Time is moving quickly by as we begin 2016. This past week I been putting much effort into working on travel arrangements for upcoming trips and also finishing edits from 2015. Trips were fewer last year as I worked on longer term projects however when I was able to get out into the field the moments were magic in a way that only mother nature can produce. Reflecting back here are some of my favorites……….
One of the most iconic Alaskan animals has to be the Alaskan brown bear. In July I had the privilege of spending a week moving through different spots in Katmai National Park to observe these magnificent creatures. Sightings were frequent, varied and extreme. We started with numerous mother and cub sightings making Katmai seem like a brown bear nursery but ended observing the conflict that comes from protecting a food source especially when one is getting ready to settle in for a long winter. A washed up whale carcass (we believe a fin whale but by the time we arrived it was hard to tell) is a literal buffet but only the most dominant at any given time was able to enjoy the feast. Here are a few shots from that trip:
Moms and cubs were plentiful. How could you not enjoy watching a little one play and the intimate moments shared with mom?
Bears were not the only sightings. We saw many others including bald eagles and these harbor seals hanging out waiting for high tide to return.
A whale carcass provides food a plenty but only the strongest at the time enjoy the feast. High tide, no problem! This bear just swam out and climbed on top of the floating carcass.
In early September I traveled to Botswana. Here we were able to observe and photograph the wildlife of this country from the land, the air and on the water creating unique angles and plentiful shooting opportunities. We followed wild dogs on the hunt, found baby leopards on a couple of occasions, watched elephants moving in and out of their water source and a had a great deal of time with a very special cheetah that was successfully raising 4 cubs. I can’t wait to go back again!
Want an adrenaline rush? Try to keep up with these guys while on the move!
I never get tired of watching the cats. Here a female leopard is out on the hunt while leaving her cub in a secure hiding place. Later after waiting for hours we finally had a short sighting of a 3 month leopard cub when he decided to come down out of the tree.
I have watched cheetahs with cubs before but have never seen one raise so many successfully. She gave birth to 5 and was able to raise 4. I recently read that a short time ago the cubs have finally been put out on their own.
Elephants, another favorite were plentiful in all the locations that we visited. Unique vantage points made for some interesting compositions.
Lastly, much closer to home but no less spectacular the landscape of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park bursts with color in the month of October providing endless opportunities for traditional and abstract compositions.
Thank you for allowing me to share these with you. Let nature be an inspiration to us all as we move into 2016!