A mouse nemesis
With every photographic trip I do, I always seem to have one species of bird or animal that becomes my nemesis. Like a spy movie villain, I spend my trip having glimpses or near misses as I try to get near them for decent photos. Always taunting and just out of reach. Sometimes I do get a picture or two, but most of the time, I leave with a few blurred photos of departing tails or feathers.
On my recent Kgalagadi trip, I was once again bested by a creature most foul… the Striped Mouse.
During the twenty-one day trip, they constantly scurried across the gravel roads that I travelled on. When I stopped to try and spot them, they were nowhere to be seen. I tried every measure I could imagine to get a few photos. I even parked at a few bushes to try and wait them out. Nothing.
On the second last day of my trip, as I sped along to a waterhole that I’d heard had a resident male lion, I passed two stones in the road. It took a few seconds for the stripes along the spine of the stones to register. I stopped and looked in the rear-view mirror, and they were still there. My nemesis mouse. I presumed they were dead. Not moving despite the big vehicle tyre that had come within a metre of them. I turned the 4×4 and headed back slowly, but the sun was against me, so the photo wasn’t on. I passed the mice at a snail’s pace and turned around to get the pictures in a better light.
Finally, I got photos that I was happy with and would keep. A Black-shouldered Kite flew overhead, and they ran into a nearby bush. I thought that was the end of the encounter, but as I pulled up alongside a green bush, I saw another mouse that had climbed up to the top, and I got one of my favourite photos of the trip.
The moral of the story is that if you stop looking, you tend to get the shot.
CLICK HERE for another of my favourite photos from my trip to the Kalahari
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