2019-07-15: Monochrome Monday

This past trip was filled with a lot of rhino sightings, and like elephants, I think they make terrific subjects for black and white photography.  Their thick, textured skin can be highlighted very well in monochrome, and by removing colour, it is actually easier to see how such a large animal can blend into the surroundings so well.

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A rhino cow and calf spotted while staying at Lion Sands river Lodge.
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An oxpecker perched between the eyes of a rhino.  These birds do a valuable service in removing ticks and other bugs from the skin of their hosts.
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A pair of bachelors moving through the bushes.  These two were spotted in the Timbavati, and they moved between open and thicker areas.  Out in the open they are easy to see, but as soon as they are amongst the trees, it is nearly impossible to spot them.  Like elephants, I am always amazed how an animal an large can disappear into the bush so easily.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day; I hope your Monday is fantastic!

2019-07-14: Babies in the bush – Leopard Cubs

During my last trip, we saw leopard cubs both in the Timbavati and in the Sabi Sands.  The cubs I spent time with on this trip were a bit older than the ones I saw during my 2017 trip, but certainly no less amazing to watch.  If you missed some of the previous posts, you can see some of the older images here and here (or just search the site for leopards).

During my time in the Timbavati, we found one leopard cub, and while in the Sabi Sands we saw one cub on a few different occasions.  These shy, beautiful cats will grow up to be stealthy hunters, but for now, they are totally reliant on their Mom for food and protection.  I absolutely believe that leopards only allow you to see them if they want you to, so having an opportunity to view these babies is an absolute thrill.

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A leopard cub rests atop a termite mound, with Mom relaxing nearby.  Mom had taken a nyala down, and as the kill was nearby and it was beginning to grow dark, all sightings of this cub and her Mom were winding down.  They do not want to do anything to put the cub at risk, so they do not use spotlights on young cubs feeding at night.
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Such a beautiful face.
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This cub was in the Sabi Sands, and was a little bit skittish.  She would come out once vehicle activity had dies down; so you needed to be quite patient to see her (Mom was very chill and unconcerned with the vehicles).  Here she comes out of the bushes at the top of a rise, heading towards Mom in the fading evening light.
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Mom’s tail makes for an excellent toy 🙂
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The last view I had of the leopard cub in the Sabi Sands.   On this occasion, she was lying close to Mom as our vehicle approached, and was comfortable enough that she didn’t move off into the bushes.

2019-07-08: Impala

When you pull up to a small group of impala, in my experience they will either bolt immediately, or give you a passing glance and then go back to grazing.  But when you encounter a large herd like this near the side of the road, things tend to get a bit hectic, quite quickly.

We stopped to take some pictures of the herd and all was calm; until it wasn’t.  The noise of the vehicle didn’t startle them; perhaps it was realizing that we were actually looking at them, not something else, that brought up their urge to flee.  Or brought up the order for one of them to flee… but when one bolts, all the others follow suit.

A lot of people don’t really give impala a passing glance whilst out on safari; their abundance in so many areas; compared to the relative scarcity of predator sightings, can make them seem a bit boring to some.  I think they are beautiful creatures though, and love when I have the opportunity to watch them and take a few images.

I hope you enjoy my selections this week.  I hope your week ahead is wonderful! 🙂

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A large herd of impalas, near the side of the road we were traveling on the way back to camp on our morning game drive.
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One of herd got anxious, and then they all pick up on the vibe and start getting anxious.  
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The dominant ram trying to retain control of the situation, and lead the females away in the direction that he wants to go.
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The slightest sound or movement is enough to set them off, and the group begins to panic, bolting in every direction.
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Some running for it, while others leap in to the air to prove how strong and powerful they are (and therefore not a good target for a predator).

2019-07-07: Babies in the bush

I’m sure most would have expected me to start with elephants for my first post in a series on babies in the bush; and I was tempted to.  We spent time with so many large herds, and saw so many young elephants, I am spoiled for choice with images.  But, I decided that I would start with something different, and chose to focus on animals with hooves instead.  My timing was wrong to see tiny impala, but I did see a fair number of young giraffe, waterbuck and zebra during my travels.

I hope you enjoy my selections, and wishing you an excellent week ahead.

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This giraffe was acting a bit like a crossing guard for several youngsters crossing the road in front of us.  Not the best images, but great to show the size difference between the babies and the adults.  I only wish there had been an impala in the shot too, to really show how large the young giraffe actually are.
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Fulfilling the cross guard role as another youngster moved from one side to the other.  There were about a half dozen giraffe in this group in total.
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A herd of zebra pause to allow the littlest one a chance to suckle.
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A young waterbuck blending quite nicely with the autumn tones of the bush.  Mom was nearby grazing.
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A zebra and her foal pause to check out our vehicle, before carry on slowly strolling through the bush.
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One waterbuck mama acting as babysitter for a group of youngsters.  They were all lounging close to the dam at Chitwa Chitwa, while other members of the group were grazing or drinking.
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Little and large.

2019-07-01: Monochrome Monday

Happy Canada day to my friends and family.  I know I should have been out capturing the beauty of my own country, but the day has been pretty rainy and miserable, so instead, I offer you today a trio of baby elephants.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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Wait for me!!!
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The tenderness shown towards the baby elephants is heartwarming, every time I experience it.
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If this happy baby doesn’t make you smile, you are definitely visiting the wrong blog!  The joy that this little one shared with us, and the excitement about the stick, was contagious.  Everyone on our vehicle was grinning ear to ear.

2019-06-23: Mamas and babies in the bush

I was fortunate to see lots of youngsters during my latest travels.  While the young elephants are definitely my favourite to watch, especially when they start waving their tiny trunks around trying to act tough, all the young animals in the bush are a delight to see.

Here are just a few of the sightings that I had.

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A giraffe calf having a late afternoon milk break.
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We spent some time with this pair of rhinos while they grazed away the early morning.  Here the young one had just turned to look as another vehicle was heading in to take over our viewing position.  Moments later, the head was back down and he was happily munching on the grass again.
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A pair of lion cubs suckling.
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A young leopard doing a very accurate impression of a sulky teenager.
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Got milk?

2019-06-17: Monochrome Monday

I had some good opportunities during my travels for some animal portraits.  Here are the first couple that I have worked through, just in time for monochrome Monday.

Have a great week everyone!

Pensive Cheetah
I only had one cheetah sighting during my past trip, and it was an interesting one.  We had the opportunity to watch this female try to get close enough to a group of impala to begin to hunt, but her cover was blown.
Leopard Portrait
One of the many leopards that I was lucky enough to view this past trip.
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A side view of a lioness.

Did you know you can find these images, and other like them, in my gallery?  You can see an evolving collection of my favourite images there, and even order a print or two if you choose.