Monthly Archives: September 2009


Innocence illuminates.

YOUNG MALE LION - Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana
YOUNG MALE LION – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

Its beauty transcends illusion.

Quotes to consider:

“The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails.” – William Shakespeare

“The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Innocence dwells with wisdom, but never with ignorance.” – William Blake
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Rise above Rejection

Did you know that “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was rejected no less than ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE times, before eventually finding its home with a small (and apparently almost bankrupt) publisher?? This must be amongst the best of all … Continue reading

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African Penguin Day

Here’s an important reminder of a previous post: if you’re lucky enough to be in Cape Town THIS WEEKEND (25 – 27 September 2009), take a trip to Simon’s Town for the Penguin Festival.

For the first time ever, penguin-lovers will celebrate the 26th September as African Penguin Day!! This is an initiative of SANCCOB international, aimed at raising awareness of this “much loved and ‘vulnerable to extinction’ species”. The opening highlight of the festival will be a beach release of some African Penguins that have been rehabilitated by SANCCOB, which will take place at 10am on the 26th – be sure not to miss it!

The beautiful Boulders Beach Lodge website: has more information about this special event. As they explain: “ALL proceeds raised over the weekend go to support SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds)”, so please take a look. Here’s a pic of one of the Boulders Beach residents, in case you haven’t met them yet:

On this note, sincere gratitude and congratulations to everyone involved in the salvage operation of the Se Li bulk carrier, which ran aground at Table View beach earlier this month. As reported on News24 on Sunday, “the threat of “significant” (oil) spillage…has passed”, despite difficult weather conditions. In case you missed the Carte Blanche article on this, which clearly outlines the extent of the threat, here’s a link to it: Shipwreck.
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Saddle-billed Stork Survey

So how’s this for a bit more synchronicity: just a few days after posting the sequence of images of the Fish Eagle attempting to steal a fish from two Saddle-billed Storks (In Celebration of Birds!), we received an email from the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) – about these very birds.

Here’s their request:

“Join the Endangered Wildlife Trust and SANParks in a photographic survey of Saddle-billed Storks in the Kruger National Park. The survey started on 1 September 2009 and will run for a full calendar year.

This survey forms part of a research project that will be conducted over the next three years on the population status of Saddle-billed Storks, one of Kruger’s rarities, and one of the “Big Six” birds. “Census operations on any species within the boundaries of the Kruger National Park are important to help us get an idea of that species’ status within the context of biodiversity management,” says Marcelle van Hoven, the project’s coordinator. “The last Saddle-billed Stork survey conducted in 1993 suggested that there were less than 60 of these birds left in the Park.”

Saddle-billed Storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) are distinctly identifiable by their large size (they stand about 150 cm tall), sharply contrasting black and white plumage and yellow lappet (saddle-like structure) on the bill. The males have a dark eye with two small yellow wattles at the base of the bill, while females have a yellow eye. These birds can also be individually recognised by the details of the front edge of the black band across the red bill. Side-on photographs of all the birds, from both the left and right angles, will be used in identification during the survey.”

Here are two images taken by Dave at the Okavango Delta, which clearly illustrate the difference between the male and female birds:

MALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana
MALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

FEMALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana
FEMALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

They go on to say the following:

“Saddle-billed Storks are classified as Endangered in South Africa. They breed slowly and are dependant on extensive wetland habitats, which are under increasing pressure from humans. The flow regimes of rivers passing through the Kruger National Park are expected to change in response to catchment developments outside the Park, and this, together with the removal of artificial water impoundments within the Park, may have a negative impact on this species. In South Africa, Saddle-billed Storks are largely confined to the north-eastern tropical lowland with the majority of the population residing along the riverine habitat in the Kruger National Park. They normally occur in pairs, are strongly territorial and remain in the same area for years.

Visitors who spot a Saddle-billed Stork are asked to take a clear photograph of both sides of the bird’s face and bill and to record information about the sighting including the date, time, location, name of nearby water source, bird’s gender, juveniles present and any other notes that might be relevant. A Saddle-billed Stork census weekend is also planned in the Kruger National Park for later this year, where photographers with the powerful lenses can contribute to this project.

Please keep a special eye out for Saddle-bills and send all sighting details and photographs to

This project is sponsored by Tinga Private Game Lodge and Custom African Tours & Safaris.”

Please pass this on to anyone you feel may have the fortune to contribute 🙂
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Through a sequence of synchronicity, Dave and I are delighted to be joining Hills of Africa on their phenomenal “Soul Safari” in South Africa next month, as the official photographers. This is a 9-day internal and external journey with celebrated … Continue reading

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Remembering Patrick Swayze

We were saddened to hear earlier this week of the passing of Patrick Swayze, one of Hollywood‘s Hottest 🙂 Like countless fans around the world, our sincerest thoughts are with his wife, family and friends. For us, this is a … Continue reading

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Communication > Language

JACKAL - Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana
JACKAL – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S.Eliot

“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.” – Stephen King

“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you’ve gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of their meaning. Once you’ve got the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find someone who has forgotten words so I can talk with him or her?” – Chuang Tzu
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Catch the wave

I’ve mentioned this before (in previous Writing Tips), but can’t emphasize enough how much value I have gained from the Telesummits presented by Art of the Song Creativity Radio and Eric Maisel, PhD. This morning, while rowing at the gym, … Continue reading

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Quality Quotations

Just want to give a great big shout-out to three wonderful websites that share the world’s collective wisdom: Your content is a source of continual inspiration. Thank you!

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In celebration of birds!

Huge THANK YOU to Sandy and Hills of Africa Travel for featuring some of Dave’s fish eagle photo’s on their fabulous blog:

Have a look there and read Sandy’s insightful article on these stunning birds. She taught us a new term – “kleptoparasites” – which fish eagles are categorized as because they have “been known to steal prey from other bird species, as well as steal eggs and young from other water birds’ nests”.

Dave shot a phenomenal sequence in the Okavango Delta which illustrates this perfectly. It involves a fish eagle swooping in to steal a fish from a saddlebilled stork. The series is included in Sandy’s post, but it’s so exceptional that I’m going to add it here too.

Dave supplied this sequence to Birdlife South Africa, an organization which “Gives Conservation Wings”. It is printed across the contents pages of their beautiful book, “A Feathership of Partners”, which was conceptualised and created by Malcolm Drummond – thank you, Malcolm! If you love birds, please visit their site ( to see how you can help 🙂







No breakfast for the birds, but the fish was smiling!

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