Silverback Gorilla Hand

The texture in this photo amazes me. This is an actual silverback gorilla hand. It was confiscated in Burundi, preserved by a taxidermist, and used as evidence in an international poaching trial. Once the trial was over, it was donated to an NGO for scientific and educational purposes. It found its way somehow to a zoo in Hattiesburg, MS. It is now part of a display which explains that it is a real ill-gotten gorilla hand and was evidence in a poaching trial.

© Gene’O, 2014.

Poor gorilla, is all I could think as I snapped this photo. Weeks later, I look at the image and it’s like some strange wizard’s artifact from another universe. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would not believe it’s real.

I once studied with a professor who worked for the AP for years in Africa before he took up teaching. He told me a story about an encounter he once had with a silverback gorilla. The professor, his wife (who also worked for the AP), and their guide (who was armed) came upon a group of gorillas somewhere in the African wild. One of the gorillas charged. The guide did not raise his rifle. He cautioned everyone to stand still and not make eye contact. The gorilla stopped short at the last minute, checked them out for a bit, then went back to his gorilla life.

I have no idea whether that guide was wise or foolish, but it sure is a cool story, and I’m glad it involves neither a person getting mauled nor a gorilla getting shot. 🙂

Barbed Wire

© Gene'O, 2014.
© Gene’O, 2014.

Close-up images of barbed wire, especially silhouetted against the sky, have always had a powerful effect on me. I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it’s because its invention enabled the enclosure of the open ranges in the Western U.S. Perhaps it’s the trenches of Europe. Or maybe it’s the growth of the prison industry in my lifetime.

Or maybe it’s this stanza from Auden’s The Shield of Achilles, which I read and understood at a young age:

Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot
   Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke)
And sentries sweated for the day was hot:
   A crowd of ordinary decent folk
   Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke
As three pale figures were led forth and bound
To three posts driven upright in the ground.

I can’t say for certain.


I love to take photos of random things.

I really do. It’s a hobby. I almost never leave my house without my camera. I love, especially, to take photos of animal sculptures. When I say “sculpture” that includes everything from the most well-executed fine art to rusty old lawn ornaments (I love rusty things).

© Gene'O, 2014.
© Gene’O, 2014.

I started photoblogging back in the spring because I enjoy it and it makes for a few quick-and-easy posts every week. My own blogs are maxed out on photo features. I have enough original images to keep those running through February, and I’m adding at least 20 photos to my stock every week. So I thought, “Hey, why not share a few with my friends?”

I’ll be doing a little photoblogging here and at Part Time Monster as well as the usual Wordless Wednesdays and weekend photoblogging at Sourcerer and Just Gene’O.

Thanks, Jeremy, for inviting me to contribute!