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Heron with an appetite

Heron with an appetite WARNING: Not for the gentle hearted!

Although I have to admit that I didn't shoot the following pictures myself, I thought they are worthwhile enough to point them out.:

I was confronted with the following in a regional Dutch newspaper:
http://www.ad.nl/eceRedirect?articleId=386821
Note: the link is broken, and doesn't lead to the original article/image anymore.

The translation goes something like this:
How a heron captures a rabbit.
Vianen - That blue herons eat frogs, molls and rats is known, but the
bird also seems to know its way with small rabbits.

Photographer Ad Sprang from Vianen saw, on Monday June 5th, how the
heron sneaked upon a young rabbit. When within striking range, it
struck and caught the little ball of fur by one ear. The heron flew
away with the shrieking and struggling rabbit hanging by its ear from
the dagger shaped beak. The heron landed some 50 metres away along
side the ditch. After drowning it, the heron swallowed the rabbit in
whole.

After looking for some more background, I found a few more images of the action as published by the original photographer:
http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=62646&sid=3c0cc12b0db026b01536ae1c3ddc1ba3

http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=62945&sid=3c0cc12b0db026b01536ae1c3ddc1ba3

http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=63293&sid=3c0cc12b0db026b01536ae1c3ddc1ba3

http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=63294&sid=3c0cc12b0db026b01536ae1c3ddc1ba3

Looking at the photographer's comments, he used an EOS-20D with an
EF-500mm f/4 IS . He used ISO 200, 1/320 sec, f/7.1 with EV -2/3
correction. It was a sequence shot on a bean (rice) bag, from his car.
He was so close that the entire bird didn't fit into the first frames so he cropped them more square, but the later, more distant, pixs fit the full bird into the frame.

Bart



Clarification after Sean's fine post below: I love this post, it is a good find. I discovered the excellent the Dutch sites for stunning bird photography!
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
My first impression, Bart, was that it was a hoax! I was thinking of looking at the EXIFS to see the shooting details. When I saw the wet rabbit it looked convincing.

Then I just realized we are dealing with a beautiful voracious hunter, no different than an alliagator or lion except the heron has the ability to swoop down from the skies. The rabbit has eyes that look to the sides, a career stopper!

Asher
 
Asher Kelman said:
My first impression, Bart, was that it was a hoax! I...
Then I just realized we are dealing with a beautiful voracious hunter, no different than an alliagator or lion except the heron has the ability to swoop down from the skies.
Having watched great blue herons hunt in local tidal waters, there was no disbelief in my eyes at all. It is amazing to see what they can get down their throats.

The shots are great. Thanks for sharing the links.

enjoy,

Sean
 

Roger Lambert

New member
Umm.. I think you might want to put a disclaimer in the title for those with delicate sensibilities.

I'm a hunter, but I found that series to be kinda upsetting - terror in a rabbit's eyes is not something that everyone here might want to see. :)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This is great photography. We can't live in cloud-cuckoo-land thinking that these stunning creatures are vegans and god-fearing with family values and all that!

Neither do these Heron's live in a world that is necessarily kind and cuddley to them. We threaten their existence far more than they the rabbits! Luckily, the latter have a fecundity, (even without Sialis), that outstrops the appetite of those that eat them!

Real life in the wild is brutal and has no mercy. Only thing is, wild animals, at least make no pretence of decency!

My wife was pretty upset at seeing what was happening to that unfortunate rabbit.

However, most people have no idea how the chicken in the freezer got to the supermarket in the first place! Like,

FADE IN:

EXT. MOTHER NATURE NATURAL CHICKEN, WACO, TEXAS - DAY

"Hello, I'm a chicken,
(under his stare)
Yes, I was born here! I was for sure!
You say I don't look American?
Look you ignorant S.O.B., here's my citizenship papers!
(One wing in the door)
What do I want?
What do you think, you shmock?
I'm waiting here in line for 4 hours, just to say hello to some ignoramous redneck just to pass the time?
No, I want to volunteer to have my neck cut or maybe that electric shock special."

FADE OUT



Now to me it's a mystery why so many millions of chickens line up every day to go through that same argument just to get the same disrespect!

That to me is the great paradox!

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman said:
This is great photography. We can't live in cloud-cuckoo-land thinking that these stunning creatures are vegans and god-fearing with family values and all that!
...
However, most people have no idea how the chicken in the freezer got to the supermarket in the first place! Like,

FADE IN:
<snip>

FADE OUT


...
Asher, I am a touch confused by your response, but I will paraphrase the response I chose not to post.

If you cannot handle the fact that nature is filled with carnivores, the please rip out your front 4 teeth (8 total, 4 upper and 4 lower) as they were not made for getting a clean bite out of an apple. While I may love a bacon veggie cheeseburger (tastier than dead cattle ;o), I also love a rare steak. Warmed up to just the point where the stale blood oozes through my mouth at the temperature of a freshly murdered animal. <deadpan serious smirk> I am sorry, but I was not born to be a vegetarian and life has told me it is a terrible choice too. My observations of nature have shown me otherwise too:


Or so the spider said to the fly!
 

Roger Lambert

New member
Asher Kelman said:
This is great photography. We can't live in cloud-cuckoo-land thinking that these stunning creatures are vegans and god-fearing with family values and all that!

Neither do these Heron's live in a world that is necessarily kind and cuddley to them. We threaten their existence far more than they the rabbits! Lickily, the latter have a fecundity, (even without Sialis), that outstrops the appetite of those that eat them!

Real life in the wild is brutal and has no mercy. Only thing is, wild animals, at least make no pretence of decency!

My wife was pretty upset at seeing what was happening to that unfortunate rabbit.

However, most people have no idea how the chicken in the freezer got to the supermarket in the first place! Like,

FADE IN:

EXT. MOTHER NATURE NATURAL CHICKEN, WACO, TEXAS - DAY

"Hello, I'm a chicken,
(under his stare)
Yes, I was born here! I was for sure!
You say I don't look American?
Look you ignorant S.O.B., here's my citizenship papers!
(One wing in the door)
What do I want?
What do you think, you shmock?
I'm waiting here in line for 4 hours, just to say hello to some ignoramous redneck just to pass the time?
No, I want to volunteer to have my neck cut or maybe that electric shock special."

FADE OUT



Now to me it's a mystery why so many millions of chickens line up every day to go through that same argument just to get the same disrespect!

That to me is the great paradox!

Asher
Asher, are you suggesting that I live in "cloud-cuckoo-land " because I recommended a disclaimer for the post? :(
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
No No No!

Sean, I'm sorry, my poetics confuse you!

My wife was squeemish and felt so bad for the frightenned bunny and shocked by the whole pictures! So Roger's suggestion for a "warning" for the sensitive was resonated with her reaction.

I myself am impressed. I loved the post. That is what OPF is about: "the photographer's vision presented"; so we reflect on everything we are and we do and with life itself.

Relax, we're on the same page.

Kind wishes,

Asher
 
Asher Kelman said:
My wife was squeemish and felt so bad for the frightenned bunny and shocked by the whole pictures! So Roger's suggestion for a "warning" for the sensitive was resonated with her reaction.
I hesitated whether to add a warning when I posted those links. I didn't, because of the anticipated 'reality check'. We're watching the struggle for life, both for the heron and the rabbit!

We humans are something special, we develop feelings for animals (especially furry ones), yet allow hundreds of thousands of fellow human beings to perish. I know, as individuals there is only so much one can do, and I don't want to politicize this thread.

I happened to see a documentary on National Geographic Channel today, where a cinematographer also stated that he at times felt the urge to intervene when whitnessing animals being ambushed during a river crossing in Africa. Yet he wouldn't because it could also result in the starving of the predator and its offspring.

At least in nature the killing has a meaning and purpose, namely the cycle of life and natural selection, and it's best to just step back and observe in awe. Photography is a wonderful medium for such observation, because it isolates from distraction, captures the instance, and concentrates on the beauty within.

Bart
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bart,

What you have shown is essential to the meaning of OPF. We are an open forum. We want to show and encourage the best production of images that depict everything from the holy to the barbaric, from the worrying man and superb woman to worms in thermal vents, from sensual curves of beauty to the horrors of war. So your post Bart was appropriate and perfect.

Then, we want real tough presentation of what is needed to do this. That is why equipment and processing that facilitates all this is important too and only for that reason. Photography is not just for itself. Rather it's for us as a medium to convey feelings and ideas, to give us joy and give us pause, to unite us and to even question the very things we love cherish and hate.

We want a community of artists, reporters, event photographers, creatives, angry and happy people who can put a mirror to us and everything around us.

You and I and others here are on the same wavelength.

Asher
 
Asher Kelman said:
Photography is not just for itself. Rather it's for us as a medium to convey feelings and ideas, to give us joy and give us pause, to unite us and to even question the very things we love cherish and hate.
Yes, photography == emotion.

Bart
 
Sean DeMerchant said:
If you cannot handle the fact that nature is filled with carnivores, the please rip ..
My apologies if that comment offended anyone, that was not its primary intent. Though I will admit a get a touch edgy at placing a warning on such beautiful images and it gets my spine up. As to a vegetarian diet, I know it can be healthy for many people. But such a diet and its high soy content and resultant arganine levels in my blood do not do well for me. But I am also aware that many people have varying dietery requirements.

enjoy,

Sean
 
Asher Kelman said:
Sean, I'm sorry, my poetics confuse you!
Nothing apologize for, it just hit an emotional button and my reply was a touch graphic. Poetics often go right over my head. I can remember reading Robert Frost in 5th grade and what felt like deep overanalysis of the content. It took me decades before I had experienced the elements of life some of his work described and then it clicked. In the short term, I do best with more verbose rhetoric. I just cringe at the thought of a warning on such lovely images.

I can understand people being squeemish, especially with a cute little bunny, but I do not feel that way. I find the symphony of life endlessly fascinating. I was once squeemish over many things, but truly learning to see has taught me to love so much more of what I see and I do not differentiate between being able to deconstruct Madison Avenue's prescribed image of beauty and the beauty I see everywhere as they are one and the same.

On a related note, a couple years later than my initial reading I have decided to reread Photo Impressionism and The Subjective Image by Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant. This is the book that finally took what I had read so many times and finally drove the simple truth of photography home for me. It is about the image silly and nothing else. And then, I saw the image for the pixels (forest versus trees). I know my understanding of the image has far to go and I have learned things here, perhaps the most profound was also one of the shortest. But it was simply an answer that named a felt emotion as the reason for a comment about an image. I know I think incredibly highly of Freeman Patterson's writing and greatly respect it. I recommend his Photography For The Joy Of It to everyone who asks for a book on digital photography as it discusses how to take photos and not how to copy files.

all the best,

Sean (who took compositions of a band all night and feels very centered)

[edit: changed elments to elements in first paragraph. Added an 'I' in the second paragraph for clarity.]
 
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Mary Bull

New member
A take from a Depression-era Kid

Sean DeMerchant said:
Nothing apologize for, it just hit an emotional button and my reply was a touch graphic. Poetics often go right over my head. I can remember reading Robert Frost in 5th grade and what felt like deep overanalysis of the content. It took me decades before I had experienced the elments of life some of his work described and then it clicked. In the short term, I do best with more verbose rhetoric. I just cringe at the thought of a warning on such lovely images.
But, as with movies, an R rating may pull in the viewers?
I can understand people being squeemish, especially with a cute little bunny, but I do not feel that way. I find the symphony of life endlessly fascinating. I was once squeemish over many things, but truly learning to see has taught me to love so much more of what I see and do not differentiate between being able to deconstruct Madison Avenue's prescribed image of beauty and the beauty I see everywhere as they are one and the same.
I was very late taking much interest in this thread. Only today have I had a look at the Dutch newspaper image from the URL supplied by the OP. The additional links returned me 404 errors, in my browser, Opera 9. So I may have missed the more stunning views.

I grew up in town, but just barely. We were on the last street southeast. There was a cotton field many acres in extent, immediately adjoining our back alley.

Town girl though I was, I nevertheless watched my mother wring a chicken's neck--the chicken we had for supper that night--in my earliest childhood.

I married a man with a farm background, whose most cherished dream was to own a farm. And eventually we did, but only as a sideline. I have helped to slaughter and butcher a calf that we raised. I have helped to prepare country-cured hams and shoulders from hogs that we raised. I have helped my late husband dress out many a deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail, and dove that he shot in the fields of our farm. Freshly killed game has a flavor not possible to obtain by purchasing meat in a supermarket.

So, I'm with the heron all the way. A hunter, indeed, as has been frequently noted in this thread--a hunter like me and my kind.

NB: I've seen many a sea-gull come up with a fish out of Corpus Christi Bay and out of the Gulf of Mexico, from a large barrier island a few miles by ferry from Aransas Pass, Texas. Pretty good hunters themselves, sea-gulls.
On a related note, a couple years later than my initial reading I have decided to reread Photo Impressionism and The Subjective Image by Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant. This is the book that finally took what I had read so many times and finally drove the simple truth of photography home for me. It is about the image silly and nothing else.
Sean, I'm ordering this book right away!
And then, I saw the image for the pixels (forest versus trees). I know my understanding of the image has far to go and I have learned things here, perhaps the most profound was also one of the shortest. But it was simply an answer that named a felt emotion as the reason for a comment about an image. I know I think incredibly highly of Freeman Patterson's writing and greatly respect it. I recommend his Photography For The Joy Of It to everyone who asks for a book on digital photography as it discusses how to take photos and not how to copy files.http://www.amazon.com/Impressionism-Subjective-Image-Freeman-Patterson/dp/1552633276/sr=1-1/qid=1158486326/ref=sr_1_1/102-1252104-4226553?ie=UTF8&s=books
Going to find and order this one, too.
Sean
(who took compositions of a band all night and feels very centered)
Mary
(who still seems to be living by a European clock)
 
Mary Bull said:
Only today have I had a look at the Dutch newspaper image from the URL supplied by the OP. The additional links returned me 404 errors, in my browser, Opera 9. So I may have missed the more stunning views.
Maybe a search on the "birdpix" site will turn them up, if you're interested. The fastest method seems to be to search for Location/Plaats and look for "Vianen". Scrolling down some 8 images will get you to the heron in action.

In the photographer's personal album there is another picture of the actual drowning attempt:
http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=62942&sid=313c1fdc9fbd2677c9677b35be359665

What amazed me most is that apparently a heron will drown its prey, no doubt to avoid getting hurt itself when swallowing, quick and clean. I've also seen a picture of a juvenile sparrow, reportedly also drowned before being swallowed by a heron. Obviously its fish prey will suffocate when out of the water long enough. I suppose it's instictive rather than learned behaviour.

Bart
 

Mary Bull

New member
Bart_van_der_Wolf said:
Maybe a search on the "birdpix" site will turn them up, if you're interested. The fastest method seems to be to search for Location/Plaats and look for "Vianen". Scrolling down some 8 images will get you to the heron in action.
I'll have a look after I send this reply to you.
In the photographer's personal album there is another picture of the actual drowning
And at this, too.
What amazed me most is that apparently a heron will drown its prey, no doubt to avoid getting hurt itself when swallowing, quick and clean. I've also seen a picture of a juvenile sparrow, reportedly also drowned before being swallowed by a heron. Obviously its fish prey will suffocate when out of the water long enough. I suppose it's instictive rather than learned behaviour.
Oh, I'm virtually certain that it's hard-wired instinct.

SOT--but about birds of prey which turn some people off: There's the Northern Shrike, which impales the songbirds upon which it feeds on any "nail" it finds to hang them on. Barbed wire fences, for instance. Google turned up this web page, among others, when I did a search:
http://www.enature.com/flashcard/show_flash_card.asp?recordNumber=BD0241

Mary
 

Mary Bull

New member
Maybe a search on the "birdpix" site will turn them up, if you're interested. The fastest method seems to be to search for Location/Plaats and look for "Vianen". Scrolling down some 8 images will get you to the heron in action.
Can;t get my search to work. Tried in both English and Dutch.

In the photographer's personal album there is another picture of the actual drowning attempt:
http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php...677b35be359665
This is an absolutely gorgeous picture. I'm so glad I got, at least, to see it.

The cartoon following it "Next" is pretty startling, also.

Mary
 

Roger Lambert

New member
Sean DeMerchant said:
I just cringe at the thought of a warning on such lovely images.

I can understand people being squeemish, especially with a cute little bunny, but I do not feel that way.

Not to single you out, Sean, for I am not, but I am cringing reading this thread.

A suggestion for a discreet warning for viewers that the material might be disturbing to them, has resulted in a maelstrom of rather defensive
oration on the verity of the artistic depiction of nature in tooth and claw.

I've been a hunter and fisherman most of my life, and daresay I have killed and eaten at least as many animals as most participating in this thread.

I am not only a confirmed and happy omnivore leaning toward the carniverous ( lamb chops, anyone?), but I often espouse that everyone who eats meat should (nearly) be required to go hunting at least once, if only to personally experience the spirituality of the killing, preparation, and consumption of a creature from start to finish.

For as Asher said, ... chickens are NOT pieces of flesh that come on styrofoam platters in the refrigerated section. I am amazed by the hypocracy of nonvegetarians who criticize hunting. For I have far more empathy for the animals who died in order to provide me sustanance than they have ever "brought to the table".

At the same time, I simply can not fathom the objection to a discrete warning for the sqeamish. It is simply good manners to do so!

Not everyone has the same sensibilities, and they deserve a little forewarning, IMO.

To not offer this consideration to others is, to my mind, unkind.

I do not see how such an act of kindness degrades the quality of the images - they stand on their own worth. I do not see how a warning negatively impacts the art or artform we all love. in fact, I see the opposite.

A warning, it seems to me, is an act of tolerance from the photographer to the viewer; as an artist, the photographer asks for tolerance on the part of the public so as to be able to display controversial works. Seems a fair trade.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Roger Lambert said:
For as Asher said, ... chickens are NOT pieces of flesh that come on styrofoam platters in the refrigerated section. I am amazed by the hypocracy of nonvegetarians who criticize hunting. For I have far more empathy for the animals who died in order to provide me sustanance than they have ever "brought to the table".
Roger,

Thanks for picking out this point of hypocracy!

I have to admit, I like meat! I was born with eyes in the front of my head for hunting and the teeth for carnivorous appetite.

However, on my personal moral grounds, I won't hunt with either a bow and arrow or gun so as not to make an animal suffer more than needed today.

I prefer the animal to not be wounded and then be chased, rather to end its life as painlessly as possible.
I would prefer, but cannot of course direct, that people hunt with the lens!

To me, at least, and for my children, there is this perspective. Un hunting that uses modern high precision guns or bows, is generally sport and a thrill that drives a lot of hunting not the need for food. The deer will be killed at least 20% of the time if the hunter can see it.

Yes, we are carnivorous animals. However, as we slowly become "civilized", we can choose to use our compassion to limit pain, even though every other animal is ripping into living creatures with abandon! Animals do play with prey for sport too. But that is another matter.

Asher

However, I'm not on any campaign and don't want to seem to criticize people that do hunt, only that my preference is not to.
 

Bev Sampson

New member
I did not responded to this thread for the reason I hoped it would die quickly. I have seen this topic debated a few times before and have come to the realization that opinions on eigher side will not be changed. Having said that, I would have welcomed a "warning for those animal sensitive". which I am. Viewing that photo has caused me much mental anguish. Sorry but that is the God created me.

Bev
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bev Sampson said:
I did not responded to this thread for the reason I hoped it would die quickly. I have seen this topic debated a few times before and have come to the realization that opinions on eigher side will not be changed. Having said that, I would have welcomed a "warning for those animal sensitive". which I am. Viewing that photo has caused me much mental anguish. Sorry but that is the God created me.

Bev
Hi Bev,

I don't see this thread as getting anyone's opinion changed, just one that informs. The difficult to see picture, after all, is part of the world we choose not to know.

I think you can see from the discussion, that there is a general recognition that we should give warnings so as not to upset people.

I guess this could have been in the Provocative Thoughts and Images Forum and I'm remiss, perhaps, in not moving it there earlier. I did, however, add a warning!

Part of OPF is to be open to everything that reflects life on this planet. Whether social, commercial, beauty or the horrors of war. We will only protect the planet that we have tried to make dominion over, if we have knowledge.

Every time a grasshopper, lion or wedding is shown, we learn. Each catwalk model, bum, slum, lover, child, flea, fly or bottle of perfume informs us and allows us to put a mirror to ourselves and to life itself.

We compare what we like with what we fear, what we cherish and what we despise. That way we might have people treasure more of man and nature itself. We will then understand more of what we see and see what is hidden.

My motives in OPF are payback for everything that I have been given by others and the love of all imaging and art. I see digital photography as a way of making images for art and commerce and allowing anyone to express him(/her)self and show others what is the world we live in.

Of course I too am horrified by the demise of the heron's prey, but then, I learn again my own animal origins and the need for humans not to be cruel themselves.

Showing sex, the horrors of war and other "hard to see" images can either desensitize or inform and allow us to know things better.

I favor openness but with courtesy.

I am sorry for hurt feelings, that is no one's intention. I like this thread, since it helps to bring to people's attention hypocrisy and the need to know about the sheer desperate struggle for survival of all (creatures and life itself) on this planet.

Since we interfere with everything, we threaten everything.

How can we even begin to protect what people know nothing of?

Asher

Our compromise between openness and civility is to have the special forum

http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=62

and that's where this thread is going now.
 

Roger Lambert

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Roger,

Thanks for picking out this point of hypocracy!

I have to admit, I like meat! I was born with eyes in the front of my head for hunting and the teeth for carnivorous appetite.

However, on my personal moral grounds, I won't hunt with either a bow and arrow or gun so as not to make an animal suffer more than needed today.

I prefer the animal to not be wounded and then be chased, rather to end its life as painlessly as possible.
I would prefer, but cannot of course direct, that people hunt with the lens!

To me, at least, and for my children, there is this perspective. In hunting that uses modern high precision guns or bows, its generally sport and just thrill that drives a lot of hunting not the need for food. The deer will be killed at least 20% of the time if the hunter can see it.

Yes, we are carnivorous animals. However, as we slowly become "civilized", we can choose to use our compassion to limit pain, even though every other animal is ripping into living creatures with abandon! Animals do play with prey for sport too. But that is another matter.

Asher

However, I'm not on any campaign and don't want to seem to criticize people that do hunt, only that my preference is not to.
I respect your opinion on this, Asher. :)

And it is an aspect which I have considered.

There have been times when I passed up easy shots on deer, simply because I was in awe of their natural beauty.

But, the way I see it is this:

Every meal that I make from a wild animal I have killed, is one less meal, and likely one less animal, that will NOT be processed in a slaughterhouse.

And that to me is a great blessing - because the horrible life's of animals
born and raised in the meat combines is a suffering that lasts months. Far better, I think, to harvest a game animal that has lived it's life free as nature intended. Their death is usually instantaneous. But even if it took a moment, or minutes - IMO it is still vastly preferable to a lifetime of perverted containment.

And, as this very thread shows so eloquently, nature is cruel. And we are a part of it as surely as the prey. I think it is the mindset that we are NOT a part of nature that is the root of many of the environmental and spiritual dilemmas of our day.

An animal meeting its natural end in the wild usually suffers for a time, in the natural course of things. Our poor bunny is exhibit A. For me, then, even the short suffering I may induce on an animal is not something I feel guilty about. I do regret it - but all death, including those of humans, is to be regretted to some degree.

Therefore, I - for myself - feel that hunting is not only not immoral, but is actually an activity that lessens suffering in the world.

It is also very spiritually important, I think. How else can a modern human being truly understand his place in the world, the direct consequences of his consumptions, the intimate link between our sustenance and nature?

It is one thing to admire a bunny or a bear. It is another to consume one that died by your hand. This is why Native Americans thanked the animals they killed, blessing them.

I think only an extraordinarily cruel person can be a hunter and not be an environmentalist, and an animal lover.

I have very to no respect for the Trophy Hunter who kills only for a wall mount. But to tell you the truth, I really don't think there are that many of them around, thank goodness. Nearly every hunter I have met here in the Northeast feels pretty much as I do.

Best regards,

Roger
 
Bev Sampson said:
I would have welcomed a "warning for those animal sensitive". which I am. Viewing that photo has caused me much mental anguish.
Hi Bev,

That certainly was not what I intended by posting. The post was about sharing observed animal behaviour caught by the powerful medium we forum members like, photography (which requires the balanced mastering of several technical and esthetical principles).

I am saddened that the thread took a turn away from that respect and awe for nature, and the skills/equipment it requires to record it.

I did, after some thought, refrain from an initial warning because I did want to touch on the fact that nature is not cruel. We, in our pampered lifes, may perceive it as cruel but that is due to our distance to nature. The fact that we can strike a nerve and come to that insight with a photograph is what demonstrates the potential for this medium.

Now that the thread has been degraded (sorry Asher, although I know you didn't cause that) to "provocative thoughts" rather than the celebration of amazing nature, I can add that I don't support hunting unless it serves a nature preservation purpose (which recreational hunting almost never does). There is no need for us humans to hunt for food, unlike animals that would starve otherwise.

Bart
 

Don Lashier

New member
IMO no extra warning was needed beyond the original description of the photos. I managed to resist looking at them for several days until the ensuing discussion made me curious.

- DL
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bart_van_der_Wolf said:
Hi Bev,

That certainly was not what I intended by posting. The post was about sharing observed animal behaviour caught by the powerful medium we forum members like, photography (which requires the balanced mastering of several technical and esthetical principles).

I am saddened that the thread took a turn away from that respect and awe for nature, and the skills/equipment it requires to record it.

I did, after some thought, refrain from an initial warning because I did want to touch on the fact that nature is not cruel. We, in our pampered lifes, may perceive it as cruel but that is due to our distance to nature. The fact that we can strike a nerve and come to that insight with a photograph is what demonstrates the potential for this medium.

Now that the thread has been degraded (sorry Asher, although I know you didn't cause that) to "provocative thoughts" rather than the celebration of amazing nature, I can add that I don't support hunting unless it serves a nature preservation purpose (which recreational hunting almost never does). There is no need for us humans to hunt for food, unlike animals that would starve otherwise.

Bart
Hi Bart,

Do not consider the thread downgraded, it is not. In fact, it is here with special attention to how important it is. This is something we all should see and consider, not hide from and delude ourselves.

The pictures you pointed us too show us what is really needed for the beauty of nature to flourish.

Showing a heron with the most stunnig plumage in flight, wading or whatever, is one thing. The pictures you have shared with us are the truth behind all the romanticism.

That is what I like about photography.

No one, however, can complain that they were upset when they find this great thread!

Asher
 
Bart: your statement [At least in nature the killing has a meaning and purpose, namely the cycle of life and natural selection, and it's best to just step back and observe in awe. Photography is a wonderful medium for such observation, because it isolates from distraction, captures the instance, and concentrates on the beauty within.]
I concur with you on that part of your write-ing and I am like-ing the truth that is spoke here!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We need more pictures that reveal to humans the basic facts of life.

We use terms like integrity, team player, honesty, manners and so forth. In terms of family, a lot makes sense with all animals. However, in major part, these are tactics and stratagems. These are just wrappings of more primal motives.

We're after all, merely intelligent, (but self-deluded) "apes with Palm Pilots". We coexist in huge groups, wrapping primal drives in a socially practical blankets and then call ourselves, civilized and superior to animals, which we are not.

Further, by our own moral standards, we're the cruelest of all animals.

All children should be taught this, about the real facts of life, the cycles and chains of necessity; devouring life to exist beyond plants.

We define morality about sex and fidelity! This ignores the true needs of humanity today. Rather "morality" must be reframed in terms of life on this planet and our future.
Morality should be taught in only terms of life itself and the fragile "ecosphere" we live in. Seeing the heron consuming a rabbit is revealing! It breaks the magic spell of children’s storybooks. So the picture, to me, is a moral lesson.

Asher
 
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