Hippos were not the only beasts of my childhood dreams that we saw on our boat ride.
There were ...
Masai Giraffes! This one munching on cacti. Yummy!
Zebra! (Which if you are British, rhymes with Debra. Weird, right?)
((But by the end of the trip I was pronouncing it that way too. Thanks Adrian!))
And the first of the "Ugly Big Five", Wildebeest!
(Note also the Fish Eagle on top of the right tree.)
We would get better views of all these and more throughout our stay, but the excitement of seeing them live in the wild for the first time was pure joy. And on my first day!
These animals live on an island in the national park and are the descendants of those brought there for the filming of the movie, Out of Africa. No predators where brought in, so they have it pretty good here.
Here are parts one, two, and three in the Boat Ride in Kenya series.
As our boat tour of Lake Naivasha continued, we came upon a dozen or so Common Hippopotamus napping under a tree.
Several of the beasts briefly opened their eyes, gave us the once over and, perceiving us to be no threat, proceeded to completely ignore us as we drifted by, shutters clicking.
We would see more of these so called 'river horses' during our trip (nerd note: hippos and horses are not closely related). But this was the first big African mammal I saw up close. Very cool to see something in the wild that I'd only previously seen on TV or in zoos.
Long ago I would watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom every week (Sunday night, preceding the Wonderful World of Disney). "Why" I would ask, "don't we have animals like that in our back yard? All we have are stupid birds!" And I would dream of being on safari, among the lions, and leopards, and elephants, and giraffes, and hippos, and zebras, and gazelles, and rhinos.
This past August that dream came true.
This is part 3 of the Boat Ride in Kenya series. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here respectively.
While the Great Cormorant can be found right here in New Jersey.
A pair of Little Grebes, a species found throughout much of the old world. But not the new.
Quite similar to our American Coot is this Red-knobbed Coot. The main difference being the red knob at the top of its forehead.
The first of two pelican species we saw, the curiously named Pink-backed Pelican.
And the second is the more aptly named Great White Pelican. Neither species is found in my neck of the woods. Or anywhere I can drive to. Pink-backed is an African species while the Great White is also found in Asia and Europe.
Egyptian Geese. As with the Great Cormorant, I've seen them here in New Jersey. But unlike with the cormorant it was almost certainly an escapee. But I can now include them on my life list.
African Black Ducks. Not to be confused with the American Black Duck. The African variety is not often found on open water, preferring rivers and streams. Our guide was quite excited to find them here.
Hottentot Teal, another native African duck species.
And the last of open water birds, the Yellow-billed Duck. Both of these duck species are African natives.
But the clouds were not giving up without a fight.
... clearing ...
... and clouding. A recurring theme throughout the event.
Slowly, with clouds ever looming, the moon continued, oblivious to the desires of those watching, on its path into the earth's shadow.
The sunlit edge becoming thinner and thinner.
Until the inevitable occurred. Totality.
And the stars came out.
Including that one at ~ 3:30 that came out from behind the moon (as always, click on the image to bigafy it).
As the moon slowly drifted by.
And eventually it ends, as the opposite limb beginning to brighten. Not long after this the clouds came back. And I headed off to bed. Happy that for just long enough the clouds parted. And the wonders of the universe showed through.
Adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor so that you can view each of the 17 grayscale steps from black to white. Special attention should be given to the black end of the scale. The darkest step should be made as dark as possible while you are also able to distinguish it from the next lighter step.