Friday, January 23, 2015

A study in spots!

Quite a few regular readers have asked for more photos of Jasmine, our rather special daily visitor to Pamuzinda. I last posted a blog on her on 3rd October 2014 - and if you have not yet read that, you can find all my old postings at the top right of this page. Just search by date.

So today will be a study in spots, and some pics of giraffe such as you have never seen before.

I promise

Because she is so tame, I was able to take some very unusual photos, and though I hardly ever devote a blog to one person (or thing) - in this case I shall. Jasmine is about a year old, and her mother died when she was 2 weeks old. She was brought up by one of the guides at Pamuzinda - Shepherd, who fed her milk with a bottle. Jasmine is now about a year old, and is growing nicely. She runs free in the park, but returns to the lodge pretty much every day for horse cubes (some call them 'nuts') at around 2.00pm most days.

She runs free the rest of the day - and has even been seen with the wild giraffes, so hopefully she will find herself a nice husband, and one day return with her baby. That would be really cool.

It is because she is so tame that I was able to take these photos while feeding her, and I shall feature various parts of her to show you what a giraffe looks like up close and personal. I start with the most obvious feature of any giraffe - her neck. Despite having the same number of bones in it as your neck or mine, it goes on for ever. . .

And if you stroke her on the neck, it is immediately apparent that she has huge muscles to support the weight of her head. It is not often that you can feel raw power without it actually being applied - but in this case you can. Amazing strength.

The strangest mouth - giraffes don't have top teeth, and they look very much like a camel. A very pouty top lip - rather like when my middle daughter is very, very cross, completes the picture

And though she has a mouth that only a very serious boyfriend could kiss, she has the most soulful eyes that literally swim as she looks at you, with lashes to die for . . . .

Despite the amazing eyelashes, her eyebrows are a little startling when seen up close - but all designed to protect her eyes from getting scratches when she is feeding off the upper branches of the thorny acacia trees where she finds the juiciest leaves.

This is my very favorite photo of her. Not many people have this angle of a giraffe in their collection, and it accentuates her eyes and grace . . . .

The question is this - how many spots does Jasmine have?

The answer is below the photo, but have a guess and see how close you get?

The answer is 1,467 or . . . . . . . 1,468 - if you pick up her tail!!!

Just kidding.

Have a great day!

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