What’s your favourite sense?
I think one of many limitations with interacting with wildlife is that we can’t use enough senses.
It’s pretty hard to do photography without sight and it just occurred to me that I take that for granted.
Hearing amazing sounds, like the call of the loon, definitely enhances the experience. The unexpected grunts of bison leave me wondering what exactly they are trying to communicate, if anything. It’s hard to incorporate those sounds into photos. As a kid I used to enjoy scratch and sniff books – maybe that could be enhanced to scratch and listen!
I don’t ever recall being close enough to wildlife to smell them and perhaps that’s for the better. I’m guessing after getting enough to eat and avoiding predators, cleanliness isn’t high on the list for most creatures. On the other hand, nature has its own unique fresh smells like meadows and forests immediately after a spring shower. I am often reminded of smells when I look at a photo – a sense that obviously doesn’t connect with viewers who weren’t there.
The sense that I’m really missing out on is touch. My opportunities are limited.
Some animals would theoretically be a lot more touchable than others. Certain species, like people, definitely aren’t the touchy, feely, hugging type.
I’m happy to leave creatures like snakes and porcupines at a safe distance. Even the garter snakes we handled as kids left me clammy, cold and disinterested. However, if the risks were eliminated, some others would be really tempting.
The horn on a Rocky Mountain Sheep has a fascinating texture – I can imagine running my fingers around the curve to feel the ridges and doing it again. And who wouldn’t want to feel the velvet on the antlers of an elk? Is it as soft as it looks? I’d probably pat a moose’s nose and please don’t tell me you could avoid the temptation of tugging on the goatee! Yes I think I’m really missing out on touching wildlife.
What animal would you like to touch – assuming, of course, there were no repercussions?