Stepping out onto the terrace late afternoon to check on the animals, we addressed the Chelsea Grays with sweet nothings, and each in succession honored us with a big, pink social yawn (see Tiny, below). Our camera's eye missed the Babe's yawn but caught this classic feline moment (above) of suspended animation as he set the Think System on automatic during the countdown to supper. 'Reminds us of one of our favorite paintings -- blogged here and here -- an American primitive from the Karolik Collection of our own Boston Museum of Fine Arts that appears to portray a bird's-eye view of a cat.
Tiny's classical interpretation of the social yawn calls to mind the misnamed lion's "roar" of many a "nature" photograph. The yawn and the roar (scroll down) are two different things altogether, as the body language reveals to the patient field naturalist:
In our wild Serengeti rides of yore, the local lions, bored with the ubiquitous tourists as long as they didn't get out of their vehicles -- at which point they became fair game -- were often seen in the very pose of Tiny, above. We interpret Tiny's and Baby's yawns not as expressions of boredom, of course, but as signals of good-humored greeting to fellow members of their pride [AKA Grandma and Grandpa].