2019-03-17: Signs of Spring

I have not photographed a single sign of spring this week, though I have been enjoying them immensely.  I guess in some ways the topic, photographically at least, has been a fail, but it has been making me more aware, and more appreciative of the little signs that spring is on its way.

Today in fact, it really felt as if spring has arrived.  Despite the lawn still being covered in snow, it was warm enough to sit on my front porch with an iced coffee and my knitting, and enjoy the warmth of the sun for awhile.  Today, that felt a lot more important than rushing around trying to find an image that symbolized the change of seasons.

Instead, here is an image I just finished working on; a 3 shot panorama taken at Phinda Reserve, May 2017.  Everyone knows elephants are my favourite, and they are a great stand-in whenever I need an image.  This was another moment where sitting and allowing life to unfold was just perfect.  Our guide knew the ellies would be heading for the dam, so we drove to it, and just waited.  And they arrived shortly after, in groups of 2 and 3, until we had the scene here unfold.  And then just as quietly, they all headed back into the bush, to carry on with the day.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

20170512-P1030214 Pano.jpg

2019-03-11: Monochrome Monday

Some leopards to start the week!  Leopards are definitely my favourite cats to watch (well, at least of the cats I have seen so far… once I have the chance to see tigers and jaguars, I’ll have to revisit this statement!)

The first image was taken in Botswana in the Okavango Delta, in a sighting filled will drama (for the humans involved).  Several vehicles from another camp were following this leopard, who was doing what leopards do best, being elusive and sticking to the cover of the bush.  There had been a lot of flooding in the area, and a vehicle got stuck while following this cat, and then a second got stuck, trying to help the first.  Our awesome ranger saved the day and got the vehicles mobile again, but both stuck vehicles missed out on the few photo opportunities that were available, like this one.

20170505-DSC_2194
Seeing this image brings back fun memories of a great (and rather muddy) game drive.  This can be a typical leopard sighting; lots of cover, grasses and bushes, but that’s also why I like it, because it is realistic.

This second image was also from the delta, and I have posted of this sighting many times before so I won’t go on and on.  I think though, this shot is how people dream of seeing leopards, but the one above is a far more realistic scenario.

20170507-DSC_3243
A gorgeous leopard who spent a late afternoon, through sunset, perched in tree, with only us there to watch.

This final image was taken in South Africa; our guide took us to a sighting of a mama leopard and her two cubs in ravine, and we had a brilliant time watching the cubs playing on the fallen trees, scampering through the swamp, and wrestling with each other.  The cub pictured here was just about to pounce on its sibling, who was a few feet below on the ground.  This was one of those sightings where, as we drove back to camp, our guide told us “we probably should keep this quiet while there are other guests around”.

20170516-DSC_7580
A playful leopard cub descending a fallen tree.

 

Just so you know, you can find lots of images like these over in my gallery page!

2019-02-25: Monochrome Monday

The amazing Okavango Delta, from the air, is the image I have selected for my monochrome Monday post this week.  It is such an amazing and beautiful location, and one that absolutely needs to be experienced from the land, the air and the water to truly get an appreciation for the magic of the place.  Definitely a destination I hope to return to again.

20190225_MM.jpg

2019-02-24: Topic of the Month – Warm

When I woke up this morning, it was -28C; decidedly not warm here.  But the sun is shining, and bundled up, Spencer and I managed a couple of nice walks today.  It still doesn’t feel like spring is around the corner; but hopefully that will change soon.

Last week, I flagged several landscape images from my travels for editing throughout the week, and while working on them, I realized that not only do they all fit into the theme of being taken in warm places, but they were all taken on the fly.  If I asked guides to stop every time I saw something interesting, we certainly wouldn’t get very far, so I have become rather comfortable with snapping away out of a moving vehicle.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes, not so much.

I hope you enjoy my selection of images this week.

20170425-1020444
The Hoanib riverbed off in the distance.  The shear drop off is the bank of the river, showing just how much water has been through the area at times.  When we were visiting, there were only a few small pools, and it had been an exceptionally generous wet season.  Namibia, April 2017.
20170425-P1020486
As the day heats up, the wind in the desert picks up, causing sand storms to whip through.  Hoanbia Camp, Namibia. April 017.
20170426-P1020762
One of the beautiful desert vistas near Hoanib Camp.
20170501-P1020953
Palm trees are a symbol of a warm climate to me.  I love the shape of the leaves, and how they stand out against the sky.  This was just before sunset while heading back to Leroo La Tau camp on the Boteti Rover.  Botswana, May 2017.
20170503-P1030068
The Baines Baobabs standing tall in the midday heat.  Nxai Pans National park, Botswana. 
20170513-DSC_5272-Edit
A beautiful sunrise in the Sabi Sands.  The chill of the early morning burnt off in short order once the sun was up.  South Africa, May 2017.

 

2019-02-18: Monochrome Monday

I have been incredibly fortunate to see wild dogs on all the trips I have taken to southern Africa.  My very first trip, when asked what animal I hoped I would see, it was the wild dog.  I knew they were rare, endangered, and can be difficult to find, and when our guide Mike found them during our day trip to Chobe Park, I was beyond thrilled.  And I have remained thrilled each time I have had the good fortune of spending time with these amazing animals.

All the images below were from my last trip, when we had wild dogs sightings over 3 days in the Okavango Delta.

 

20170506-DSC_2567
On of the pack members breaking off as they set off on a hunt.
20170506-DSC_2666
Resting, yet still alert.  After we parked the vehicle, this dog settled in within a few feet of the land rover.
20170506-DSC_2487
A classic puppy pose 🙂
20170506-DSC_2773
The pack greeting each other as they all awoke from an afternoon of napping.
20170507-DSC_2913
Watch dog.