Bruno D'Amicis - June evening
Last year, in June, I have spent most of my time in the field looking for (and hopefully photographing) Apennine chamois for my latest book. It was mandatory to take as many pictures as possible of the newborn kids and the interaction between them and their mothers. Even on locations where chamois are usually not shy and habituated to people, this is a critical time of the year and the females in the herds become really wary and hard to approach. Apart from the usual routine of hiking for several hours to reach the chamois habitat, one has to pay extra attention to not scare the animals off. Thus, I\’ve found very important to assume a rather deliberate behavior, to dress similar clothes and to follow the same routes also on different days. On one of such days I got busted in the middle of a sudden summer thunderstorms while high in the mountains. Lightnings are the only thing that scares me while I am alone in the wilderness, so I took refuge at a lower altitude and under a thick cover of trees. It lasted more than one hour and after thirty minutes my clothes didn\’t stand anymore the pouring water and I got completely wet. Yet, I waited for it to end before heading back home, in the hope to have some more chances to photograph the female with newborn kid that I had located in the afternoon. When I reached the cliff for the second time on that day, it was already late and I couldn\’t see the duo anymore, but the sun was now peering through the clouds. Then, just for the sake of curiosity, I\’ve carefully crawled until the rim of the vertical cliff on my belly and looked beneath: the female and the kid were resting on a tiny ledge just a few meters below my position and totally oblivious to my presence! I immediately reached for my 70-200mm zoom and took some quick pictures before the beautiful light in the background would disappear again.
Too bad that a bunch of pixels on a screen cannot make you feel the same smell of wet grass, the same song of a rock trush and the same, absolute peace I was sharing with the chamois on that June evening!
Location: Abruzzi, Italy
Tags: abruzzi, apennine chamois, apennines, bruno damicis, endangered, rupicapra pyrenaica ornata, spring