When you walk outside and breathe in that fresh, crisp air — taking in all the trees and the birdsong — it’s one of the most meditative experiences attainable. Nature is a church, open to everyone from every walk of life. And the best part about it? That life can come on two legs, four legs, or even more.
These photographers took a walk on the wild side and were highly rewarded for their trekking. Catching animals in their natural element can really give you a sneak peek into their worlds, so if you had any doubts about the animal kingdom being a wild place, take another look at these candid tell-alls.
1. Last week on The Real Moose Wives Of The Meadow… “Oh yea, Ruth, yea, you think you’re so funny. Well, you know what, you know what you are. You’re just one big giant…”
© Barney Koszalka
2. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! Oh, the wise forest elder. Everyone thinks he’s nuts, but he’s just out here trying to keep the peace. “If you guys keep this up we’re going to start looking civilized, is that what you want?!”
© Mary McGowan
3. Woah, Charles “Bark”ley may have over-fished his bounds, but telling him to “go club himself?” That’s just not right, guys. The world is melting, can’t y’all just be friends? Don’t make us send in the squirrel…
© Amy Kennedy
4. When you’re trying to do the frog-to-prince thing, but you’ve had too many GMOs in your diet and you live off a nuclear waste facility. “How much longer is this supposed to take? Neither of us is getting any prettier.”
© Sergy Savvi
5. “So then when I finally caught him, then he was all like, ‘please, I beg you, don’t eat me. I have a family.’ Then I said, ‘don’t worry, little guy. I’ll prey for them.'”
© Muriel Vekemans
6. Okay, obviously a Libra. Hopelessly romantic squirrel can’t decide which flower she’d like better. The left one is more symmetrical — it says thoughtful and stable. The right is more chaotic — it says fun and wild. We’ll check in like 6 hours and see how it’s going…
© Geert Weggen
7. It’s a little-known fact, but when temperatures drop below -12, the elephant seal actually starts exhaling miniature ghostly penguins. These ghost penguins only live for 48 hours, but they float around the world reminding people that global warming is a thing.
© Jackie Downey
8. Some people call her paranoid. They don’t understand, this is a ritual. Check around the birch tree eight times, walk in a circle, check around the birch tree eight times. This is how she stays safe. This is also how she has trouble making new friends.
© Jamie Bussey
9. Fed up with the lack of adherence to the clearly stated laws of the land, this bear took it upon himself to raise awareness. No one steps out of line when big brother bear is watching.
© Jonathan Irish
10. We’re not quite sure what kind of headlights this deer got caught in, but it doesn’t look like he was ever the same again. We know it seems like all the cool deer are getting in the high beams, but no one wants to end up like Dale, here. Stay off the streets, kids.
© Rab Adamson
11. Every neck of the woods has one. Those big curious eyes, those great listening ears, and that huge yap! She has to keep her hand over her mouth otherwise all your secrets will spew out of her like a spontaneous combustion. She might look innocent, but beware Belinda the gossip.
© Jakob Strecker
12. When you finally let it go and you feel 10 pounds lighter. We can almost hear him singing: I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky. Doesn’t matter if it’s night or day, I make the doo and then I eat more prey.
© Kevin Rooney
13. If this elephant’s trunk worked like a vacuum, it would make for an amazing housekeeper — just think of all the dust it could suck up with that nimble thing! Of course, getting inside the apartment could prove problematic…
© Anup Deodhar
14. It may look like this little tweety is playing coy, but he’s about to bust out some “Thriller” moves that will chill you. Cause this is thriller. Thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike.
© Antonio Medina
15. “You can’t be serious, you have a headache, again?” Observing Safari life, one comes to realize that things aren’t all that different in the wild than in the bedroom. She knows, lion about a headache, works every time.
16. Crafting the secret greeting for the inaugural Buck’s Club meeting is an enormous task. First, all bucks must don the symbolic crown of ferns. Then they stand tall and look each other in the eye like real men. Then, with hoof in hoof, they whisper the ancient Latin bucks club mantra, bros before does.
© Bartek Olszewski
17. This week at woodland’s poetry slam, Mr. Moose recited Walt Whitman: “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” Though there were few present with opposable thumbs, snaps resounded.
© Mary Hone
18. What, you’ve never seen two reptiles doing the foxtrot? These guys don’t care what anyone says, this dance isn’t exclusive to foxes. They have a 4/4 time signature rhythm that will tip any jive-o-normative scale.
© Sergy Savvi
19. This polar bear really gave that photographer a run for his money. Literally. Can you imagine a polar bear trying to commandeer thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment? You’d grab your stuff and run for the glaciers, too.
© Roie Galitz
20. Congratulations on four seasons of mating, they say. You guys make such a cute couple, they say. Looks like the honeymoon phase is over in this nest. Once the squawking starts, it just keeps on going.
© Christopher Schlaf
21. Sure, we all like to think we’re secure in our relationships. But here’s a question: when your partner says they love you and all, do they love you this much?
© Michael Lane
22. When you have the heart of a queen, you can vogue anywhere you please. His thick skin doesn’t shut out the feminine energies of the universe. This rhino is feeling fancy, fabulous, and fierce. Work it, girl!
© Kallol Mukherjee
23. This is the last time she sat by and let him not ask for directions. They had to make it all the way to seagrass before he admitted he might have been a little turned around. Buckle up, buddy. Mama’s taking the driver’s seat, and she looks like she means business.
© Achim Sterna
24. Here is an exclusive behind-the-scenes photograph that was taken on the set of a Coke commercial. Toss the hardworking guy a bottle, already! The contract states three sodas per shoot.
© Qiusheng Hu