Elephants Display Emotion Just Like You Do

This photo was taken  last month in the Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and finished in Photoshop to resemble an oil painting.

These two elephants, one caressing the other’s head with its trunk, seem to be expressing clear camaraderie if not outright affection. Which has prompted me to track down two books, When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, and the newly published Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina.  Reading for a very wet weekend here on the farm.

Click this to make it bigger.



Photography from Kenya – This Week’s Haul

Here’s this week’s progress through the photos we brought back from Kenya.

Jonathan, our guide in the Amboseli National Park, thought these two lions were about nine months old. At that age you can’t really determine whether they are male or female except by observation of the appropriate parts of their physique. One of these is male, the other we couldn’t say.


Here are the grounds at the lovely Loldia House in the Great Rift Valley. That is Lake Naivasha out there.


Elephants on the march, Amboseli.


And this is a common eland in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

All of these photos link with a click to a growing gallery of photos from this trip on EarthPhotos.com.

Stand by for one more photo shortly, my favorite so far from Kenya. And next week, birds.

Friday Photo #40, Taksim Square, Istanbul


I’m excited about the upcoming release of A Strangeness in my Mind by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, promised on my doorstep October 20th. It’s a story of one of my world-top-five cities, Istanbul, as this review puts it, “in all its faded, messy, dusty glory.”

This week’s photo is from Istanbul, taken from the top of a high rise hotel. Here is Taksim Square, up on a hill on the European side, with a view down toward the Sea of Marmara and the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait.

Click the photo to see it better. That’s the Monument of the Republic in the center of the square, celebrating Kemal Ataturk and the formation of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923. At the far end the square opens onto Istiklal (Independence) Caddesi, Turkey’s most famous street and usually a center of protests. Istiklal is a pedestrian street that traverses the Beyoglu district for about a mile down to the Galata Bridge at the Golden Horn, and Eminönü beyond. That’s the Galata Tower in the middle distance.

There are 385 more photos in the Turkey Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. And see all the Friday Photos.

Wildebeest Kill

We had the good fortune to witness multiple wildebeest crossings of the Mara River while in Kenya. I’ll do a big photo presentation sometime in the coming weeks, but for now here is a general view to set the scene.


Each time the wildebeests contemplated crossing, crocodiles lined themselves up along the crossing route. They’re huge. They can literally be a ton o’ prehistoric monster, growing to a thousand kilos or more.

A few individual wildebeests were bound to fall as prey. In this first photo, with the croc coming up on the wildebeest from below, check out how huge his tail is compared to the poor beest.




Giraffes and Hippos

So far we’ve gone heavy up on giraffes and hippos from our Kenya visit. Before we move on, here’s one more round.


Hippo fight in the Mara River, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.


Portrait of a demure little fellow in Oloiden Lake, in the Great Rift Valley.


And I’ve never seen so many giraffes in one place as all these guys, eating their way through greenery near Lake Naivasha.

All these and more photos here at EarthPhotos.com.

Giraffes in the Maasai Mara


It looks like CS&W is going to be commandeered by photography for a while. Going through all the stuff we brought back from Kenya is a good, wholesome, indoor activity for autumn.

These giraffes’ home range is on the plains of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

More photos from this trip will pop up, a few at a time, as the leaves change. Cheers!