We decided last night on taking our breakfast out with us again today, when a little voice whispered in my ear, the plan is for the whole group of guests to join us out for breakfast. I am rather glad there was no mirror I could capture the look that will have appeared on my face - what share my breakfast with a bunch of strangers - no on your life. We are here not to be with a bunch of strangers, if I want to do that I will go to a mall, find a coffee shop and sit there. It is such a shame my nicer qualities vanish rather rapidly when sprung a suggestion like this and the mouth opens before the brain thinks lol. I turned, probably glared (yes I am good at doing that - must be the teacher in me) and said if the whole group were planning on that we could return to the camp for ours. The arrangement now is the group have their breakfast out in one place and we will be somewhere else. Oh so unsociable, but we are not here to do people watching although I do have to admit it can be rather entertaining at times, a bit like watching monkeys in a zoo!!!!!!! I often wonder what the animals think of us, do they see us as the remarkable creatures I see them or as the idiots I often see as people (or maybe we are just dinner)!!!!
So onto today's adventure, what wonders do I have for you to feast your eyes on :) Here we go . . . . . Rain, rain and more rain. Do we care, not in the least, still having our early morning wake up call at 5:30 we then got a message to have a rest as the vehicles were not going out. We have a lot of black cotton soil here which becomes like thick glue when it gets wet along with many of the animals staying under cover and poor light there really is not much point in driving around. Breakfast - well obviously not the planned picnic, we ate at the lodge, drank more tea, chatted to Pete and others, looked at old photos from 40 years ago then gave up and decided to orgnise a packed lunch and head on out. The rain had stopped and to be honest, driving around and seeing nothing but having the fun of looking was a heck of a lot more interesting than people watching!!!!
Lunch in the vehicle, cameras at hand, away we went - what would we see. The first day we arrived the special moment had to be the four young lion, yesterday (Tuesday) the zebra having their argy bargy momnet, surly not much to beat that. Pete is on a mission with Quality, our Massai tracker, they know the only big cat I have not seen in all my time in Africa is cheetah apart from semi tame ones which folks have had as pets then returned to the orphanages for one reason or another. We had been driving around for all of about half an hour or so when Quality tapped Pete and pointed - cheetah, Could I see the cat, not on your life but they had their eyes on him/her. I asked Quality how he had seen the cheetah, was it a tail with the black end movement etc. no was his reply, he saw the straight back in the long grass. Blow me, I feel as blind as a bat here, can see giraffe and ellies in the difference now and did spot a ground squirrel but not much else, oh and a possible line, that then looked like a rock but metamorphosed into an young Tommy Gazelle. I really need to get this blog posted and have talked way to much so onto the photos - I am only going to write a couple of words about each lol.
Hornbill (BIRD lol) but I don't know which one
This ellie is only 3 or 4 weeks old, sorry so many photos here. We saw this darling and it's pal on the first day we were out, way over in the distace with their family and today we came across the heard of about 30 ellies, I think we spent well over a hour sitting watching them.
Baby and mum - now you can really see how small it is
WOW another ellie - with her baby and the other youngster who looks the same age.
Ahhh I just cold not resist, this photo does give a good idea how big the wee one is if you look at it in proportion to the grass.
And here we are stepping out (no not us :)) but one of the babie, look at that, 3 or 4 weeks old and already thinking - come on mum and auntie ellie - quick march, we are going this way :) :) :) :)
Dik - dik - a tiny anterlope the size of a small dog, and so fast. Not an easy photo to get so I am over the moon with this one.
This poor zebra will be dinner soon, he is such an old guy and obviously been around for a while with hid battered broken ear and all his scars.
Lewa Downs is a major Black and White Rhine conservation area and look what we found today, mum and baby White Rhine (we saw the Black with her baby too). Here is an interesting fact - White Rhino are a bit dense and reasonably placid but the Black is a different temperament altogether and when it comes to babies the White Rhino always makes her baby walk in front of her but the Black Rhine makes her youngster walk behind.
Crested Cranes displaying - it is the mating season.
Flying practise lol - Crested Cranes
It is almost dark now and on the way back to the lodge after having been out for 8 hours solid we found this guy cooling his feet and most of his legs in a big mud puddle. How could we resist not taking more photos. OK, I know the photo does not look like this was taken at 6 p.m. but I really have been learning how to use my camera, changing the light settings etc. to avoid back lighting all by myself, setting the focus selection to exactly what I want and oh feeling so proud of myself for at last getting there. I am using a Nikon D7100 which takes stunning photos even on automatic and I don't do manuals, I am a 100% kinesthetic learner and at last have the chance to learn to use my camera in a way that I can understand what I am doing and see the results. Still got a very long way to go but each step forward is giving me such a sense of satisfaction and true ownership of my images.