For a few days now, I’ve been making the acquaintance of a rock badger. In a park near my home, as I take my morning walk. I don’t know what they eat, really, so I haven’t tried to buy his friendship with food. I suppose they eat the fruit or the leaves of the local greenery. In any case, these animals are known for their shyness. They will run immediately, when coming into contact with humans or large animals, and so it was unexpected to find one in a public park. I’ve come across them in the forest, and not so long ago I photographed one in the forest, that approached me as I was sitting quietly on a boulder. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in a park before. The first time I saw him, I immediately sat down, and he watched me for a while, before going away.
But then it happened again and again in the same place, and I realized that he liked the place. Maybe, had even taken up residence there. There are some high bushes in the vicinity, and this gives him a place to hide if need be. Each time, he came closer to me. And on the third meeting, he came very close. But unfortunately, when I raised my camera to take his picture, he ran for cover. But as soon as he got to a relatively protected place, under a fence, with high bushes behind him, he sat down and started looking at me again. And that is when I took this picture.
Usually, I enjoy walking through my own neighborhood, and other neighborhoods of Jerusalem. I like looking at the homes, the little additions people make to their houses, and the little gardens around them. Changes occur very slowly. The biggest changes are brought by the seasons. Even so, I enjoy walking in the familiar territory. Very often, I get carried away by my own thoughts, and pay less attention to the cityscape. It happens, that I don’t take a single picture on my walk, because it is all so familiar. But still, I carry a camera with me each time. From experience, I know, that if I were to take my walk without the camera, I’d be sure to see something that I’d want to photograph… and then I’d regret not having taken it with me.
But on these days of early summer, it is a special pleasure to take a walk in the park. Aside from my neighbors who walk their dogs, or study, or read for enjoyment… there is also a lot of animal activity. And it seems that the living creatures feel quite secure in this environment. There are a lot of crows. They are the predominant birds there, sitting high on trees, on fences, lamp posts, and the backs of benches… and sometimes searching… for what, I do not know, in the mowed grass. And then there are a wide variety of smaller birds, the most attractive of which, are the sparrows, that I follow with interest.
From time to time, I see waves of birds, in groups, according to species, rising gently into the air, moving to high places as a human being with leashed dog walks by. And then, after the interruption… slowly they all return to continue what they were doing. From time to time, a big truck goes down the street next to the park… and all the little creatures react… some by freezing, and others by running further into the park, and then the noise passes, and we continue enjoying the beautiful summer day; peace on earth, and good will towards all.