I am not someone who would focus on photographing animals in general, let alone wild ones, and so most of these photos are lucky shots in a moment when I would not even expect it. So, here goes my small 2017 collection.
First one is this horse on a field below ‘Šíp’ mountain in Slovakia. It was in may, but already awfully hot, and this horse was seemingly all alone there. I don’t know if bears would be repelled by the bell on its neck, but it’s working with sheep, so maybe yes. Anyway, it seemed he or she had enough of this heat, even more than we had.
Most often, my photos are of something smaller. Frogs are quite nice subjects, and I remember trying to catch them when I was a kid. This was the first day of my Slovakian holidays, and after a bit of rain. When we were leaving the restaurant to head for the bus, someone noticed this lil fella there. Was surprisingly easy to take a picture of as it did not move, apart from blinking.
And then came the fourth day and my favorite story. I was slightly ahead of the group as is my custom, going uphill at my own pace after reaching the valley’s end and waiting on the peak or some less steep place. So, there was this one, a few meters lower a group of people were just sitting having their breaks, and I advanced a little bit to see this trio…
I tried gesturing at some of them that there’s something to see (did not want to scare them by talking), but it seemed no one got the hint. So I just watched for a few minutes, until at least some of the people got up. There was one more a bit to the side, by the way.
Eventually, two of them ran a bit away as we closed on them. This one did not. I do not want if the shrub he was gnawing on was special or something, but he remained there quite long and only made several steps away from the path when almost twenty of us got to maybe 10 meters to him, and all the time he was watching us carefully. I guess he returned to his shrub when we were gone.
We saw one more chamois during the descent later that day, and one more the other day. And a pack of 16 or so two weeks later much more to the east, but they were scattered around, quite far and masking themselves well in the terrain, so the only useful shot I could get was this one.
Two more weeks later was my four-day stay in Poland and to my surprise, I still had something to see. There were a few tries of photographing a salamander the second, very wet day, but due to the dimness it was totally out of focus. But I had another try the third day.
But eventually, the biggest surprise was still to come that day. I’ve seen chamois before (pack of maybe 10 back in 2009, that time from great distance), and took a few photos of salamanders. Frogs are not unusual. Foxes, on the other hand… it was the first time I saw one.
This one was sitting at a shelter on the main trail. I guess they learned that most hikers are harmless and some will even offer some of their food. Why not, when they are quite cute, right?
I began this post with an equine, and I will end it the same. On the way back from this stay, we stopped at a farm that serves local farm specialties. And they had some animals around. This one seemed quite curious.
That’s another photo look back on 2017, with more to come.