parks & wildlife

You never know what you are going to see on America’s public lands. Case in point: This photo from Big Bend National Park in Texas. A mother bobcat perches in a mesquite tree with her large juvenile kittens, teaching them the ropes of feline life in the wilderness. An employee captured this shot not too far from a park road. This family group was likely hunting from the tree where they would have a good view of passing rodents. But maybe they were just enjoying the view! Photo by Big Bend Natural History Association. 😺😺😺

Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhogs have short ears and a short tail, and can weigh up to 11 pounds. They have two layers of fur: A dense grey undercoat and a longer coat of banded guard hairs that gives the groundhog a “frosted” appearance. Despite how they look, groundhogs are good swimmers and tree climbers. Photo of a groundhog eating a flower at Shenandoah National Park by National Park Service.

flickr

Amur Tigers - Viktor and Murray by louise.helen
Via Flickr:

instagram

A variety of cheetah with a rare mutation for cream-coloured fur marked with large, blotchy spots and three dark, wide stripes extending from their neck to the tail.
In 1926 Major A. Cooper wrote about an animal he had shot near modern-day Harare. Describing the animal, he noted its remarkable similarity to the cheetah, but the body of this individual was covered with fur as thick as that of a snow leopard and the spots merged to form stripes. He suggested that it could be a cross between a leopard and a cheetah. After further similar animals were discovered, it was established they were similar to the cheetah in having non-retractable claws – a characteristic feature of the cheetah. Since 1927 the king cheetah has been reported five more times in the wild; an individual was photographed in 1975 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. They are incredibly rare, even in captivity, as the distinctive fur pattern is caused by a rare mutation of a recessive gene; both parents must carry the ‘King gene’ in order for the offspring to show off the spectacular markings of a King cheetah, possibly the most beautiful of Africa’s wild cats. Working @hesc_endangeredspeciescentre a while ago on a very wonderful book, more on this shortly..with thanks to the amazing folks there for the incredible work they do.

7

Going to Canada sale!

As long as this post is up, I’m doing half off prints - you choose the photo(s). Each order comes with a free 4x5″ print of a photo I’ve never posted online. United States and Canada only (sorry).

contact: forrest@forrestmankins.com

America’s public lands are wonderful places to love and be in love. Experiences in national parks, wildlife refuges and scenic wildernesses are even better when shared with the people you care about most. We’re celebrating these great love stories with this cute video of romantic moments on public lands. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos and helped make this sweet Valentine’s Day video!