2021-05-23: Bull Elephants

I felt drawn to work on some elephant images, but wanted to find a slightly different spin, so I focused on some of the sightings that I had with bull elephants the last time I was in South Africa. Encountering a lone bull, especially one in musth, can be risky business, and I am always grateful for the skilled rangers that handle the encounters with so much skill (while at the same time, providing lots of interesting information about the animal).

2021-05-16: Black Bears

I’ve had a mama black bear and her cub through the yard a few times over the past week; they both look to be in great condition and just sniff around through the forest in the back. The slightest noise sends them running deeper into the bush; I even need to be cautious about moving towards the window with my camera too fast, as even that is enough to spook them off. Not that I am complaining; it is so much better to have them wary and sticking to their wild turf, than getting too close to the house and becoming bold in their actions.

I do love watching them but obviously want to do so in a way that doesn’t impact them negatively. Our bird feeders have been in for over a month already in anticipation for them coming out of hibernation, and we make sure that there is nothing around to attract them to the yard or towards the house or garage. I want to enjoy seeing wildlife, not creating any type of human / wildlife conflict.

Be safe out there, and be bear aware!

Have a great week.

2021-05-10: Monochrome Monday

I missed posting yesterday, but since I thankfully had the opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, that was far more important then spending my free time editing some images.

I’m still hoping to get out and capture some of the birds that are now is residence (or passing through). I’ve seen a few different species of warblers recently, but they are pretty crafty, flitting away the moment I get close enough to capture an image.

For now, this lion seemed just right for Monochrome Monday. It was part of a rather large pride that spent the better part of two days doing nothing (maybe next spring I’ll get a chance to know what that feels like!)

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!

2021-05-02: Saddle billed stork

I’d planned to get some images of local birds this week, but the weather was playing against me, with lots of rain and gloomy skies. And, the one time I did get out with my camera, every bird in the yard mysteriously vanished, only to reappear once the camera was put away. They didn’t budge when I was out doing yard work, just when I had the camera – some days are like that.

So, instead I have a saddle billed stork taking a rest at the side of a dam. They look very strange with their legs folded in that manner, with their bodies appearing far out of proportion to their height off of the ground. The saddle billed stork is one of the nicest looking stork species in my opinion. I must admit, when I see a marabou stork, I do cringe a little bit.

Fingers crossed for more promising opportunities with the local birds, as there is a wonderful variety here now.

Have a great week everyone.

2021-04-26: Monochrome Monday

I’ve only had a couple of sightings of grey hornbills, and they have all been when the birds have been high in the treetops, usually at some distance, making capturing a decent image a bit of a challenge. The last trip I took probably had the best opportunity yet, though I still hope I will get to see this bird closer up, and in more detail, in the future. So we can add the grey hornbill to the always expanding list of things I want to see when I return to southern Africa sometime in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

2021-04-25: Hornbills

I’d planned to edit and post these two weeks ago, but life got in the way. First, I was distracted by some ravens in the yard, and last week, I was caught up with studying for finals and didn’t manage to sneak in any time for photo editing. I’m enjoying a very brief break from studies and to be honest, not quite sure what to do with all this free time on my hands!

This week will feature some hornbill images, and hopefully I can carry on with local birds next week, as there are lots of new faces in the area now that it is warming up.

A yellow-billed hornbill with a bite of lunch.
A red-billed hornbill perched in the late afternoon.
A southern ground hornbill, along with a pair of egyptian geese.

2021-04-12: Barred Owl

I had forgotten I’d had this sighting of the barred owl; I’d taken a few quick images as it napped in the tree branches, and then forgot to download the images to my computer. If it weren’t for the raven sighting yesterday, they may have sat on there for quite some time.

Thankfully all the snow seen in this image is now gone, but sadly, it seems like sightings of the owl may be as well. But who knows, I could also get lucky with some springtime owl sightings.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

2021-04-12: Raven

I was planning to edit some hornbill photos today, and was at my computer searching for images when movement outside my window caught my eye. I looked up from my computer as a raven landed in a tree outside my office window. Earlier in the day, I had spotted a dead squirrel on the lawn, and hadn’t had an opportunity to get out to clean it up; and I was hopeful that the raven would keep me from having to do so.

Getting photos through a small window isn’t ideal, but I knew the bird wasn’t going to wait for me to get my shoes on and head outside. It took a few tries before it was able to get the squirrel up and away, but in less than a minute, it was all over.

I always enjoy the opportunity to get to observe nature, whether it is our local deer, songbirds, ravens or more exotic animals while abroad.