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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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!

2019-02-18: 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.

 

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

 

2019-02-17: Topic of the Month – Warm

Last week I decided that my Sunday posts for the rest of the month would focus on the topic Warm.  It seemed fitting, given how cold it has been and how much I wish it would warm up.

Today, I decided to share images that make my heart feel warm and happy.   It should be no surprise to any frequent visitor that this means elephants.  Lots and lots of elephants!

I hope you enjoy my selections, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

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A group of desert adapted elephants surround a calf that was having a brief nap at the edge of the riverbed.  Hoanib Camp, Namibia.
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An elephant calf imitates its mother, bring the trunk up to sniff the air and decide if our presence was a threat or not.  Since Mom wasn’t worried, the calf wasn’t either.  Machaba Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
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The tiniest elephant calf I have seen; probably no more than a couple of days old.  A very relaxed family though, that was not at all concerned by the vehicle, the clicks of the cameras or the numerous times people in the vehicle said “Awwww, the baby is so tiny and cute!”.  Machaba Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
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We saw numerous baby elephants while staying on the Okavango Delta; this one stuck close to Mom’s side while she dug for minerals in the dirt.
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A precocious elephant calf that spent lots of time investigating me; here it is snuggled close to Mom and trying to get a drink from an irrigation pipe.  Londolozi, South Africa.

2019-02-11: Monochrome Monday

This waterhole was in Nxai Pans National Park in Botswana.  We stopped there after a trip out to the Baines Baobabs, and watched as a lone bull elephant approached the water.  We all thought he was an enormous elephant.  A few minutes later, another bull appeared, even larger, and the first elephant made way for the newcomer to choose the spot he wanted at the water.  Then the third came along, and both the bulls at the water had to give way to the last that arrived to drink.  I love watching these dynamics play out in nature.  There was no struggle, no tension, just a simple understanding amongst the group of who got to be in charge.

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