Long dry spell for us as far as seeing exotic animals on the ranch across the road. Today, however, was my lucky photography day. A few sable antelope were grazing across the road, one came down the fence line. I told Bob, "Every time I go out there to take a picture of sable antelope, they stampede away."
So, ever hopeful, I grabbed my camera and SLOWLY sauntered toward the road, sometimes straying to the left, then to the right, stopping, walking forward a few feet, but never looking straight at the gorgeous, chestnut brown, mask-faced beauty about 100' away.
With the zoom lens, I was able to snap these photos before one of the other antelope "yelped" (?) a warning and "my" antelope bolted off into the trees. (Double-click to enlarge photos.)
|Our gate, antelope across the road. Close!|
|We can see the antelope from the 5er. Pretty mask.|
|Pregnant? (Don't even know if this is a female.)|
The gray cottontails are out again this evening. Earlier in the day the mockingbirds were teaching their young how to fly and hunt. A family of four was sitting in the mesquite tree by Bob's truck and you could hear them communicating with another bird or two across the field.
Watching the beautiful animals today caused my mind to wander to the subject of hunting. I can't wrap my head around it. Conflicting thoughts occur to me. People hunt for food which I can understand if they're hungry and game is plentiful. Hunts are also scheduled if one species over-propagates and there are no natural predators to cull the group. Culling the herd or flock or whatever can help stop the spread of disease, can stop over-grazing, and over-population.
What I can't wrap my head around, and perhaps hunters out there can help me "see," is why animals are hunted as trophies to hang on the wall. Why can't a hunter "stalk" the animals with a camera, take an intimate, up-close photo of the animal in its natural habitat, enlarge it into a poster, and hang that on the wall? The animal lives. The species doesn't become extinct, and future generations can then enjoy the LIVE animals as well.
Is hunting such a primal instinct from our caveman days that it's in humans' DNA? Why only some people? Others wouldn't dream of harming an animal. Is it needing to feel powerful? Can anyone explain it to me?
Tonight in Oregon, our pinochle group is playing. For many years when we lived in Oregon we played pinochle once a month. I sure do miss it. Mom, my sister, my son, and my brother and sister-in-law still play, plus many of our friends who were regulars. Hello to the group! I wish for you many pinochles, double runs and thousand aces.