A Word a Week Challenge: Zoom

On the very last day of my safari in the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya, our driver surprised us by pulling the van up to a crowd of other vehicles that had circled around 10 lions feasting on a wildebeest. It was quite the sight.

ImageAs I took a second to really take in what I was watching, I mindlessly changed the lens on my camera to zoom. I could do this, then, without looking and it practically came second hand, however, now in my busier, less exciting life in Mount Pleasant, I have to continue to teach myself all over again how to even use my camera (sad, right?).

I took a couple shots of the lions and their dinner. Some of them included guts being pulled out, or lions getting up, stretching and laying back down to continue to feast. This picture is my favorite, though.

ImageI think I enjoy it the most because, if you just look at it without knowing the back story, one lion could be taking a nap while the other one is yawning. That, however, is not the case at all. 

The lion on the left was at the beginning of a roar before sticking his head back into the wildebeest’s stomach. I’m not too sure what the one of the right is doing, but besides the blood covered face, it’s looking pretty relaxed.

I can still hear their low roars and grumbles as they all tried and get as much food as possible and although we were rather close, I was glad I had a chance to zoom in on their fuzzy, blood stained, little faces.

On another note, one of the first nights on the safari we ended up coming across a few lions. If I recall correctly, there was one male and two females. They were all just laying about and relaxing as the sun set behind the Kenyan mountains I never grew tired of seeing.

ImageThis was the male lion. He had a black(ish) mane and freshly scratched face. Our driver, Opayne, said it was probably from a play fight and the lion probably didn’t even notice the scratch anymore. Although I don’t necessary believe him, I’d like to pretend he was right just so I don’t have to picture this rather strong animal in pain.

I didn’t have my zoom on my camera for this picture, I know that kind of defeats the idea of this challenge, but I’d just like to point out that we didn’t need a zoom most of the time. We got so close to these animals and they were so used to these vehicles driving around them. If they got annoyed they would casually get up and slowly walk a few feet away to continue napping again.

I remember the feeling in my stomach while I took this picture. We were probably only 3-4 feet away from this lion and he was staring right at me as I captured his glance straight on. It was terrifyingly thrilling and overwhelming all at once. 

As we drove away from both of these lion sightings I couldn’t help but think, “Holy lion, did that really just happen?”