Shooting Wildlife with a Camera

I’ve never been a hunter, but let me tell you, I wish, I’d had a rifle after this tale has been told.

The Danes are masters of animal husbandry, which is apparent to those who have experienced the animals found in the Danish Alps. Perhaps the strangest of these is the Camelo, which is a mixture of an Norwegian Camel and a Danish Buffalo. Some might think it odd for Norway to have Camels, but they have existed way back to the time of the Danish Vikings, when they needed to cross the deserts of Old Skagen. These dromedaries have been crossed with the Danish Buffalo, whose reddish fur is accented by its white head and feet. The combination is a sight to behold, say the Dead Alpen Scrolls, but here in the present they are as rare as a liter of gasoline costing under 5 Danish Kroner.

It is said, that the early Settlers decided to cross these two beasts into one massive, hairy, desert-capable beast which could survive the harshest Danish Winters, or the warmest Danish Summers. They were also needed them for use in transporting  them over the snowy mountain passes, not unlike Hannibal and his Elephants.

The most common animal found in the “Alps” is also Denmark’s National Animal, the Grubby Gerbil. This small ratlike, mammal is found chiefly among rock outcrops where most other animals find it difficult to find food and shelter. The Grubby Gerbil, on the other hand, feels right at home in its carcass-strewn domicile, littered with God Knows What it might have come by, then subsequently dragged home in its travels. The Grubby Gerbil does not do well in domestication, and has failed the 5 most common questions concerning its adaptability as a house pet:

  1. Kind to other pets – No, not at all. Has been known to “take over” and ejecting the other pets, similar to the Penguin in Wallace and Gromit. Beware!
  2. Omnivorous – No, definitely not. Will only eat food prepared at the 4-star Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen. Terribly expensive and way overrated.
  3. Clean and Tidy. No. The Grubby Gerbil is the vagabond of the lot, strewing things about, not caring what it chooses to lie in.
  4. Child-friendly. No again. Has been known to steal Lego blocks, hiding them various places, frustrating Children beyond belief.
  5. Warm and Cuddly. Nope, more like cold and indifferent. It has the personality of a Danish Politician, reveling over the defeat of the Social Democrats, after the last election. Politics at its best!

I hoped only to shoot a photo of this animal, as the descriptions were worth more than a 1000 ugly words.

I had recently purchased a brand new Danish Digital Camera the DDC-3. Much more advanced than its predecessors, now equipped with Windmill powered rechargeable batteries, and lightweight construction. The DDC-3 has no peer, especially in its red and white coloring allowing it to blend in at any Danish Soccer Game, or perhaps in fooling the Camelo that the holder of the camera, has no threatening movements other than his hands.

I moved cautiously through the woods, on my way to the rocky cliffs above. The forest floor was littered with leaves from the Danish Oak Tree (Quercus dania, ssp.okiedokiedooky) which is always readily identifiable with its blunt-ended, sharp tongued leaves. I took a moment to admire this deciduous Giant of the Danish Alps. It struck me as being rather obtuse, which is rounded on the free end, but not everyone would agree with this description.

At the end of the forest, the rocky walls began to show themselves. Stubby and stunted Norwegian Ferns and Groggy Swedish Øl flowers were the first plants to be seen. The rockfall under the cliffs showed clear signs of recent activity, which is occurring on a daily basis due to the Tectonic Movement of the Danish Subduction Zone. I carefully removed my camera from its bag, allowing it to expand using its automatic inflatable camera body and classic cardboard baffle system.

It was quieter than a Danish Church on Sunday, but I still was hopeful of catching something on my flash memory, something to share with the world.

I caught a glimpse of movement out of the hjørne of my eye. It looked like…, It could be… It was a CAMELO! There it was just standing there, saying to me, “Come closer baby, it’s only you and me…”. Just as I was ready to take the picture of the Century, a Grubby Gerbil fell down upon my head, pecking at it,as if I were birdseed, and it was a bird. “GET OFF OF ME”, I yelled, wishing at that moment in time, I had a rifle, an ax, or a silly stick to bludgeon the bugger. Alas in the commotion, the Camelo trounced away into the distant forest, leaving nothing but a pile of Camelo poop in its wake.

The Grubby Gerbil lay there, looking up at me, almost laughing at my despair. I looked around for something heavy, and disregarding the fact that this was Denmark’s National Animal, Protected and Pampered, I was ready to end its misery, once and for all.

Just then Ranger Rolf came by, smiling and grunting in true Ranger-style. I quickly acted as if nothing had happened, and smiled affectionately at the Grubby Gerbil beneath me.

“Wakka-Dakka”, said Ranger Rolf. “What, I don’t understand?” “Wakka-Dakka is the feeling that one gets when dealing with Grubby Gerbils. It is derived from Ancient Danish, “Wakka” or, “Why Can’t I” and “Dakka” meaning “smash the little guy”. I understand perfectly, but alas the little fellow is protected under the law. I suggest, you take a few pictures, then back away slowly, and return to your car once again.

I followed his advice, but only after taking what anyone else would give his left fetlock for, a picture of Camelo-poop! It was rather colorful, and hopefully, in a future blog, I’ll try to do it justice by including it on my home page.

Here’s your Danish for this blog: Wakka-Dakka!