Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo Challenge ~ Animals

I decided to feature cats for this month's Photo Challenge, subject animals. 
Perhaps my kitties are far removed from the domestic cats we usually enjoy 
photographing, but seeing these splendid animals in their natural habitat raised
my love of cats to a new level. I no longer have a pet cat…but a very special one 
did share my home for 21 years - I still miss her.

Lazy lionesses relaxing at the edge of the trail in Botswana - not at all 
concerned by our close proximity

These photos were taken on my first African safari trip in 2010. 
Needless to say I hardly stopped to take a breath, 
or shut my mouth which stayed open in awe when I 
realized just how close we were to Africa's 'Big Five'.
I took so many photos and realized that if I ever I 
was fortunate to take another safari - and I did 
in 2012 - I would definitely require a DSLR with a 
big lens and a fast speed for capturing wildlife.
For these shots I used that trusty, still loved, 
Olympus SP-590UZ which, although slow, did get 
me some wonderful photos of animals resting 
when not chasing down their next meal!

A young male leopard watching a herd of grazing impala from his tree branch in Botswana

The leopard is my favorite African cat - beauty, 
movement and strength are so amazing. 
Adults have been seen dragging huge kill - such as 
antelope and young giraffe weighing over 
200 lbs - up into trees where they often store their kill 
to feed on for several days.

Elderly male lion relaxing in the afternoon shade in South Africa

The lion has been known as the King of Beasts for 
centuries due to its majestic appearance.  
In more recent times, wild animals have been called 
jungle animals, hence the lion's modern title 
"King of the Jungle".
The majority of lions live however not in jungles but 
on open savannah…the huge grasslands of Africa.

All photos edited in iPhoto and PicMonkey.

Joining Donna's Personal Photo Challenge - always fun and inspirational to those of us who love taking photos no matter our equipment or level of expertise. Remember, we are all photographers in this digital age!
Donna's tips, and participants' excitement at sharing their great pics, add to making this a great time enjoyed by us all - so join in if you're not already part of this monthly challenge…..we'd love to see your fabulous photos.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous photos for this challenge. I am assuming it was a telephoto lens…Love that elephant photo with the babies. When we were on our (only one day) safari outside Nairobi, we saw them all except --the King. Just a tad disappointed. Thanks for sharing these with us!

    1. No telephoto lens - that Olympus camera is just a point and shoot with a built-in wide angle lens! The animals were VERY close - we were on game drives in an open Land Rovers with armed (just in case) trained rangers from the camps where we stayed. Thankfully these beautiful cats behaved!

  2. The awe of being close to such beauty in the wild is just amazing. You have captured them well.
    I would hold the memory of these gorgeous animals in my heart forever. For me it is the close
    encounter with whales and elephants. They are close to my heart.

  3. Holy Cow, I'm so jealous! These are wonderful photos. You were so lucky to see so many animals in one location (collage). Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Mary, I am literally drooling over your magnificent photos. When I was in Ireland on a garden tour in June some of the other travellers were telling us of being on a safari and it was their all time favourite trip. I'm tempted...

  5. Oh Mary, you have us all drooling over your wonderful Big Cat photos. Each one is better than the last. Incredible. Thank you so much for sharing them with us..

  6. Absolutely stunning shots of the wild cats. Like you I adore leopards and the image of the young one up in the tree is fantastic. Thanks for introducing me to this great challenge.

  7. Calling by from the APPC today, great portraits of wild cats.

  8. just amazing photos of incredible beasts! wonderful!

  9. Oh, these are incredible!!!!! I knew that you would feature some exotics and you didn't disappoint! I can't possibly pick a favorite. They are all winners in my book. Beautiful compositions, each and every one.

    I would dearly love to go and photograph those amazing wild animals, but I don't think it will ever happen. Jim will never be able to go, and I am not comfortable going on that long of a trip by myself. So I will have to be content with what I can manage in the future.

  10. These photographs are sensational Mary. I am so glad that you brought them out to share with us. ox, Gina

  11. The photos are Breathtaking! The lion is by far my favorite!

  12. Wowza!! Mary you did it again. These are just amazing! I love the way you managed the color in these shots.

  13. Beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing these treasured moments.

  14. Mary, your wild animal shots are absolutely stunning! To be able to see these animals in their natural habitat certainly had to have been a wonderful thing! I also noticed that we are neighbors...well, sort of...I am in Mebane, about 45 minutes west of you!

  15. I love the collage you put together. Your photos are always amazing and you've really outdone yourself with this challenge. I feel like that leopard is getting ready to pounce on my lap! AMAZING! Enjoy your weekend! We're in the mountains now and enjoying this amazing weather! Sweet hugs, Diane

  16. PS I sent a link to this post to my hubby's computer so that he can see these photos! AMAZING! Hugs!

  17. These are stunning photos, Mary. When I clicked on your blog I wondered if I'd find photos of penguins from your Antarctic adventures. All your photos are really wonderful. How great to be so close to these majestic creatures.

  18. How fantastic your shots are! It is awesome when one can see those animals in their natural habitat! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Absolutamente fantásticas! Os animais são muito lindos e as suas fotos são incríveis! Estou de boca aberta com elas! Sinceros parabéns!
    Um abraço!
    Absolutely fantastic! The animals are very beautiful and your photos are amazing! I'm open to them mouth! Sincere congratulations!

  20. These are awesome photo and even more so since they were taken actually in South Africa in their natural habitat. What a wonderful experience.


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