Monday, August 17, 2015

African Bumshots

Dear readers, I actually thought a lot about you out in the bush. As in, how can I not bore you with my animal photos? I know my pics aren't National Geographic quality. And everybody's got an Uncle Harrry or Aunt Min who went to Africa and just can't wait to bore show you all their bajillion photos.

I don't want to be your Aunt Min.

And then I had it: Bumshots! That's what our guide, Fannuel, calls the inevitable photos you get when all you catch is the backside of a critter.

I tried to capture for your entertainment the best bumshots I could.

First up, an elephant bumshot. At Mfuwe Lodge (the poshest and largest place we stayed), the trunksters are known for walking through the grounds--and sometimes right through the lobby:

This is a Kudu, a type of antelope. Not strictly a bumshot, I know, it's more of a sideshow. But I love the way he's got his head in the bushes: "You can't see-ee me!":

Oh, lordy. Zebra bumshots are just the best thing ever:

This poor behbeh has lost most of his tail, probably in a fight with another zebra:

This is a Waterbuck, a type of antelope:

They're famous for having a white ring "painted" on their bums:

More zebra bumshots! I'm helpless in front of their glory:

Elephant bumshot in the bush:

Cape Buffalo have the most endearing goofy, deadpan faces. But there bums are awfully cute, too:

Okay, hide your eyes for the next two shots if you're prissy. Because the Boys of the Bush let it all hang outwhen it comes to bumshots.

We've got your male lion...

...and a very relaxed local dog in the bush village of Siankaba:

Back to PG stuff. Mother-and-child heffalump bumshot:

Bushbuck bumshot. Bushbucks are very shy animals and normally hide in the underbrush:

Wart hog bumshots. When they run away, their little skinny tails stick straight up. When they're relaxed, they flop all over the place, like the tails on these guys. Quite adorable:

African Hare bumshot, snapped on a night game drive. A hare is not the same as a rabbit, we learned. (I won't bore you with the whys and hows, here.):

Giraffes make some of the best bumshots ever. This guy's really cool, because if you look closely, you can see three or four faint lines on his haunch where a lion raked him. But he got away, so yay!:

Egyptian Sacred Ibis bumshot, with the extra-fancy feature of doing it on one leg:

Leopard in the night bumshot. Not a well-focused photo, but hey! It's a leopard! In the wild!!

Baby Baboon Bumshot. (Triple B's for the win!)

Impalas have some of the cutest bums in the bush. Their dark markings on haunches and tails make the letter "M," and their ubiquitousness leads some people to call them "the fast food of the bush," and the "McDonald's of the bush." This guy's broken off most of his left antler, probably in a fight with another male:

I'm especially excited about this bumshot. This is the African Wild Dog, an endangered species, I'm sad to say. This gal's pack recently had a litter of pups born to the alpha female, keeping these nomadic creatures in the area for several weeks until the babies grew large enough to travel. I was able to see the dogs on two separate occasions:

This is another rare shot. The Sharpe's Grysbok is the smallest of the antelopes. Wikipedia says it weighs only 15-25 pounds, full grown. It is solitary and shy, so I was tickled to get this shot, even though it isn't a full-on bumshot:

I can't help myself. Giraffe bumshots are hysterical:

Behbeh elephant!

Behbeh elephant bum-hance:

These are Puku. They're another antelope species, just a little bit bigger and shaggier than the Impala. Mother-and-child Puku bumshot:

Lioness and cub bumshot. You can see from her pendulous teats that she's still lactating:

Oh, dear lord. Look at the teensy bum on that littlest elephant:

Camouflage bumshot! That's Frank, our park ranger, toting the rifle on his shoulder (which he's never had to use on an animal, thank goodness) and our inestimable guide, Fannuel. What that man doesn't know about the bush isn't worth knowing.

I followed their bums for the better part of a week, walking through the bush. These guys kept me safe, they made me laugh, and they showed me a world of beauty and wonder I could scarce imagine.

The end.

(I had to say it!)



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