Jumpin' Jack

Jumpin' Jack

Posted on 10/15/2006

Photo taken on October  7, 2006


utata leaf
I love nature
at me

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Who are you?

Who are you?
- And why do you keep pointing that thing at me?
It happened like this:

I was standing there on the brim of that not-so-dense but still quite impressive-looking forest. Humidity was close to the condensation point and the daylight was fading fast.

The bat I tried to get from a good angle the last few minutes, suddenly stirred and stared at me. Something must've startled and awaken him from his slumber.

Suddenly I realised I'm all alone. My group was gone. I was left there in the middle of wilderness ... without any food, no lamp - and most important - no weapons to defend myself from whatever was there lurking in the shadows.

And then I heard this strange noise - like something's been whispering thru the nearby foliage...

All bats were really alarmed now - shrieking and nervously moving about the branches.

"Oh-oh, this doesn't look good", went through my mind and I started looking for some cover. Alas, I can't hang from a thin branch like those bats do and it didn't seem wise to move deeper in the forest, since that's probably there where the danger lied in wait.

So I took a few careful steps in the open, trying to make as little noise as possible, glancing over my shoulders continuously. I put the camera in it's bag, wrapped the strap around my hand and gave it an experimental swing around. Couldn't exactly stun a lion with it, but against any smaller beast it would had to do.

The only alternative was my trusted Swiss army knife, which is a formiddable tool otherwise - and I've seen that fella McGyver build a nuclear device with it, using no more than some paper clips and an orange peel - but somehow it didn't feel as the right weapon for the moment - unless fierce jungle beasts would arrive pre-cooked in tin cans...

Meanwhile the noise grew louder and stranger, until suddenly ... it sounded like a booming burst of strange foreign words...

"Veer beaten uhle bezoohir dam oor-valt-hose tsoom ferlussen.
Dar zoh shleest zeeh im draiseeh meenootan..."

This strange chant was repeated over and over with short pauses in between. What bizarre ritual this ominous prayer - or whatever it was - might foretell, I had no idea...

... until I remembered, I have to switch to German since this is the language used in Vienna - even though I haven't been speaking any of it the whole day, since our hosts endulged us and have used English all the time. So I left the rain forest greenhouse and hastened to get a few quick shots outside, before the zoo closed for the day...
Same bat as in this photo, from different angle. I like this one better, but since leaves here conceal the body, I decided to upload both.

Having only the background light isn't really what I'd wish for and since using a fill flash wasn't exactly an option, I had to totally burn the background and later 'shop the levels even more to get the face somewhat recognizable.