The majority of my time in southern Africa has been during the fall and into the winter (the dry season) which also happens to be the time for the impala rut. The dynamics at play during that period are very interesting to watch, and sometimes the result for the fighting males can be an untimely end (I shared some images taken during rutting season here, if you’re interested).
This time, while traveling through the bush, we saw many heavily pregnant impalas, and were hopeful of the chance to see some newly born lambs. Our group lucked out in two areas, Zambezi National Park and Chobe National Park, and had the chance to see two of the newest members of the herds. In both cases, these were our guides first lambs of the season. We were a bit early for the baby boom, but it was nice to see the couple that we did.
It’s a challenge to get back into old routines when they’ve been allowed to slip away. This seems to be true for a variety of things, from health and fitness routines to participating in hobbies. The last post I shared was back in January, almost a full year ago. At that time, I needed to let photography and posting slide as I was trying to deal with my final semester of school (plus raising a new puppy and dealing with other life challenges). Once school ended in May, I thought I would be able to easily jump back in to doing all the things, but that wasn’t my reality. Instead, I eventually came to the realization that I was burnt out, and needed to give myself some time and space to add things back into my schedule.
At the start of November, I embarked on the first trip I’d taken since 2019. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to focus on things that I enjoy, and pick my camera up again. While I still have lots of different places I want to visit, heading back to Africa felt like the right thing to do. I wanted to be back amongst elephants.
It didn’t take long before creating images felt natural again, and I am hoping I will be able to find the same with editing in due course. I’ve played around with a few different types of software over the years, but have decided to try Capture One for cataloging and editing. Right now, it feels like a steep learning curve, however, I think returning to Lightroom would likely feel the same after being vacant from editing for almost a year.
I’m looking forward to working through my images and sharing some of the experiences I had on my trip over the next while. I’m hopeful I can get back into a routine of creating and posting.
When I started my summer term in May, I knew I had a very heavy workload planned and would likely only have minimal opportunities to work on my photography and post to the blog. But between work, school and other commitments, as well as trying to enjoy what little summer Prince George gets, photography completely went by the wayside. The September term was even more packed, and it was all I could do to keep up with commitments. When I logged on today, I noticed that the last post I did was May 23rd.
Next week I’m starting in to my last semester of grad school, with only two classes to go. With a slightly less hectic school schedule, I am hopeful I will be able to carve out a bit of time each week to work on my photography and share some images. But until this education journey is complete, I have to prioritize as needed, and the blog will likely be the thing to get dropped if my schedule gets too hectic again.
Today I’m sharing a few images of my favourite cat, the leopard. While initially I had been using a trip to Africa as a carrot for getting through my program when things got tough, right now it seems uncertain when I’ll be able to plan an international trip again. I’m certainly hoping, like so many people, that things calm down and travel can resume again without the risk of last minute cancellations and flight issues. I’ve got a very full plate until the end of April, but I am hopeful that I can start to plan a trip once my courses are completed, whether it will be local or international – your guess is as good as mine.
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).
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.
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!)
I almost missed my Monday post, but remembered in the knick of time that I hadn’t put anything up yet today. I edited this one yesterday, and it was an interesting sighting that ended up involving three different leopards, while staying at Lion Sands.
This sighting was at dusk and lit with a spotlight with a red filter. Converting it to black and white was a great option to remove the strange colour casts, but I’ll be honest, I still find it a little flat looking. But, it was pretty flat with only a bit of light left in the sky, and the sighting in a fairly heavily treed area.
Regardless if the photo turned out great, it brings back memories and I find myself right back there in the vehicle, sitting behind our ranger Albert, who was getting rather frustrated by the confusing tracks all of the place, which made far more sense when we came to realize they were made by three different cats.