We took over 3,000 photos with two cameras and two iPhones in 10 days. I wasn’t sure how I would ever organize or narrow down the images, let alone my thoughts from our first photo safari. Then Mark told me he was tagging his with the D-65 Digital Workflow Lightroom Keyword tool. Under the category of “mammals” were carnivores, marsupials, primates…….. and “ungulates” or hooved mammals. Neither of us knew the word (no biology majors here) and I suspect people who do know it google the definition to be sure! So, for the next sub category of photos and experiences, I’m talking about ungulates (both even and odd toed).
I just returned from 10 days in Tanzania visiting several National Parks and Conservation areas to photograph wildlife with Mark and friends. We had our iPhones, plus two cameras with wide angle and zoom lenses. We took thousands of photos and are still sorting through them. I’m also still synthesizing the experiences of my first trip to Africa, making blogging a challenge. However, I am eager to share some of what we saw in Serengeti National Park where we spent several days. When all else fails in blogging, I fall back on my love of art and photography. Here goes! Caution; not all images are cute and cuddly.
The lions were everywhere, far away, up close and seemingly indifferent to our presence. We spent hours observing them. One day we came across 5 young males taking turns feeding on and guarding this buffalo (sorry, circle of life and all.) When we first arrived, we noticed a tree serving as a napping spot for the lions as well as a perch for awaiting buzzards. Other scavengers started coming up through the tall grass. We counted several black back jackals and about a dozen hyenas. One hyena was particularly persistent, risking a nibble as the lion munched on the other end. Mark captured his admonishment.
On another day we came across a pride of lions along the roadside. There were two cubs running around, hiding in the grass but I was able to catch one of them “copping some attitude” with his older brother before taking off.
In the heat of mid day, lions were almost exclusively found napping. Our guides showed us several rock formations where lions liked to rest. We were told one of the formations was famously called “Pride Rock” from “The Lion King.” Lions seemed to enjoy napping under trees, but appear to find sleep most blissful on the rocks.
Cheetahs and leopards were harder to find. We knew they were out there, but usually up in the trees during the heat of the day. We only got a few photographs. Here’s one of a leopard in a “sausage tree” (Kigelia pinnata.) Can you spot her?
Finally, through safari guide networking, we were able to find this mother cheetah and her three cubs. This is the best we could do, as she patiently laid inward protecting her cubs while also feeding them bits of the Thompson Gazelle. She never looked directly at us, but she knew we were there.
That’s it for my first down-load of this amazing trip. Photos were shot with my iPhone or, watermarked accordingly, taken by Mark Winslet. I’d also like to credit our wonderfully experienced and patient safari guides from Duma Explorer; Ebaneezer Emanuel, Wilson Shange and Kawaga Mohamed who helped us spot the very elusive cheetah and leopards (http://www.dumaexplorer.com/about-us/meet-the-team/safari-staff.) By the way, “Duma” means “Cheetah’ in Swahili.
Daylight Savings began this morning. I stayed up past my bedtime and woke up too early. Now I’m stupefied. Here is another good reason for procrastinating on my writing goals. Several interviews done and zero drafts completed this year. I must remind myself of how and why I write. There is no deadline and I’m not getting paid. This blog is about my crazy retirement adventures, not just promoting art. In honor of that philosophy and not getting enough sleep, take a look at these fantastic “keep you up all night” bedrooms from Modernism Week in the Palm Springs area last month. Continue reading →
Today is International Day of the Girl. After so much political, partisan, media fueled conflict in recent days, I was happy to see positive things pop up in my news feeds this morning.
One year ago today, I visited Ottawa Parliament Hill. Les femmes sont des personnes!I posed for this “tongue in cheeky” photo. Pure Kismet that it popped up in my “Facebook memories” on the International Day of the Girl. I then started reading my news briefs and discovered the Obama Foundation had launched the Global Girls Alliance. Still feeling hopeful…….
I love trees and artful expression of trees. If I’ve had no recent revelations to blog about, I can always express myself through the art of trees. I was recently travelling with these arty folks again. We all love photography, painting and looking at art. Per chance, we rented a house on East Sound, right next door to Leo Lambiel’s home and art museum.
We arrived in time to experience our first sunset on the pines and madronas of our bluff. Even though my Mom’s family is from and still lives in Washington, I don’t recall noticing madronas on earlier visits. I wasn’t familiar with their curvy branches and stunningly red bark. They always look like the sun is setting on them. Here on Orcas Island, we were constantly reminded of their presence in natural settings as well as in the community’s artwork. Continue reading →
I missed a prime whale photo op because I was looking at pottery. Berry bowls. I was taking pictures of berry bowls while Mark was watching a whale off Orcas Island, WA. When I planned my trip to Orcas Island, I dreamed of daily trail hikes to the beach and ocean kayaking amongst the whales. It was quite cool and windy = cold as heck, plus the whales aren’t too happy with humans right now. We decided to go look at pottery one day instead. Continue reading →
Cloak by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino in the Saint Guilhem Cloister
During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to enjoy Fort Tryon Park on a daily basis. One of those days, I visited The Cloisters embedded in the park and managed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I noticed the sampling of architecture throughout and learned it was constructed using bits and pieces of Romanesque and Gothic structures from France and Italy. Each piece has its own elaborate history. In addition, a portion of the Met’s feature exhibit “Heavenly Bodies” was integrated into it. Continue reading →
Did you ever have a shirt or dress that fell out of favor, ending up in the back of your closet? Months or years later you find it, pull it on and suddenly it looks differently on you? That’s how I felt about NYC before retiring. I associated trips to NYC with work and travel related stress. Plowing my way through crowds and drug sniffing dogs in La Guardia. Stepping out into the heat wearing a suit. A scary cab ride into downtown. People everywhere. I had many creative excuses for not going to work in NYC. However my beloved niece lives there and I decided to try on NYC again. Continue reading →
After celebrating the New Year in Southern California, Mark and I decided to take the long way home, venturing off the main highway to see as much of Route 66 as we could. Actually, it wasn’t that spontaneous. Mark had plotted the trip and made numerous reservations weeks in advance. The weather in some locations could be unpredictable, but we were lucky to have very mild conditions. We were able to execute our plan flawlessly. Continue reading →
My holiday road trip on and off Route 66 took me to Santa Fe for a couple of days. It was a week into the new year and crowds were thin. We were able to wander the town square and other areas taking pictures without waiting on people and cars to exit the frame. We stayed just off the square at La Posada de Santa Fe, also known as the art hotel of Santa Fe. Filled with original works of art for sale, it was perfect. Also perfect, was the Georgia O’Keeffe museum. Here are some “tree-full” memories from the Santa Fe art scene and landscape.
Triptych in the lobby of the hotel by Kim Barrick.