Picture Parade Two Hundred and Forty-Five

Part Two of these beautiful wildlife photos

I am still proclaiming that these are the most beautiful wildlife photographs you have ever seen.

To ensure that copyright ownership is presented correctly, I shall be including the text that comes with the photographs.

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These beautiful photos speak loud and clear for wildlife

 ANGELA NELSON, October 19, 2017

Andrey Narchuk’s photo of mating sea angels in Russia, ‘Romance among the angels,’ landed him a finalist spot in the Behaviour: Invertebrates category. (Photo: Andrey Narchuk /Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Andrey Narchuk of Russia didn’t intend to photograph sea angels on the day he snapped this shot in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East. He tells the museum he was on an expedition to photograph salmon, but when he jumped into the water, he found himself surrounded by mating sea angels. So he switched to his macro equipment and started photographing the pairs of tiny molluscs, which are just over an inch long.

“Each individual is both male and female, and here they are getting ready to insert their copulatory organs into each other to transfer sperm in synchrony,” according to the museum. “One is slightly smaller than the other, as was the case with most of the couples Andrey observed, and they remained joined for 20 minutes.”

Laura Albiac Vilas of Spain is a finalist in the 11- to 14-year-old group for ‘Glimpse of a lynx.’ (Photo: Laura Albiac Vilas/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Another finalist in the 11- to 14-year-old age group is ‘Glimpse of a lynx” by Laura Albiac Vilas of Spain. The Iberian lynx is an endangered cat found only in southern Spain. Vilas and her family traveled to the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in search of the lynx, and got lucky on the second day when they found a pair near a road.

She told the museum that many photographers were present, but there was an atmosphere of respect as the only sound was the camera noise when the animals looked in their direction. “The animals’ attitude surprised me. They weren’t scared of people, they simply ignored us,” says Vilas. “I felt so emotional to be so close to them.”

‘The power of the matriarch,’ taken at Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve by David Lloyd of New Zealand and the U.K., is a finalist in the Animal Portraits category. (Photo: David Lloyd/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Talk about texture. David Lloyd of New Zealand and the U.K. snapped this shot of an elephant in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve during the herd’s evening trek to a waterhole.

“As they got closer to his vehicle, he could see that the mellow light from the fast-setting sun was emphasizing every wrinkle and hair… He could see the different qualities of different parts of their — the deep ridges of their trunks, the mud-caked ears and the patina of dried dirt on their tusks,” according to the museum.

This was the female leading about a dozen others. Lloyd says she was probably the matriarch and he describes her gaze as “full of respect and intelligence — the essence of sentience.”

American Jack Dykinga is a finalist in the Plants and Fungi category with ‘Saguaro twist.’ (Photo: Jack Dykinga/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Saguaro cacti in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert National Monument fill the frame of ‘Saguaro twist’ by American Jack Dykinga, landing him a spot as a finalist in the Plants and Fungi category. These cacti can live to be 200 years old and grow 40 feet tall, though they grow very slowly and not always straight up.

The museum describes how Dykinga got this particular shot:

Most water is stored in sponge-like tissue, defended by hard external spines and a waxy-coated skin to reduce water loss. The surface pleats expand like accordions as the cactus swells, its burgeoning weight supported by woody ribs running along the folds. But the saturated limbs are vulnerable to hard frost – their flesh may freeze and crack, while the mighty arms twist down under their loads. A lifetime of searching out victims near his desert home led Jack to know several that promised interesting compositions. ‘This one allowed me to get right inside its limbs,’ he says. As the gentle dawn light bathed the saguaro’s contorted form, Jack’s wide angle revealed its furrowed arms, perfectly framing its neighbours before the distant Sand Tank Mountains.

‘Saved but caged’ by Steve Winter of the United States is a finalist for the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image. (Photo: Steve Winter/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

This captivating image, which is a finalist for the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category, has a sad backstory.

This 6-month-old Sumatran tiger cub got a hind leg caught in a snare set in a rainforest in Aceh Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. He was found during an anti-poaching forest patrol, but the leg was so badly injured that doctors had to amputate. And while he’s lucky to be alive, the cub will spend the rest of his life in a zoo.

In the wild, the Sumatran tiger population may be as low as 400 to 500 individuals, the result of poaching to fuel the illegal trade in tiger parts, the museum says.

Another finalist in the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category is ‘Sewage surfer’ by Justin Hofman of the United States. (Photo: Justin Hofman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Justin Hofman of the United States traveled to a reef near Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, to snap “Sewage surfer,” another finalist in the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category.

Seahorses hitch rides on the currents by grabbing floating objects such as seaweed with their delicate prehensile tails, the museum explains. Hofman says he watched with delight as this tiny seahorse “almost hopped” from one bit of natural debris to the next. However, when the tide started to come in, so did other things, like bits of plastic, sewage and sludge. Soon, the seahorse was surfing the waves on a waterlogged cotton swab.

‘The insiders’ by Qing Lin of China is a finalist in the Under Water category. (Photo: Qing Lin/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

With echoes of “Finding Nemo,” “The insiders” by Qing Lin of China is a finalist in the Under Water category.

Lin noticed something strange about this group of anemonefish while diving in the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Each one had an “extra pair of eyes inside its mouth — those of a parasitic isopod (a crustacean related to woodlice),” the museum explains. “An isopod enters a fish as a larva, via its gills, moves to the fish’s mouth and attaches with its legs to the base of the tongue. As the parasite sucks its host’s blood, the tongue withers, leaving the isopod attached in its place, where it may remain for several years.”

It took patience and luck to snap a photo of these quick, unpredictable fish to line up just right.

‘Winter pause’ by Mats Andersson of Sweden is a finalist in the Black and White category. (Photo: Mats Andersson /Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Photographer Mats Andersson of Sweden tells the Natural History Museum that he walks every day in the forest near his home, often stopping to watch the red squirrels foraging in the spruce trees. Winter is tough on animals, and though many squirrels hibernate, red squirrels do not.

Their winter survival is linked to a good crop of spruce cones, the museum says, and they prefer woodland with conifers. They also store food to help get them through the winter.

One cold February morning, this red squirrel “closed its eyes for just a moment, paws together, fur fluffed, then resumed its search for food,” according to the museum.

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What an incredible standard of excellence by so many photographers.

You all have a very good week!

15 thoughts on “Picture Parade Two Hundred and Forty-Five

    1. I have always thought of elephants as very wise animals. You mentioning Phoenix causes me to reply that when Jean and I moved to the USA, from Mexico where we met in December 2007, we purchased a house in Payson, some 80 miles NE of Phoenix and up in the mountains at 5,000 feet.

      1. If it wasn’t for some doubts about the reliability long term of the aquifer that all of Payson drew its water from we would still be living there!

      2. Oregon is far better. Where you were it didn’t get as sweltering as Phoenix. At the time, I enjoyed warm weather, now, temperate climates work for me.

  1. Wow, such fantastic images and all worthy contenders, but my heart went out to the Sumatran Tiger. He portrays terror and anger all in one shot. I felt his pain and frustration. He will know from the scents around the trap, that man is the reason for his severe injury, that man has put him in a cage. He will not understand the surgery. Will he ever feel safe again? I don’t think he will. 😢

    1. We have two rescue horses here at home. The more elderly one is Ranger and we arranged for him to come from the horse rescue centre Strawberry Mountain Mustangs located at Roseburg in Oregon. This was not long after we moved in. A few days before Ranger was to be brought to us Darla, the founder of SMM, rang us to ask if we might consider taking two horses.

      Apparently a much younger horse had been confiscated by Roseburg Sheriff from a so-called family because the horse was being beaten, denied food and being shot at!! with an air-rifle because it was considered a dangerous horse!

      Of course we said “Yes!” and Ben, as we named him, arrived with Ranger. He immediately allowed Jean to fondle him but was very hostile to me. However, within a few weeks Ben also fully accepted me. Most mornings when I feed Ben and Ranger both horses will allow me to kiss them on their muzzles.

      A post I published back in 2014 is here: https://learningfromdogs.com/2014/04/18/ben-ranger-settled-in/

      So maybe, just maybe, the tiger will learn to differentiate between kind and unkind people!

      1. You are right of course, but your ranch is a long way from an Indonesian zoo. The Asian community is only slowly learning to see animals as sentient. Conditions in zoos Indonesian zoos are a long way from what you or I would consider a sanctuary.

        But that was a wonderful thing you did for your rescue horses Paul. I am in awe of you and Jean!💖

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