2019-10-14: Monochrome Monday

For some reason, lions were calling to me today, so that’s the feature of monochrome Monday for the week.  These images were from a few different lion sightings on my most recent trip to South Africa.  I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a fantastic week!

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The Torchwood pride spent one day around Chitwa Chitwa, and we were fortunate enough to see the whole pride on the move, both in the morning, when this image was taken, and long after dark the same evening, where instead of trying to take pictures, I just sat back and enjoyed watching the lions walking under the light of a full moon.
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A lone lioness moving through the bush.
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An impressive male lion.

2019-10-13: Leopards

I finished off last Sunday’s post with the promise of sharing a few more leopard images this week, and here they are.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with this mother leopard and her cub on a couple of different occasions, in slightly different areas, providing a nice variety of images.  All the ones shared today though were taken on the same morning.

I hope you enjoy the selection below.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving today; I hope you have the opportunity to share the day with people that you care about, and can take some time to reflect on all the things to be thankful for.

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Five seconds that felt more like five minutes.  This tracker remained calm and completely still when the leopard stopped by and checked him out. 
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Once Mom was away from the kill in the tree, and out in the open, the cub came out of hiding.
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Greetings between mama and her cub.
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I like to share images like this to show the reality of a lot of leopard sightings, which is often viewing them through trees, tall grass or other obstructions.  Still beautiful to see (of course!) and it makes the moments when they are completely out in the open that much more special.
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Something startled Mom and caused her to sit straight up and look around; the cub is quite indifferent and sniffing an interesting spot of grass (which reminds me of walks with my dog!)

2019-10-07: Monochrome Monday

I think a lot of times, the antelope species seen while on safari get a bit ignored, as many guests want to focus on finding the Big 5 or Magnificent 7.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love those as well, but I do also enjoy stopping to watch the antelope going about their day.

Nyala are beautiful animals.  The males have curving horns and a shaggy coat on the underside of their necks.  The females are smaller and more lightly coloured (almost the same colouring as an impala).  Both feature white facial markings, and subtle stripes on their backs.

So why monochrome?  It just seemed to fit the images (and it gave me something to post today!)

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week!

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An older image that has been in my edited file for quite some time.  This mother and her calf were lounging the mid afternoon away in the undergrowth outside of my tent at Ngala Lodge.  I just loved the expression on the nyala’s face, like she is saying hi.

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This guy wandered right up to my deck at Lion Sands River Lodge while I was sitting outside having a cup of tea and reading my book.  He obviously felt safe and knew I was no threat to him, and he peacefully grazed while I snapped a few photos.

2019-10-06: Feasting Leopard

I said this month was going to be freestyle for my Sunday posts, and as I was going through my catalogue earlier in the week, I was taken by images of this leopard and decided to edit a few to share.

One of the things I love about being in the bush is witnessing some of the drama that unfolds.  This sighting was definitely more than met the eye at first glance.

The previous evening, we had very briefly driven to this area, as there was a leopard on an impala kill.  It was getting dark though, so we decided to carry on and make this area our first stop the next day.  When we headed out on our morning drive from Chitwa Chitwa, other vehicles were already at the sighting, so we had to wait a bit, but when we got there, we found a different leopard on the impala kill.  So, sometime during the night, the male leopard that we initially saw left, and this female snuck in to have an easy meal.

Things were made even more exciting by the fact that she had a cub who was also nearby, but you’ll need to check back next week to see some images of the two of them together.

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While it doesn’t look like there is much left on the impala, it was still a valuable, and free, meal for this leopard.
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If looks could kill.

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She was really working to gain access to a new spot on the carcass.

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The tracker on this vehicle had *nerves* of steel.  The leopard came down the tree, and paused in front of this vehicle and stared up at the tracker for 5 – 10 seconds before making her way off.  It doesn’t sound like a long time, but witnessing it, it sure felt like it.   The entire time he did not flinch or move a muscle.  

More of this beautiful leopard next week.  Until then, wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

2019-09-22: Photo Art – Rhinos

Today is World Rhino Day, so I decided to combine that with my photo art project for the month, and edit some of the rhino images I took on my last trip.

I won’t go on and on about the plight of the rhino, and of the greed, arrogance and ignorance of humans that has fuelled their decline and cluttered news feeds with horrifying photos of poaching.  Other people can do that far better than I.

I simply want to live in a world where rhinos can live in peace.  And I will hold that thought in my mind and in my heart, and hope that it becomes a reality.

As with all the other posts in this series, these images were created from photos I took, modified primarily using Topaz Studio to create these effects.

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2019-09-09: Monochrome Monday

Like impala, vervet monkeys can sometimes be seen so frequently from camp and when out on game drives that you stop paying attention to them, or taking the time to take photos of them.  The alarm calls of the vervet monkeys can sometimes lead to predator sightings, so they are definitely an animal worth paying attention to out in the bush.  They are interesting and inquisitive animals, and can often be seen up in the trees near camp buffet tables, trying to work out the best way to steal a muffin.

None of the vervet monkeys in the photos below were up to any such mischief (though I have seen it happen many times).  These were from two different troops that we stopped to spend time with while out on game drives in May.

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2019-09-08: Photo Art – Giraffes

I’m focusing on photo art this month, and decided to start things off focusing on giraffes. The easily recognizable shape of a giraffe meant that no matter how far I took the editing, the shape of the animal would still be recognizable as a giraffe.

Since I don’t have any natural talents in drawing and painting, creating these painterly interpretations from the photographs that I take is my opportunity to set aside the need to keep an image looking realistic, and instead focus on what the image is saying to me.

I hope you like my selections for the week; check back next Sunday to see the next instalment.

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I took this image in a lot of different directions before coming up with this final edit.  It is almost starting to resemble a photograph of a giraffe painted on the fabric.
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The rosy tint and soft focus effects give this image the feel of a vintage photograph.
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Even though they are enormous animals, giraffes have an amazing ability to blend into their surroundings.  I wanted to highlight the camouflage nature of the coat in this edit.
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This giraffe image reminds me of some of the animal paintings I have seen in old stately homes.   

2019-08-31: Birds – Shades of Blue

Travelling through southern Africa, pretty much any time of year, will provide the opportunity to see a great variety of birds.  Today I chose to focus on ones with feathers in shades of blue.  I hope you enjoy the variety of images today, and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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A lilac breasted roller
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A burchell’s starling
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A white-bellied sunbird
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A pair of cape glossy starlings
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A green wood-hoopoe
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A cape glossy starling
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A wire-tailed swallow
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A double-collared sunbird
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A lilac breasted roller