It seems I’m known among friends and family for two markedly conflicting little quirks; the dichotomy a source of endless jokes.
Apparently, I’m the “animal whisperer”. I have a tendency to get approached by wildlife of all kinds, on land and in the water. They often coming shockingly close with curiosity, and some have just come up and sat on me… my shoulder, my foot, my lap…. (I’d share that last story, but honestly, you’d never wrap your head around it.) I sometimes get followed around by something entirely wild, and on a few special occasions, they’ve boldly requested affection… a little petting behind the ear, a scratch in a hard-to-reach place, or tickles under the flipper.
Sadly, I’m also the “butt photographer”. For reasons that are lost on me, if I’m carrying a camera, I’m usually presented with a butt. It’s that, or we don’t see any wildlife at all within reasonable proximity. The animals aren’t scared of me, or trying to walk off. Either they were posed as such, butts front and center when I first spotted them, or they see me with my camera, do a little metaphorical eye roll, and give me their butts.
Over the past week, I was reorganizing photography files, and couldn’t help but chuckle at all the butts I’d captured. It’s probably not just me. The presence of a human does generally encourage wildlife to make a retreat, or at least position itself for one, just in case. There’s a part of me that wants to request a 365 Project dedicated to our favorite wildlife butt shots, because I know we all have a few that were too cute to discard. …I stress, WILDLIFE, because human butts stop making cute photographs after around the age of three.
Meanwhile, my family will continue to joke, before any excursion, that I should probably leave my camera at home, so they can enjoy some epic wildlife encounters…that no one will believe, because… no pics. Here’s a few of my favorite butt shots, including one of a silly raven that danced all around me in some kind of play taunt, maintaining a tail-first presentation all the way around, wagging with pride.