“If your eye is generous, then your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
Hope is a puff of Milkweed silk, blowing in the wind, carrying the future. And not the future only of the plant, but the future of the Monarch Butterfly, and in a very real sense, our own as well. It might all rest on where some single Milkweed seed falls to earth.
Hope is a dangerous thing to base a life on, unless, of course, you know where your hope resides…unless there is a huge power of good backing your hope. The generous eye lives in hope. The generous eye sees in the frail beauty of Milkweed silk, all the strength and beauty of the universe…all the loving care of a creator who works through love.
If you can see the beauty in this image, then carry it inside…into your heart and let it grow. Sometimes it really does all hinge on where the Milkweed seed lands. Happy Sunday!
Two of the young lions from the pride at Tshakudu Game Reserve, recovering from what seeded like it might have been a hard fought kill of a young giraffe. All the lions were somewhat worse for wear and the adult female was limping badly. You might be able to see how gorged these lions are.
Sony RX10iii in Amti-Motion Blur Mode. Processed in Lightroom.
This good sized male Elephant at Kruger National Park looped his trunk up over his tusk while on the march. I am not sure if this a common behavior…I only saw it this once…but it seems like it might take some of the strain off the prehensile muscles while on the move.
Sony RX10iii at 165mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.
I somewhat maligned the Hippopotamus yesterday when I included it among Africa’s Big Five…the five animals that have no fear of a man on foot, and therefore are considered “dangerous game”. The fifth member of that group is actually the Cape Buffalo. However, as was pointed out to us several times during our stay, the Hippo kills more people in South Africa every year than any of the actual members of the Big Five. They are not aggressive at all, but you do not want to be caught between a Hippo and the water when Hippos are on the move, or between a Hippo mother and her calf at any time.
This image represents a somewhat rare sighting. Hippos have very sensitive skin, and can not stand long exposure to the direct sun, which is why they spend the day submerged in water, and only graze at night. Conditions in Kruger are so bad that this Hippo was out in full daylight, looking for food. Sadly the remaining grasses of Kruger after their long drought can not support the numbers of Hippos in the park. Dead Hippos are becoming a common sight in Kruger as they are dying of starvation at up 30 per week. The day I left South Africa they made the heartbreaking decision to cull 300 Hippos in Kruger and distribute the meat to surrounding villages. This image brings mixed feelings, to say the least.
Sony RX10iii at 485mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.
We visited Tshukudu Game Lodge on the Tshakudu Game Reserve for a sundowner game drive…an afternoon/early evening excursion into the bush of Tshukudu. Tshukudu has the big five…the five African animals what do not fear a man on foot…Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Lion, and Leopard…but the animals I liked best were the Dwarf Mongoose, seen here doing what Mongooses do in a pile of Elephant dung. Like all Mongooses, the Dwarf is a very social animal, and their interaction with each other, and with the world, is very interesting to watch. As you see, this is a late light shot, maybe a half hour before sunset, and I like the way the oblique sun lights the Mongooses (Mongeese?…no I don’t think so) and the dung.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 200 @ f4. Processed and cropped slightly for composition in Lightroom.
As I have mentioned before, Kruger National Park is suffering the worst drought in a generation right now. It is easy to find Elephants. They are clustered around any water source. This dam is one of the few that still has standing water, and the Elephants come to drink and bath. Elephants love mud. They coat their hides with it daily, I assume as some protection from the sun. It is fascinating to watch these huge creatures apparently at play in the water.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/640th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed and cropped slightly in Lightroom.
Early every morning, just after sunrise, the Vervet Monkeys around Tremisana Lodge in Balule Game Reserve in South Afirca would climb high into the trees to bask in the first warmth of the day, well before the sun made it way down to ground level. If I was out before breakfast I was sure to see them, posted like lookouts on the new day. This fellow was distracted by my attention. Unlike most animals, Vervet monkeys are clearly not disturbed by direct eye contact with humans. 🙂
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light.” Jesus
Yesterday was one of those gray fall days in Maine along the coast. Just enough rain falling to dampen, skies heavy overhead, sea agitated…almost angry on the rocky shore. And yet, it was day to enjoy…a day of joy in being alive. In Cape Porpoise the lobster boats were mostly anchored, and the dock was quiet, under the eye of the lighthouse on Goat Island. We ate the excellent clam chowder at the Chowder House, and watched Eiders catching crabs, and Gulls stealing them. The sign on the wall announced the end of the season and begged our patience since all the summer help was gone back to college and school. We were warm on the inside and the outside by the time we left, with a the deep quiet of the end of season day settling in us, still at our centers as the boats floating the harbor…anchored by our faith in a loving creator and wrapped in the light, of the fellowship of Christ. Our safe harbor, our guiding light, no matter what comes in wind and rain, or how the waves beat against the shore…no matter the end of seasons, or even the end of days. We know where our harbor lies…we know the light within and look at the world of weather and change with generous eyes.
Happy Sunday! May you know safe harbor today.
When we stopped for lunch our first day in Kruger National Park in South Africa, our Ranger/Driver asked if I had seen the Owl. Of course I had not so she showed me a tree with incident tape strung up around it and an African Scopes Owl sitting in a fork tight against the trunk, just above eye-level. Apparently it had been there for some time. I maneuvered around the taped off area to find an open line of sight for this shot.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed in Lightroom.
One of the things that impressed me about the Ranger/Drivers of Viva Safaris was how respectful they were of the animals they showed us. This young male Elephant at Kruger National Park was clearly bothered about something, and spent 15 minutes deciding if it was us, before bolting across the road in front of us in a mock charge. All that time our driver sat with one foot on the accelerator and a hand on the gear-shift, ready to move at need, but definitely giving the Elephant every opportunity to make up its mind. Even a young bull like this could easily flip a Game Viewer full of tourists, so I was happy when he decided that a brief show of force was all that was needed, and went on his way off into the bush.
Sony RX10iii at 150mm equivalent field of view. 1/320th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.