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21 October 2016 / leggypeggy

Pench delivers—again

Leopard Pench

Romance was in the air today!

It all started this morning at Pench Tiger Reserve in central India. We’ve had numerous safaris through Pench over the last three years, but today was the first time we’d ventured to a distant end of the reserve.

That’s when we saw her, strolling along the road enjoying the solitude of a chilly morning. Within seconds she spotted us and bolted into the bush before we could get a pic. We raced forward in the Gypsy (small four-wheel drive) to where she’d vanished, but she was now just a blur in the scrub. We lingered a while, hoping she’d gather courage and reappear, but nope.

Male leopard, Pench

As we were about to give up and turn back, he came in to view, padding toward us, yet not seeing us.

It didn’t take long to figure out he was a man on a mission. He zigzagged back and forth across the road, sniffing the ground, the grasses and the air. Ah, yes, he was on her trail.

And for the next 70 minutes we watched poor Albert (I’ll soon explain why I’ve called him Albert) do his best to lure her out of hiding.

Leopard at tree

He sniffed and scratched, piddled and sprayed, and sawed. Male leopards make the most extraordinary bellowing when they are trying to call a female to them. It’s called sawing and that’s because it sounds exactly like someone cutting down a tree with a handsaw.

Anand and Deepti say it is most unusual for leopards to linger in plain view for as long as Albert did.  They are naturally skittish and a sighting of a minute or two is considered a long viewing.

But Albert had only one thing on his mind, and it wasn’t us. So we were left to follow him for as long as he stayed within view. He roamed back and forth across the road, scratched trees and sat on rocks to saw pitifully.

Either the girl was far away by now, or just not interested. His woeful sawing reminded me of another Albert, a likeable yet semi-tragic figure who graces some of the stories on Fifty Words Daily.

I hope both Alberts end up getting the girl.

As for us—it was the most remarkable leopard sighting I will probably ever see.

P.S. I took about 200 photos in 70 minutes and it’s been hard to choose the ones to share. Plus I had to rush before the lodge turned off the internet—my first connection in a week. I may be compelled to share more later. 🙂

Leopard walking, Pench

 

 

81 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. spearfruit / Oct 21 2016 4:06 am

    Amazing animal – amazing photos – thanks Peggy.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. theunassuminghiker / Oct 21 2016 4:06 am

    Absolutely beautiful!!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. fiftywordsdaily / Oct 21 2016 4:31 am

    Albert is so excited to be named after such an amazing animal! And to be honest Albert doesn’t usually do excited. I don’t think I’ve seen him smile so much before! Thanks – hope you’re having a great time. Brilliant post as always!

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:32 am

      I rather hoped Albert would enjoy this. I think I can even see his smile beaming towards me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fiftywordsdaily / Oct 25 2016 4:11 am

        To be honest, his winning smile can seem quite disturbing but this time it actually seems quite sunny! Hope you’re having the very best of times! Nick

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 4:18 am

        Albert sunny? Oh my! We are having a great time.

        Like

  4. beetleypete / Oct 21 2016 4:33 am

    Great shots, Peggy. A real once in a lifetime experience.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:33 am

      Definitely once in a lifetime. I feel so lucky.

      Like

  5. Laurie / Oct 21 2016 5:00 am

    Such beautiful animals and how lucky of you to able to see him for so long. Wonderful pictures!

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:33 am

      We felt so fortunate. Can still see him in my mind’s eye.

      Like

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:34 am

      Thanks. I know we were so lucky.

      Like

  6. ralietravels / Oct 21 2016 5:28 am

    Wow!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. sepultura13 / Oct 21 2016 5:39 am

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful, majestic animal! Lovely.
    🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Rhonda / Oct 21 2016 6:47 am

    Great photos, and a very handsome model. Lucky you!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. lulu / Oct 21 2016 7:37 am

    This will stay in your mind for a long time as one of your more unique experiences.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:35 am

      Yes, it will probably stay in my mind forever.

      Like

  10. wfdec / Oct 21 2016 8:22 am

    What a wonderful encounter.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. sunnydaysinseattle / Oct 21 2016 9:48 am

    Great photography!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. SyS / Oct 21 2016 10:21 am

    Simply amazing that you got such great photos….. and the chance to shoot over a long period of time.
    How lucky your are.. Leggy Peggy photographer of the year 2016… Contact National Geographic….

    Sy

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:37 am

      Oh thanks, Sy. We felt so lucky to have so long to watch and photograph for such a long time. A true blessing.

      Like

  13. gerard oosterman / Oct 21 2016 10:45 am

    That poor boy. It’s all so useless. Give it away, would have been my advice. It’s not what it is claimed to be. Did you have a word with him, Peggy? Pitifully sawing away there. How sad. 😉

    Great photos, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:38 am

      Oh Gerard, I reckon you need to have a chat with that fellow. I tried, but he wouldn’t listen. Maybe a man-to-man chat would help. 🙂

      Like

  14. Heather Sjoberg / Oct 21 2016 12:53 pm

    Wow!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Dorothy Webster / Oct 21 2016 2:58 pm

    Wow what an exciting sighting. Looking forward to some more photos of your close encounter of the furry kind. Beautiful cats to watch in their natural habitat.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:40 am

      Thanks Dorothy. The leopards were amazing, but still waiting to see a tiger on this visit.

      Like

  16. Curt Mekemson / Oct 21 2016 3:25 pm

    Ah, the sad story of unrequited love. Even in leopard land. It should make a good country-western ballad. Great photo, Peggy. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:41 am

      Oh wow, Curt, what a great idea. Perhaps I should run a competition for country-western lyrics.

      Like

  17. Coral Waight / Oct 21 2016 6:54 pm

    How marvellous!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Rashminotes / Oct 21 2016 8:27 pm

    Wow Peggy! You are really lucky!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. toutparmoi / Oct 21 2016 8:47 pm

    I must confess to having a soft spot for Albert I. And now I’m so delighted by Albert II (and envious of you) I’m sharing this on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:43 am

      Thanks for the share. I have a soft spot for both Alberts. Glad you do too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. poshbirdy / Oct 21 2016 9:08 pm

    Wonderful pictures. What a beautiful sighting

    Liked by 2 people

  21. lexklein / Oct 21 2016 9:40 pm

    Having stalked a few leopards with very limited success, I know how very lucky you were! WOW is all I can say to that – what an incredible experience!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. wineandhistory / Oct 22 2016 1:13 am

    Beautiful! What a spectacular experience!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. dave ply / Oct 22 2016 5:12 am

    I’ve emulated sawing logs in a bedroom environment as well, and my mate didn’t think it was romantic either! 😉 Lucky leopard shots. I’ve never been in a position to see one in the wild.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:44 am

      Oh Dave, you’ve given me a huge laugh. Sorry your sawing hasn’t been any more successful than Albert’s. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Alison and Don / Oct 22 2016 10:36 am

    OMG! Jealous! What a fabulous experience. So happy for you.
    Alison

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Curious to the Max / Oct 22 2016 3:19 pm

    Fabulous!!! Stupendous! and the photographs are pretty amazing too!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Brenda / Oct 23 2016 11:05 pm

    Gorgeous creatures.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Oct 24 2016 5:56 am

    I hope you are compelled to share more later – such a majestic animal.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Sascha Darlington / Oct 24 2016 11:38 am

    Wow! Such an experience! Such beautiful pictures. Lovely creatures!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 12:47 am

      I’d seen leopards in the wild before, but this experience was truly breathtaking.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. voulaah / Oct 24 2016 8:08 pm

    Such beautiful and amazing animal
    thnak you so much for sharing Peggy
    kisses

    Liked by 1 person

  30. freckles for breakfast / Oct 25 2016 8:10 am

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous 😍😍😍 the combination of strength and grace is breathtaking!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Green Global Trek / Oct 25 2016 10:40 pm

    Wow how very lucky you were! I am totally envious!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 11:05 pm

      We were so, so lucky. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Green Global Trek / Oct 26 2016 1:55 am

        Am thinking of planning a trip to India from SriLanka for the purpose off seeing these beauties

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 26 2016 3:30 am

        I can highly recommended the triangle of parks—Pench, Kanha and Panna. Three times we have travelled the country with Overland Expeditions India. Can put you in touch with them if you are interested.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Green Global Trek / Oct 26 2016 11:00 am

        Yes please do.
        Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 26 2016 12:32 pm

        I will ask Deepti to email you.

        Like

  32. quirkywanderer / Oct 25 2016 11:06 pm

    Peggy, you have made my day! 🙂 Truly. What a wonderful sighting! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing. These frames are simply gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 25 2016 11:20 pm

      Oh my goodness, thanks so much for your kind words. It was an incredible sighting—how could I not share? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. 2bcreativeblog / Oct 26 2016 12:13 am

    Terrific pictures! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. jerseydreaming / Oct 28 2016 1:10 pm

    Whoa, very cool shots. What amazing creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Oz's Travels / Nov 4 2016 12:33 am

    Wow, how cool! Great photos, thanks for sharing!!!! Very jealous

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 4 2016 12:26 pm

      Thanks for visiting. It makes the trip more rewarding to share. 🙂

      Like

  36. tony / Nov 5 2016 10:24 am

    Fantastic! Lovely photos!
    Tony
    http://breadtagsagas.com/

    Liked by 1 person

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