8 seconds and get a score for a ride. The rope wrapped around the bull behind the rider is (not?) attached to the testicles (remember it’s bulls not cows). Whatever the rope does it certainly gets the bull’s attention. Riders are thrown and they are injured. This means an ambulance is on standby. Some of the riders now wear flak vests and crash helmets. It’s not too western looking but it’s a bit more protective. Stomping usually doesn’t involve head injury, mostly broken bones. I make this assumption because, by my estimation, access to a competent neurosurgeon is not high on the priority list. But please keep in mind no animals were hurt in the making of these images.

 


Camel Ride

1805 30 Julia DavidTo my kids: I bet you don’t remember this.

We didn’t go to the Bronx Zoo too often. But once upon a time we went and the kids took a camel ride. If you think about it (as I am right now), it’s kind of silly. Collectively, J, David and myself don’t remember this at all (I bet – see above). Otherwise somebody should have spoken up when they were here in December. I got the picture; they don’t remember. Who’s old now?


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