African Lioness stalking
African lioness stalking me, this is not the first time, but the very first time that a African lion comes that close in a stalking mode with such a pungent look, which went through my whole body and bones. Wow! The story behind the lioness stalking me from one of my trips.
Arriving a waterhole I was settling down for a few hours, accompanied by a pride of African lions dozing in the shade. As Wildlife Photographer I need to bring a bit patience along to stay several hours at a waterhole. The lion youngsters, more or less “swallowed” by the high grass, hardly visible. The two bosses, the male lions of this pride, further up in the back sleeping deep. I am sure I heard them snoring! Since a African lion can sleep 23/24hours a day, I was just hoping that something will happen, or at least bring the youngsters a bit in order! Oh well, as usual nothing happened, just nothing, oh wait a tail went up a few times and that was it! Where are my apples and biltong? Snack time is on…
On the other side of the waterhole a few Springboks came in to drink, always on alert. Yeah something happening. If one made a fast move all jumped back and run a few meters in safety direction. Well, I would be too on alert, when I see a lion pride on the other side of the waterhole hanging around like a bunch of sleepers waiting for ‘that’ “wake up call”!
Lioness stalking through high grassland
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Anyway after watching animals come to drink and go, in between a very tired lion pride doing just nothing, I needed to find some distraction. Had a snack already so I started to clean my lens of dust, Africa is a tad dusty in some areas! And while I did one camera the second camera with lens should have a clean as well. I just put down the lens blower when movement was seen between the lion pride. A lioness was checking me out through the high grass. The head went up, down again, nothing new that an animal looks at me sometimes, but this lioness had a tad different look! Not the usual “being bored” look, let me sleep look, no this look was wide awake, a sharp focused look! There she was already within 1-2 seconds, standing up, her “viewfinder locked” on me tight. I am sure that at this moment my name was added to the dinner menu! Looking through the lens I could even “feel” this pungent look, the lioness stalking me, my name on the dinner menu, African lion pride! Hello, really me, I actually do not taste good. I love chilly, I will be pretty spicy! No good for you!
No matter what, the lioness stalking through the high grass without even taking her penetrating eyes of me. The feeling was not anymore like any other animal looking at me, the feeling was, you better watch out and close the window when it is time to do so. Hope the window closes fast enough. When the window is closed I probably have 1-2 seconds to jump to the passengers seat, when the lioness jumps against the window. I am sure the window will break! From there, hmmm…. brainstorming… there are a few ways, of course.
Up to 2-3m to my jeep was this lioness stalking me. When she was about 5-6m close I closed the window, moved my camera aside just in case I needed to move to a “better place”! Through the high grass it was quite a bit tricky to get the lioness stalking with her penetrating eyes and not to much grass in front of her face. The closer she came the more grass was in her face. When she was to close I watched her to see if she is serious with the African lion pride dinner menu! When she was at my jeep she had a very close look at me. After 1-2min I saw my name disappearing from the African dinner menu, the lioness went back between the grass to her pride, let herself fall down on the ground and hit the dreamy land again.
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The opposite of climate, winter in Japan! Ade Photography has invited me to be a guest nature and wildlife photographer for the upcoming winter 2016 in Japan. Details for the Japan Photography Tour 18-28 February 2016.
By Anette Mossbacher