Buy the lens …?

Not long ago I managed to trim down the weight of my camera kit. The ever tightening stance of the airlines caused me concern. I even managed to get a lighter pair of binoculars. But …

Inevitably the weight has crept up again. I currently carry two cameras when I travel, one for landscape and time-lapse, a Lumix GH4, and a Cannon 7d mark ll with a telephoto for wildlife. At home I leave a full frame Sony with a nice macro lens. Of course none of them talk to each other, three different sensor sizes, incompatible lenses. Why? Because no one just buys a whole kit in one go and times change.

I’m thinking ahead to another big trip. Do I buy a bunch of lenses for just one of my much-loved cameras? What happens if it fails in the time I’m away? It is so hard but fortunately there is a flow chart …

It doesn’t solve the problem but it does amuse you while you ponder.

Low Tide …

There’s about 25 km of beach running from Gantheaume Point north to Willie Creek. This is Cable Beach, sun, surf, camels, tourists, very popular. But the further north you get the fewer people you encounter. The numbers would drop off faster if driving on the beach was forbidden, sadly it is permitted. There is some debate as to whether a full-time or part-time four-wheel drive is better on the beach. Personally, I think the best car for the purpose is somebody else’s car.

About 13 km up the beach from the Cable Beach Resort, or 25 km by road, is the suburb I know as Coconut Well, officially Waterbank. If you have a spare three or four million you can buy a nice home here. It won’t have mains electricity or town water but it will have a nice view.

At low tide there are some rocks exposed that are interesting to poke around in. Fish dart around in the tidal pools. There will be some migratory shorebirds about and perhaps a Frigatebird will fly over and if you’re really lucky you may see a Beach Stone-curlew …

Silver Gull
Beach Stone-curlew

The photo at the top is of an Eastern Reef Egret hunting through the pools. They often stand motionless, sometimes with their wings out to create some enticing shade. When a morsel presents itself the neck uncoils like a spring.

Game Drive …

Dawn found us on the banks of the Nile, our taxi was first in line for the ferry …

The savanna awaits on the north bank along with a severe case of pixel intoxication …

Waterbuck (m)
Waterbuck (m)
Denham’s Bustard
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
African Elephant
Hartebeest
Patas Monkey
Rothschild’s Giraffe

What about that sky, the light was magical, and surprisingly not a drop of rain fell.

And then we encountered the lions …

 

 

The some very sharp eyes found these for us.

the Leopard is a very secretive animal. And if you delve into his secrets it could be quite dangerous for you…

Geoffrey Muhanguzi.

Leopard

This is just a fraction of what we saw, and we racked up quite a bird list to go with the mammals. Choosing which photos to include here has been very hard. If I went through the exercise again there might not be too much of an overlap.

All too soon it was over, we had to make the 11 am ferry in order to be out of the park before our 24 hours were up and we all became liable for another 50 bucks.

My advice, if you are visiting Murchison Falls National Park, stay longer and explore the possibility of staying in the northern section of the park.

Distant pizza …

From where I live it’s a 30 km round trip for a takeaway pizza.

This has some advantages.  For one thing you learn to make your own pizzas and they knock the insipid shop bought ones for six. Among the other advantages is the night sky. A clear night is a numinous experience.

Sunset last night was at 5.30 and the moon would not be up until a little after 8. I drove up to a higher point not far from home hoping to get a photo with the milky way springing up brightly straight from the horizon. That wasn’t going to happen, the glow of the lights from Maryborough and Avoca, each about 15 km away, some smoke haze and a little cloud all conspired to make the horizon very soft. Overhead though was pretty good.

That the stars had coalesced into a large R was very exciting but not enough to enliven the composition. Fortunately, I had a foreground element with me which could be made visible by judiciously washing over it with my headlamp …

Improving but the action is really higher in the sky. Home again to my trusty windmill …

I love my windmill. When the wind blows it pumps water from an underground aquifer into my dam. Sadly the water is too salty to use for irrigation but stock could drink it. Perhaps I should get some stock. The dam doesn’t hold water very well. I like to think that it leaks back into the aquifer. My very own hydrological cycle and so immensely aesthetic.

By which time the moon could wait no longer. One day I will get a milky way photo that I can be proud of. For now I’ll settle for a moonrise …