Thursday, March 08, 2007

I Decide To Gopher It

I would say this photo above is my usual photo of a pocket gopher, but that would not be entirely true. My usual shot is simply a mound of sand with no discernable opening ... the after effects of gopher activity.

This photo shows an actual opening and even the swirling vortex of leaf and sand that the little bugger left as he dashed back into his hole.

I took a lot of these vortex style shots.


Eventually, I got the hang of his rhythm ... disappear into stygian darkness, push sand up, rapidly shove sand out, pause briefly at entrance, disappear into ... well, you know.

I crouched there for about 15 minutes shooting and wondering ...

How does he keep the sand out of his eyes?

How soft is that fur?

How sharp are those eyes? He lives in the dark afterall.

He's not naked mole rat ugly like I expected. He's guinea pig cute actually.

... and fast, did I mention he was fast? I think this photo gives a sense of movement.
If you browse Pure Florida, you'll find I've photographed everything from sperm whales to butterflies, but I'm as stoked about getting this little guy as any of those shots.
How do you say thank you to a root chomping subterranean dwelling sprite?
When I finished photographing him, I dropped a carrot down his burrow.
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20 comments:

pablo said...

I was going to make some witty comment about "toil in the soil", but that sure doesn't look like soil.

Woodie said...

He lools like the prarie dogs I saw out in Oklahoma at Fort Sill. they are everywhere out there, and are extremely fast at getting below ground. You were lucky to get the photo.

pissed off patricia said...

Damn dude, that's an excellent picture. I have held one of these little fellows and the fur is the softest thing I have ever touched. It's somewhere between cream and velvet.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Excellent photos. You have once again validated the truth of the Pure Florida masthead.

Alan said...

Excellent photos, but did you have to give the thing carrots? I'll send you all of mine. I'm sure they'd enjoy the treats.

.....Alan {laughing}

Laura said...

Wow, gopher shots at last! These critters are notoriously hard to photograph and these are excellent shots, especially the last one... he sure was a busy little guy.

One of our dogs caught one a long time ago, they sure do have big teeth!

robin andrea said...

Yay! The gopher pics! What a fantastic moment, fc. That is the cutest little critter. Excellent photography too. I do get the sense of action and quickness. That's one very busy gopher.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

The word is "WOW" for those amazing photos of the cute little gopher.

roger said...

double wow! i am in awe of your patience, or at least your ability to seize the photo op. i am reminded of the aphorism....chance favors the prepared mind.

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
We haven't been above sealevel as long as Misery.

Woodie,
Luck and being 10 feet from my camera!


POP,
Lucky you! I would have predicted that kind of softness from the looks of it.


Hal,
Thanks! Just trying to stay out there in it.


Alan,
Are you sending me all your carrots or all your gophers?


Laura,
God knows, Feather has tried to catch one, but happily she has failed so far. I think I could have caught this one!

Robin,
It was kind of a long lead up!
Glad you liked them :)

Sandy,
It was a bit of serendipity and camera proximity. Thanks!

roger,
i have about 20 keeper photos of this cooperative rascal, some better than these. thinking about freelancing a bit again.
very true... that little saying.

misti said...

Cute! I don't think I've seen a gopher before!

Deb said...

That's our state's University mascot. When we lived in a sandier area, they were everywhere in our yard. I don't think I've seen one here; they must not like running into boulders in the soil.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You are so kind to non-mole rats. Now then, tomorrow drop an apple.

LauraHinNJ said...

Congrats on getting the pics! He's pretty cute.

SophieMae said...

Ditto all the WoW's! Timing is definitely everything. You have better pics than these? Mega-WoW!

Floridacracker said...

Misti,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
Thanks, he is pretty cute.

Deb,
I wouldn't either.
Our mascot was the chambered nautilus ... Go Snails!

Hoss,
I have one picked out.

Laurahinnj,
Thanks ... a lifer for me.

Sophie,
Megathanks!
I have some closer, side views... I may try a little freelance article and they generally want unpublished pics. Just being careful.
If I get rejected, I'll post them too at some far future date.

threecollie said...

Those is amazing pictures

Cathy said...

I just love that you dropped a carrot down that hole. You're an old softy. Congratulations! That's a great sequence. My husband was leaning over my shoulder and wondered the same thing you did about the sand in his eyes.

Thunder Dave said...

FC, You've out done yourself! I felt like I was right there!

Floridacracker said...

ThreeCollie,
Thankey! Took a lifetime.

Cathy,
He seemed like he was working really hard and could use the carbs.

ThunderD,
If you had been, I would have shared a carrot with you too.