"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Elephant Apres Ablutions

 (NOTE:  These photos can be seen at their best resolution by clicking on them.)


We're on safari in the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa and along the way, we see this elephant making tracks.   "He's heading to the lake for a bath," says our tracker.

We drove a while and could see the lake in this distance.

We went on our way, spending time with leopards and cheetahs.   Finally, it was time to head back to camp--the fabulous Zuka Lodge where we were staying.

We came across the elephant, fresh from his bath in the lake.   He was applying the finishing touches.


Snorting up a snootful of dirt, he then blew it all over his back.

In the photo below, he is kicking up more dust and then blowing it onto his underbelly.

Another snootful....

....goes flying.   Time and again he covered himself with fine dirt.

Make sure to get some behind those ears.   There's a reason for plastering himself after a bath.   The dirt will help protect his hide from sun and insects.

Scraping up some more dirt....

And a little flip to blow some more.

What a happy elephant. 

And, the job completed, he heads off into the African sunset

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Rewards of Ineptness

 (Remember, the photos will be at their best if you click to open them.)


Because I am probably the dumbest user of the software for photographers called Adobe Lightroom, I am having to rebuild a catalogue of photos from a trip to Africa in 2018.   It is both a bother and a blessing.

Lightroom, in addition to being a powerful editing tool,  enables a user to organize photos in  catalogues that makes them easier to find, theoretically.

In my case, the catalogue I am rebuilding is called Africa 2018.  Into that, I downloaded some 20,000 photos I took on that trip.  I usually do this immediately after I return from a trip.


Sounds simple, right?  It is.   Except I don't want 20,000 photos clogging up the memory on my computer, so I put the catalogue and the photos on an external hard drive.  Therein lies the problem.   

There are several steps one must take to do that and I sometimes forget one important step--it's rather complicated and you won't understand unless you use the program--and when I forget, the catalogue can't find the photos at a later date.  Hence, rebuilding the catalogue.

Downloading 20,000 photos shot at high resolution in RAW format (equals LARGE files) takes time.  In this case, it took a couple days.   That's the bothersome part.


The blessing is that now I have time to look at all those photos after they're downloaded, and I am finding photos I never looked at before because back then I was concentrating on finding pix to illustrate a chapter of Gullible's Travels and I overlook many, especially birds.

So, now, with the pressure off, I am finding treasures like this:

Male bushbuck

Cheetah yawning

Leopard and daughter

Gray crowned crane

Striped kingfisher

Topi at sunset



And best of all, three birds I had never seen before this safari and had forgotten:

Speckled mousebird

Temminck's courser

Rear view of the courser's fabulous hairdo.

And, finally, the tiny rufous-naped lark.

There are dozens more, but it would take all day to upload them.   So, I'll save them for the days ahead.
And that is what I've been doing.   It's labor intensive, but a lot like going on a virtual safari.