Moth on Phone, One & Two

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Following yesterday's thought, I wonder just how much the subjects of wildlife photography mind us poking lenses in their faces. I imagine if they understood (and perhaps they do) that it was more than a mere intrusion of their privacy, they'd want release forms and royalties.

It's rather weird... if I were to camp next to a playground and take pictures of the children playing on the swings, I would be arrested and branded a paedophile; but if I were to camp next to a bush and take pictures of, say, two elephants mating, it suddenly becomes enrapturing.

That said, I remember this snake I met, once. It was on a week-long camping trip every student gets to make in their final year at KPS, up in the Soutpansberg. When we selected our bunks, I adamantly refused to sleep next to the window, because I was convinced a boomslang - that is, tree (boom) snake (slang); Dispholidus typus - was living in the tree outside our room and it was going to sneak inside when I was sleeping and bite me. (In truth, the boomslang is a fairly docile snake which, though its venom is one of the most potent in the world, only attacks when handled or harmed. Unfortunately, no one told me this at the time.) It turned out there was a snake living in the tree - only it was an entirely different species.

This snake was tiny, rare, and had a photogenic quality of which it appeared to be aware. When we all gathered around it with flashing cameras, it would stop, cock its head, and pose for the snapping shutters. It must have been in countless similar situations with thousands of students from other schools, so it was no doubt used to the attention and, dare I say, liked it. So, perhaps some of our subjects don't really mind the attention, after all.

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