Wild? When most people think of Florida images of sunshine, flip flops, beaches and theme parks come to mind and the term “wild” really doesn’t enter into it. The Florida that Marks and I encounter is vastly different.
Here’s a little background. Marks was born here, raised on his grandparents farm. He spent a lot of his time in the woods, hunting, fishing and photographing. He knows these woods like the back of his hand. I, on the other hand, was born in The Netherlands and at a very young age moved to Africa where I grew up. Vastly different. My parents always took my brother and I on some type of sight seeing excursion on the weekends. It might have been climbing the rocks at Domboshawa, or looking for wild life in one of the many game parks.
Marks and I do not stick to the well worn paths in the woods when we go photographing. We set out with our backpacks, tripods, machete and snake boots and venture into lesser traveled areas. During these trips we encounter a lot of the lesser spotted wild life that is pretty abundant still here in Florida. I have been known to cuss out my snake boots. They’re not the most comfortable thing to wear, especially when you’re carrying about 25 lbs of equipment on your back. One very hot summer day (felt like about 100 degrees Fahrenheit with about 100% humidity) we were traipsing back from a photographic trip. I was tired, hot and running out of steam. Cussing out my snake boots I looked down and saw a snake lying in the path where I was about to step, a water moccasin, one of the more aggressive snakes found in Florida. I have to admit that changed my mind about the wearing of the boots. Since that time we have seen many more snakes – rattle snakes, coral snakes, pygmy rattlers – the list goes on. I will never cuss out my life saving boots again (well not out loud anyway).
The following images were taken on one of our excursions off the beaten path. We were definitely not on a path of any description. In fact we were in an area that Marks had told me was frequented by wild hogs. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and there she was, babies in tow, mama hog and her little oinkers. She was wary and, therefore, difficult to capture on film.
See the hair on her neck and shoulders? It’s known as a razor and this is, therefore, a razor backed hog.
There are also hogs in this area that have bred with domesticated hog and are slightly different looking.
This proud boar hog is one of the mixed variety. You can see the lack of the hair on the back of the neck and shoulders and his dappled coloring.
Above another view of the boar hog.
Hog do not stand still for very long. They are constantly rooting around and moving. Mama hog was not happy that we were there either. She caught our scent and thankfully headed off in another direction with her babies. Like most wildlife, they are very protective of their young.
All the above were shot with the Nikon N50, loaded with Ilford HP5 @ 200.
Thanks for viewing and enjoy the weekend.