Who? Me?

eland

Just another day in the Mara North Conservancy, Kenya.

Kenya

Second full day in Kicheche Mara camp and we’re spending eight or nine hours a day on drives. Little time to look at photos yet, but they’ll come.

Unease

lion

The country is at loggerheads. I imagine the way I feel tonight may be the way some felt about the incoming Obama administration.

I’m on the way out of town. We have the pure honor and privilege to be able to spend the next couple of weeks immersed in African wildlife. I’ll post here as opportunities allow. I can’t help but observe, though, that we leave a most unsettled America.

To ponder:

  1. The neoliberal economic model, unsteady since the 2008 crisis, is under attack at all the ideological fringes, fraying at the edges. What will be the impact of a tycoon-president determined to commingle his business interests with the exercise of power?
  2. What is to become of the existing western defense structures? I fear especially for the brave but tiny Baltic states. Then there is the incoming administration’s unsteady start with China.
  3. In light of the incoming president’s apparent appointments, what’s really up with the Trump/Russia relationship?
  4. Come on, now. About this incoming Trump cabinet, consider:
  • An education secretary who wishes to privatize education
  • A labor secretary opposed to the minimum wage
  • A national security advisor who joined in a chant to “lock her up” at the Republican convention
  • An environmental protection head who is suing the agency he will be nominated to lead
  • An Attorney General who was denied a judgeship
  • A health secretary who apparently wishes  to privatize Medicare
  • A UN representative with no international experience beyond trade missions as a governor
  • A housing secretary, a surgeon, with no managerial experience
  • A transportation secretary who is married to the Senate majority leader
  • A Small Business Administration head who is a wrestling promoter
  • Apparently, John Bolton

One or two of these, okay, sure. But collectively?

Now, you may make the “he won, he has a right to assemble his own people” argument. Or the “he’s a small government Republican (if you say so) and these people will advance that agenda” argument. I agree with the former. We can argue about the latter.

But really, are intelligence briefings too inconvenient for a president-elect to be troubled with? Really really? And does a president-elect really need to get publicly prickly against a local union leader in Indiana?

Back over the summer, as we left to visit Greenland, I wrote that I was happy to leave the dismal Trump/Clinton campaign behind, if only for a couple of weeks. For the next couple of weeks I’ll leave the transition with you, but this time I’m uneasy. Things don’t feel right.

If you feel I’m wrong, or wish to quibble on the particulars, please do. We can discuss with civility and respect. Let’s engage.

Meanwhile, for me, it’s onward and upward, for a brief two weeks, to Africa. The law of the jungle (in this case, the savanna), is way more uplifting.

 

 

Unexpected Elephants

Got a little side-tracked. In the process of loading new Greenland and Finland photos from our recent trip onto the big computer, and I came across a photo from this time last year that caught my eye. These elephants live in Amboseli park near our base that trip, the very nice Tortilis Camp. Click the photo to view these guys larger on EarthPhotos.com.

AmboseliElephantsSmall

Three Friday Photos – Wildlife

elephants

First is a family of elephants from the Amboseli park in Kenya.

colobus

Here’s a Colobus monkey just somewhere along the roadside in Uganda.

hippo

And this guy popped up to say hello in Lake Oloiden, Kenya.

Click ’em to enlarge, and see the Kenya, Uganda and Wildlife galleries at EarthPhotos.com for more. Cheers!

Friday Photo #50, Wildebeest Crossing

kenya

The annual wildebeest crossing of the Mara River in Kenya. Click to enlarge. See more wildlife photos at EarthPhotos.com, and see all the Friday Photos.

Who? Us!?

monkeys

Baby baboons in Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

Friday Photo #44 – Pachyderm Pals

ElephantFriends

Science asserts that humans have the capability for complex symbolic thought because showing concern for the dead reveals the cognitive ability to represent group members after they have died. Elephants are also known to bury their dead. They have this same cognitive ability.

The Maasai believe that only elephants and humans have souls. And souls or no souls, just look at these two. Smiling, caressing, these two are clearly pals.

See more in the Kenya Gallery at EarthPhotos.com, and see all the Friday Photos.

Friday Photo #43

Leopard

Stalking leopard, Maasai Mara National Reserve, from the Kenya Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. And see all the other Friday Photos.

Wildebeest Crossing HDR

Wildebeests1

Sizing up the herd we reckon that if they all go it could take half and hour. Waves of animals gather at the edge of the cliff and then move toward and away from the water. At times even hundreds of wildebeests will fall in line moving away from the crossing and each time they do I despair, even though with all those crocs, we are in effect egging on a tiny percentage of wildebeests to their deaths. 

 

This is a single photo HDR, re-exposed +2, +1, 0, -1, -2 in Bridge, recombined in Photomatix, finished in Photoshop. Click the photo for a bigger version.