Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Out of Africa, Part 4

Looking out on the north side of Out of Africa, one finds a marvelous view of the Arizona desert with modest-size mountains in the distance. Viewed from the air or from certain vantage points like this, the landscape looks like an ancient sea bottom. The reason is that some 100 million years ago, this area was covered by a shallow sea. And now this exact spot supports animals from Africa and other continents for our viewing pleasure.

Some quite tiny — there were so many butterflies that I had to share more photos of them.

So delicate, so ungainly when they fly. They originally evolved during the Cretaceous Era, approximately 145 million to 66 million years ago. Thus one has to conclude that their form and function have been quite successful — otherwise they would not be here today for me to photograph.

As I continued to stroll around the park, I encountered a petting area for the kids. There were the typical goats and sheep but also a couple of emus — large flightless birds from Australia.

Here is the answer to a trivia question — "What is the largest rodent in the world?" Answer: Capybara. Native to South America, they inhabit savannas and dense forests and live near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals. The capybara is not a threatened species, though it is hunted for its meat and skin.

In the next enclosure was a small pack of wolves. Commonly found in North America, they also inhabit the wilderness and remote areas of North Africa. This individual was enjoying its midday nap — arousing only long enough to smile for the camera.

On a hill overlooking the Serengeti was a lioness checking out where her next meal might come from.

Just down the hill was a small pack of some type of mountain antelope. I suspect the lioness would have found a tasty dinner here — if it were not for the sturdy chain link fencing separating the two species.

Looking out in the distance is the area that the park calls the Serengeti. Look closely and you can see the safari bus on the right side of the photo plus an antelope which the tour has stopped to feed and view.

Peering into the Serengeti through 300 mm one can spot a water buffalo...

...and a couple of young antelope...

...and another giraffe — ironically ending our tour of Out of Africa with the same species we began. I hope you enjoyed our trip.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com