Category Archives: Hunter

Lookout Cheetah

Cheetah

This marvellous sculpture, entitled “Surveying Cheetah” stands in the middle of the steps going down into the Botanical Gardens at Kirstenbosch, Cape Town.

Everyone stops to admire it or pose by it for a mini photo shoot. I had to wait quite a while to capture the cheetah standing alone. However, I didn’t mind, because one of the admirers was a toddler, who caressed the bronze statue and then climbed up onto the plinth to get a better look!

You may remember an old post of mine called Fluidity, that shows another statue, with a cheetah trying to catch a buck leaping in the air.

 

The accomplished artist is Dylan Lewis, who has a sculpture garden in Stellenbosch.

 

post script: For those of you who like word play, the title can be read as either, “Lookout! There’s a cheetah!” or, “Here’s a cheetah, looking out over the savannah.” Your choice!

 

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Walk in the Wilds

In The Wilds 1

There’s nothing an animal likes more than exploring the wilds of Nature.

In The Wilds 2

Even a domesticated animal like Little Monkey. (Yes, she is in the photo above; right in the middle.)

In The Wilds 8

Most people walk down the centre of the path. Not so Little Monkey, who used it merely to cross from one side of exciting wilderness to the other.

In The Wilds 9

While others enjoyed a walk in nature with their dogs, I walked alone (with my friend and her dogs), while LM enthusiastically explored all around her. She was rarely within sight, but always knew exactly where I was. If I felt she’d strayed too far or been gone too long, one whistle brought her straight back to me.

In The Wilds 3

Funny that a dog who doesn’t like taking a bath, has no problem sploshing around in a river!

In The Wilds 4

Here she happily trotted along the river bed, bound on exploring all the new scents and sights. Notice the tree marked X.

In The Wilds 5

While I watched LM busy following scents, what neither of us noticed, however, was the wolf keenly watching her! 

In The Wilds 6

The tree marked “X” gives you a bearing in the two photos of LM in the river and where the wolf suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

In The Wilds 7

While I was preoccupied in capturing this little scene as it played out before me, I was unaware that now I was the one being watched!

Eeeep!

 

Carnivore!

Carnivore 1

Carnivore 1

Wolf!

Occasionally I’ll give my dogs a nice big bone. This is the thigh bone of an ostrich.

At first it looked as though Little Monkey didn’t know quite what to do with it!

Carnivore 2

Carnivore 2

“It smells great, but what do I do with it?”

Note the paw in the air (anxiety) and the tongue (Yum!).

Carnivore 3

Carnivore 3

However, she soon got the hang of it; using her paw to claim her food and keep it from running away!

Carnivore 4

Carnivore 4

Eventually she realised it wasn’t going anywhere and, surprisingly, no-one else wanted any!

Carnivore 5

Carnivore 5

So she settled down to gnaw to her heart’s content.

 

 

Scary Visitor

Jumping Spider 1

Jumping Spider 1

That moment when there’s a spider on you and you suddenly turn into a black belt karate master.

– Anon

 

When I opened my daughter’s bedroom curtains the other morning this little jumping spider fell out onto the duvet cover. It stayed absolutely still, so I had time to fetch my camera and take a few photos. You can even see its little eyes!

Jumping Spider 2

Jumping Spider 2

To see how small it is, compare it to the paper clip on the right of the photo. (The bendy white thing, shaped like this to hold up the solar lights on the pelmet.)

Jumping Spider 3

Jumping Spider 3

I think she is holding onto her skin or exoskeleton (the stuff underneath her on the right of the photo). Maybe she was moulting and in the process of shedding it? Spiders do this so that they can grow bigger.

 

Who is she?

She’s definitely a jumping spider. I think, specifically, a female Grey Wall Jumper, Menemerus bivittatus.

If you’re into spiders, here’s the gallery I was looking through last night in order to identify the little spider. Yes, it did take me a while to get to sleep after that!

Jumping spiders (salticids) actively hunt their prey then pounce on it.  They don’t spin webs, but do make little silken shelters under leaves. Isn’t that cute?

Jumping spiders do produce venom, but are not considered medically threatening. However, let me tell you from past experience, if they do happen to bite you when you’re sleeping, you will wake up to a very swollen, painful face!

And though she is a little scary, I think she’s also a little cute . . . As long as she’s not on me!

 

I Believe I Can Fly!

LM Flying

LM 1 Flying

This is Little Monkey flying!

So how did this come about?

It was a public holiday, which I’d forgotten about, so people were playing tennis on the courts, bowls on the greens and a soccer match here on the fields that are normally deserted. It meant I had to keep LM on the lead for longer than usual, before I let her off, but it would not have made any difference to the outcome.

LM Flying 2

LM 2 Flying

Little Monkey is very well behaved on our walks, walking behind me down the path . . .  until she hears or sees a squirrel; then all training flies out of her ears, and she has to chase it.

That’s what happened here. I’d let her off the lead; done the whole sit, stay thing and walked a few metres with her happily trotting behind me. Then she heard the faint scratch of tiny claws and Poof! She was gone in an instant: chasing squirrels.

LM Flying 3

LM 3 Squirrel hunting

Here she is looking and listening for more squirrels to chase.

How to chase a squirrel, by Little Monkey.

Run madly straight at it. Yip loudly as it rapidly disappears, straight up a massive tree. Leap after it with all four feet off the ground and push off the trunk. Run round the trunk yapping frustratedly, while the squirrel sits safely 30 feet above you.

This is the surest way to get the squirrel to come back down again!

LM Flying 4

LM 4 Squirrel hunting

And you can see from these action shots, just how young and strong LM is. Yes, she’s only eleven next month!

 

 

post script: And because you’re all singing it anyway, here is R. Kelley: ‘I believe I can fly’.

 

Prison!

LM Behind Bars 1

LM Behind Bars 1

I can still hunt from here, Mum!

LM Behind Bars 2

LM Behind Bars 2

Little Monkey surveys the world from her prison; ever ready to charge out and protect her territory – or just bark at everything passing by!

LM Behind Bars 3

LM Behind Bars 3

Nothing escapes this hunter.

Now if I would just open the door a tad!