As much as the sight of my wooden calendar in my room frightens me, it also excites me that we are in the 11th month of the year. This means that the rains should be on their way, many more bird species should follow them and the bush is going to transform into a forest of noisy insects.
I’ve had a fantastic last few days in the bush with many sightings of all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. The animals that seem to have stolen my heart over the last few days have certainly been the elephants, in particular the young ones. I will never get tired of watching these little things wander around and try work out how their mothers walk so quickly, how their little legs work together and what the reason for the long thing that hangs off the front of their face is. They have certainly kept my guests and I entertained with their quirky traits.
As I always say, I’ve tried to capture the key moments but may have missed a few due to slow reactions or just sheer enjoyment of looking without a lens, but nonetheless enjoy this Week in Pictures…
With the wet season hopefully approaching fast, afternoon thunder clouds aren’t an uncommon sight at the moment. When they do appear they always create very dramatic colours and backdrops. Here a female giraffe watches as a family of warthogs runs across an open clearing. f5.6 @ 1/500 ; ISO 1000.
A female white rhino and her calf follow the scent of another rhino in the area. White rhino make use of scent for a huge amount of their communication. f5.6 @ 1/1250 ; ISO 1250.
The Mashaba female leopard walks through an area with extremely dark soil. I am always fascinated by leopard’s coats and their camouflage. I loved how varying the contrast is between her coat and the soil. f5.6 @ 1/800 ; ISO 1000
The safest place for an elephant calf to be is between its mother’s legs. This youngster was rather nervous of possible dangers lurking at the watering hole and so chose this spot underneath its towering mother to quench its thirst. f7.1 @ 1/500 ; ISO 640.
With the drought still persisting, the soil is as bare as ever, leaving a layer of dust on the surface. On a very windy afternoon we were caught in a rather large dust storm and despite the rather eerie feel of it, we also found it rather beautiful. f8 @ 1/1000 ; ISO 640.
Whilst watching the Tatowa female leopard one morning I noticed a dragonfly that took a particular interest in our vehicle. I managed to get my shutter speed high enough to capture it in mid air. I’m always amazed by the colours nature is able to produce. f5.6 @ 1/2500 ; ISO 1000.
As I mentioned earlier, elephants have stolen my heart once again in the last couple of weeks, especially the youngsters. It seemed this very young calf was trying to mimic each of its mother’s movements, which got rather entertaining when the mother decided to scratch her legs. f5.6 @ 1/500 ; ISO 640.
A male giraffe drinks from of one of the puddles left over from a downpour of rain we had a week ago. Giraffes don’t have to drink too often in ideal conditions, but in the time of drought even they will take advantage of extra water. f5.6 @ 1/1000 ; ISO 640.
One of the Matimba male lions keeps a watchful eye on a hyena bypassing him as he rest with his brother and the Mhangeni breakaway pride. f6.3 @ 1/800 ; ISO 1000.
The softness of the water attracted me to this scene. It reminded me more of liquid mercury than water and thought it would create a beautiful scene with this watchful hippo. f5.6 @ 1/1000 ; ISO 500.
Trevor Mcall-Peat and Jerry Hambana enjoy an elephant sighting with their guests. Here this youngster does his best to intimidate us with trumpets and outstretched ears. f8 @ 1/1000 ; ISO 640.
Not a leopard we view all that often. Here the Tatowa female’s gaze was caught by a passing duiker which she chased briefly but but did not manage to catch. f5.6 @ 1/1250 ; ISO 640.
I absolutely love the inquisitive nature of hyena cubs. It seems to me as if they fight the urge to know whats going on, but curiosity always prevails. f5.6 @ 1/500 ; ISO 640.
The last sighting I had of the late 4:4 Robson’s male. Filtering through my pictures I came across this reflection shot I managed to get of him as he passed a watering hole. I thought it rather apt as that is exactly what I was doing whilst going through my photos of the iconic male – Reflecting. f6.3 @ 1/1000 ;ISO 640.
As always, it’s been a pleasure bringing you a roundup of my last few days in this special piece of paradise. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend…