Thirst comes first.

MALE LEOPARD DRINKING - Londolozi Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa

Silent paws pad down the dirt road, leaving perfect prints. Leopard prints. Warren has picked up the trail of this most elusive cat. It appears to be a male, heading for water. Our eyes scan ahead for the flash of his tail tip. Nothing. Still, my pulse quickens as I flick the video camera onto standby. Leopards are among the rarest of game drive diamonds. We approach the dam slowly, spotlight sweeping from side to side.

The rustle of passing leaves whispers that someone has snuck from view. But we’re focussed forward. Rounding the road’s last bend, we see him! Cutting the engine, we coast closer for a more intimate look. Not too close, preserving the dignity of his personal space. Our frail human faculties can’t detect his scent, although the reverse seems true. Muscles bunch beneath his sleek spots, anticipating action. This is the way at waterholes. Encounters with other creatures are on the cards. After all, Thirst waits for no-one.

Quotes to consider:

“You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.” – William Langewiesche

“When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” – Ingrid Newkirk

“Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases” – Chinese Proverb

“Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.” – Irish Proverb

“They talk of my drinking but never my thirst” – Scottish Proverb

“Thirst will parch your tongue and your body will waste through lack of sleep ere you can describe in words that which painting instantly sets before the eye” – Leonardo da Vinci

While reminiscing about the Sabi Sand reserve, and taking a cue from that last quote, I simply have to share a few more of Dave’s photo’s with you. These are from another spectacular sighting at Londolozi, legendary playground of South African leopards. We followed this female for a magical hour or more, before she leapt up a tree:

FEMALE LEOPARD EYES - Londolozi Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa

FEMALE LEOPARD PAW - Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

In videography terms, we call those shots ‘simple reveals’. Now for the ‘wide establisher’:

FEMALE LEOPARD LYING IN TREE - Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

Don’t you just love her body language, delightfully draped in her natural vantage point?

About Naomi

Personal branding photographer, videographer, speaker and trainer, helping visionary leaders shine on camera and become the star of their premium brand!
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17 Responses to Thirst

  1. cindy says:

    Oh my hat, these photos just took my breath away.
    I am going to call my family to look too.

    Naomi, please could you tell me how you post these / save them? My food pics look stunning on my pc, but as soon as I put them onto WordPress they look simply awful.

    • Naomi says:

      Thank you, Cindy! I’ll pass on to Dave 🙂

      Because images are our business I take quite a lot of care over uploading them. This is my workflow, which may be useful to you:

      1. Duplicate the pic into two folders: High Res (for the record/future use) and Low Res (for web use).
      2. Downsize the Low Res version for web (+- 400KB) which is faster for processing, good enough to view online, but not to print.
      3. Copy the Low Res image into a Watermark Source folder.
      3. Add a watermark via iWatermark (inexpensive downloadable program).
      4. Upload to WordPress, using the Medium size as a default, before upscaling the size (maintaining proportion) in the HTML code.

      I’ve noticed that images look worse if you upload them using the smallest thumbnail size, even if you enlarge them afterwards. It may be that this is causing your problem?

  2. Lance says:

    Incredible shots by Dave!! And what an experience – to be in the presence…to be seeing…these leopards.

    I personally just love the leopard paw shot!!

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Lance, which I’ll pass on to Dave! He never ceases to amaze me 🙂

      If you ever have the chance to visit Africa and fancy seeing leopards, the Sabi Sand reserve is the place to go. We spent years exploring the bush, barely glimpsing any, before being blessed with this opportunity, thanks to a good friend who was the head ranger at Londolozi. It was the long weekend of a lifetime!!

      I’m with you on the paw shot – absolutely love close little crops 🙂

  3. Jingle says:

    excellent images,

  4. souldipper says:

    Simply amazing, Naomi. The paw profoundly captivates me, too. This has been a feast for my senses.

  5. nrhatch says:

    Paraphrasing Da Vinci:

    Thirst will parch my tongue and my body will waste through lack of sleep ere I can describe in words that which these photos instantly set before my eye.

    Thanks, Naomi

  6. Breathtaking photographs and a feast of quotes. What more could one want? Thirst really is the great leveller, isn’t it? Something so overpowering that one would risk anything to quench it.

    Thanks. This post is a gem.

  7. Pingback: Heaven (Or A Reasonable Facsimile) « Spirit Lights The Way

  8. Tokeloshe says:

    Absolutely stunning post and photos!

    You have a beautiful blog.

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