Monday, March 12, 2018

Africa 2018: Reptiles

Annamaria on Monday

Selfie taken from my accustomed seat during game drives

Much of the time, when fellow travelers in Africa talk about what they saw, they speak of animals--and then almost always the impressive ones, especially the big cats.  At Lake Manyara, on this last trip, I went on a game drive with a Chinese couple.  The woman lamented that she had not brought her own camera, because her husband was only interested in taking pictures of lions and leopards.  She was going home without her own photo souvenirs.  Poor thing.

I thought her husband would also one day regret the photos he did not take.  But who am I to tell another human being what to like, much less what to photograph?  I photograph everything: animals, birds, flowers, rocks, landscapes, birds, trees, birds, bodies of water, people, birds, insects.  Very often, I capture marvelously clear and precise shots of tree limbs that were very recently occupied by a beautiful bird.  Michael Sears dubbed those shots "was-birds."  Here is the best of this year's photos of was-birds:

Taken with a 30x zoom, with my splendid Panasonic Lumix camera, which
has a Leica lens.  Look at the clarity of those leaves.  Imagine how clear the
bird would have been.
I also  got some wonderful photos of reptiles:

None of which were snakes

A terapin, of the Order: Slightly-Out-of-Focus

Leopard Tortoise 

Michael, HELP! You told me, but I forget this critter's name

Are you a Nile crocodile?

At Lake Manyara there were scores of these on my mosquito netting each night.
I was happy to see them because I believe they eat insects.  Anything that eats
mosquitoes is my friend!

This cutie's body was maybe two inches long.
I tried to ID this tiny one, Michael, but the only thing I found that looks
remotely like it lives only in North America.
This guy, by comparison, was about three feet long tip to tail. 

Here you can see his size in relation to the clumps of grass and get a gander at
 his formidable tongue.  Look at the beauty of his markings.  What a guy!


  1. Thanks for the pictures! Don't regret the Wasbirds - you photographed plenty of Isbirds too!

    1. Michael, Thanks to you, I did get a lot of Isbirds. The worst temptation for me right now is to spend all my time reliving that trip by playing with my photos. The beauty of it all overwhelms me!

    2. Not to mention the egrets and washboards involved....

    3. I have no regrets about my photos of egrets! I wash my hands of the rest of this.