Monday, December 31, 2012

Favourite Photos

To "see out" the year I decided to post a few of my favourite photos - like this one of a Rock agama, which I call a "lucky shot", because it turned out to be a near-perfect photo without me trying to create a special effect.

I think this photo of a leopard "speaks for itself"!?

After publishing this photo of a baby elephant before, I received many complimentary responses especially on Face Book.

I find something about the body language, which these 2 Vervet monkeys "exhibit", very endearing :)

Just like the first photo (above) this turned out to be a lucky shot because I didn't intentually try to produce a specific effect - I also only realised afterwards that 2 more Speckled mousebirds are "in the frame" AND in what looks almost like a basket with a handle (bottom right of photo).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Festive Season

Friday, December 21, 2012

Zebra Confusion

Since the world "goes on" as before but today's date (21/12/12) is nonetheless very special (if in stark contrast to what the Mayan Calender supposedly predicted), I prefer to concentrate on another kind of confusion: what a zebra's stripes "entails". Other than that a predator (like a lion) can't make out "head-or-tails" when a group of zebra "bundle together", a zebra's stripes are like a human fingerprint - each individual has a different pattern.

Other than that, the different zebra species can be distinguished by the pattern of their stripes - so the Plains zebra (or more commonly known as Burchell's zebra) have broad black (& widely spaced) stripes, alternating with thin light "shadow"-stripes (especially on the hind quarters) - but what if the legs are entirely white? When found in Namibia (as is the case with the zebra on this photo) are they Damara Zebra (a subspecies of the Plains zebra)?

Does that mean we are facing yet another sub-species when the stripes appear to be more brown than black - as is the case with most of these zebra (which I also "snapped" in Namibia)? Otherwise all the features are typical of a Plains zebra: vertical stripes on forepart of body, horizontal on the hind quarters, with (brownish) shadow-stripes in between.

Now these are typical Mountain zebra (also photographed in Namibia - in the Etosha Park) - but is there only 1 Mountain-zebra-species in Africa? Whilst doing some "research" about this on the internet, I found NO conclusive proof on any web-site to solve this "dilemma".

Some sites differentiate between the "Common" & the Cape Mountain zebra (the latter photographed in the Mountain Zebra Park just outside Craddock). Comparing the 2 (above & on the right) - you be the judge! Typical features of a Mountain zebra are: a short upright standing mane, a dark muzzle, long (more donkey-like) ears, a dewlap (fold of skin on the throat) & white bellies.

Now what about this zebra? For years I was under the impression that this was a Hartman's zebra - mainly because of its (typical) stripe on the spine & upper tail-portion, which is "zipper-like. Also, the people living & working around the hotels in Zambia at the Victoria Falls, where a small group of these zebra "are at home", confirmed this - but then an expert on the subject (& part of 1 of my tour-groups), corrected this - apparently & despite having closely spaced stripes right down to its hooves, as well as "missing" shadow-stripes, this is just another sub-species of the Plains zebra! Or is it possibly a Grant's zebra?? As I said - unfortunately information on this subject is rather "scares" on the internet.

Last but not least - yet another "version" of a Plains/ Burchell's zebra - its black stripes (especially on the hind quarters) look more like "irregular" veins, or even remind me of a lightning-pattern) - is this also a sub-species, or just reveals a more unique finger-print-pattern?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More In-a-Row

Because today is such a "special date" (12/12/12) I decided to "capture" it by publishing something before the day is over - "in line with" some of my previous postings: some elephants :)

Although, like the photo above (as well as others in this "series"), I've published this image of impalas lining up for a drink before, it's still in reaction to the "in-a-row-theme" [SEE: previous blog entry]

Also in a row OR instead of zebra crossing :) - a herd of springboks.

Talking about zebra: most wildlife photographers "dream of capturing" them lining up in a row at a watering hole . . .

. . . whereas I love this photo I captured a while ago of zebras-in-a-row - but from behind :)

Now this photo was meant to be part of the previous posting titled 3-in-a-row . . .

. . . as is also the case with this giraffe-family-photo.

Monday, December 10, 2012


In reaction to an email from a friend with gorgeous photos of what I call "3-Somes", I decided to post my own version of this today. Although I've "published" some of these photos before in another context, as well as others "lining up" [See BELOW: Friday, Nov 9] - these 3 Burchell's zebra appear to pose just for me :)

Then there were 3 impala (antelopes) . . .

. . . or these 3 klipspringer (antelopes) "typically balancing" against a very steep, rocky outcrop . . .

. . . as well as 3 warthog "freezing" when they detected us in an open vehicle, cameras "shooting".

These 3 elephant also lined up "nicely" . . .

. . . as did these 3 (White) rhino before crossing the road.

3 (White) rhino "from behind" before disappearing into the bush . . .

. . . or 3 Arrowmarked babblers "displaying" a similar "view" . . .

. . . whereas last but not least for today I "present" these 3 Blackcollard barbets.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Loving Embrace

"Look! Humans," the meerkat (suricate) on the left appears to point out whilst protectively touching its apparently shy companion . . .

. . . before it also seems to lovingly embrace the other ala-meerkat-style

Similarly it certainly looks as if these 2 young penguins flanking an adult are embracing it . . .

. . . or even imitating what looks like kissing the adult penguin?

However that illusion is broken when the adult penguin opens its beak wide . . .

. . . and ravenously the 2 penguin chicks take turns pushing their beaks inside the adult's to reach "the food" the adult regurgitates on their behalf.

Yet the farewell-scene still contains a "loving embrace-like touch"!