Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nature So Far

(my video of an eagle snatching a fish)

What is one of the first things that pop into your head when you think of Africa?  And no, don't count Sally Struthers or images of malnourished children.  I bet it has something to do with an animal or nature at some point.  I am no different, in fact, i am a bit of a nature nut, so i was looking forward to finding out exactly what Africa had in store.

Now, I am writing this before i actually go on Safari, a safari that will take me to Zambia and one of the mos famous national parks (Luangwe).  And i trust that after i go on that safari, my views will be very different.

So far, Africa is not much different from the US, once it is developed, much of the same sort of wilderness fills its place.  Let me explain, because i wasn't on safari, i would pay special attention to birds, fish and lizards.  And as i did, i reflected about what it would be like in the state parks back in Illinois, Wisconsin or Indiana.  The birds here are gorgeous as well as the lizards, but they aren't all that different than what is back home, only if you pay attention.

Now there are some obvious exceptions to all of this.

There just aren't that many baboons running around Illinois, and the while the fish eagle does resemble the bald eagle, seeing bald eagles swoop down to catch a fish usually requires a trip to Alaska and lots of patience.
And obviously there was the unbelievably cool cichlids of Lake Malawi.  I won't go too crazy talking about fish, especially some fish that i used to keep in my aquariums at home, but i do want to point out that, Lake Malawi became not just a National Park, but a World Heritage Site, based solely on these fish.  Snorkeling and getting to see these bright blue, orange and yellow fish was a real treat.

I wish i could show you pictures of the baboons that liked to congregate outside my room, or the numerous monitor lizards, or even better yet, underwater photos of the cichlids, sadly my little Canon Elph has let me down, and i will not likely give up my career as a lawyer to be a wildlife photographer... but only barely.

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