Life Captured: Animal Support

Basil Rene has introduced a new photo challenge called Life Captured Photo Prompt, which debuted last Saturday. Each week there will be a new prompt and the challenge runs from Saturday to Friday of the next week.  This week’s challenge is Giving Support.

Like humans, many animals are social animals. The first one that comes to mind is the elephant. Elephants are highly intelligent and live in extended family groups consisting of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and their offspring. Male elephants stay with the group until old enough to find a mate.

There are many ways elephants give support to each other. Living in groups is one way – they care for one another and mourn when one of their members dies.

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Living in family groups gives elephants the security of supporting each other.

Often there are several generations living together.
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A mother or aunt helps a calf trying to get up as it lies on the bank of a river.
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Other animals stay in groups of siblings until they establish a family unit. This is particularly true with big cats.

A cheetah cub feels secure with its mother. He imitates his mother’s hunting techniques and they engage in play.
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Lions hang out with their same sex siblings until they go off to mate. Meanwhile, brothers or sisters help each other hunt and defend their territory, and often show affection to each other.

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Two young males, probably brothers, hang out together.
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Sisters nuzzle and groom each other.

A female baboon carries her baby on her back.
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Zebras accompany wildebeests on their annual great migration, because the zebras know the way and the wildebeests can smell water. They mutually support each other.
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All photos taken in Tanzania in February 2018.

On the Hunt for Joy: Shades & Hues

Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy challenge continues with this week’s topic: color code.

She says: This one is all about color and keeping the same color or hues together. Tip from Ingrid Fetell Lee: Color-code: Organizing by color brings instant harmony to your bookshelf or your closet.

The best photos I’ve taken that are a variation of hues come from nature:

Shades of brown in a cavern (Arizona)
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Beiges in a desert landscape (Masada, Israel)
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Green cacti & succulents (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
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Greens in a park (Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA)
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Pinks in a cluster of roses (Point Defiance Park, Tacoma)
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Green landscape on the slope of Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania)
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There are also manmade hues:
Brown stones and jug (Masada, Israel)
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Red theater chairs & floor in the same cave as the first photo (Arizona)
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Shades of cream and brown almost camouflage this gold and tan angel next to a house in Des Plaines, IL
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Gray & Silver: This monochromatic photo was a mistake – an overexposure of sailboats on the Mediterranean Sea (Caesarea Maritima, Israel). It has not been doctored nor altered in any way – both the sky and the sea were actually very blue.
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CFFC: Roofs of Europe

The roofs in Europe are varied and interesting. So for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week with the topic of roofs, here are some European roofs.

Mont St.-Michel, France

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Abbey cloister and courtyard

Roofs with gulls

Roof with window
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Amsterdam, Holland – These are my favorites due to their variety in architectural style.

2 views of the roofs of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam’s largest art museum), including solar panels! The building was designed by Pierre Cuypers (who also designed other buildings in Amsterdam in the same style, including Centraal Station and Concertgebouw) and opened in 1885.

The rest of these Amsterdam roofs were photographed during a private boat tour, which included all the major canals and the harbor, so there were many types to see, both on shore and in the water!
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Behind the boats in the foreground is the roof of the NEMO Science Museum, which is shaped like a ship!
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Modern apartment buildings
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This red roof really stands out!

Houseboat roofs:

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OK, it’s a tour boat, not a house boat, but it has an interesting mascot – Brunhilde the elephant?
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This houseboat rooftop has a nice deck (with furniture) for sunbathing on hot days!
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Colorful flowers grace the roof of this houseboat.
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I’m not sure if this is actually a house, but it’s unusual!

Gabled roofs
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Nuremburg, Germany
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Nuremburg Castle has existed since medieval times. Made of sandstone, it was a fortified group of buildings built on a ridge in the old center of town. The city expanded outward from there.
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Views from the ramparts of the town below

Schärding, Austria

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In the countryside outside the town is this house whose energy is supplied by the sun!

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Melk Abbey, Austria
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Views of the town of Melk from the abbey

To end on a contrast, here are two views of dwellings in a Maasai village in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The Maasai build their villages in a circle, surrounded by fences. They use the surrounding land for grazing and herding their animals, mostly cattle and goats.
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Landscapes Around the World

Nancy’s A Photo A Week challenge this week features landscapes.

These are some landscapes from my travels, and closer to home.

July in Austria – scene looking down from Melk Abbey, where the Inn and Danube Rivers meet.
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Austria – cruising the Inn River near Schärding
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June at Kinderdijk, Netherlands
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February in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
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Mount Kilimanjaro – on a flight from the Serengeti to Arusha, Tanzania
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Des Plaines, Illinois on a snowy February day
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June at Devil’s Elbow Bridge, Missouri
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June at the Painted Desert, Arizona
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May at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
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June in Arches National Park, Utah
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December along the Nile River near Luxor, Egypt
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October Squares: Animals of Tanzania

For,  Becky’s October Squares challenge: Squares & Lines, here is a rear view of a zebra in Tanzania…DSC03835 (2).JPG
the lines that ring a genet’s tail,
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lines on a lizard,
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lines that encircle an owl’s face,
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wrinkled lines on elephant trunks and bodies,
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ridge lines on impala horns and black markings on their rears and tails,
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markings and horns of a male gazelle,
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and stripes and fringe on the necks of wildebeest.
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And all these photos are square!

All photos taken in Tanzania in February 2018. Check my archives for more photos and stories of these and other marvelous animals!

 

RDP: Birds of Tanzania

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is bird. We saw and photographed a variety of colorful and unusual birds while on safari in Tanzania last February. Here is a sample.

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Lilac breasted roller takes flight in Tarangire National Park.
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White-browed coucal – Arusha National Park
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Lesser flamingos on Momella Lakes, Arusha National Park. The only adult in this group is the taller, pinker bird on the left. The others are young – their feathers do not turn pink until they reach adulthood.
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Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Arusha National Park
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Red-billed hornbill, Tarangire National Park
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Go-away birds, Tarangire National Park
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Vultures and storks fight over prey, Tarangire National Park
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Superb starling looking down on me from its perch, Serengeti National Park
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Red and yellow barbet, Tarangire National Park
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Egyptian geese, Tarangire National Park
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Crowned plover, Tarangire National Park
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Ground hornbill, Tarangire National Park
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Lilac-breasted roller, Tarangire National Park
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A male kori bustard displays his fancy tail feathers for a potential mate, Ngorongoro Crater.
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Yellow-billed stork, Ngorongoro Crater
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Baglafecht weavers followed us around at this spot where we had lunch. Some even got into the vehicle to peck the food right out of my hand! Ngorongoro Crater
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Sacred ibis, Ngorongoro Crater
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Marabou stork, Ngorongoro Crater
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Sandgrouse, Serengeti National Park

CFFC: What’s in the Picture?

Cee is back this week with all her challenges! Today’s Fun Foto Challenge is to use the photo she has posted to find a subject, topic or theme. She writes that this week’s possible topics are black and white, mirror, reflection, air plane, jet, cloud, vehicle, building, power lines, frame in frame. If you see other topics, you can use that too. Just tell us what your topic is.

Seen through a rear view mirror
The picture I am currently using as my profile picture was taken in December 2015 in Monterey, California. I took this selfie using the rear view mirror next to me. I was standing outside my car with my back to the coast.20151223_163909
While at Rocky Mountain National Park in May 2018, I experimented with this idea again, this time showing the scenery both in front of us and in back of us through the mirror.
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Just to be funny in a political context, I’m including this photo I did NOT take! 😉mueller2.jpg
Airplanes and jets
View from the window of a small airplane from Serengeti to Arusha, Tanzania, Feb. 13, 2018. Ngorongoro Crater is visible in the background.
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The jet that would take us from Chicago to Amsterdam, August 2015
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On a rocky beach in Alaska, August 2016
On the beach at Orca Point Lodge, looking for "treasures"
Chicago skyscrapers, 2017
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The foliage of summer hides most of this house, but like Cee’s picture, there’s a roof in it!
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Some New Animals in Ngorongoro Crater

Feb. 6, 2018

We stopped for lunch at about 2:00 during a drizzling rain. There were toilets next to a grassy area. Some people headed straight for them, but in spite of the commotion we must have made upon arrival, it did not faze two Marabou storks, who stood stock still several feet apart.  This one seemed to be giving me the evil eye as I took his picture.
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Once we reached the floor of the crater, we saw some new animals that we hadn’t seen up until now.  Flying over the plain were two grey-crowned cranes.
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In the grass, a blacksmith plover pecked for worms and insects.
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But by far the most interesting bird we saw was the kori bustard. I don’t know if this is a male or female…
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A larger gazelle is the Grant’s gazelle, which is about the same size as an impala.
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These gazelles differ from the impala in that both male and female have horns. This is a characteristic of all gazelles. Impalas are not gazelles, but all these species belong to the larger category of animals, the antelopes. (So all gazelles are antelopes, but not all antelopes are gazelles.)

All antelopes belong to the larger family of bovids, along with the buffalo, who often has oxpecker birds on his back or head…SONY DSC
and the wildebeest. In Ngorongoro Crater, we saw large herds of wildebeest, who migrate from one side of the crater to the other, unlike those in the “Great Migration” of the Serengeti. Still, in Ngorongoro Crater, they are in just as much danger from predators…
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such as hyenas, lions (there are about 80 lions in Ngorongoro Crater), SONY DSCand even jackals, who usually end up with the leftovers of larger predators, like this female and her pups.SONY DSC
Jackals are often seen in pairs and will hunt cooperatively for small mammals and even lizards, like this agama lizard.SONY DSC

Next:  New Life and Danger in Nogorongoro Crater!

CB&WPC: Animal Heads

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week, with the topic of Heads or Facial Features, I am featuring animals of Ngorongoro Crater.

Photos in black & white (or nearly so) allow one to see details that normally wouldn’t stand out, such as the individual hairs on this vervet monkey’s head:
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The horns on this male Thomson’s gazelle are quite spectacular.
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Close-ups of heads emphasize an animal’s facial expression, such as this African buffalo chillin’ in the grass…
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or this zebra foal’s curiosity.
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Profiles of heads show their contours, such as this beautiful lioness…
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…and the self-satisfied expression of a hyena who has just finished a meal.
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Hippo mostly submerged
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Finally, I can’t resist including this picture of Van Gogh’s eye from a self-portrait (taken at Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).
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High drama in Ngorongoro to follow!!