Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Birds in the Animal Kingdom

As dawn approaches the mountain on wings of clouds, it is time for Nature to start a new day.

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An early meerkat caught unawares – for the moment! He’s up unusually early, scouting for scraps…

a He’s lucky to have escaped the serval, who slept a bit later today.

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An industrious mole pokes the last sand out of his tunnel. Time to go to bed…tonight he’ll continue mining for roots.6a

Down in the valley, the hippos don’t care much about such small things. They have water and food. In an hour or so, they’ll sunbathe before returning to their pool.

abfClever Mr Jackall busy soaking up a bit of heat. The nights are getting to be quite cold in autumn, and hunting has been slow. But today? Today he’ll find something to still that gnawing hunger.

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Ah, yes, the start of another day in Africa… Will they all survive when the sun sets?

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Only time will tell…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blurred Memory

“…And that, son, is exactly what a desert elephant looked like. Close your eyes tightly, and imagine what a wonderful creature it used to be.”

begin 2004 080“Gee dad! Really? They used to live here?”

“Yep…right here, in the desert. It was a long time ago, when they were still protected.”b2

“Wow! I would have loved to see one.”

“They were quite magnificent. For a while it looked as if they might have been saved, But….”

b5“Aw no, dad! Don’t tell me…”

“I’m sorry, son, but they didn’t survive, I’m afraid.”

“And now, dad?”

b4“We can only imagine them.They once lived here…free and harmless. Only their memory lives on.”

“But I’ve never seen one, dad! I can’t remember something I’ve never seen!”

“That, my son, is true. Unfortunately the poachers didn’t care.”

Weekly Photo Challenge – the freshness of an African dawn.

There’s something about the freshness in an African dawn…

405The misty waterfall seems to hold its breath as the sun lurks just below the horizon.

IMG_2159Even the clinging bushel of reeds light up in anticipation.

mattanu 085aA lone giraffe welcomes the comforting rays of light, relieved at surviving another night.

100_1493aWhile a tired lion rests after a night of hunting.

Zambia ekspedisie 112aThis is the time for the intrepid traveller to saddle up: Africa awaits, fresh and eager,  to display her charms.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Walls of Grief and longing

Walls know stuff. They’ve seen the arguments, the passion and the joy of living. And, long after the people have left, they tell the story.

IMG_3247A lover knocked, the door opened, arms reached out for comfort.

IMG_3246Put your hat on the shelf over there, she said, smiling coyly.

IMG_3248Dancing to the kitchen, she asked if he’d like some coffee.

IMG_3315I even stoked the geyser, should you want to freshen up, she said.

IMG_3094I have no time, he answered heavily. The war….

IMG_3339And he left her standing in the doorway, waiting.

IMG_3267She’s still there. She, the walls…and the sand…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Nowhere on earth (okay, it is a biased opinion!) does orange colour the sky as beautifully as in Africa, especially early in the morning.

sunrise

In the east, the endless Indian Ocean becomes a pewter-grey as the day is born. The clouds, however, celebrate the dawn.

earlyAn early bird flies inland to announce the new day. Its cry will wake those who slumber for the last few minutes of the night.

daybreakThis is a magical time on the continent. Light comes slowly at first, then it casts a joyous spell on all who celebrate the departure of darkness.

orangeThe waters of the great Makgadikgadi pans turn bronze in the heat of the sun’s harsh fury as it burns down on arid Botswana.

begin 2004 115aWhen at last the sun has spent its force, it is time to find a safe spot to spend the night.

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While Man, eternally fearful of the dark, feeds the fire, hoping the glow will keep danger away.

MAAN 004 mod 4Until…at last…the moon arrives to bathe Africa in an orange so unique, so special, that one wishes that dawn will postpone its arrival for just once…

elBut it refuses, and the animals gather once more, as they must, to greet the sun with joy.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

More than a century ago, John Masefield sat down and penned a dream – he simply had to get away from it all and reward himself with me-time at the sea. He wasn’t (and isn’t) alone in this quest.  Don’t we all – from time to time – wish we could sit on a deserted beach and watch the waves come rolling in? Is it not an apt reward (and a great escape!) for pretending we actually like life in the crowded cities?  Come on, join John Masefield in his famous poem – Sea Fever.

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I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

aa3
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
aa2
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

aa5

Thank you Mr Masefield  – for sharing a precious dream. Now I can listen to Kris Delmhorst singing while I close my eyes and dream…of a precious reward.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Symmetry of the Zambezi

Not for Africa the stark lines of Gothic precision and precise lines. Here, Mother Nature designed with a free hand, a warm smile and an artistic touch. What better example of her symmetrical creativity than the waters of the mighty Zambezi?

A small stream in the upper Zambezi revels in the sunset. It is the start of a massive journey to the sea.

A small stream in the upper Zambezi revels in the sunset. It is the start of a massive journey to the sea.

The moss-grown cliffs oppose each other in an eternal stand-off at the Victoria Falls

The moss-grown cliffs oppose each other in an eternal stand-off at the Victoria Falls. The roar of the cascade announces the arrival of the water at this beautiful gorge.

Farther downstream, the sunset is greeted with quiet tranquility.

Farther downstream, the sunset is greeted with quiet tranquility.

A lonely tree guards the passage to the ocean as the water eddies past.

A lonely tree guards the passage to the ocean as the water eddies past.

At last, as the ocean draws near, twin elephants take a final bath in the cool, fresh, waters.

At last, as the ocean draws near, twin elephants take a final bath in the cool, fresh, waters.

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Finally the lagoon and the sea. Clouds will carry droplets back to the small stream, to start the journey all over again. Perfect symmetry? Only as Mother Nature can do it…

Weekly Photo Challenge: African Travel Expressions

Yeah, we’ve got them all here, just the same as the folks in Europe or Asia or the States. Some personalities are universal – you simply can’t go anywhere without bumping into them. So let’s get off the plane at the deserted little airfield and watch the characters around us.

sealThat smug young blonde – makeup freshly applied – will eye you at the baggage carousel. Are you rich enough? Just passing through? Or maybe willing to mix business with a little…pleasure?

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There’s the timid young man, uncertain about the first night on safari and far too proud to admit his anxiety. Will he be able to close an eye tonight, or be hunted (and haunted) by yet another nightmare?

crocInevitably, over there, we have the lecherous old man, biding his time before making his move. His thoughts are evilly carnal, his appetite never satisfied.

lionBut wait, here’s the slick game ranger (and she’s a girl!)! Dressed in regulation tight-fitting khaki, she’ll take her time to select something…special…for tonight. Beware though: don’t slip into her tent uninvited. Staying beyond the reach of those claws (and teeth) is a very good idea.

buffelWhat? Politicians? Yes, they’re everywhere. And just like in any other country, they are unpredictable and extremely dangerous. Best sit next to the blonde, then. Or even the ranger.

dogOh, well…maybe you’ll be better off in the air-conditioned comfort of the lodge. Yes, great idea. Oh, you’ll still wish you were out there, but at least you’ll be safe. Maybe order room service for the next few days? Yeah…then you can buy some postcards to show the friends back home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity, Africa’s Allure.

Africa. A continent of conflict, as we all know. The home of pirates, religious fanatics, despots.

But…the real Africa has another face. Non-human…even non-animal. Just beauty and space.

And serenity…

Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town. A lane of 100 year old trees. It is quiet here…

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In the magnificent Baviaanskloof you can hear the silence

n1

Close to Stellenbosch. Only the forlorn cry of a fish eagle to keep you company.

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Ahhhh….the roads through Namibia. Nobody in sight. No telephone lines, no fences…

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The beauty of Damara Land

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Rain in the Serengeti