We are both very fond of giraffes and they are among our favourite mammals in Africa. So we were always very happy when we met a group of these elegant animals on our game drives in the Zululand Rhino Reserve (South Africa). This handsome bull was close enough for a portrait with 500mm focal length and we loved the facial expression when he was enjoying the acacia bush.

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
  • Steven Schwartzman - 26/08/2014 - 12:13

    How nice to see a giraffe in its native habitat. Your 500mm lens was just the thing to capture facial expressions.ReplyCancel

  • Adit Merkine - 26/08/2014 - 19:21

    Hi Sandra,

    Very beautiful pics especially the second one, as you can really see the animal in its habitat, which looks like paradise.

    Best,

    AditReplyCancel

  • Steve Gingold - 26/08/2014 - 20:04

    All nice, Sandra. But I like the close up and the great look at the horns. They are such interesting animals.ReplyCancel

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Our weekend weather has been very bad over the past few weeks and we didn’t even bother going to the mountains. We explored our local areas and found (thanks to a good friend!) Wasp spiders (Argiope bruennichi) and a few European Mantis (Mantis religiosa). It was the first time we photographed a Mantis and I was amazed about the look and behaviour of this insect which is a true carnivore! The credit for the spider photo goes to Gerd as it was a bit too close for my taste:PThe light is pretty boring but I’m still happy about the photos because they are our first of these species.

Wasp spider

European mantis
  • Andrew Hardacre - 24/08/2014 - 07:44

    Two of my favourite creatures. Terrific and kudos to Gerd. A mantis can bite but is usually very wary. ReplyCancel

  • Marjo Slingerland Boks - 24/08/2014 - 10:28

    Wow Sandra beautiful pictures! ! And what a amazing spider :) Never see it here :) ReplyCancel

  • Jim Flowers - 24/08/2014 - 11:20

    Love them both and especially the Mantis!ReplyCancel

  • Steve Gingold - 24/08/2014 - 15:31

    If you consider this light to be boring for insect portraits, then you must find all of mine boring. I think they are both excellent aside from the leaf in the mantis foreground, but its head looks great!
    Gerd did a fine job on the spider. These are not jumping spiders, you know. :-) ReplyCancel

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It is time to continue my little series about the picturesque streams and gorges of the Black forest in the southern part of Germany. We spent a great morning in this small but beautiful gorge with our friend Oliver from Oliver Geiseler Naturfotografie and explored the wonderful lush environment with moss-covered rocks and a neat small stream. I especially liked this spot with the tiny little fern that somehow became the star of the composition.

Schwarzwald Bach

Black Forest creek
  • Marjo Slingerland Boks - 21/08/2014 - 20:47

    Wow SA*GA Photography ~ Moments in Light ~ what are this pictures beautiful!! You can almost hear the water and those ferns are amazing :) ReplyCancel

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I came across these two photos today when I worked on the image library and thought they are worth showing. Well, most probably they mean more to me as they were taken on one of my favourite spots close to home. Anyway, I hope you enjoy some more photos of this location that you might already recognise if you follow my blog regularly. Both were taken at sunset and sunrise at Schartenfluh (Gempen).

It was a very stormy morning when I took this photo which is visible in the movement of the tree branches. It adds a bit of dynamic to an otherwise static subject..

Gempen

The second one was taken on a mild hazy evening early November.
Schartenfluh
  • Marjo Slingerland Boks - 19/08/2014 - 05:27

    Wow SA*GA Photography ~ Moments in Light ~ they are so beautiful. That must be a amazing place to be :) ReplyCancel

  • Christine Ziereis - 19/08/2014 - 06:49

    beide wieder wunderschön <3
    ReplyCancel

  • Louis Foulon - 19/08/2014 - 15:30

    Sehr schöner bilder, mit warmes licht!ReplyCancel

  • Adit Merkine - 21/08/2014 - 08:26

    Hi Sandra,
    I like very much the colors and the composition.

    Kind Regards,

    AditReplyCancel

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… or you could also call this sight the ass of mount Pilatus:PWell, the front side of the most famous mountain of central Switzerland is a common sight and so we thought we had a look at it from the other side when we escaped from a hot weekend in Basel late June. We did not regret it and were quite happy about the gentle rural landscape that we found in this valley opposite to the hustle and bustle on top of the mountain. Both photos were taken around sunrise when the magic first rays of sun touched the rugged mountain chain. Ah yes, the (in)famous summit is exactly on the left hand side of the chain;)

Pilatus

Pilatus
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We were very lucky to see White rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) on several game drives during our stay in the Zululand Rhino Reserve but this encounter one early morning was special. This mother was with her calf in the middle of a wildebeest herd and they had fun chasing the shy antelopes around. They were so busy that they were completely unaware of our arrival and we were only a few meters away when they walked towards our car. Their eyesight is not really good and they simply didn’t notice us until our guide rattled with the gear and they stopped. They looked at us for a while, turned around and disappeared into the thick bush. What an amazing encounter with these majestic animals that are unfortunately close to distinction!

White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)

White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)

Breitmaulnashorn (Ceratotherium simum)
  • Hilde Van den Bosch - 11/08/2014 - 09:59

    great!!!!! lovely animal, lovely pictures Sandra!ReplyCancel

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This is the second photo of this lovely gorge in the southern part of the Black Forest and just a few meters away from the spot of my recent blog post ~ Black forest waters ~. It is only a small gorge but very spectacular and I honestly was suprised how well the pictures turned out. Probably my best photo of 2014 so far! I hope you enjoy:)

Menzenschwand
  • Steve Gingold - 08/08/2014 - 09:06

    Very cool picture, Sandra. Optical illusion, too. Funny angle at the top.ReplyCancel

  • Michael Engel Twixelpixx Fotografie - 08/08/2014 - 10:20

    Tolles Foto, wo ist das im Schwarzwald?
    ReplyCancel

  • Michael Engel Twixelpixx Fotografie - 08/08/2014 - 12:32

    Sorry, da sieht man den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht. Haha. Danke. ReplyCancel

  • Christine Ziereis - 08/08/2014 - 13:19

    rechts wie ein schleier …klasse! tolles bild!ReplyCancel

  • Adit Merkine - 08/08/2014 - 15:38

    Hi Sandra,

    Very beautiful!

    Shabbat Shalom and All the Best,

    AditReplyCancel

  • Marjo Slingerland Boks - 08/08/2014 - 15:43

    Wow what a beautiful picture! ! Wonderful Sandra :) ReplyCancel

  • Silas K. Tarus - 10/08/2014 - 15:07

    This is just amazing nature’s beauty. Great shot.ReplyCancel

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We met this cute little pair of White-fronted plovers (Charadrius marginatus) with their two chicks on our morning stroll along the beach at Thonga Beach Lodge. It was so funny to watch how they rushed along the beach and even the chicks were running with their speedy short legs like little fluffy balls – so cute ♥ I hope you enjoy the photos of these beautiful birds!

Weißstirn-Regenpfeifer, Charadrius marginatus

  • Steve Gingold - 06/08/2014 - 21:50

    Very nice collection of photos, Sandra.ReplyCancel

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The summer weather has been pretty contrary so far and especially the weekends were almost always rainy with thunderstorms. So we tried to make the best out of it and despite going to the mountains, we have spent lots of time in the Black Forest during the past few weeks. Usually, the streams and waterfalls have only a low water level in July and August but this year, with all the rain, they are nicely flowing. The little cascade in this gorge is normally not visible in summer and I was very glad to find it like this!

Menzenschwand

Menzenschwand
  • Evgeny Gorshkov - 03/08/2014 - 17:01

    Beautiful photos !
    ReplyCancel

  • Louis Foulon - 03/08/2014 - 17:08

    Sehr schöner bilder!ReplyCancel

  • Silas K. Tarus - 03/08/2014 - 17:10

    This is lovely. ReplyCancel

  • Thomas Reich - 03/08/2014 - 17:33

    Sehr schöne Bilder, das obere ist mein Favorit!ReplyCancel

  • Steve Gingold - 04/08/2014 - 21:13

    I prefer the foreground in the top and the lack of sky in the second. But either is very nice and a place I would like to be.ReplyCancel

  • Aline Lim - 05/08/2014 - 13:58

    thanks for sharing , love your photos
    ReplyCancel

  • Adit Merkine - 06/08/2014 - 18:13

    Hi Sandra,

    My favorite is the first pic.
    The light and composition are just fantasic.
    A great shot!

    Best,

    AditReplyCancel

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Switzerland’s mountains are always welcome when we suffer a heat wave and so we escaped to a village high above Lake Lucerne two weeks ago. It was hot and humid down at the lake while we enjoyed some fresh and cool air about 1000 meters higher.

The sunrise next morning right next to the distinctive Mythen mountains was quite attractive though the sun was already quite high when it eventually climbed over the mountain rim. Anyway, it was nice and cool and hence a nice weekend.

Lake Lucerne
  • Adit Merkine - 30/07/2014 - 19:17

    Hi Sandra,

    Very nice!

    Best,

    AditReplyCancel

  • Steve Gingold - 30/07/2014 - 19:19

    The sunstar over the deeply shadowed mountains is quite a treat, Sandra.ReplyCancel

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We luckily had four nights at Thonga Beach Lodge and I was blessed with three wonderful sunrises. So we only had one morning with a thick bank of clouds in the east but there was no drama in the air as the water was still very wild from the storm of the previous night. I spent a very happy hour playing with the waves and once again, it was so much fun to wait for the perfect wave. These two photos are the result of a very delightful morning – hope you enjoy!

Indian Ocean

Indischer Ozean
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Lake Sibaya is South Africa’s largest fresh water lake with a surface area of 77 km² and an average depth of 13 metres. We went there twice during a sundowner trip from Thonga Beach Lodge and enjoyed wonderful African sunsets over the lake. A Purple heron was looking out for fish on a rock with a small group of hippos next to him. After sunset, the whole landscape was bathed in the soft colours of dusk and the atmosphere was very peaceful and calm.

Lake Sibaya

We could stay until the stars came out on the second trip (thanks Bheki!!!) an enjoyed the gorgeous view over the lake with the starry sky above. What a fantastic evening!
Stars over Lake Sibaya
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