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  Field Notes From
Hot Pink

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From Photographer

Anup Shah

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Anup Shah


Hot Pink

Field Notes From Photographer
Anup Shah

Best Worst Quirkiest
    Toward the end of my assignment I spent time watching jackals try to catch flamingos. It was just fantastic when the flamingos escaped. As soon as they spotted a jackal, they'd move away. Once the jackal started sprinting after them, they'd run. Eventually the flamingos would gain enough momentum to get their tall bodies to lift off into flight. It was really beautiful, kind of like watching an airplane
take off. 

    I'd heard from a researcher that Lake Nakuru, in Kenya's Rift Valley, is known for the abundance of life that thrives in and around it. So I thought I'd take a drive and see for myself.
    When I got there, I drove into a shallow part of the lake and listened. There was so much life out there that it sounded like a big bottle of fizzing champagne. I sat there enjoying it all until I noticed something was wrong. The water in the lake was so hot that the tires on my Land Cruiser were starting to melt. I tried to back out the car, but it wouldn't budge. I was certain it would be damaged, and I'd be stuck out there. I was concerned for a while, but after rocking around for about ten minutes and gunning the engine, I broke free.

    Flamingos are very ritualistic birds, particularly the males when they're getting psyched up during breeding season. With all their marching, twisting, and turning around, they resemble a band of soldiers in a parade. One theory behind their behavior is that it's their way of showing the females that they're fit. So when they spread their wings and start marching up and down, the females might think, "Wow, he's got good genes. That's my man." The whole process is actually quite comical to watch because male flamingos are so intense about it.


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