2020-03-29: Lounging Lions

I think it is safe to say that I always want to be going on safari.  But with everything going on right now, I am really grateful I don’t have any upcoming travel plans.  I’d be very broken hearted if I had planned a trip for 6 or more months, which is what it normally seems to take, only to have to cancel it later on.  Instead, I’ve had my head buried in books, moving towards finishing up the two classes that I have been working within the next week.

Perhaps all the extra schoolwork I have been doing is the reason lazy lions appealed to me to edit today.  Who knows, but that is what I have to share today.

These were taken on several different game drives at different reserves; so if you haven’t been out with lions before, you can start to see a theme.  They do spend a lot of time lounging around and resting.  Something I am looking forward to next Sunday after I finish my exam.  I don’t think I have it in me to manage lion style lounging for 22 hours or more, but a relaxed afternoon certainly sounds nice.

Stay safe, wishing you good health and a positive week ahead.

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2020-03-23: Monochrome Monday

I call this one “Toes and Tails”.  A few close up images of lions and leopards from my last time out in the bush.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy week ahead.

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2020-03-22: Leopards at night

At the start of the month I shared a post with some images of leopards at night and this post is a follow-on to that, showing what images taken with a red spotlight filter look like.

I’ve done  a lot of editing in the past of red spotlight filter images to black and white, as I find they turn out to be stunning (there are a few examples of lions at night in my gallery that were done this way) but I wanted to leave these as is, and do the best I could with editing the images, because seeing them this way gives another real life look at what being on safari, and on a night game drive in particular, can be like.

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A young female leopard that we came across on our first drive while staying at Lion Sands River Lodge.  This had been quite an epic game drive as about 15 minutes before this, I saw my first ever honey badgers!
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This was a bit of a strange sighting, as we were tracking a leopard (not this one) but the ranger and tracker kept finding confusing tracks that backtracked over each other.  We finally found this small female in a tree, with a much larger male on the ground nearby.  There was also another male in the area, and once the team figured all that out, the tracks made a whole lot more sense.
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The red filter puts less strain on the eyes for the animal being viewed, while still allowing for some viewing and photo opportunities.  Even with the spotlight, the images I took were between ISO 5000 and ISO 12800.  I had a couple even at 25,600, but didn’t select them as there were similar images with less noise, so why go through the extra work?
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This image is at ISO 12,800 and there is definitely a deterioration in quality compared to some of the others (plus the noise reduction has made the images appear blurry), but the moment here was interesting as this female was about to head down the tree, but then spotted the male still moving below and decided to hold fast awhile longer.  She was definitely a very nervous cat.
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This is one of the males that was involved in all the drama; I didn’t have an opportunity to see the second male as we had had a really interesting sighting and another vehicle showed up with guests that hadn’t seen a leopard yet, so we let them take over our position and carry on trying to track the second male through the bushes.  Even a leopard in the dark under red light, is better than no leopard at all.  And they did manage to find him and have a quick sighting before heading back to camp for dinner.

I hope you have enjoyed, and wishing you a safe and healthy week ahead.  Take care.

2020-03-15: African Birds

It was far too cold for me to get out and photograph any local birds this week, so instead I have come up with quite a random assortment of African bird images to share this week.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.  Stay safe out there!

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A pair of crested francolin, part of a large group that were foraging along the side of the road.
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My personal favourite, the lilac breasted roller.
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A female bearded woodpecker seen on an early morning game drive.
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This photo makes me laugh, because when I look at it, I can hear the bird calling “Go Away”.  These are a pair of grey go-away birds.
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A coqui francolin pausing from it’s foraging to give me a photo op.

2020-03-08: Redpolls

For two seasons in a row, I didn’t see a single redpoll over the winter, but over the last few weeks they have been in my yard in droves, jostling for position on the feeders with the chickadees and adding little flashes of colour to the otherwise rather drab winter landscape.

I still find it a bit baffling that anything would consider my area a good place to spend the winter, but I do get that in comparison to places even further north, it’s probably a bit easier to make it through the season here.

I’m enjoying their presence while it lasts, as soon bird feeding time will be over as the bears begin to emerge.  There’s still a while to enjoy the birds as we are still pretty deep in the grip of winter, despite my best attempts to will the snow to melt with the power of my mind 🙂

Here are a few images I captured a couple of days ago, when it wasn’t -20C!

I’ll keep up my mantra, spring is coming soon!  Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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