So...I was sitting in the car park at Hagley Park and this little booger goes bounding across the stones and tucks himself under the tyre of one of the cars parked.
I get my camera out, thinking, no way I'm gonna be quick enough.
Quickly, he hops between the cars and hides under another one. I'm pretty sure he knows I'm there. I can sense his caution.
By this point I'm thinking surely my time is running out. He's not gonna let me get any closer, and he's going to make a break for it any minute.
Then, he's gone. Scurried away.
But hang on. What's that little blob?
Yep...it's him again. Bolder....he's sitting out in the open, munching away on something little, not a care in the world. I think he's decided I'm not going to hurt him.
But he doesn't sit still for long. He's on the move again. Runs to a huge oak tree and starts to climb.
This little guy is watching it all from a safe distance.
Time for a rest. He tucks his nose into a tiny crevice, breathing hard. This being a model is hard work.
Now I'm wondering about the macro lens. It'd be fun to try and get some close up shots. But the car and my camera bag is 50 metres away. If I go get the other lens he'll probably be gone when I get back. So I watch him for a while longer, then decide to go for the macro.
When I get back he's still there. Or maybe it's a she. Anyway. He's still chowing down on...something. I think he missed me.
I explain to him the concept of macro. It's close up. Close. Up. He nods, understanding. He doesn't seem to mind my demands.
So down I squat, carefully. I'm sure he's still a little nervous about the whole "close up" thing. Set camera to manual focus. Stupid lens. Auto-focus is too slow. He's patient. Munching.
I sloooooowly move the camera lens closer to him. Snapping away. He's not completely co-operative. He's refusing to look me in the eye. Or the lens. But at least he's not running away, and I'm getting closer to him.
Munch munch munch.
Scrunch scrunch scrunch.
I feel we're ready to move our relationship to another level. Move in just a little closer. Just a few centimetres away, he's not concerned at all.
I don't know what he's eating but it must be delicious. He's oblivious and I'm pretty sure I saw him burp and smile.
I'm pushing my luck, I know. No way he's going to let me get any closer. Not that I need to because I'm almost at the focal length of the lens, and I sense he's gonna make a run for it.
But no. He's not going to make a run for it. He's possibly as curious as I am. He doesn't run away from my lens, he jumps towards it. My camera is basically on the ground.
Now, while I'm not normally inclined to post blurry, out of focus photos (it's hard to even confess that I take blurry OOF photos!), but I thought I'd make an exception. Because this photo below is of my new little friend...SITTING INSIDE MY LENS HOOD!! (the brown blob bottom right-ish). Sorry it's not in focus, but I'm not sure any lens within my budget could take that photo in focus.
I'm not sure I'm ready to call myself a wild-life photographer, and I'm pretty sure National Geographic won't be calling me any time soon, but I had a fun 40 minutes or so with this little guy. I left him sitting in his cubby hole at the base of the oak tree, still happily munching away. When I left the park half an hour later he was nowhere to be seen. Felt a little sad about that.