Dec 17

Tiger Safari Kanha India Part 3

Tiger Khan. Kanha, India. 2017

We had been having good luck. With the exception of our first day at Bandhavgarh, we had great tiger sightings every day. Curiously, all the tigers we had seen were female. A male tiger sighting was conspicuously missing. Thankfully that was remedied in the fading light of the last hour of our last day.

Tiger Tongue. Kanha, India. 2017

He was a large 8 year old male and he was quite the character. We noticed he had an injury on the front of his left shoulder.

Tiger Fun. Kanha, India. 2017

We followed him for for an entire hour and he was so much fun to watch.

More Tiger Fun. Kahna, India. 2017

He had a long name and number so we started calling him Sher Khan after the tiger character in “The Jungle Book.” Truly he was the king of the Jungle.

Sher Khan. Kanha, India. 2017

Dec 17

Tiger Safari Kanha India Part 1

Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve was our next stop. We came to India to photograph tigers and so far we were having really good luck. Kanha was a larger park than Bandhavgarh, and with many more tigers. I also found the scenery at Kanha to be completely different. It was very diverse and beautiful.

Sunrise. Kanha, India. 2017

The forest was denser here with fountain like sprays of bamboo shooting out of the ground every few feet. There were broad swaths grasslands and dense forests of Sal trees. Some of the Sal trees were quite ancient and we saw one tree which may have been a thousand years old. There were also working elephants kept by families of Mahuut which are the traditional elephant owners and trainers in Indian society. They are very careful to treat their elephants humanely.

Mahaut. Kanha, India. 2017

I asked our naturalist Partha what the difference was between a forest and a jungle. He explained that it was controversial and while both seemed to be forests, jungles had denser undergrowth and thicker vegetation. I began to see the wisdom of this distinction as we traveled deeper into the older parts of the park that had been less disturbed. The sounds and the atmosphere changed and you felt as if you had entered another world.

Jungle Light. Kanha, India. 2017

Partha had two field guide sitting atop the dashboard of our jeep, one was “Birds of India” the other “Mammals”. As a biologist I was curious about the various species and habitats seen in the region so I chose “Mammals”. I saw that there were two species of bear, one being the sloth bear of Kipling’s “Jungle Book” fame. These sloth bears were extremely rare and sadly we did not see one in the wild, although we sat for quite a while at one location where we thought there was either a tiger or a leopard. Turns out, based on the tracks, it was a very shy bear.

Nov 17

Grey Whale Encounter, Monterey Bay

A few years ago from the archives. I’d forgotten about this until I came across the original video while reviewing my catalog. All I had with me was a small point and shoot. The best camera is the one you have with you!

Out on a sail boat with some friends in Monterey Bay. A beautiful visitor came over to say hello. Grey and Humpback whales frequent the area but encounters like this, where the whale playfully bumps the boat are extremely rare. Winter in Monterey Bay is prime whale watching season.