Primal Royalty

The Elephants of Tarangire National Park

There are approximately 4,000-5,000 elephants living in the Tarangire National park, Tanzania, Africa. They are protected by the boundaries of the park, however there are still incidents of poaching. The poachers carve a hole in the Baboab tree, hiding weapons and themselves in order to kill an elephant.

The herds roam freely grazing on the grass and trees, as they raise there young.

During this safari we observed a very touching and sad site. A mother elephant with the body of her dead child at her feet was grieving. You can’t help but feel for this site, knowing that there is nothing that you can do. She will stand there for many days moving her large ears, touching her feet to the child and swaying. This will go on until the body begins to decay, and the other elephants will bring grass to cover the child. The remainder of the herd stayed with her at a distance in respect. Wildlife researchers and photographers report that elephants have very specific grieving rituals and yes, they do shed tears. There was no way to know how this elephant died with no predators. The possibility is either drought or a snake bite.

The elephants are a complex matriarchal society, highly intelligent and capable of emotions as joy, playfulness, curiosity and sadness.  We observed these behaviors in the wild renewing respect for these amazing animals that carry wisdom that is over 35,000,000 years old.




And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. –Ronald Dahl

These photos were taken on January 7 and 9 at the Nicasio Reservoir, Marin County, California. The drain and the filling of the reservoir were this morning at dawn during the rain that continues to bless us.

You can see the reservoir is filling up quickly. The last photo was at sunset casting a beautiful sepia light on the water and hills.

Walking on Ice

Imagine walking across a reservoir that has turned to ice due to a drop in temperature to 29 degrees fahrenheit? These photos were taken on New Years Day 2016, at dawn, on the Nicasio Reservoir, Marin County, California. This is a recreational area in the Nicasio Valley, for fishing and hiking.

There was steam rising off the ice covering the ground of frozen mud, and steam coming off the body of water. The reservoir has receded due to the drought, allowing one to cross it on foot. There is a bridge that is usually covered by water, but is now visible making an interesting image. It was the ice that made this a spectacular walk.

We have now moved into another week of rain, I think I will do another visit here and post later to compare. Happy New year, may the blessing of rain continue.


We Got Rain!

Here in the little town of Lagunitas, Marin County, California we have lots of rain. It’s been raining daily for over a week with short sun breaks in between. The hills have waterfalls flowing into the Lagunitas Creek where the salmon are playing and laying their eggs. The puddles on the paths produce beautiful reflections like gems. We’re all out with smiles on our faces celebrating the blessing of rain. Of course, this has only put a small dent in the drought, but it’s welcome and we have more coming.

The gift of Rain on our parched souls and our dry land. Happy Holy Days.

Focus on Beauty

There is so much talk in the media about climate change and all of the damage we, as humans, have brought upon this awe inspiring planet upon which we live. As long as we keep focused on the beauty of this and share that beauty in whatever form we can create, we will keep that beauty alive. Landscapes from around the globe remind us of the natural beauty that we have the privilege to live in and care for. We are in late fall here on the northern California Seashore, experiencing rain and sunshine! What a blessing! This photo was taken on December 1st at Drakes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California.



Courage from Dogs

On a quiet October day at sunset with camera pointed at the sun slipping into the calm ocean, a dog appears as a shadow backlit by the sun. Dogs, mythologically speaking, are our constant companions in the underworld, the night, the darkness. They lead us loyally to the next rising of light, loyal courageous and quiet guides. Sometimes animals are our wisest teachers, appearing when we need them most.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow” –Mary Anne Radmacher