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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

…he wakes up early and fills up the car with gas for your day trip to Kingston because he knows how much you hate pumping gas.

Found heart

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The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi was founded in order to save the quickly diminishing population of Rothschild giraffes.  Now it is open to visitors to go and learn about this non-profit organization and get up close and personal with hungry Rothschild giraffes.  You can get so up close and personal with them that they’ll kiss you with their big slobbery sandpaper tongues!  That is, if you put the pellets they love so much in your mouth.  We opted to just feed them from our hands 🙂

Steve feeding a Rothschild giraffe at the Giraffe Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Krista feeding a Rothschild giraffe at the Giraffe Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Rothschild giraffe markings, Giraffe Centre, Nairobi, KenyaThere are a few more photos on SmugMug

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The second park we visited in Kenya was Lake Nakuru National Park.  We knew that we would get to see hundreds of pelicans and bright pink flamingos, but we hoped we would have the privilege of seeing a leopard.  They’re super shy cats and not everyone who goes to the park gets to see them.  In fact, it had been some time since anyone had seen one in the park and so when our guide spotted one relaxing camouflaged in the shade back from the road, he got on the radio right away and let all the other guides know the location.  We were hushed several times in our excitement at seeing the leopard, lest we scare him away before the other tourists got to see him.  And in fact after several vehicles pulled up, the leopard decided it didn’t like being in the spotlight and retreated deep into the forest.

Leopard at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

I’m still in awe of that one – how close we got to this shy and beautiful animal…..how close we got to all these animals!  Such an amazing experience.

Here are some more photos from Lake Nakuru:

Baboons at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Pelicans at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Flamingos at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Lookout view of Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Baboon at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Rhinoceroses at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Krista, Rockr, and Eric at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya (Photographer: Steve)

You can see all the photos (and larger versions of the ones above) on My SmugMug site.

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Last June I bought a coupon for 75% off a photo book from Photobook Canada, intending to use it for our Africa trip photos.  Then I got sidetracked from finishing the processing of the Africa photos and suddenly it was January and my coupon was expiring soon.  Oops!

So now I have until the end of February to process the hundreds of photos left and put together a photo book – Eep!  But actually it’s good.  I needed the pressure to finally get back to it.  I don’t know why, but the photos suddenly felt like a monumental task and instead of doing the smart thing of processing a few here and there along the way, I let the enormity of the project get to me and did nothing at all.  ‘Cause a magical photo-processing faery was going to fix them up for me while I slept right?

Anyways, I have a goal of doing 18-20 photos a day and so far it’s working out.  I’ll share them with you along the way.  For now, here’s some collages I put together from the latest safari photos.  These were taken in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya:

Zebra collage

Baby animals are so cute!  This little guy had a lot of spunk.

Rhinoceros collage

As the rhinoceroses munched away slowly on grass, these little birds perched and ate the ticks off the rhinoceroses backs (when I went to confirm this fact, I discovered that the birds also eat the blood from open sores on the rhinos…which I really didn’t need to know but since I know it now, I thought I might as well share it with you too.  You’re welcome!).

Baboon collageDon’t fall little baboon!

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(Ok, maybe it doesn’t have the same ring to it as “stop and smell the flowers”)

Steaming bales of hay

Steaming bales of hay

On our drive back from the cottage a couple weeks ago it was -30 degress celcius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) but these bales of hay were steaming.  Despite the freezing cold weather and the fact that I have to take my mitts off to take photos, we stopped so I could get a few shots.

I’ve learned the lesson again and again that you should take the photo NOW because it might not be there again next time.  Of all my 2o+ years of going up to the cottage, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen steaming bales of hay, despite the many farmers fields we pass along the way.

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Christmas ball with snow

 Christmas balls with snow

Christmas balls with snow

It’s been snowing up a storm here since Christmas Day.  I was tickled that first snowfall to look out our front window at the tree in our yard to see that the Christmas balls we’d put up all had snowy caps atop their little round heads.

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The Trip

Ok so we did go on a trip. We were in the land of saguaro cacti!

Steve and saguaro cacti

Remember my friend Mary who we visited in Phoenix on our road trip?  Well she got married!  So we made the trip to Phoenix again, this time by plane.  We went down a week early so that we could visit with the happy couple before they started to get busy with wedding stuff.  Then we rented a car and did a mini road trip.  We had two specific spots we wanted to see – Zion National Park (yup! we loved it so much the first time we had to go back!) and Antelope Canyon.  Photos to come as I process them!

 

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