Lake Victoria – Serengeti – Ngorongoro – Tarangire – Masai villages
14 days ex Nairobi October 2012. Cost is still to be decided.
A fourteen day exploration from Lake Victoria – the largest lake in the world, through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystem, east towards the Tarangire. Canoeing, game viewing, walking safaris and remote Masai villages and night drives.
With Stephen Powell
Thursday 10th March 2011 at 2.30pm
Ferntree Gully Library 1010 Burwood Hwy Ferntree Gully
Ph: 9294 8140 www.erl.vic.gov.au
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Stephen Powell is an Australian wildlife artist, photographer and tutor. He has traveled through Australia & Africa to gather reference for his work. Steve specialises in animals, birds and reptiles.
Join us for a very entertaining afternoon viewing these photographs.
Ferntree Gully Library 1010 Burwood Hwy Ferntree Gully
‘Makalali Yellow-billed Hornbill’ Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Oil Painting 365 X 505 mm. Reference gathered whilst participating in Siyafunda Volunteers on Makalali Game Reserve South
I am participating in an exhibition starting this week end. Come along and have a chat at the opening!
Wild @ Old Post Office Seymour Annual Wildlife Art Exhibition
Opening Day – Sunday 6th February 2011
Join the artists view the work and enjoy complimentary refreshments 11am to 4pm
Plus other works of art with a Wildlife theme. Exhibition continues Wed to Sun 11am to 4pm & Wed to Sat eves 6pm til late until 27th March. For full details on artists and the Gallery visit www.artseymour.com.au
50 Emily St (Old Hume Hwy) Seymour or call (03)5792-3170
It is the end of the dry winter period. Huge thunderstorms are rearing up at the end of each day. Bathed in the light of the setting sun. Some just resulting in a spectacular lightening show but just a few spots of rain. The occasional storm drenching a strip of parched land as it sweeps across the park. Sill most of the river beds appear dry except for a few pools. These reduced to bath water and buffalo wallows. The elephants however know that clean water is just below the surface of these sandy river beds. They dig holes and drink from the filtered water that seeps in.
We found this loan bull elephant wetting itself down at one of the ‘bathing’ pools. We had time for a few shots before it climbed out of the river bed and headed for a dust pan. Fortunately the river loop road gave us a perfect view as the huge bull dusted down.
It vacuumed up the dust and blasted it at its damp skin. Head, back, legs, underneath, every part got a coating. So for all budding wildlife artists out there: What colour is an elephant! Light and dark grey, silver when wet and vast range of colours from first wet and then dry earth. Elephant sunscreen and insect protection comes in a vast range of colours.
The relatively small eyes are shrouded by course eye lashes that collect crusty lumps of mud. This prompting me to wonder, is the poor vision of elephants is actually the result of these muddy curtains.
There where pauses in the dusting. A few kicks at the ground to accumulate more dust. The tip of the trunk occasionally rising to delicately plucks crusty irritating dirt from the eyes. The effort of the process, the huge weight of the trunk also prompts regular rest. Back legs crossed and the trunk draped over stumps of the once mighty tusks to reduce the load on its face.
The huge trunk must weigh hundreds of kilograms. It’s used to lift, push and drag down trees. Strip bark and leaves of thorny branches. Wrestle other bulls for mating rights. However on noticing a small stick in the soon to be vacuumed dust it delicately plucks it up and flicks it aside. Control of the mighty trunk mastered over time. Control that new born elephants take time to learn. Until then their trunks flip uncontrollably.
After the big guy finished his dust bath he casually wandered over to our car. Close enough to fog our windscreen if it hadn’t bee so hot! Checked out our faces to see if we were suitably impressed. Accepted our open mouthed response to his huge bulk towering over our hire car and decided not to play stompy with us! I like elephants!
Morning and afternoon game drives around Kruger National Park. 5am – 9 or 10. 3pm till getting inside the gate by 6:30pm. This was a flexible arrangement as there were distractions that kept us out longer – such as herds of elephants surrounding the car, strutting hornbills, and any number of wildlife encounters.
Game drives in the middle of the day is less productive. Animal and birds seek out shady spots to sit out the heat and you do need to eat, upload photos to the hard drives, ….
My jobs all done and the pool beckoned. However even when going for a swim, the camera goes along. Just in case! Dripping taps and sprinklers are a bird magnet on a hot day. These are just some of the 20 or more species of birds that dropped in.
Just another day in the life of a Wildlife Artist!
As of this morning Brendan got 7679 votes or 11.1% a 3.78% swing to the Greens. 22% of the vote still to count. I was handing out how to vote cards 8-6 and then scrutineering! I got a very strong sense that people are angry that the major parties don’t do what they say they will do and do what the majority of Australians don’t agree with! A huge percentage of the people did not want how to vote cards. All the people who had handed them out before noticed it.
It will be interesting to see how the Politian’s respond to the message being sent!!!
Colleen, Justin and Brendan Powell help keep the world in balance (1999)
Well done Brendan. We are proud of you! Most talk but some do! Well done for stepping up to the plate.
Regardless of the party you vote for we all have to live – enjoy the environment in which we live. We don’t own it it’s just on loan! It’s not ours to trash. We pass it on to future generations. We measure our success by the state our economy not the state of our lives. We can’t eat, breath or drink cash!
It’s time to measure our countries – planets success on the lives we lead and enjoy.
His environmental education started early. Tree plantings, weed clearing and even the odd
Brendan and Friend (Around 1999)
environmental demonstration attended and that’s just before he was 10. I’m feeling a tad responsible for his environmental awareness – concern. However there are worse traits I could have passed on!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was never happy with the original theme but had to find some time to get a new one. Found one that I would have preferred but discovered it was not compatible with FireFox so I reluctantly looked for another one. Would have preferred a black background as it enhances the images however this one is working and prettier than the default theme.
Participated in an Orange Bellied Parrot survey on the weekend. Unfortunately no sightings. I did however add 5 birds to my list. These are a couple of the shots I grabbed along the way. A day at a sewerage treatment plant my not sound very attractive but this is around wetlands at the end of the process. No smell and lots of birds. This is an internationally recognised wetland area that hosts a large variety and numbers of birds. Some make seasonal visits from very distant parts of the planet including Siberia.
News Flash: 10/08/2010
8 orange Bellied Parrots were seen that day by other groups that were part of a coordinated search. One possible reason for the decline is a change in flowering – fruiting of a major food source for the species. Dare I say another sign of a warming planet!
Just so you understand. In the park where the pic of me covered in Rosella’s was taken I could just as easily been covered in Sulphur-crested cockatoos. Except for one thing, fear!!! Like the black cockatoo in the image above they can cut through timber – fingers, ears, ….. with ease. I have history of being bitten by creatures that has made me a little cautious. The black in this photo can find a grub and chew through to it in the center of a 15 cm Black wood in a few minutes. A task I would struggle to achieve with an axe in a similar time as this timber is very hard. The sideways look in the photo below is about trying to avoid being nipped, in this case inadvertently by these cute birds.
I see people with Sulphur-crested cockatoos perched all over them and their children and am not keen to do the same. Every day blood is lost by people tempting fate with these pretty birds. NOT ME!!!!!!
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo photo by Stephen Powell
Some times they don’t make getting shots easy! Photo by Steve Morvell
I must remember to not pull my chin in for photos!! Apart from ruining my ‘youthful’ image I could trap a poor little birdie under that fold!!!!
This is my first attempt at filming with my new Canon 7D. I did some rudimentary editing but trimming the quality and size to something appropriate to the web is still to come. I don’t have editing software so its presented lumps and all.
Uploading to YouTube and getting it into this page was also a first for me. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve been very busy so my blogging has suffered. Today I walked through a local forest and listened to Lyrebirds – They are incredible mimics their songs include all the songs of the birds in their part of the bush. They have been recorded using 56 different sounds and bird songs in just 180 seconds. They include the sound of man also if they are in built up areas. Wood chopping, chain saws, gates closing camera shutters and pumps. My favorite story is one that incorporates the sounds of a flute picked up from a local girl practicing. Would love to hear it!
I laugh every time I hear them sing. It’s wonderful!
We visited grants picnic ground and were surrounded by Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Long-billed Corellas, King Parrots & Crimson Rosellas.
No photographs of lyrebirds today. Maybe tomorrow!