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Leopard Hills, Sabi Sands, South Africa — October, 2015


Tom Kellie

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Tom Kellie

@@FlyTraveler, I believe that is a high-roof version of Beechcraft's King Air

 

@@Tom Kellie, that's a very threadbare-looking Impala under the three oxpeckers isn't it?

 

~ @@Peter Connan

 

Yes, that poor lady impala had seen better days.

Perhaps her bedraggled condition was such that numerous ectoparasites were present, thus providing a smörgåsbord for the oxpeckers.

There's been periods in my life when I felt like she looked. That's why I felt compassion for her, glad that her oxpecker friends were helping her out.

Tom K.

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Lunch on the terrace sounded great to me, Four courses washed down with rosé. Close by the waterhole, what did I see? A giraffe striding – what a day! Place Setting with Rosé

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered”. ~ Nelson Mandela A Fresh Perspective ~ After h

We spot two hornbills perched together, Who dance, prance and spread their wings. Waltzing without losing a feather, What portents their action brings! Southern Yellow-billed Ho

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No, no, no @@xelas, I'm in the front row by @peterconnan on this trip. And Peter must be the current president of the ST GTG committee since my daughter and I also met him at the hotel across the street from JNB for dinner on our last visit. He's a very popular fellow it seems.

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Tom Kellie

No, no, no @@xelas, I'm in the front row by @@Peterconnan on this trip. And Peter must be the current president of the ST GTG committee since my daughter and I also met him at the hotel across the street from JNB for dinner on our last visit. He's a very popular fellow it seems.

 

~ @@PCNW

 

It sounds as though @@Peter Connan is the Safaritalk Social Director for South Africa!

When he meets @@xelas, it's sure to be a terrific time.

When one's far from home, how welcoming to be met by a Safaritalk friend.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

A Blacksmith Lapwing you say?


Yet where's your anvil, forge and tongs?


Grappling with it as I may,


Your name remains where it belongs.




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Vanellus armatus in an Elephant Footprint







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Tom Kellie

Where are the elephants? Are any here?


Approaching the river, walking over the sand.


Indifferent to us, drawing so near,


As comfortable in water as on the land.




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First Glimpse of a South African Elephant



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Arriving at the Sand River



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Magnificent Entrance



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Refreshing Quench





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Tom Kellie

A baby elephant beside its mother's tail,


Awkwardly yet amusingly copying others.


A few small steps and sips, trying hard not to fail,


Continually reassured by many mothers.




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Never Far



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Elephant's Child in Sabi Sands



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Carefree Swinging Tail



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Sipping Stripling





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Tom Kellie

Undeterred although a late arrival,


This elephant strode over the sandy terrain,


Eating is a matter of survival,


Thus sweet browsing an elephant's life does sustain.




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Undeterred Late Arrival



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Elephant on a Mission



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Indomitable



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Freedom of Navigation



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Splish-Splash!



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Blocking My View





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Tom Kellie

Meandering through boulders, sand and reeds,

The Sand River attracts elephants, birds and me.
Fully entranced, I wonder where it leads,
If I carefully followed it, what would I see?

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Sand River Vista

 

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Tom Kellie

If one didn't know how immense they are,


Would one fully appreciate mighty elephant backs?


Why force them to carry guests from afar?


Shouldn't hard-working elephants be allowed to relax?





(for @@SafariChick and @@Kitsafari, who raised my awareness)



(http://safaritalk.net/topic/12032-who-is-planning-for-2015/page-21, posts #407 and #408)




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Backs






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Tom Kellie

Elephants have that extra something,


Their wisdom apparent if one takes time to observe.


Yet one can't help but sometimes thinking,


That elephant minds lack the respect that they deserve.




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Just Beyond the Grass



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Closer than Ever Before



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My Tusks Are Mine



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Standing On One Foot



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Pachyderm Profile



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So Near, Yet So Far





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Three Arrow-marked Babblers perched in a tree,


Far from silent, their raucous calls resound,


Prompting an amused second glance from me,


Luckily no predators are around.




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Arrow-marked Babblers








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Tom Kellie

Come back! This glimpse is far too fleeting,


A handsome bushbuck deserves a portrait sharp and clear,


Even though this is our first meeting,


Why not let your features be admired far and near?




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Male Bushbuck



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Disappearing Act





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Tom Kellie

It wasn't true when I said that I had no goal,

For my heart strongly hoped to see nyala.
When I saw them, the safari was on a roll,
Leopard Hills seemed like a wildlife Valhalla!

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Nyala At Last!

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Split-Level Dining

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Female Nyala on a Ridge

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Tail-Flicking While Feeding

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Female and Male Nyala

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@@Tom Kellie

 

Congratulations on finally seeing the Nyala.

I hope the next installment will be Zorilla?

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie

 

Congratulations on finally seeing the Nyala.

I hope the next installment will be Zorilla?

 

~ @@mvecht

 

Ha Ha! That remains my hope, too!

The nyala surprised me by their grace and striking beauty.

Somehow the illustrations in field guides hadn't adequately prepared me for what a striking species they are, both female and male.

It also surprised me that they were more easygoing and less skittish than other antelope species I observed.

BTW: I'm completely serious in saying that if any camp or lodge operator in any location ever suggested that there might be a high probability of arranging night observation and photography of a Zorilla, I'd very likely book a visit!

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

Chacma baboons do whatever they please,


Not housebroken, but monkeyish, fun to observe,


These characters stroll about with such ease,


As playful baboons clearly lack any reserve.




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Bright-eyed Baboons



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With Multi-colored Foliage



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On a Sand River Bluff





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Tom Kellie

For once their strident calls stifled and mute,


This Hadeda Ibis trio probing diligently,


Working together staunchly resolute,


After eating their fill, flying off to roost silently.




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Sand River Ibis Silhouettes



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Hadeda Ibis Trio with a Sandpiper





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@@Tom Kellie

 

outstanding pictures but even more so I am enjoying the poetic eloquence that someone that does not have English as their first language can only dream of.

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Kitsafari

such lovingly crafted pictures of the elephants. in post #55, the 3rd picture Magnificent Arrival of the lone elephant on the sands of Sand River with the trees in the background sang to me, as did your poetry.

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie

 

outstanding pictures but even more so I am enjoying the poetic eloquence that someone that does not have English as their first language can only dream of.

 

~ @@mvecht

 

Thank you so much for your very kind comment.

When I think of how awkward I'd be flailing around in Dansk, I understand how you feel.

Your birding awareness continues to inspire me.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

Your poetry is tremendous.

 

~ @@Atravelynn

 

Many, many thanks!

You know well the challenges of composing verse.

Your encouragement rekindles my energy.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

such lovingly crafted pictures of the elephants. in post #55, the 3rd picture Magnificent Arrival of the lone elephant on the sands of Sand River with the trees in the background sang to me, as did your poetry.

 

~ @@Kitsafari

 

Thank you for your generous comment.

When that elephant arrived on the scene, my heart soared – it was such a dramatic entrance.

I appreciate your encouragement so much!

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

The coming twilight burnished the game drive,


Which had introduced Sabi Sands to me,


Seeing wildlife gloriously alive,


When suddenly wild dogs appeared – Yippee!




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What? A Wild Dog!



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Close Range Wild Dog





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