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The Leaf Eater
2nd PlaceThe Leaf Eater
vawendy


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Fall Foliage 2013 (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2013 Challenge shots
Camera: Canon EOS-7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Date: Oct 21, 2013
Date Uploaded: Oct 21, 2013


[Nov. 20th, 2013 10:23:37 PM]

Nope -- no peanut butter. And it's not a squirrel, that's why you're not seeing ears. It's a prairie dog! :)

This was taken at the National Zoo in Washington DC. And they really were eating the leaves!!

I had pictures of them eating the leaves, but I didn't like the backgrounds, plus I liked all of the imperfections on this leaf.

I understand Doc's comment regarding this being more about the animal in a foliage challenge; I had the same feeling at first. But it really is all about the leaf. That's what fascinated me the whole time I was watching these dudes. They were picking up and eating leaves!! Half the time they picked them up, held them and then dropped them. I'd never seen it before. (not that I've seen many prairie dogs in my life, but I've seen them a couple of times in South Dakota and other places, and I've never seen them hold and/or eat leaves before!)

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1093004.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1093005.jpgCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1093006.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1093007.jpg

I wanted to stay for much longer to get the ultimate shot, but we were actually there for Parents' weekend at George Mason University, visiting my daughter, and we played hookie and went into DC to go to the zoo on Saturday.

see?

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1093008.jpg

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and 3 favs!!


Statistics
Place: 2 out of 124
Avg (all users): 7.1807
Avg (commenters): 8.1111
Avg (participants): 6.9815
Avg (non-participants): 7.5517
Views since voting: 1897
Views during voting: 185
Votes: 83
Comments: 37
Favorites: 6 (view)


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AuthorThread
11/24/2013 03:13:09 PM
Originally posted by bvy:

What kind of beast is this anyway? Groundhog? (Sorry if I missed it. Lots to read here!)


It's a prairie dog. :)
11/23/2013 09:58:43 PM
What kind of beast is this anyway? Groundhog? (Sorry if I missed it. Lots to read here!)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2013 07:24:07 PM
Wendy, I love this photo so much - that I just have to repeat myself.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2013 09:00:00 AM
Congrats on the ribbon Wendy! It is a great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2013 08:59:06 AM
I can't believe this finished second. I'm so disappointed....

.....that it got beaten by another photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2013 01:28:45 PM
ETA: my son keeps staring at it :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2013 07:37:21 AM
This is so beautiful, amazing image. Congrats on the Red!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 05:34:11 PM
I've to say that I'm one of those who are very surprised of this second place. The image is stunning. One of the best animal portraits I have ever seen, not only on DPC. But that's what it is, an animal portrait :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 03:02:27 PM
Originally posted by tanguera:

And in Japan, they're pets!


Actually, I had 3 of them as pets, One in Mobile, Al and two others in Raleigh, NC...

Very nice picture, btw... Brings back memories...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 01:07:07 PM
Adorable and great image. Congrats Wendy!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 11:41:48 AM
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

...these are a plague...upon the land


And in Japan, they're pets!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 10:46:58 AM
It looks like he's wearing a huge, shaggy coat! Glorious light, almost like a studio shot :-) Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 10:42:01 AM
Fantastic shot, Wendy. I'm betting it was good to see your daughter. I hope school is going well for her.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 10:26:06 AM
Fantastic! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 10:09:48 AM
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Being that these are a plague (literally, they carry the plague out here) upon the land, I'm amazed to see one get top honors here. Not going to lie- something I'd never thought I'd see.
Well shot.
And as to their foliage eating- they do this with pretty much everything, picking up all manner of things and chomping upon it. The ones in more urban areas are EXTREMELY tame, to the extent that you could get close enough to achieve your FoV with a 50mm, but in the boonies, you'd need at least a 500mm lens. Strange little creatures.

Did they do all the same noises at the zoo? I can't imagine you got to hear all of them, as the tame ones are much less interesting in that regard.


I forgot about their noises!! No, they weren't making noises. And at the times I've seen them in the dakotas and out west, I've only heard the noises once or twice -- and it's been a blast!! The last one seemed to have to throw himself up and almost backwards a little bit to make his barking call!!
11/21/2013 10:08:15 AM
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

I don't mean to disappoint you, I do love your work and I am glad you entered this shot. I like your thought process and none of this is to take away from the shot. I can see where you feel this shot is about the leaf and wether I agree or not is irrelevant. Foliage is not a single leaf (and you are far from the only person to enter a shot with a single leaf). Foliage is a mass noun, referring to leaves as a collection or innumerable amount, a single leaf or 2-3 leaves do not amount to "foliage" but to leaves. If the challenge was leaf or fall leaves or leaves or even plant leaves that is different. Foliage is the mass of plant leaves which is not the case in this shot, or a number of other entries. The voters voted fairly and you won first page placement deservedly but I feel it missed the mark of the challenge (as do so many in many challenges, often my own) So please do not take this personally, it being on the front page made this the targeted shot but not do at all by lack of quality. As I said before, I do love your thought process and I love that you push the boundaries of the challenge theme, which I hope more people will do. But I feel as though the challenge was not met but the voters thought it was, or maybe they just didn't care because it is such a well done shot. I don't know, perhaps I was out of line, I just wanted to see what others thought but I also hope more people will see this as a way of thinking more loosely about the challenge. Maybe it is because I am marrying an English teacher and definitions get to me more now... Please do accept my congratulations on a gorgeous shot but it is a congratulations to a shot that I think doesn't really fit in this challenge theme.

eta, as far as single leaf shots, this one by far rises above the others.


I can see where you're coming from -- yet so many times challenges are listed in the plurals -- barns, animals, windows, doors, road signs. Macros, singles, parts, always seem to be an acceptable part in these cases. But I understand more where you're coming from, and it makes more sense now. :)
11/21/2013 09:39:09 AM
I don't mean to disappoint you, I do love your work and I am glad you entered this shot. I like your thought process and none of this is to take away from the shot. I can see where you feel this shot is about the leaf and wether I agree or not is irrelevant. Foliage is not a single leaf (and you are far from the only person to enter a shot with a single leaf). Foliage is a mass noun, referring to leaves as a collection or innumerable amount, a single leaf or 2-3 leaves do not amount to "foliage" but to leaves. If the challenge was leaf or fall leaves or leaves or even plant leaves that is different. Foliage is the mass of plant leaves which is not the case in this shot, or a number of other entries. The voters voted fairly and you won first page placement deservedly but I feel it missed the mark of the challenge (as do so many in many challenges, often my own) So please do not take this personally, it being on the front page made this the targeted shot but not do at all by lack of quality. As I said before, I do love your thought process and I love that you push the boundaries of the challenge theme, which I hope more people will do. But I feel as though the challenge was not met but the voters thought it was, or maybe they just didn't care because it is such a well done shot. I don't know, perhaps I was out of line, I just wanted to see what others thought but I also hope more people will see this as a way of thinking more loosely about the challenge. Maybe it is because I am marrying an English teacher and definitions get to me more now... Please do accept my congratulations on a gorgeous shot but it is a congratulations to a shot that I think doesn't really fit in this challenge theme.

eta, as far as single leaf shots, this one by far rises above the others.

Message edited by author 2013-11-21 09:41:38.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 09:34:50 AM
Congrats Wendy, you're on a roll just banging out great shots challenge after challenge. However, I must say, this shot is priceless. A perfect "10" from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 09:25:44 AM
Thanks for all the comments!!
11/21/2013 09:25:25 AM
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

A truly beautiful photograph Wendy. The light is beautiful, your composition superb and the processing is divine but one leaf does not foliage make. I do love that you thought outside of the box but this time the outside of the box went into a whole different and unrelated challenge. I am disappointed that a shot that is not foliage by any means gets a front page placement in a foliage challenge but I do hope more people will learn to think outside the box. Just, perhaps, keep the box inside the challenge theme in the future?


How very disappointing to read this comment this morning. I'm sorry you feel that this is not foliage by any means. It may not be about the leaf to you -- but it was so much about fall and the leaf to me.

We stayed there watching for quite awhile. Mostly because they would be scavenging around picking up mostly thin, long yellow leaves that weren't interesting. I was fascinated with the fact that they were eating leaves to begin with. But the laves were falling into the enclosure while we were watching. My husband, daughter and I would be routing for the leaves to blow closer as they came floating down. And we'd be saying "it's right behind you!!" to critters that, of course, paid absolutely no attention to crazy people talking to leaves and prairie dogs.

I had the shot early on in the 4 week challenge, and was afraid that people would think as you do, so many times I thought of pulling it and going and taking a picture of a single leaf. But I left it in, because it was real, not a setup. It's one step in the life of this particular leaf. Personally -- it still tells the story of an end of a leaf, whether it's eaten by a prairie dog, or it's sitting in a gutter, or it's floating in a blue pool of water. Why would some shots be ok and not others?
11/21/2013 09:07:01 AM
Congratulations Wendy. I so love this shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 08:55:04 AM
A truly beautiful photograph Wendy. The light is beautiful, your composition superb and the processing is divine but one leaf does not foliage make. I do love that you thought outside of the box but this time the outside of the box went into a whole different and unrelated challenge. I am disappointed that a shot that is not foliage by any means gets a front page placement in a foliage challenge but I do hope more people will learn to think outside the box. Just, perhaps, keep the box inside the challenge theme in the future?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 06:08:18 AM
Originally posted by littlemav:

Wendy this is about the most beautiful animal shot I've ever seen!!! Congrats on the red!! Very Well Deserved!!!


+1
Brilliant shot, Wendy.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 01:29:03 AM
Wendy this is about the most beautiful animal shot I've ever seen!!! Congrats on the red!! Very Well Deserved!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 01:15:23 AM
Being that these are a plague (literally, they carry the plague out here) upon the land, I'm amazed to see one get top honors here. Not going to lie- something I'd never thought I'd see.
Well shot.
And as to their foliage eating- they do this with pretty much everything, picking up all manner of things and chomping upon it. The ones in more urban areas are EXTREMELY tame, to the extent that you could get close enough to achieve your FoV with a 50mm, but in the boonies, you'd need at least a 500mm lens. Strange little creatures.

Did they do all the same noises at the zoo? I can't imagine you got to hear all of them, as the tame ones are much less interesting in that regard.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 12:17:53 AM
you're a freak ;-----0)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2013 12:06:36 AM
This is a beautiful image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/20/2013 09:04:37 PM
Extraordinarily detailed rendition. Bizarre how lack of ears weirds the viewer out, or at least this viewer anyway. Cracks me up how minimalized the leaf has become. All in all, one of my faves in a quirky way.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2013 07:39:30 AM
Maybe for discussion; this is a superb image with an animal that cries to heaven. In fact, in this image on FOLIAGE, the animal is all my eye keeps going back to, it steals the eye from the challenge topic. Honestly, what do you think? 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2013 09:25:33 AM
Seriously? How much better can this get. A perfect 10 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2013 12:07:39 AM
How'd you get this guy into a studio? He's a natural at posing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2013 09:39:34 PM
Nice capture. I light the light.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/16/2013 12:40:31 AM
How beautiful! This could be on the cover of a gorgeous wildlife book. 10 and a fave (but this has been such a wonderful challenge that you are sharing the honours with some others).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2013 10:05:35 PM
Absolutely love this one. A 10 from me. I just hope that everyone appreciates the talent it took to capture this perfect moment. Good luck!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2013 08:09:07 PM
Ahhhh, too cute.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2013 02:10:57 PM
not unless there's peanut butter on it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2013 08:44:19 AM
top 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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