torsdag 24. november 2016

JAGUAR ATTACK


"Holyfield", first attack
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 330 mm, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 3600

We are in the vast wilderness of Pantanal Brazil to look for jaguars. One evening we find a mating couple on the riverbank. The big male is an "old friend" of ours, and luckily he is known to have a steady & accepting attitude to humans. He has a big scar in his left lip, so let`s call him "Scarface". We follow their amorous adventure on the beach for hours and sometimes we get really close to them ... until the Brazilian night swallow them into the big black sack. Next morning we go to try to find them again and thanks to the growing & snarling from the matings we manage to locate them. At least : We think we have found the same couple, but what we do not know (until we checked the pictures after the incident) is that "Scarface" probably got beaten up & chased away during the night by an even bigger & more dominant male. This guy has lost he tip of his left ear, so let`s call him "Holyfield". Holyfield is not often seen, but when he appears it`s usually in connection with some passionate love affair .... and he is known to be grumpy !! We approach the couple on the beach believing that the male is "Scarface", and on a pretty close distance one of us makes a lousy imitation of a male jaguar call. The reaction is immediate & unexpected  : "Holyfield" rolls up his lips, displays his enormous canine teeth, curl up his nose, puts his ears flat down ... and with a drooling roar launch a striking attack towards us. We`e in a flat little boat on the beach with the bottom litterally on the shore and we have no possibility to get away. Luckily for us "Holyfield" stops at 4 - 5 m, roaring & drooling, making a really scary impression ... before he attends back to the Lady in the shady bush. I understand of course that this was a very dangerous situation, but at the same time I dispair ... because I missed to get the best pictures. With a beating heart we pull back and put the boat on the shore a little bit further away. After this we loose them out of sight. At some stage my friend gets up and walks to the front of the boat to look for them. What we don`t know is that "Holyfield"& the Lady are in the middle of "the Act" behind the grass right in front of the boat, and the mere sight of the human beeing this close makes "Holyfield" furious !!! He pulls his dick out of "where ever it was", spins around and launch a new wild attack towards us. This time I`m ready to shoot !! .... and I instruct myself to stand my ground, overrule my natural reflexes to pull back and focus & shoot. However the frightening sight of 140 kg of drooling muscles with the most deadly bite among all cats in the world coming to take me ... is too much !! After a quick series of pictures I stumble backwards into the boat and shoot my camera up in the sky & down on the floor as I was trying to save my neck from the deadly tsunami !

After altogether 4 attacks we are still alive (!!) ... and pull back with enough adrenalin to fuel a spaceship to the moon !!! I will never forget this situation !  


"Holyfield" giving unmistakeable warning
D5, 600 4,0, F75,0, 1/1000, ISO 2000  


"Holyfield" right before attack
D5, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 1250 


D5, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 2500


The attack is on !
D5, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 171250, ISO 4500


D5, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0 1/1250, ISO 4000


This is where I stumble backwards and loose focus ! Although unsharp it gives an impression of the situation !


"Holyfield" portrait
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 330 mm, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 2200


A grumpy cat !
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 250 mm, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 2500


"Scarface" and the Lady having fun the first evening
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 400 mm, f/5,0, 1/1600, ISO 640


"Scarface" and the Lady
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 400 mm, f/ 5,0, 1/1600, ISO 720 


"Scarface" and the Lady : The last phase of the mating looks anything but friendly !
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 400 mm, f/5,0, 1/1600, ISO 800


Portrait of the Lady from the first evening
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 200 mm, f/4,0, 1/800, ISO 5000 


"Scarface" in between the sex battles the first evening
D5, 200-400 4,0 / 220 mm, f/4,0, 1/800, ISO 5600

mandag 26. september 2016

SNAKES OF THE THAILAND RAINFOREST, PART 2


Banded Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,0, 1/200, ISO 1800

This is my second post on Thailand snakes from September 2016. The Thailand rainforest is really a "Snake Heaven" with almost 200 different species.  During our 2 weeks of "rainforest deep dive" in the rainy Monsoon period we found 22 species of snakes, which is in fact more than 10 % of the total number of species !
A great .... and extremely wet ... experience

Once again : A warm thank you to Thor Håkonsen, Ton Smits & "Aood" Parinya


Banded Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,0, 1/200, ISO 1200


Whitelipped Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 1600


Banded Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,5, 1/250, ISO 2200


Popes Pit Viper
D5, 180 2,8, f/3,5, 1/500, ISO 2200


Popes Pit Viper
D5, 180 2,8, f/4,5, 1/400, ISO 4500


Brown-spotted Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/6,3, 1/100, ISO 800, flash


Waglers Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/3,0, 1/500, ISO 2000


Waglers Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/7,1, 1/320, ISO 1800


Mangrove Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/9,0, 1/250, ISO 500, flash


Mangrove Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/11,0, 1/200, ISO 500, flash


Banded Pit Viper
D5, 17 mm 2,8, f/6,3, 1/100, ISO 800, flash


Banded Pit Viper
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,05 1/200, ISO 1100


Malayan Pit Viper
D5, 180 2,8, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 2000


Malayan Pit Viper
D5, 180 2,8, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 1800

Craits are one of the most dangerous snakes in all Southern Asia. 
This is a Banded Crait
D5, 105 2,8, f/3,0, 1/2000, ISO 2000

Banded Crait
D5, 105 2,8, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 2200


Extremely rare in Thailand : Spotted Keelback
D5, 180 2,8, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 400


Spotted Keelback
D5, 105 2,8, f/5,0, 1/640, ISO 1100


Harmless and totallyblending in : Blunt Headed Slug Eater

D5, 24mm 2,8, f/9,0, 1/80, ISO 1250


Meet IT !! : Keeled Slug Snake

lørdag 17. september 2016

SNAKES OF THE THAILAND RAINFORESTS : PART 1


A very angry Green Cat Snake (Boiga cyanea). This is a large (1,8 m) and slender snake, venomous and back fanged, .... but not considered to be dangerous to man.
D5, 105 mm 2,8, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 3200

For years I have been admiring Thor Håkonsen`s reptile photography 
( Facebook.com/thorhakonsenphotography ) and as we had a chat some 6 months ago and he told me about his plans to go to Thailand for snakes in the rainy season. .... I simply could not hold back .... and clumsily invited myself to go with him. Thanks to Thor for including me !!! Also thanks to Ton Smits, "Aood" Parinya, Tan From TonTanTravel and Are Hogner !

Vi er i søndre Thailands ugjennomtrengelige regnskoger .... midt i monsuntida ! Thor hadde lovet at dette skulle bli "vått og episk". Episk ble det i høyeste grad, men at det skulle bli  vått var jeg ikke helt forberedt på. Monsunregnet vartet opp med ekstremvær i dagevis, nesten ukevis, og boliger, restauranter, veier og broer sto under rødbrunt sølevann. Alt blir vått under slike forhold, absolutt alt, og ingenting kan tørkes. Når noe først blir vått forblir det derfor vått. Alt av klær, (rent og møkkete) + sko og støvler lukter av mugg, sopp, kropp, ukjente bakteriekulturer og sure føtter ...

Ingen steder er økosystemets livssyklus tydeligere enn i regnskogen. Alt og alle blir spist på ... i større eller mindre grad. Går man inn der må man derfor akseptere at man umiddelbart blir "bytte" for store og små .... særlig små ! På nattlige søk etter slanger støter man på dem alle sammen: usynlige små som etterlater sviende vabler i huden, bittesmå maur som gjør vår egen pissemaur til et kosedyr, termittenes krigermaur som biter som løver, mygg, insekter så store som ekorn, giftige edderkopper, taranteller, giftige skolopendere, skorpioner, flått, landkrabber, slanger ... og ikke minst : igler. Store igler, små igler, lange igler og korte igler. Ikke lett å beskytte seg mot disse i mørket når det pisseregner med 100 % luftfuktighet og nesten 30 graders varme. En natt hadde jeg 8 igler sittende på kroppen. Iglene injiserer først bedøvelse slik at man ikke merker dem, deretter antikoagulant slik at såret ikke skal tørke opp. Når man skaper dem av med neglen eller baksiden på en kniv etterlater de sår som fortsetter å blø. Det hele kan bli ganske grisete. En av iglene denne natta hadde satt seg til på åreknuten i min venstre legg, antakelig kobla seg direkte til kilden, blitt spylt full av blod under trykk ..... og eksplodert !! Det så i alle fall slik ut når jeg til slutt dro av meg buksa !


Green Cat Snake 
D5, 105 2,8, f/5,6, /320, ISO 3600


Green Cat Snake
D5, 105 mm 2,8, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 4000


Green Cat Snake
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 3200


Green Cat Snake
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 4500


Mangrove Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila), size up to 2,5 m
D5, 14-24 2,8 (24), f/6,3, 1/125, ISO 1600, flash


Mangrove Cat Snake, one of the most beautiful snakes I have ever seen !
D5, 180 2,8, f/6,3, 1/200, ISO 640, flash


Red Cat Snake (Boiga nigriceps). Size up to 1,75 m.
D5, 180 2,8, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 10 000 (!)


Red Cat Snake 
D5, 180 2,8, f/4,5, 1/320, ISO 1600


Red Cat Snake
D5, 180 2,8, f/4,5, 1/320, ISO 1400 


A wet Elegant Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis subocularis)
D5, 105 2,8, f/4,5, 1/800, ISO 1800


Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)
D5, 180 2,8, f/7,1, 1/800, ISO 800


Hammerhead leech. The biggest leech I ever saw !!


Leeches on my left arm
iPhone 6


Bleeding on my left arm after disconnecting a leech
iPhone 6


This is how Thor`s bed looked like in the morning after having slept with leeches !
iPhone 6