2019-06-10: Monotone Monday

I switched it up a little this week (monotone, instead of monochrome) as I really liked the natural blue colour that this image had.

While out on a morning game drive on from Lion Sands Tinga Lodge, we came across a baboon troop that was just starting to stir in the treetops.  Some youngsters had begun to play, and a few members were already on the ground.  They were in a large tree at the edge of the river, so even though sunrise was only minutes away, it was still rather dark.

This mother and her infant caught my eye, nestled into the fork of the tree; just a simple moment, but one I was glad I could capture, and remember again.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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2019-06-09: Kudu

When I am out on safari, I like to ask the rangers and trackers what their favourite animal is to watch, or what they would like to see while out on a game drive.  Usually, the answer is one of the larger predators, or elephants.  But I had a first with our last guide, Harley, while staying at Chitwa Chitwa.  His favourite animal is the kudu.

Kudu are a truly impressive animal, especially the males with their huge spiralling horns.  They have enormous ears that rotate around like satellite dishes, to aid them in picking up sounds while they are in amongst the trees.

Here are a few kudu images for today.  It seemed as good a topic as any!

If you’d like to learn a bit more about kudu, here is the Wiki page for them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudu

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A kudu cow and calf.
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A classic model pose!
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A trio of kudu leave the Chitwa Chitwa dam under the midday sun.
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A kudu bull heads back into the relative safety of the tree cover.
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A kudu cow just before she ducked deeper into the bushes.  Getting an unobstructed view of these animals is definitely a challenge.

 

2019-06-02: Honey Badgers!

First off, I must apologize for not posting for the last couple of week.  I had the best of intentions while away to keep up with my regular posting schedule, but that fell by the wayside pretty quickly as I relaxed fully into holiday mode.  I’ve been back a little over a week and am just now getting into organizing photos.

It may surprise some that the first images I am posting are pretty crappy photos, but I was so excited about the sighting that I had to share them.  This was my 6th trip to Africa, and after hoping and wishing that one day it would happen, I finally saw honey badgers.  Not only that, I saw them on my very first game drive of the trip!

We were in quite a dark, tree lined area near Lion Sands River Lodge, and these two honey badgers shot out of the bushes onto the road, ran in front of the vehicle chattering amongst themselves, and then disappeared back in to the bush.  All told, we probably had a view of them for 30 seconds or so.  The images that I captured were only in a 6 second window.  So while the images aren’t great, at least they are proof that I finally saw the elusive honey badger.  We actually had one run across the road in daylight while at another camp towards the end of the trip, but that was literally a blink and you miss it moment, and I didn’t even have time to get my camera up to my eye before it was gone.

I edited these images using both On1 Photo Raw (for basic corrections) and then using Topaz Studio and the new Topaz Denoise AI program.  The Denoise AI was able to get the best out the image that I could.  These won’t be featured images printed for display around my house, but they are a wonderful reminder of an amazing game drive filled with interesting sightings (I’ll share some of the other interesting creatures at a later date, as for now, duty calls and I have a lawn to mow).

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2019-05-13: Monochrome Monday

During my travels it has been heartwarming to see several different rhinos cows with their calves.   I did have one sighting that turned out to be quite a missed opportunity though.  The Mom was busy having a drink at a watering hole, and the baby began to whine, wanting access to milk.  Mom wasn’t interested at that time, and the whining from the baby got louder and more insistent.  This went on for a good couple of minutes, and I didn’t even think to switch into video, and kept capturing still images instead.  The only time I have heard rhinos before is on nature programs, so it was definitely a wonderful moment in the bush for me.

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2019-04-22: Monochrome Monday

Here we are at Monday again.  I felt like editing some elephant images recently, so that is what I have decided to share today.  Elephants, with their amazingly textured skin, look fantastic in monochrome images (at least I think so!)

I hope you enjoy my selections.  Have a great week!

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A lone bull elephant crossing the Boteti River in Botswana.
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An elephant enjoying some tasty greens.
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Giving the grasses a good shake, to remove excess dirt, before eating.
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An elephant enjoying a drink at one of the dams on Phinda Game Reserve.
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There is actually a pair of elephants here, climbing out of the dry riverbed in front of Ngala Tented Camp, but one is mostly obscured by the bushes.  This image looked pretty flat and lifeless from the harsh midday sun, until I did the black and white conversion.  I couldn’t quite go ask them to repeat the trek at a later time when the lighting was more favourable!

2019-04-21: Leopards Playing

While this leopard sighting was almost two years ago, it feels both like a lifetime ago, and also like it was yesterday.  I find it interesting how the same experience can occupy those different spaces, seemingly at the same time.

This was the second to last day of my last safari, and the photos don’t need too much commentary.  Our ranger took us to a leopard and her two cubs that were deep in a ravine, and while we perched, parked on the side of a rather steep slope, the cubs went about their day, playing, chasing, exploring and occasionally, snuggling up with their Mom.

I hope you enjoy my selections for today.  Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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An excellent climber already.
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A fallen tree makes an excellent perch to look out over the ravine.
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A very intriguing tail.  A moment after this, it got a little chomp!
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Look at those messy green paws!
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Snuggles with Mom.
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A perfect cat pounce.
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Practicing stalking.
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It was wonderful to watch Mom get in on the game, and start to chase the cubs around.

2019-04-07: Birds

A random selection of bird images this week!

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Oftentimes, spotting a congregation of vultures like this, and heading to where they are circling yields an interesting discovery… but in this case, they were all just hovering over a bare patch of desert beyond this bush.
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A group of wattled cranes seen in Botswana.
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A little bee-eater ruffling its feathers.
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Try as I might, I am unable to identify these raptors.  They were spotted on a game drive in Botswana from the Leroo La Tau camp.
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A red-billed quelea flock at sunset.
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Red-billed quelea leaving a roosting spot.  That small tree was absolutely vibrating with energy while they were there.
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An African harrier hawk taking some grief from a pigeon.
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My personal favourite, the lilac breasted roller.
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A Meyer’s parrot spotted in Botswana.  This was the first wild parrot I’d ever seen.
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A Meyer’s parrot.