Thursday, April 24, 2014

Favorites: The Animal Edition

In honor of the conclusion of my time in Africa, I've compiled a few of my favorite photographs over the past several years.
Here are my favorite animal photos!

For my favorite photographs of Zimbabwe: go here!!

For my favorite photographs of Senegal: go here!!

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A lilac breasted roller in Chobe National Park, Botswana - Hope is a Thing with Feathers

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A baby elephant of the Presidential Herd, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe - The Ivory Lodge

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A crocodile sleeps on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana - Snapshots from the River: The Chobe Crocodile

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A giraffe in Chobe National Park, Botswana - The Chobe smorgasbord of animals!!

I originally captioned this photo of a donkey in Palmarin, Senegal:
"Hello, donkey, the rains must feel like a wonderful break from the heat." - Hello, donkey! Hello, pelicans! Hello, white flamingo?!

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A lion at Antelope Park in Gweru, Zimbabwe - ...and then the lions charged!

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Elephants along the Chobe River, Botswana - An ode to elephants

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A penguin in Boulders, South Africa, on the Cape of Good Hope - Africa! Woohoo!!

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A bird searching for food on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe - The Lake Kariba smorgasbord

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A herd of bison in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States - Yellowstone: Animals Part II

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A mama giraffe in the Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe - Giraffes!! (An Ode to ALDB)

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Traffic in Rufisque, Senegal, the only real road off the Cap-Vert peninsula where Dakar is located - Passing Through Rufisque

Friday, April 18, 2014

Farewell, Zimbabwe, farewell...

It is with sadness that I note my time in Zimbabwe has come to an end and this will be my last post on the beautiful country.  In honor of the wonderful experience I've had living in Harare, this post is a collection of my favorite photos from my time wandering Harare and beyond.

Curious what my favorite photographs from living in Senegal were? Go here!

Curious what my favorite animal photographs were? Go here!!

In no particular order, my favorite photographs of Zimbabwe, chosen from well over 10,000 photographs (wow!):

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Hwange National Park in the rainy season - Adios, Hwange!

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A hippopotamus yawns at sunset over the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park - A Mana Pools Smorgasbord

 photo 11DrownedForest-tiaphotoblog_zps27eaa14e.jpg
As dusk approaches over Lake Kariba, fishermen take to the water - Sunset over a drowned forest

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Victoria Falls at Christmas time, the height of the rainy season - A Victoria Falls Christmas (Part Deux)

 photo 21HwangeSunset-tiaphotoblog_zps526b1242.jpg
Sunset in Hwange National Park - The Return to Hwange

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I originally captioned this photo: "After seeing this view in Chimanimani, I knew I had fallen in love with Zimbabwe." - Au Revoir, Chimanimani, I will return...

 photo 31Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zpsfc6f305c.jpg
Harare's jacarandas in bloom at sunrise - Harare in the bloom of the jacarandas

 photo 22LKSunset-tiaphotoblog_zps1aa33c68.jpg
An elephant at sunset, Lake Kariba - Take my breath away: Drowned forest sunset

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Sunrise over the pan in Hwange National Park - The Hwange smorgasbord

 photo 72VicFallsSunRise-tiaphotoblog_zpsc9b3f9df.jpg

Friday, April 11, 2014

Harare in the beautiful bloom of the Jacarandas

 photo 31Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zpsfc6f305c.jpg

Soon the first blossoms begin to appear

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some where in the Fourth Street* though it's not really clear

(*this photograph is actually Prince Edward St--not too far from Harare's Fourth St.--at sunrise.)

 photo 33Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zps26f3f354.jpg

Then tree after tree in the Avenues so neat

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Burst into flower in the hot October heat....

(This is the Avenues in Harare, Colquhoun St to be exact.)

 photo 35Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zpse8f1e89d.jpg

...Purple blossoms flutter in glorious array
on the corner close by bunches of colourful flowers...
a sight to remember for everywhere
purple Jacarandas coloured the Summer air.

(Every summer, Harare bursts into a symphony of Jacaranda trees. Absolutely beautiful.
This is also the Avenues area of Harare.)

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Tree after tree in the avenue and street
show their deepest purple where white clouds and blossoms meet

(This is Lomagundi Rd. in the Avondale neighborhood.)

 photo 37Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zpsd85f8723.jpg

The purple blossoms with flats and houses blend
a feast of beauty so colourful and rare
filled with wonder at the City so fair.

(The Avenues neighborhood.)

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A high wind and a shower of rain
produce a purple carpet once again
as the blossoms fall to clothe the damp earth...

 photo 39Jacaranda-tiaphotoblog_zps0ab11b5c.jpg

Oh lovers of beauty raise up your banners
in tribute to the City's early planners
for to them and to nature we are ever in debt
for as magnificent a picture as the gods ever set.

Like the poetry?
It's from a poem called Jacaranda Time by Robert Cornell
written specifically about Harare's Jacaranda trees. The full poem can be found here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The most amazing animal you've never heard of--the pangolin!!

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Meet Marimba, the Pangolin!

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What on earth is a pangolin you ask?
Why the most adorable and amazing animal you've probably never heard of.

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When someone first mentioned the pangolin and its rarity--it's rapidly disappeared in its home in tropical Asia and Africa--
I honestly thought they either couldn't pronounce penguin or were playing a strange practical joke.
(Random fact for you: their tongues are longer than their bodies!!)

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Then I met this lovely lady...and fell in love. Pangolins are amazing and so cool!

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Beautiful isn't she?
Her scales are keratin--the same material that people have horrendously hunted rhinos for--and is the only known mammal with this adaption.
Pangolin comes from the Malay word meaning "something that rolls up."

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They walk on only their hind legs, holding their front legs (arms?) to their chest.
It was so intriguing to watch, just mezmorizing.

Check out how they balance and walk here:

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Unfortunately pangolins have largely disappeared because the Chinese believe their scales have medicinal qualities which has resulted in poaching similar to
 rhino horn poaching and their meat is considered a delicacy.

They classified as an endangered species. There is an international ban on their trade.

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Isn't Marimba a beauty and just so interesting? 
Wild is Life is trying hard to do its part and save the few pangolins left in Zimbabwe.
In fact, legally, the president of Zimbabwe owns every pangolin in Zimbabwe and regularly receives reports on their health to help combat their trafficking. The man holding her? He's her handler who is with her every day to ensure no one poaches her.

For more information on pangolins, here's their wikipedia page.

Check out some fun facts about pangolins here!

CNN recently wrote an article on them: "The most trafficked mammal you've never heard of"
(From the article: a pangolin--a rare, scale-covered mammal, about the size of a house cat, that's so bizarre it almost forces your brain to flip through a Rolodex of more-familiar images. It could be described as a walking pine cone or an artichoke with legs- a tiny dinosaur or friendly crocodile. The pangolin possesses none of the cachet of better-known animals that are hot on the international black market. It lacks the tiger's grace, the rhino's brute strength. If they pangolin went to high school, it would be the drama geek--elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated, and barely understood. When it's frightened, it actually curls up into a roly-poly ball. The pangolin could go extinct before most people realize it exists. Or, more to the point: it could go extinct because of that."

Spread the news about pangolins--let's make sure everyone knows about how awesome they are!

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