wild gazelle running in the desert

Heading south from the ovoo, the climate seemed to change dramatically.  The snow disappeared and the temperature climbed a few degrees.  We watched as the daytime high temperature climbed from yesterday’s -18 degrees Celsius to a high today of about -12 Celsius.  Most of the hills disappeared and the ground smoothed out.  Soon, we were driving across what looked like a pebble covered parking lot the size of Rhode Island.  A few horses grazed on the last of the spring and summer grass that remained.

As I continued shooting photos I noticed what looked like a pair of motorcycles about 400 yards away off our left side.  I thought they were motorcycles because they were moving at our same speed and heading and they had dust kicking up behind them.  Their path was parallel to us but also converged and after some time they came closer and closer.  I watched them for about 5 minutes and eventually was able to see that they were gazelle.

The gazelle were running at our same speed (50kph or about 35mph) and they never changed speed or heading.  Slowly, their path converged with ours and they finally crossed our path.  In total, we watched them for at least 5 minutes; they seemed to have a destination and were in a hurry to get there.

I enjoyed watching these wild animals as they ran at full gallop.  Their stride seemed to two or three meters with each leap.  They never slowed down or even looked over at us.

Eventually the gazelle crossed our path and then continued running towards our right while we continued down the road…


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