This gallery honors the memory of Papa Joe Butler, who celebrated 95 years of life, and embodied a Christ-like spirit during his entire earthly experience. This homegoing celebration was attended by many relatives and friends that knew him in life. Those unable to attend might appreciate this photo gallery, as a way to see others with whom he shared his wisdom.
The Hollins family lived next door to the Butlers on W. Philadelphia Street. My childhood memories fondly included Mr. Butler, our neighbor, and his children Dwight and Ronal remain as lifelong friends.
I hope you will appreciate this virtual tour of Botswana highlighting its birds. Africa is known for its rich landscapes, and its stunning variety birds and animal wildlife. I photographed this gallery while aboard a small boat, as this safari was a water tour. Each of the birds shown herein live alongside the water. Water fowl often have vibrant colors, and some of these birds are unique to Africa.
Birds are a favorite subject for many photographers, because they are challenging to photograph. Their size makes it hard to obtain a sharp focus, while they are in flight. Birds often pose on a branch while their photo is taken, but catching a fish, or bird-in-flight shots are more interesting. One of the eagles shown was carrying his lunch, but I cannot identify his catch in the picture.
Please take a few minutes to leave your comments on the website. Some day, I hope that you will visit to see this first hand. However, you are welcome to browse my photo collections, as often as you wish to explore other lands.
Africa is the birthplace of animal and human origins, and we saw diverse species of bird and animal wildlife in Bostwana. The African crocodile shown here is an ancient creatures that testifies to its survival instincts. However, one of my tour mates was very experienced and far more concerned about the large hippos, who are known to upheave and tip over small boats; leaving people fending for their lives in dangerous waters, and no less danger existed on shore.
I was excited to see these prehistoric looking creatures, and we were close enough that I could count their teeth through the camera's lens. I would estimate the adult crocodile in these pictures was about 14 to 18 feet long, and that was almost the length of the small motorboat that we were bouncing around in. Surely, these massive reptiles could consume a man of my stature.
Yet, I was trusting our tour guide's judgment, and photographing them without any concern about danger. However, our boat could have been upheaved by one of the hippos that was patrolling these same waters, and they were lounging nearby on shore. The hippos will be presented herein, but in a separate gallery.
It was great to see so many of these creatures in the wild, but it is also good to be safely at home.
What's the tallest land animal in the modern world? Everyone knows the Giraffe towers over every land animal on the African plains, and they eat from the treetops to supplement their diet with leafy veggies. However, did you know they greet Nikon photographers by doing a curtsy? They may not greet every camera with the same enthusiasm, so I have shared that experience for all to see. Please enjoy viewing this photo gallery. Animal behaviors in a wild landscape, such as we visited in Botswana, cannot be observed at a city zoo.
Thanda, an African word, translated into English, means "Love".
Thanda Afrika Safaris is operated by Nkossie, who is pictured on the cover of this gallery. I could not imagine a future visit to Zimbabwe without contracting his tour company. He is still working to provide me with insights about Zimbabwe, through his comments about my photos.
Nkossie and his co-worker were both professional, but they acted more like old friends who were proud to show and tell us about their homeland. Their knowledge about Zimababwe is outstanding, and to my surprise, took us away from well-worn tourist attractions to introduce us to native Africans. We were taken to a cultural village where an extended family lived, worked, and cultivated the land.
Crispen is the leader of this settlement. He is pictured wearing an IOWA State sweatshirt. He spoke english with a local accent that was easily understood. This experience was a dramatic contrast to life in America, and I truly had no idea what to expect. There were no flat panel televisions or even running water, but they seemed healthy and they are sustained by their native lands. Electricity would be a luxury, but necessity finds another way.
Crispen shared insights into their livelihood, and indicated that they needed a water supply pipe. Our group contributed money to help Crispen and his family. We hope that he was able to get the water pipeline into his village. It felt good to give direct aid for such a vital need. It was apparent that mother nature has taught them ageless survival skills.
I learned that if a snake enters a round building it cannot linger in a corner, in fact it will circle the interior, only to find the exit. Elephant dung (poop) is a useful resource that provides energy for a campfire, building materials, and to persons knowledgeable to extract them, poop has medicinal value . It can also be used for paper products and many other things. Africans use their natural resources in many ways that are sustainable and harmless to the earth.
Americans should take note: Do more with less and use sustainable solutions.
Victoria Falls is a place that everyone must see to behold the marvels of nature. We toured the site alongside wart hogs, and other wildlife. However, the waterfalls provide a rainbow in every in every imaginable color as sunlight passes through the mist. You must observe the light in a sprit of reverence to appreciate its beauty. These photos are my humble attempts to capture and share the essence of that experience.
King Nkosilathi Nyathi is a gentlemen, and he is a fine craftsman with a big smile. He creates unique works of pure African art. The pictures shown here depict some of his talents on display at his workshop. He is the proprietor of the Payless Shop - the More you Pick the Less you Pay. You must stop to visit his shop whenever you are in Zimbabwe. You can reach him directly through email for more information.
Nkosilathi Nyathi email@example.com
I enjoyed meeting the king, but I regret being unable to carry-away one of his larger hand-crafted works for display in my home. Traveling with the weight of my camera gear, leaves me wanting for many treasures that international air travel makes difficult. I never dreamed that a king could also make works of fine art.
The Southwest Township, a.k.a., Soweto was Nelson Mandela's home town before his incareration as a politcal prisoner. The township's people seem to share a sense of pride, and we never experienced any signs of danger, that can be commonplace a similarly poor urban environment in America.
People seemed friendly and content to live in freedom. We saw the evidence of poor living conditions that our tour guide called informal settlements, which is more politically correct and respectful of the plight of the poor. You will notice side street barbers, cutting hair outside, while ladies are getting a hairdo refresh or a new look.
A well dressed couple was walking hand-in-hand with their infant child; presumably on their way to the Seventh Day Adventist Church that I photographed a moment later. I photographed a gathering of Christians in all white gowns worshiping out of doors at sunset.
A man was scrubbing the whitewalls on his damaged pickup truck's tires. He clearly had a sense of pride in ownership. The people were often smiling and welcomed us, and they had an uncanny way of noticing tourists.
Marcia and I have visited the zoo in several states in America, however, Johannesburg gave us an exhilarating triple dose of vitamin Z!
We have been to the zoo in Detroit, Chicago, Toledo, and other places, where each has a collection of exotic animals confined to artfully decorated landscapes or cages. We also visited the Paris Zoo in France during our 2014 European tour. We found the typical zoo animals and facilities, as found in the U.S.
We traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2015, and enjoyed our first wildlife safari. A zoo cannot compare to wild animals roaming the African landscape, where the struggle for life is engaged in a natural setting.
We were told that tourists will occasionally under estimate the dangers presented in the wild, and the outcomes are sometimes fatal. Patrick, a local cultural expert and our tour guide, provided us a safe passage among Africa's wild animals in a very natural setting.
We saw the loin king mating with one of his lioness queens, as a group of bachelors roamed together, possibly awaiting an opportunity to dethrone the king.
Africa is the real thing. It is the birthplace of life, as it has existed since the dawn of civilization. We had a close encounter with mother nature's wild beasts, and they are beautiful.