My Favourite Moments of 2013

January 04, 2014  •  1 Comment

Almost every photographer I know has posted their top photos of 2013.... as Ansel Adams said, "Twelve significant photos in one year is a good crop."  I don't think that I've taken 12 significant photos, but I've taken some photos that mean a lot to me!  So these aren't my 'top' photos... but they're photos that remind me of the highlights of my photographic journeys in 2013.  I had a LOT of Favourite Moments... 2013 was a very good year!!  Thank you God!!  

For the first adventure.......Kay, my good friend and co-worker at Travel Time, came to me in December of 2012 and said, "Do you want to go to Botswana??!!"  Well who in their right mind would not want to go to Botswana!  Within a week the two of us were booked on an &Beyond Familiarization trip of Botswana.  Kay spent the next few days trying to find ways to make the trip even better... so we added some days at the end of the trip at a camp in the Kalahari Desert.

   ....... So here are some of my favourite moments and 'firsts' from my trip to Botswana.....

My first time flying in a small plane (more like a tin can powered by a lawnmower engine)...

Seeing the beauty of the Okavango Delta from the air.....

After 36 hours of flying half way around the world... being treated to a bush dinner in the middle of nowhere under a canopy of stars!

Hearing the roar of lions all night as they came closer and closer to our camp, finally passing just meters from our tent.... and in the morning tracking them through the delta and driving in water that almost came to the top of the jeeps doors!

Finally finding them...

..... and then following the shy leopard that they chased through the tall grasses....

Seeing animals that I'd never seen before........ like the pretty Red Lechwe

.... Kudo.... with their spiral horns and a pattern on their back that looks as though they've given some pigeons a ride... KudoKudo

...... the Sable Antelope with their freakishly curved horns!...

.... Oryx with their long, straight horns and interesting coat patterns (yes we saw Cheetahs too!)........

...... The teenie, tiny little Steenbok, with the pretty pattern in their ears (they're only about 20 inches tall at the shoulder).....

....... large numbers of Springbok in the Kalahari Desert....

... this thing..... and I have no idea what it is, maybe we found a new species (probably not).....................

..... one of my super-highlights was seeing Honey Badgers, the bad-ass of Africa...... one was even snacking on a frog...

..... the other super-highlight was seeing the critically endangered African Wild Dogs (less than 700 in Botswana and only around 4000 left worldwide).  One of the ladies on our trip said, "They're ugly... I got a picture... lets go!"   I wanted to slug her and thankfully our driver didn't share her opinion.... we were able to enjoy the pack until it was time to go back to camp.

We saw a bunch of birds... Kay, the birder, could probably tell you what each one was.... my favorite was the Malachite King Fisher (tiny little bird)... and the second favourite was the Little Bee Eater which I had seen before in Tanzania ....

I saw an Oxpecker go up the nose of a Giraffe, the Giraffe didn't seem to mind....

..... I saw a baby hippo!

.... We managed to glimpse a sighting of an Elephant or two......... 

...... seriously....... we saw a LOT of Elephants!!  Botswana has the largest population of Elephants on the continent, due to the conservation efforts of Botswana!   Their Military has set up a task force that ruthlessly deals with poachers.  YAY BOTSWANA!!!   

We saw Elephants happily cavorting in the Chobe River!

We saw a baby stuck on a log......... he managed to free himself after about 3 minutes...

We saw big happy families of Elephants at the waters edge.......

We saw them dust-bathing....

...... Mud-bathing.......... 

..... and just plain bathing..........

My suggestion is.... that if you are not fond of Elephants...... don't go to Botswana!! (and please unfriend me on Facebook, because I don't care to know anyone who doesn't like Elephants!)

We also drove for hours and hours across the Kalahari Desert.....

To stand under the Baines Baobab Trees!  A group of 7 huge Baobab trees, immortalized by my camera and the famous painting by Thomas Baines (Prince Charles also stood here and painted them)...   These trees are still relatively young at just over 2000 years.... we saw an older tree that was around 4000 years old.  

I learned that Ostrich will come from far and wide.... and all lay their eggs in one nest.  Then they run off and leave one poor couple of Ostrich to hatch and raise all their kids....... 

We saw the parents who left.... doing their Happy Dance....

We saw the smoke that thunders.......... Victoria Falls!

We petted a Cheetah.... I think that Kay was ready to take him home!  (Sylvester was orphaned and taken in by Wild Horizons)

And we saw the most spectacular Sunsets and Sunrises on Earth.... 

Stuck close to home for a month or two and photographed the Northern Lights...

 

My next photographic opportunity was to take photos of the cutest baby animals at Triple D in Kalispell at a Paul Burwell Wildlife Photography Workshop.....

      Red Fox Kit

Bobcat Kittens

Playful little Wolf Pups

and a baby Tiger!

I also photographed the endangered Snow Leopard

This is what Aryaa thinks of you.. Jennifer Lopez!

...and the even more endangered Amur Leopard (there are less than 40 left in the wild... and less than 300 in captivity).  Just seeing an animal that is on the brink of extinction is kind of moving... being able to photograph one is amazing!  Kupalo is perhaps the most photogenic animal I have had the pleasure to take pictures of!

Having one stalk you is pretty special too!

 

From Triple D Game Farm I drove to Colfax Washington to photograph the Palouse at one of Shutterbug Photo Tour Workshops! www.shutterbugphototours.com

We went out one night to do some Night Photography!  On the way to the location I got an "Aurora Alert" on my cellphone... but what are the chances of seeing the Northern Lights THAT FAR South?!   We were photographing this.....

When I turned around and thought I saw something..... So I told the group that I was going to photograph the Northern Lights now.... and they all giggled and laughed at the crazy Canadian!!  I took a few shots and exclaimed, "Oh look.... Northern Lights!!"  Everyone quickly spun their cameras around when they looked at my viewfinder and saw this.....

The story was picked up and shown on the front page of the area newspaper.... 

We photographed a Canola Field which was really spectacular....

Here are a few more favourites from that trip.....   as always, great times with Shutterbug photo tours!

Perhaps my favourite shot from this trip is the crop duster flying past the REO Speedwagon Truck..........

Back in Alberta, I found out that its fun to shoot a Rodeo.....

I stumbled upon an airshow...

Found out how we get "Canola Oil" in Alberta (not really)......

Photographed the McDougall Church near Morley in pitch black darkness with the amazing Nikon D800E (in raw).... and got this......

In early August I went back to the Palouse for the Harvest Tour.... I couldn't believe that in a little over a month the Palouse went from vibrant greens to this....

Photographed one of my favorite barns....

..... and some dirt.......................

Got invited to the Onecho Bible Church Harvest Bee!  One of their members passed away and donated his land to the Church with the stipulation that they had to plant, tend and harvest the fields..... and then use the money to support mission work worldwide.

I got to ride in a combine!!!

And then ride in a grain truck down to the Snake River, where the grain gets loaded onto barges and taken to Portland before being sold and shipped to China......

Some more shots of the Harvest Bee....

And the harvest in the rest of the Palouse....

Went to Banff with a friend.....

His dog, Rico, was the star with the Japanese tourists.....

In September I was invited by my friend Marg Wood, to join a group she was taking to Triple D in Kalispell Montana.  I got to photograph Kupalo the spectacular Amur Leopard again.......

Bruno played to the camera.... 

Hershey, the Tiger cub, had grown a bit.....

.... and the rest of the critters put on a pretty good show as well......

I photographed some of the harvest in Alberta...

In September, High River was the site of the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships.  They held an event called "Night Glow" that I thought sounded kind of fun!   I took a bunch of photos of the glowing balloons.....

This one was on the evening news, got over 50,000 views on Flickr..... and will be on the front cover of the High River and area Yellow Pages in 2014.....

In early October, I took my dog Zoe out before going to bed.... the skies over Calgary were bristling with Northern Lights!  I had never seen the lights so bright that they could be seen through all the light pollution in the city..... I quickly drove a short distance north of Calgary.  In my excitement I guess I didn't tighten the camera to the tripod correctly, as I turned towards the car to get a flashlight I heard a mighty crash!  Out of the corner of my eye I could see my Nikon D800E and the heavy Tokina 16-28mm bounce once and then land on the hard pavement.  I picked them up... dusted the camera off.... and flicked a piece of plastic off of the lens and photographed this (made the news the next day on two channels)......

Okay.... we're coming to the end of my photographic adventures in 2013.  The last set of photos were taken on a trip arranged by Lynn Webber for the Calgary Camera Club.  We got up extremely early on a Saturday morning in October to drive into the foothills west of Sundre to look for the 'Wild Horses of Alberta'.  The dirt roads up there would be easy to get lost on... after some searching with our guide Dave at Blue Sky Tours, we were delighted to find these beautiful creatures...... Photographed West of Sundre with Dave from www.albertablueskytours.com Photographed West of Sundre with Dave from www.albertablueskytours.com Photographed West of Sundre with Dave from www.albertablueskytours.com Photographed West of Sundre with Dave from www.albertablueskytours.com

These were my favourite moments with a camera in 2013.  I look forward to what 2014 has in store for me and my Nikon!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Daryl L. Hunter(non-registered)
A year to be proud of, loved your tongue and cheek comment about the canola drilling rigs :D
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