Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Myanmar, The Golden Land

So in case you haven't figured it out yet, Paul, Piper, and I have moved to Myanmar (formerly Burma)! Myanmar is in Southeast Asia, sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand, with a large stretch of coastline along the Bay of Bengal. 


Myanmar has had a very complicated history and had been a closed off and isolated from the rest of the world for nearly 60 years. In 2011 the military dictatorship stepped down and the country opened up to the outside world. 

The country is predominantly Buddhist, which results in a plethora of temples, stupas, pagodas, and Buddha statues across the country. For a photographer it is picture taking gold! Yet, it is also a monsoon country and it receives consistent and heavy rain for nearly five months each year (May-September), which for a photographer is a challenge!

We left South Africa and moved here at the end of May and I've been negligent in posting pictures of our new country. So here are a few from our adventures around the city, dodging the monsoon rains!

 Downtown Yangon

 Walking through a market near the river

 Taking a trishaw ride around town

 A Chinese temple in Chinatown

  




 Posing with a little Chinte

 Kandawgyi Lake with Shwedagon Pagoda in the background

 The view of our apartment buildings in the distance. Despite appearances, this is urban living!

 Karaweik Hall on Kandawgyi Lake

 Overlooking Yangon from the balcony of our apartment


Shwedagon Pagoda

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kruger Birds


Hammerkop

Woolly Necked Stork

Blacksmith Lapwing / Saddle Billed Stork

Saddle Billed Stork

Woolly Necked Stork

Water Thick-knee

Tawny Eagle

Verreaux Owl


Red-billed Oxpecker

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Greensides Take on South Africa - Kruger National Park

For our last safari in South Africa we left the kiddo's with the grandparents and did it up right in Kruger National Park! We stayed at Jock Safari Lodge in the southern part of Kruger. It is a private concession within the park and it did not disappoint. The Fitzpatrick lodge is a private three room lodge overlooking a river bed that frequently had a number of animals roaming about. We had our own private game vehicle and game ranger for the four of us. It was fantastic!


Upon arrival our ranger informed us he spotted a leopard as he was driving to the lodge. We lived over 4 years in South Africa and have been on numerous game drives and have never seen the elusive leopard. 

We finally got one!!!

What a beautiful cat!

Male Kudu

Baboon Troop

So many elephants!


The amazing white rhino


Another member of the feline family!

Spotted Hyena

On one drive we spotted two rhino resting on the dirt road, we drove up to them and were observing their behavior when we heard a growl. Driving about 10 feet forward past a large bush we came across a whole pride of lions, complete with two males, numerous females, and many young, with a kill. They were trying to eat their lunch but the two rhino's kept charging them. It was fascinating to watch! 





What were the rhino's doing? We had many theories - my favorite was that the wildebeest was a friend of the rhino and he was now pissed that the lions were eating him. After about 15 minutes of this interaction between the rhinos and lions the rhino's left. Then all the lions came out from the bush to get some lunch.





Kruger is not all lions and elephants! There are some little things to see too!

Lazy hyena


Enjoying lunch after a swim in between game drives, what a life!

Impala



Puff Adder

Dinner in the boma

Another leopard! Beautiful!



This little guy was putting on quite the show to let us know he was in charge!

Don't go swimming


One of the (many) awesome things about Jock Safari Lodge is that they have rights to drive on the river beds. That was really cool! You had to hold on tight, as it was a bit like being on a roller coaster driving through all the sand, but what a unique and interesting way to see Kruger. 





1,054 rhino's were killed in South Africa during 2016, this is approximately three rhino's killed each day. https://www.savetherhino.org/



We came across this pride at night. Based on the size of the cubs, the ranger guessed that they had only come out of their den in the past week or so. 




We found this guy during the sun rise. We pulled up right next to him (we were in a completely open safari vehicle, no doors, no windows) and he just looked at us and laid down. 

He did give us this nice smile. I won't lie, my pulse definitely increased. 


He definitely knew we were there and paid attention to us. We calculated he could have been up and in our vehicle in probably one second. We were glad none of us looked like a snack! He did give us an amazing roar, which my brother got on the go-pro. You could feel the roar inside your bones. 


For our last safari in South Africa (well for the foreseeable future) this was an amazing one! So glad Scott and Rachael got to experience this with us. Thanks to Gramma and Papa for babysitting Piper and Owen while we had the trip of a lifetime! 

Follow along the other posts - The Greensides Take On South Africa: