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 started working on this photo a couple days ago and got sidetracked, and quite handily, had some time to finish it today for my monochrome post. This was shot as a long exposure with an infrared filter, from the deck of Lion Sands Tinga Lodge (oh, how I wish I was there right now!)
I’m really hoping I can find some opportunities between work and school work to get out and play around with the infrared filter this summer, as it is definitely a technique I enjoy th look of, and would like to get some more skills in.
I’d planned to get some images of local birds this week, but the weather was playing against me, with lots of rain and gloomy skies. And, the one time I did get out with my camera, every bird in the yard mysteriously vanished, only to reappear once the camera was put away. They didn’t budge when I was out doing yard work, just when I had the camera – some days are like that.
So, instead I have a saddle billed stork taking a rest at the side of a dam. They look very strange with their legs folded in that manner, with their bodies appearing far out of proportion to their height off of the ground. The saddle billed stork is one of the nicest looking stork species in my opinion. I must admit, when I see a marabou stork, I do cringe a little bit.
Fingers crossed for more promising opportunities with the local birds, as there is a wonderful variety here now.
I’ve only had a couple of sightings of grey hornbills, and they have all been when the birds have been high in the treetops, usually at some distance, making capturing a decent image a bit of a challenge. The last trip I took probably had the best opportunity yet, though I still hope I will get to see this bird closer up, and in more detail, in the future. So we can add the grey hornbill to the always expanding list of things I want to see when I return to southern Africa sometime in the (hopefully) not too distant future.