L-APC: Spots and Dots

Spots and Dots is the creative topic for Leya’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

flowers (2 orchids at Chicago Botanic Gardens, sunflower at Cantigny Park-Robert McCormick estate, Wheaton, Illinois)

animals (Tanzania)

art: sculpture (dalmations in Sao Paulo, Brazil; abstract sculpture in St. Charles, Illinois; giant pumpkin somewhere in Japan – this photo was a screenshot; Chinese lion at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Illinois)

museum art (tapestry, light display)

Leda Catunda, Onca pintada No. 1, 1984, (at museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Exhibit at Museu do Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

public art

Lightscape light show installations for the holiday season, (Chicago Botanic Gardens, Dec. 2019 and Dec. 2020)

Bird Weekly: Perched

Lisa Coleman’s Bird Weekly photo challenge this week has the topic of birds perched up.

Crows on a roof, Arlington Heights, Illinois
Woodpecker, probably female (Arlington Heights, IL)
What are these birds looking at?? (Masada, Israel)
This superb starling gave me a penetrating look! (Serengeti, Tanzania)
These guys were so well camouflaged, I almost didn’t see them! (Serengeti, Tanzania)
Storks hang out in an acacia tree at sunset. (Serengeti, Tanzania)
I’m sure I’ve posted these lovebirds before, but they’re so cute! (Ndutu, Tanzania)
Hornbill in Arusha National Park, Tanzania
Black & white ibis in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Bird Weekly: Long Legs

Lisa Coleman of Our Eyes Open‘s Bird Weekly photo challenge this week asks us to post long-legged birds.

Heron, Arlington Heights, IL, USA
White heron, Aswan, Egypt
Blacksmith plover, Arusha NP, Tanzania
Congregation of egrets, Tarangire NP, Tanzania
Marabou stork with carcass & vultures, Ndutu-Serengeti, Tanzania
A pair of ostriches, Serengeti NP, Tanzania
Flamingos at Amsterdam Zoo, the Netherlands

2020 Photo Challenge: Shot From Above

Travel Words’ 2020 Photo Challenge theme for September is “point of view” and for this final week, the subject is shoot from above.

Looking down on Maasai villages from prop plane flying from Serengeti National Park to Arusha, Tanzania
Plane ride Serengeti-Arusha, Tanzania
Hotel room balcony view, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt
Ruins of Roman settlement during the siege of Masada, from Masada plateau, Israel
Looking down from the courtyard behind the abbey atop Mont St-Michel, France
Looking down on the Rhine River from Marksburg Castle in Germany
Looking down on hoodoos from the Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
A trail we chose to view from above rather than hike down! Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

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.

535
Living in family groups gives elephants the security of supporting each other.

Often there are several generations living together.
SONY DSCMothers support their offspring, including nursing their young calves.
SONY DSC
A mother or aunt helps a calf trying to get up as it lies on the bank of a river.
SONY DSC

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.
SONY DSC
SONY DSC
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.

SONY DSC
Two young males, probably brothers, hang out together.

SONY DSC
Sisters nuzzle and groom each other.

A female baboon carries her baby on her back.
SONY DSC
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.
SONY DSC
All photos taken in Tanzania in February 2018.

Top o’ the Morning!

I don’t usually get up early. Especially now – what’s the point? I can’t go anywhere anyway! I have a routine of getting up, getting a cup of tea (I can’t tolerate coffee anymore, although I love it), a banana and a piece of Babybel cheese, and then going to a comfortable spot to read and enjoy my morning snack. In warm weather, I like to sit on the porch and breathe the morning air. So it’s usually 10 a.m. or later before I get going with my day.

But when we travel with tour groups, we often have to get up very early, and on those occasions I do have the opportunity to appreciate the early morning, or Top o’ the morning, as the Irish say, (and in order to fit into Becky’s April Square Tops!)

So for Lens-Artists photo challenge#93 with the topic morning, I am posting some photos I took early in the morning while traveling, mostly with tours, in 2018-2019.

ON SAFARI
On safari, it’s a given to get up really early, so you can have breakfast and go on a game drive in the early morning when the animals tend to be more active. So every day, our alarm was set for 6 a.m. – when I hear that alarm tune on my husband’s tablet, I still think I’m in Tanzania!

20180205_064801 (2)
On the patio of our lodge at Tarangire – 6:48 a.m.

20180206_064823
Same exact time the next morning – what a view overlooking Tarangire National Park!

2-10 sunrise
After this beautiful sunrise in Serengeti National Park…

2-10 picnic breakfast
…we had a picnic breakfast in the park!

DES MOINES, IOWA
My husband tends to wake up really early whenever we’re sleeping somewhere away from home. Sometimes he wakes me up too. Here we got a great photo overlooking the river toward downtown Des Moines. You can see the capitol building in the distance!

20180927_071205_001 (2)
From Best Western hotel room window, 7:12 a.m. in late September

EGYPT
We were in Egypt in the winter, so I often captured the rising sun between 8 and 9 a.m.!

20181224_094654 (2)
The Great Pyramid of Giza, at 9:46 a.m.

20181228_065323d
View from our hotel room at the Sofitel Winter Palace in Luxor, 6:53 a.m.

20181230_065812d
We took a 5-day cruise up the Nile, in an Egyptian style dahabeya. This type of boat doesn’t have a motor – it’s towed by tug or unfurls its sails, but because of this, we couldn’t travel at night. We docked at Besaw Island one night, and in the morning, the trees were golden in the light of the rising sun, at 6:58 a.m.

20190102_062406d (2)
At the end of the five-day cruise, we had arrived at Aswan, where we had to disembark. We had a long day ahead, so I took this shot at 6:24 a.m. at the breakfast table on board.

20190103_065753
The next morning, we were at a rustic lodge in Abu Simbel, where I took this photo from the patio, with a view of several islands on this part of the Nile. Since the Aswan High Dam was built, this part of the Nile is now a lake. 6:57 a.m.

20190104_072055
This was part of our view from Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan (where Agatha Christie wrote her famous mystery, Death on the Nile) at 7:20 a.m.

20190105_062215 (2)
At 6:22 a.m. the next morning, we were already on a bus which would take us to the Aswan airport, to fly back to Cairo.

ISRAEL
In order to cram as many sites as possible into one day, our tour company in Israel required us to be on the bus no later than 7:30. So we got up at 6 a.m. every morning, and went downstairs to breakfast between 6:30 and 7:00.

20190109_075821
We were on the road already when I took this photo of the Sea of Galilee receiving rays from the early morning sun, at 7:52 a.m. in early January 2019.

20190110_065723d
The next day, I took this photo at 6:57 a.m. from our hotel room overlooking Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, before we went down to breakfast.

20190112_071506 (2)
We traveled south toward the Dead Sea, seen here between 7 and 8 a.m.

20190113_075027 Church of All Nations
We were in Jerusalem for the last few days of the tour. This is at the Church of All Nations, at 7:50 a.m. We explored the outside first, and were allowed inside at 8:00.

20190114_080557
Only a few of the faithful are at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to say their prayers at 8:05 a.m. The women’s section is more crowded because it is a lot smaller.

EUROPE
On our European cruise last summer, we only had to get up very early a couple of days. Usually, we’d wake up and go out on the balcony of our stateroom.

20190706_035650
I must have had insomnia, because I took this photo as we were cruising into Vienna at 3:56 a.m. in early July!

20190708_085541
The sun was full up on this cloudy day when I took this photo. It was 8:55 a.m. and I was getting my first look at Budapest just before our ship docked!

Although when I’m home, I stay up late (I’m writing this after midnight! – I’m late, sorry, Becky!) and get up late the next morning, when we travel, even on days we don’t have to get up early, we usually do because we are excited! I cherish these last trips we took before the quarantine put a stop to my planning for the next trip, scheduled for this month! But we won’t be stuck at home forever, and I look forward to more adventures soon!

 

 

 

 

CFFC: The K’s Have It

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’s topic this week is needs to have the letter K anywhere in the word.

Korazim (also called Chorazin) National Archaeological Site in northern Israel
20190109_090858d

Katy (yours truly!) at Korazim
20190109_085821

Katy’s drawing of a kitty
Cat 19-10-22 (white chalk on black construction paper) (2)

Kinderdijk – town of windmills in the Netherlands
20190626_084816

Naschmarkt food market, Vienna, Austria

Kitten in Israel (we saw many felines in Israel, but this one was so little and so needy for affection!)
20190109_141044
Karnak – one of the most important ancient Egyptian temple sites on the Nile

Obelisks at Karnak
SONY DSC
Egyptian obelisin Paris that originally came from Karnak
20190613_113615
K
id at orchid show (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
DSC02808

Karibu Sana! (Swahili for “You are very welcome”) – on our last night in Tanzania, the cooks at the safari camp made us a cake and sang.
20180212_203655

And here’s a video, just for fun…

Khachaturian, Waltz from Masquerade