All creatures great and tall
Photo bombing is quite the thing and there are websites devoted to this jolly pastime, whether accidental or with intent. Dogs seem to be adept at sidling into bridal pictures and even cows get into the act at country wedding shoots while the groom and his girl are distracted by doves let loose and cascades of champagne. Some of the photo bomb examples on the internet are rather rude, as you could imagine, while others are ridiculously funny, up there with the likes of blooper shows on telly.
This giraffe at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo looks like a rubbernecking intruder. Some Insta followers have accused me of the sort of app alchemy that lets you superimpose images but they overestimate my technical abilities. If I could do that, I would have that silver fox Mark Harmon from NCIS in all my shots and we wouldn’t be hanging out at animal enclosures.
On Easter Monday, my daughter-in-law Ella and I did the Roar and Snore overnight package at Taronga and slept in snug tents (ours was named Little Penguin, which made us feel extra cosy), waking to an unrivalled panorama looking south over Sydney Harbour — coathanger bridge, Opera House sails, the whole corny postcard lot. Our morning alarm call was the cackle of kookaburras followed by indigenous zookeeper Leon on the didgeridoo mimicking the melodious call of the magpie and the boing-boing bounce of the kangaroo.
After breakfast it was off to meet one of the giraffe keepers and venture “back stage” to feed her long-necked charges a morning meal of lettuce leaves. Their tongues were raspy and moist with saliva and they ate with gusto. I lined up twice, like a wide-eyed kid, and then snapped this supermodel of a giraffe (those eyelashes surely are pasted on each morning) just as it posed against the city skyline. Sometimes you really are in the right place at the ideal time.
On other occasions, and particularly back in the days when photos were developed and processed at labs and we all waited ages to review our holiday rolls, I have been astonished by the results. Look there, behind me, peeping from behind a thorny acacia, is a lioness not quite concealed by the camouflage of yellowed grass. Little did we know that toilet break in the Serengeti could have turned into lunch.
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