~ LIVING LIFE, NOT JUST SURVIVING IT ~
••• tiff firth photography •••

Thursday, December 31, 2015

'prune' my one little word for 2016

So 2015 draws to a close and what an incredible year its been. With my trip to Africa and Annie's trip to China it will be a hard year to top.

For the last two years I've been using Ali Edwards 'One Little Word' concept to live by. Click on the link and Ali can explain. I haven't done her workshops as my one little word venture has just been for me.  In 2014 my word was 'No' but used in a positive way. In 2015 my word was 'Seek' and that fitted perfectly in oh so many ways

For 2016 my word is 'Prune'. Not the fruit, but as in to trim, to cut, to nurture new growth, to do away with the old wood. The word came to me when I was mowing my lawns and thinking about what am I going to do with time now that I'm not photographing families as part of my business anymore. Besides scrapbooking more than I have in the last couple of years due to lack of time, I need something else to stimulate me. And that's when 'Prune' came to me.

You see, I planted my gardens 15 years ago, when I had a blank canvas to start with. Kym and I scalped the front yard and started with bare soil to bring to life. This allowed me to plant a very low maintenance garden complete with automated watering systems and plants that didn't need a lot of attention. So when I was mowing my lawns it came to me that I hadn't once 'Pruned' my garden in all of the 15 years since I created it. So perhaps its time to give it a little attention. Besides the mowing and using Roundup I've done nothing else.That's what I call low maintenance.

And with further thought, 'Prune' can mean so much more. I can weed out time wasting activities and distractions from my life so I have more time to nurture my kids and family. That includes myself with caring for my ongoing shoulder/elbow/wrist issues. With careful and attentive pruning my close friends will remain rock solid and dear to me.

I'm sure as the year 2016 goes along, there will more occasions when 'Prune' will be relevant and applicable.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

summer storm


After a 42 degrees celsius stinking hot day, this front rolled in with vengeance. This was the leading edge that blew its guts out and pummelled the dry thirsty ground with rain. The wind blew two trampolines (that I know of locally) and smashed them both to bits. One was only built that morning and the little fella only had 20 mins of jumping on it, and that evening it was no more.
The temp dropped a fast 10 degrees as the front rolled over and the rain fell with vengeance. The scent of the rain on the hot earth was sublime.  
19 September 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

dear santa

I'm up to date atm with all my photography commitments which are winding down for the end of the year. Just one more commercial shoot and 2015 is done.

So last night when I couldn't sleep for various reasons I got up and scrapped. And by 4 am I had this page done.  

Wilna Fusrtenberg's print cut silhouette files are D.VINE. She's my go to spot for ideas and inspo.  This LO is loosely based on her Christmas Coffee Cup front cover.




Thursday, December 3, 2015

harvest 2015 images

Isn't it funny how one thing can roll into many things.

I had a brief from Pringles Crouch John Deere Dealership to capture an image or two to feature on large bar fridges that are to be given to their clients who had bought a new Header this season. This is one of three final images showcased on those fridges.





That image led to a request by a neighbor to capture his machine out in the paddock....




... which led to a 3 day commercial shoot with Ramsey Bros Case IH dealership to support a crew of 4 that came from Adelaide to shoot vision for a corporate video and footage for 3 tv Commercials. I shot the stills for brochures, websites and the like.  Again that lead up to these twilight images.....







... which then lead to another private inquiry for a client and his implements in the paddock.



I've also a number of images with the headers under our great southern night sky with all the stars ablaze too, but I'm loving the twilight images more.

The really gratifying aspect about this run of Harvest shots is that the fellas have been requesting them. And that means a lot.

To say I've been a tad busy in the last couple of weeks is a gross understatement. That's not including shooting images to promote the Cummins Christmas Wonderland, shooting my last family photoshoot (which was such awesome fun), photos of my own kids at their various end of school year functions, shooting a few shots for a friend for her christmas cards, and other little bits and pieces.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

swim

Now that the warmer weather is here at last, we find ourselves at the pool quite often. I love photographing water has it has such sublime movement. Without any encouragement I had Sean help me out for this shot.

Roll on Summer.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

bubble bokeh

My new addition to my kit arrived yesterday. Prime lenses are da bomb.

Canon 35mm f1.4L II. Its sublime...


... and I took it out for a test drive in the late afternoon light yesterday.







In the latest Scrapbooking Memories is a LO called Love (pg 75) by Lizzy Hill that really caught my eye. I've kept coming back to it and looking at it wondering how did she do that background.  I contacted her and she very kindly explained how to achieve it, and that led me to this idea with the bubbles in the photo as I really wanted the bokeh look.  (The LO isn't on her blog yet as its been removed from public display because of its publication.)

Thank Lizzy. These photos happened because of you. x


Monday, November 16, 2015

winding up

Since 2009 I have photographed over 150 families to capture a moment forever frozen as a memory for those families to keep.

With my deteriorating right shoulder issue (the surgery this last August hasn't been 100% successful) and ongoing tendinitis in my right elbow that's no longer able to have cortisone injections, and my right wrist that I continuously strap when I'm using a keyboard a bamboo tablet, or when I lift the camera, I feel sadly that the time has come to windup the Family Photography side of my business. I have 2 more families to photograph on my books and then that's it. I'm done.

Commercial photography however will continue as that's sporadic and I should be able to handle that.

Every now and then I must put myself first, instead of a poor third or fourth, and now is one of those times.  I'm so guttered, and its taken quite some time to come to this decision without feeling guilty that I'm letting someone down.

So now that I've made the decision, its time to put the word out there in social media.

Every blog post needs an image and this is a recent shot from my favorite family.  I have seen this family in front of my lens every year since. It was a lovely 24 degrees on the beach that day and a hot 37 when I got back home. I know where I rather be on that particular day.



I'd like to thank all those who have left such wonderful supportive comments love and hugs, both here on my blog, on my facebook page, down the street, txts and emails, over the years. Without you I would have never started and continued on this journey, and its been such an awesome ride.

With much love

Monday, November 9, 2015

time for yourself

LO #5 from #scrapshack2015. The ScrapFX chip circle was the perfect size to fit with the doily in the embelly cluster. I don't use gauze very often and I don't know why. I do love how it softens lines and pulls in a colour.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

thankful

Another lo from #scrapshack2015.  Even though I was only there from Saturday night to check out on Sunday, I still smashed out 6 Layouts. I was stoked. I hadn't laughed so hard for ages. My tummy muscles were still hurting on Monday. 

This LO is another fave from that weekend. The Wilna Furstenberg print cut file is so rich in colour and printed beautifully on Bazzil Linen cardstock.




Friday, November 6, 2015

sunshine

I used vellum and the lovely cut file from Wilna Furtensberg for this lo. This lo is all soft, delicate and feminine.  Just divine.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

looking forward

Funny how you don't see things until its from a different perspective.   I've only just noticed how crooked the bottom word of the title is.... no matter. Its done now and I've moved on



The beautiful print/cut file is from Wilna Furstensberg's Fall collection. Its devine.

Second lo completed at #scrapshack2015 last weekend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

patience

My first Lo completed at #scrapshack2015 and I think its my overall favourite. At first I couldn't find a fish that I just knew I had in my stash. I have had it for years and years and I just couldn't find it. Amy popped up with one and the whole colour scheme revolved around that.

The saying "patience is waiting without complaining' is one of Kym's classic quips of wisdom.  



I took the kids for a 30 min photoshoot down a creek in a secret spot I know. They jumped at the idea as it meant me standing in a running creek and getting wet (right up to you know where) and they stayed high and dry.

Mind you it did cost me the regulation payment of an icecream.  Love those kids.


Monday, November 2, 2015

#scrapshack2015

What a chock full weekend. After getting Miss Annie packed up and popped onto her first flight of her China student exchange trip, I headed off to #scrapshack2015.

I missed Friday and Saturday but got there for Saturday night and Sunday.  And I smashed out 6 layouts in 24 hours. Man it was so good to feel that scrappy vibe again. I've not really scrapped since the beginning of the year as the photography side of my life was busy, as well as my photography trip away to Africa for 3 weeks, hosting the Chinese exchange student here, shoulder surgery as well as juggling life in general.

#scrapshack2015 was all about chilling out, cocktails, getting some girl time, laughing to your belly hurts and a bit of scrapping.





The above pics are shamelessly pinched from Amy's Instagram. 
The ones below are mine.





I'll pop up a LO tomorrow. ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

annie's china trip

With long awaited enthusiasm, Annie flew out last night to head off on her trip to China. She and 3 other students from Port Lincoln and the two teachers stayed in Adelaide last night and the entire group of 10 students with the same two teachers all gathered at the Adelaide Airport International check in desk this morning at 6am.

Annie and I have had lots of discussion, ideas, tips and thoughts about her trip. About keeping her passport safe, how to spread her money in different areas around her so if one lot goes missing/stolen then all is not lost. How to use an ATM, an eftpos machine, keeping her backpack safe while in a country who's people's personal spaces are much smaller than Annie is accustomed to. About brushing her teeth using bottled water, about not having ice in her soft drinks, how to use her phone with WiFi while in Flight Mode, so her data is not used at all during her travels. Which app we can use to communicate with - no such thing as Facebook messenger, Viber, Skype and other such apps in China. The communist government prohibits any use of it. And most importantly how to use a Chinese squat toilet with confidence.  I hope she comes across this experience at least once just so she can say she's had a go. Other things like taking photos with her phone as much as she can, and to make sure she's in some of those photos to place her on location. To buy postcards of the places she has visited for her Powerpoint talk when she's back. To write all her impressions in her travel journal for reflection later in her life.

Her group travels together for 6 days, then she goes to her host family in Zibo City (15 million people.) This is where Sophia lives. Sophia stayed with us back in August as part of her School trip to Australia. Annie's visit to Sophia's family is part of the reciprocal program. I've been chatting with Sophia's Mum via WeChat and they can't wait to have Annie stay. I'm so happy about that. Sophia goes to a middle school that has 3000 students. They have classes of upto 60 students. Everything is regimented, there is no room or time for individualization. School starts at 8am. They return home at 11.30 for a two hour lunch break/siesta, return by 1.30 and finish the school day around 4.30

After the 6 days with Sophia, the Aussie group goes travelling again for another 6 days before coming home. Beijing, Shanghai, Zibo City, Great Wall of China, Terracotta Soldiers, Panda Sanctuary, the Olympic Stadium and much much much more are in store for Annie.


As she left I said to her "No regrets Honey, and stay safe."
One of the parents took this photo and sent it to me after Annie had left. What a gift. I can't thank him enough.

The Facebook post that accompanied this picture has had so many wonderful empowering messages for Annie. Thank you to all of you for them.



There she goes. Bon Voyage Darling. Soak up every second of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

lightning storm

Summer storm over Edillilie at 2159 on the 24 October 2015. This particular storm cell started 2 fires near Edillilie and one further east near Koppio. As many farmers are in the paddocks windrowing for harvest, the fires were spotted immediately upon ignition and were promptly extinguished. 
Eyre Peninsula. South Australia. Australia.





Monday, August 31, 2015

he drives

Backstory...

Some time ago my Mum had an accident in her car on the highway. While she was fine, her little car was not.

I had a phone call from a complete stranger who saw Mum go off the road and that lady reassured me that Mum was ok. Not even a scratch. I really believe in fate as this lady was a work place safety officer on a mine site and had extensive First Aid knowledge and she knew exactly how to handle Mum's shock and anxiety. She had organised a towtruck from Cowell to come pick up Mum's car from the side of the road and she had also rung Cleve Ambulance to have Mum checked out to make sure that she really was ok. Such was this lady's empathy for my Mum, that she even drove Mum up to Whyalla where Mum was originally going to attend to medical appointments. It was on that lady's way back to her workplace on a mine.

After I had spoken to that lady, I jumped in my ute, borrowed a car trailer, drove up to Cowell and left it there to pick up with Mum's car after I collected Mum from Whyalla and started making our way back home. I had several conversations with that lady during the day who rang to check that Mum was ok, and that I had collected her and her car.

That lady was my Mum's guardian angel that particular day. I even sent that lady a little guardian angel pin to say a big heartfelt thank you. 

Mum needed a vehicle to get around while her car was being assessed and subsequently written off (which was delayed as the owner of the crash repairer was away for 2 weeks), so she hired herself a car for a month. When she told me how much it was going to cost I just dropped my jaw. It was expensive. 

Kym had the brilliant idea of finding a little car for us to purchase for Mum to use until she had her own vehicle organised and then the kids could use it for a bus car.

Front story ...

So here is the bus car. The kids call it Baby Blue. And for the first time Sean drove it on his own. Kym and he had it all set without my knowing that Sean was even driving, let alone Kym leaving it at the bus stop for Sean to drive home. I had no clue until I started driving down to the bus stop at the bottom of our drive way, when Kym pulled me up. He indicated that he had it covered and I thought that he meant that he was driving Sean home. (Annie was at her job). 

Kym did let slip something that alerted me to go get the camera. So I did and I had it up in time to record his first solo voyage in Baby Blue.

There's goes my little 9 year old boy. He's officially a big 9 year old boy now. He drives .


Monday, August 24, 2015

africa - a pictorial re-cap - issue 2

I've processed a few more images over the last couple of weeks in readiness for my presentation to the Camera Club tonight (Monday Aug 24th).


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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Hwange. Zimbabwe. Africa.
I was reliably informed that the water in the rock pool was cold. I took Alistair's word for it. This lodge resides on the slope above the water pool where the elephants and other wildlife come to drink as its the only constant water source away from the Zambia River. The water pool is feed by a waterline to ensure the water is always available. Without water there is nothing. Its liquid gold in this country.
2.7.201




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The Marabou Stork reminded me of a grumpy old man with a very bad comb-over. The Marabou Stork defecates upon its legs and feet.The poop has strong antiseptic properties in their whitewash and it helps assist in regulating body temperature. The poop also gives the false appearance that the birds have lovely white legs.
Below Victoria Falls Lodge, Hwange, Zimbabwee. Africa. 2.7.2015




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There is vulture feeding daily at 1pm below the Victoria Falls Lodge, Hwange, Zimbabwee, where the bones and off cuts from the restaurant are fed to the birds. I was only 5 metres away from the scrum of feeding vultures and in the thick of their dust. And do they smell?? Oh yes they smell terrible.

There are two kinds of Vultures in this image. The one with its head deep into the meat is the White Backed Vulture. It's a typical vulture, with only down feathers on the head and neck, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff. The adult’s whitish back contrasts with the otherwise dark plumage. Juveniles are largely dark. This is a medium-sized vulture; its body mass is 4.2 to 7.2 kilograms (9.3–15.9 lb), it is 78 to 98 cm (31 to 39 in) long and has a 1.96 to 2.25 m (6 to 7 ft) wingspan. (info from Wikipedia)

The pink headed vulture eyeing of the scrap of meat is a Hooded Vulture. It breeds in a stick nest in trees (often palms) in much of Africa south of the Sahara, laying one egg. Birds may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. This is one of the smaller vultures of the Old World. They are 62–72 cm (25–28 in) long, have a wingspan of 155–165 cm (61–65 in) and a body weight of 1.5-2.6 kg (3.3-5.7 lbs).

Like other vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals and waste which it finds by soaring over Savannah and around human habitation, including waste tips and abattoirs. It often moves in flocks, and is very abundant. In much of its range, there are always several visible soaring in the sky at almost any time during the day.

This vulture is typically unafraid of humans, and frequently gathers around habitation. It is sometimes referred to as the “garbage collector” by locals. (info from Wikipedia)
2.7.2015



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Victoria Falls. The defining border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Border. Africa. 2.7.2015

We were out and on site just before the sun rose on our first morning of our Africa trip. We were first through the gate and the only ones there for at least 90mins. Tourists arrived as we left and they had missed the best part of the day.

As the sun rose, so did the mist from the falls, which caught the beautiful soft light.
We found out later that the scenic flights over the falls don't happen at this very early time due to the rising mist which happens because the air has warmed slightly and the temperature inversion with the mist.

The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometers, while the spray and mist from the falling water is rising to a height of over 400 meters and can be seen from a distance of 50 kilometers. No wonder that the local tribes used to call the waterfall Mosi-o-Tunya “The smoke that thunders”.

Fortunately for us the gentle breeze had the mist moving away from us for our early morning walk along the Zimbabwe side of the falls. There is rain forest here due to the constant moisture in the air. The moisture falls as rain, and its always raining somewhere along the falls. We all had black ponchos that reached the ground in case we were going to be rained upon. We were lucky.

Most of the walk suited the afternoon sun, so I didn't take a lot of images, as we had planned on returning during the day. As it turned out, we didn't come back as Dave decided he would bungi jump from the bridge that joins Zimbabwe and Zambia and most of us wanted to watch. Its a 111 metre jump, and I considered doing it until I saw him go, and I thought to myself ' No way, no how, definitely not.'

Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than hundred meters. It is also considered to be the largest fall in the world.The water level varies throughout the year; it is at its peak in April, at the end of the rainy season when on average 500,000,000 liters of water flow and it is at its lowest level in October and early November.

Interestingly, during the dry season the water level in the Zambezi River drops sharply, and it becomes possible to walk through some parts of the waterfall. However, during the rest of the year Victoria Falls is a roaring machine that strikes anyone with its power
Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe Border. Africa



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The area circled in red is Livingstone Island where you can set up camp and sleep right on the very edge of the mighty Victoria Falls. If you look very closely you can see buildings on the island and if you look very very closely on the right side of the island there are 2 kayaks pulled up on the little cove.

Can you imagine the noise, the vibration, the dampness of the mist when the breeze pushes it back over the falls and the sheer thrill of it all by camping right on the edge of the falls. Where else in the world can you do that!!
Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe Border of Zambezi River. Africa. 2.7.2015



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Flying in a chopper over the falls was quite an experience. To be able to see the falls in its entirety and experience the sheer drop off on its very lip was breath-taking. 

The bridge spans the Zimbabwe side on the left and the Zambia border on the right. If you closely at the center of it you can see a little hut. That's the jump off point for the bungee, the swing and the zip-line. That's where Dave jumped from.

The bridge spans the Zambezi River which over millennium has carved its way into the landscape. Those cliffs on the right are different points where the falls used to be (apparently). On the very left edge of the falls there is an area of land about to be cut away with the water, creating a new section of the falls and extending its overall length, which is currently over a kilometre long.

That larger island near the edge of the falls is Livingstone Island. People camp there in tents. In fact there was a tent there when we flew over it. During the dry season when the water flow is all but gone, you can walk to that island.

Photographed with a Sigma Fisheye lens to give the curve-of-the-earth horizon.
Victoria Falls. Zambezi River. Africa.




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Flying with Batoka Sky in their microlight certainly was a huge thrill. Again TIA as far as time as we were scheduled to be up just after dawn and by the time we were airborne it was more like 9am. Which was actually better as their was more light down into the walls of the canyons. 

Andre was my pilot and I took the extended 30 minute flight to see the wildlife for the first time on my Africa trip, and to see them from the unique bird perspective.

At one point he asked me to stretch my arms out like a bird and close my eyes. I did and then he turned off the motor. And wow, was it quiet. I could hear the thunder of the falls. We glided on the updrafts for about 30 seconds before Andre turned the prop back on. As its a glider construction and in the case of engine failure you just glide to the ground. The landing might be a bit bumpy though wink emoticon
Victoria Falls. Zambia. Africa. 3.7.2015




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These little guys were the happiest things out there. When Warthogs trot their little tail pops up like a flag and waves around so merrily. They seemed to be happy no matter where they were. And they trot all day long. And btw.... they taste very yummy. wink emoticon 
Below Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Hwange. Zimbabwe. 3.7.2015





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Pangolin Photo Safaris with Charles our guide, and Smart at the helm.

Being on the Chobe River in this craft was such a highlight. Not only for the teeming wildlife, both on and off the river, but also for the way the boat is set up for serious photography. Each of the 8 seats rotated 360 degrees, and had a fully mounted gimble attached to each one for full access to all angles for photography. It's a bit like an army gun mounting.

For those who didn't have the longer telephoto lenses, Pangolin had NikonD7000 cameras teamed up with Sigma 150-500mm lenses available for every single person if needed, or you can choose to use your own rig. They also provided 8gb SD cards to each photographer whether you used their Nikons or not. And if you ripped through one card, no worries, they flicked another one your way.

Charles is a photographer in is own right, and fully understands light with all its nuances. He gave instruction and many helpful tips both with the camera and different ways to photograph the wildlife.

Smart, is exactly that. Very very smart. Any animal or bird was identified on the spot and its resume of details was given as well. He was brilliant at the helm, getting us closer to the wildlife, working with the light and positioning us perfectly to make full use of it.

This is the full Pete DobrĂ© Photography African Safari Crew. L-R Charles, Audrey, Elizabeth, Stephen, me (in the vacant chair), Dave, Cathy, Alistair and Pete.
Chobe River, near Kasane, Botswana. Africa.
5.7.2015




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Baby elephants are so damn cute. They look so small alongside their Mums. They are just like little kids. They are mischievous and funny. Their little trunks are so full of wriggles that it seems to constantly surprise them. 
Chobe River near Kasane. Botswana. Africa.
5.7.2015





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Every moment on the Chobe River was camera candy. The elephants pulled up reeds from an island on the river and either bash it around a lot to dislodge the damp earth off the roots and then consume it or throw it around like a toy. Having the birds flying in formation in the background was a huge bonus. Camera Candy bonus! I don't know what birds they are unfortunately.
Chobe River near Kasane. Botswana. Africa.
5.7.2015





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Remember that video that went viral of the hippo leaping out of the water behind a boat??
http://www.wsj.com/video/speedboat-chase-hippopotamus-edition/71A6D542-42A5-4E3F-A489-426D3F85DD45.html
That boat was the same one that I was on, and on the same river that I was on. And it only happened a month before I was there.

So any hippos we saw, both on land and water, were given huge and wide berths and lots of respect. The times we did see them in the water with us did make us all extremely nervous. Especially when they disappeared under water as you had no idea where they will come up. They can stay under for up to 30mins. And Hippopotamus's can't swim. They skip on the river bottom on their toes, as dainty as a ballerina. An amazing fact.

They sound a lot like cows except for when they snort. That's their own unique sound like nothing else. And they eat up to 40 kilos of grasses each day.

They fight a lot among themselves. This one has fresh wounds from the huge canine teeth all over its 2 inch thick skin. The Red-billed Oxpecker birds (friends to many African animals) were very busy cleaning out the wounds and searching for other parasites.

Chobe River. Chobe National Park. Near Kasane. Botswana. Africa.
5.7.2015


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This Leopardess was coming down from the tree where she had stashed her Impala kill. Watching her quietly leap from branch to branch on her way down was mesmerizing.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve. Khwai River. Okavango Delta. Botswana.
8.7.2015




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I know I promised I wouldn't post any other images from when the African Dogs were successful with their 'kill' of a young Kudu, but I found this image of when the Spotted Hyenas became involved too hard to not show.

The 2 female Spotted Hyenas worked as a team to ambush the African Dogs and make off with the carcass. One Hyena just bullied her way onto the Kudu while the second one was the decoy by challenging the Dogs to fight her. While the fight was on, the first Hyena made off safely with the carcass. The dust and noise from the fight was intense, and the yipping of the Hyena will always stay with me. Three of the four dogs had the Hyena backed into the pool of water which gave me this awesome reflection image.

The agility of both the Dogs and the Hyena was impressive. No one had a serious hold on the other with their teeth as they were all just too quick and moved out of the way.

Now I know why the Dogs had their fill of the Kudu so quickly. They consume only soft organs and bones as their jaws can't snap the larger bones. So when the Hyenas came in the Dogs didn't fight very long for what was left as they already had the best of it.

Circle of Life.
Notten's Bush Camp. Sabi Sands Game Reserve. South Africa.


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Ever wondered how a Rhinoceros calf suckled? To be honest I hadn't. But how does it get low enough to reach the teats and gets its horn out of the way? By sitting down of course. 

I learnt so much on my African Safaris just by watching, listening and asking our guide in our jeep a lot of quiet questions.
-The gestation period for Rhinoceros is 15-16 months.
- The horn is made of keratin, the same protein as your fingernails and hair are made of.
- They have 3 toes on each foot and can run up to 60 kms per hour.
- The name Rhinoceros comes from the Greek words Rhino (nose) and ceros (horn)
Notten's Bush Camp. Sabi Sands Game Reserve. South Africa.
14.7.2015




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I didn't know there were three kinds of Zebras. There are the Plains Zebra, the Mountain Zebra and the Grevy's Zebra. These ones are the Plains Zebras. Their stripes tend to fade out to white on the legs. The stripes on the legs of the Grevy's Zebras are bold right down to the hoof.

So are Zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes?? I've yet to find an answer to that all important question.
Notten's Bush Camp. Sabi Sands Game Reserve. South Africa.
. 13.7.2015



What's a group of 3 or more zebras called?? If they are with a stallion its a Harem. Or the group can be called a Dazzle of Zebras. I learnt that from our guide in Sabi Sands. I learnt so many things about zebras. When a Dazzle of Zebras walk as a group, the stallion always brings up the rear. These are the Plains Zebras. Their stripes fade as they travel down their legs. And there tends to be a brownish stripe between the black and white stripes.
Notten's Bush Camp. Sabi Sands Game Reserve. South Africa. 12.7.2015



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I went into this trip with very little research so I could experience it from my own fresh point of view. I expected to see the Savannah plains on my African Safari trip and I didn't expect to see the bush. So I learnt that the wide Savannah plains are eastern and central Africa. The southern area of the continent is bush. Up in Botswana the bush is thinner and sparser. The bush in Sabi Sands Game Reserve is thicker and denser.

I've been asked a few times was it green when I was there in July? What was the weather like? Were there flies? Mozzies?

Well I can say, no it wasn't green. The winter is the dry season. The water holes are shrinking and there's more wildlife around them as a result. The leaves have dropped off the trees so it's easier to see through the branches, and the dry grasses are shorter and much thinner, all making it much easier to spot the wildlife and birds. The temperature in July is much like our Spring temps, between 25-30 degrees. Certainly shirt, hat and sunblock weather.

This shot gives you an idea of the colour and the landscape at Nottens Bush Camp, Sabi Sands Wildlife Reserve. South Africa.


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Looking over Cape Town and Tabletop Mountain from Lions Head.
I had taken a series of shots and had the camera put away. And then the sun popped out, so I rushed back into the back to set up the camera with the ND grads to capture all that sky in its glorious detail.
20.7.2015



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The hill on the left is Signal Hill where the canon is still fired every day at the dot of noon. Back in the days of sail, the canon was fired at noon for the navigators on the ships in the harbor to set their sextants by.

The walking trail on the right comes up from Maiden's Cove to where I was on the summit of Lion's Head.
Cape Town. South Africa. 20.7.2015


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Maiden's Cove. Behind Tabletop Mountain is the very beautiful Maiden's Cove with its picturesque view of the 12 Apostles Mountain Range.

The water sea is on the Atlantic seaboard and as a result the temperature is cold all year round. In July its a chilly average of around 15 degrees C.

While I was photographing here a bus load on young Springbok Rugby players ran down the rocks to this little beach and a few brave souls heading out into the water. They were pretty quick to trot back in to shore to put a jumper on. Very brass monkey cold with the breeze that day.
Maiden's Cove. Cape Town. South Africa.
20.7.2015



Beautiful Maiden's Cove.