Fiscal Shrike in Tanzania Bush
There were so many beautiful birds we spotted on our recent Africa trip and … so many that I didn’t capture on camera. The ones I was able to capture, were not always photo sharp, to my dismay. But still, they provide wonderful memories. I so love birds and hope to get better at capturing their distinct beauty.
“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”
Nature historian David Attenborough
Vultures in Serengeti Sunrise, Tanzania.
When on safari, one doesn’t consider African vultures worthy of photographing when there are more beautiful creatures to capture. But one early morning at our mobile campsite on the Serengeti, there were a number sitting up in the trees, resting before the day began. They were a beautiful sight against the sunrise. I learned to appreciate these barbaric looking birds for their importance on the plains of Africa. Their ability to fly over 60 miles a day patrolling the plains plays a vital role in keeping the wild areas free of disease and rotting carcasses. They are incredibly efficient scavengers, leaving just bones, providing yet another meal for their competitors – the jackals, hyenas and feral dogs who will remove any remaining evidence of death.
Elephants of Botswana, Africa
Well, I am seriously behind on my posts, my friends, but I do have a good excuse. We have been in Africa with friends for the last three weeks on incredible private game safaris and through 5 countries … Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. We tracked leopard, viewed the antics of wild dog, observed sleeping cheetahs within a few feet, followed the great wildebeest migration, observed the cycle of life and death of newborn calves, learned the struggles of lion prides and was awed at the beauty of elephant herds. And that’s just a smidgen of our travels! All documented in over 4,500 photos and that doesn’t even include the deleted ones. Now the hard work begins …. selecting the best of the best of those 4,500 images. That will take some time. But in the meantime, over the next few days, I will attempt to catch up on my 52-Week Photo Challenge! I hope you enjoy.
I captured this Anhinga at Herons Nest Nature Park cleaning up and air-drying himself. Usually these guys are in the water swimming with just their neck and head showing, so it was nice to capture him drying out.
Historic Spanish Point, Pioneer Boat Yard
A friend recently told me about Spanish Point in Osprey, and with the Holiday weather being awesome, we ventured down to explore it this past week. Through the years, the pioneer dwellings and prehistoric Indian remains have been preserved, along with the formal lawns and plantings and an actual Aqueduct. I enjoyed walking among the mangroves overlooking Little Sarasota Bay and taking in the serenity of this quiet oasis.
The original image was mediocre. So I went to work on ‘spiffing’ up the image, since I thought it represented the quiet solitude of Spanish Point. It was first edited in Lightroom using a Photomorphis texture and then over to Topaz Studio for some more edits. Hope you enjoy.
Sunset at Anna Maria Island.
One of our favorite places for sunsets is on the north end of Anna Maria Island. The sunsets are spectacular and the sugar white sands are an important habitat for an incredible array of wildlife. On many many occasions, we have shared evening sunsets with herons, sandpipers, ospreys, cranes, seagulls, skimmers, egrets and my favorite, pelicans. During various times of the day and year, you’ll see different species of shorebirds, sometimes hundreds, congregating at dusk for an evening feed.
What I always find fascinating, that at some point, as darkness nears, the congregation rise collectively and fly off to their evening roost, wherever that may be. I love that moment of unison against the setting sun.
(This was shot with an iPhone and edited in Snapseed. The sunburst was added with the LensLight app.)
Anna Maria, Florida
Our favorite holiday to celebrate with family is Thanksgiving and this year we decided to spend the week at our beach house on Anna Maria. Each evening presented us with a variety of sunsets, never failing to bring out the ‘awws’ in us as we watched our grandson dodge the gentle waves.
I thought the above iPhone image was perfect for this week’s theme as we journey out for another afternoon sunset. Each sunset is always a “Wildcard” as the day turns to dusk.