By Jill Brooke
In the age of iPhones, where all people think they are photographers, it took wildlife photographer Dick van Duijn’s picture of a squirrel inhaling the joy of a flower to remind us of our connection to love and to the earth. Not only do humans swoon over a flower – but animals look like they do too.
Dick van Duijn, a 34-year-old photographer from the Netherlands, was in Vienna, Austria, with his friend Renato to photograph these ground squirrels, whose scientific name means “seed lover.”
“We were waiting in the grass in front of the flower and hoped he would approach it,” he told Flower Power Daily. “We already knew these animals are very curious.”
Sure enough, the squirrel didn’t disappoint. After waiting two hours, Duijn started clicking as the squirrel approached the flower, examined it and then inhaled.
Of course, the squirrel was looking for food. Flowers are the source of more than 60 percent of the world’s food, according to “The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How they Change Our Lives” by Stephen Buchmann. Therefore it is no surprise this little critter looked at the flower and assessed its nutritional possibilities. But we also like to think he appreciated its beauty.
Duijn says he is pleased by the response to the photo, which became a sensation on social media.
“I just hope that this picture puts me in the spotlight as a wildlife photographer and reach a bigger audience with my pictures,” he says. For his day job, he owns a fish stand in the Netherlands with his parents.
Already, aside from TV segments in the Netherlands, the Daily Mail, Fox News have written about this photograph.
Here at Flower Power Daily, we have suggested that he collaborate with us on a book about flowers and animals and contribute some of his work to our website. He also shared other photos from the squirrel shoot, where he took more than 200 pictures.
Considering that the Netherlands is an epicenter for flowers – it even has a series of fabulous flower parades in the month of September – Duijn has local inspiration for photographing flowers near his home. “Flowers and animals are my favorite photo objects, so if you can combine them, it’s very nice,” he says.
It certainly resonated with millions of people around the world.
Here are some of the other photos of the ground squirrel as well as previous work from this talented photographer.
These three shots could be called a falling-in-love sequence. First the beauty of the flower surprises and intrigues. Then the creature pulls it towards it for closer inspection. Ah, the smell. The magic. Love happens and the squirrel literally inhales its charms.
Here is another example of patience paying off. Dick van Duijn captures a squirrel exploring this dandelion and, like humans, being intrigued by its parachuting seeds.
A squirrel checks out a poppy, but it doesn’t hold the same allure as the yellow daisy.
The wildlife photographer also captured this beautiful picture of a deer in flowers, as part of his work looking at animals in natural habitats.
Photo Credits: Dick van Duijn.