Epic battle: honey badger and python

A while back, I spent some time at Singita Lebombo, a lodge in a private area of Kruger National Park near the Mozambican border. After an early morning watching cheetah clubs playing, we headed back to camp. It was about 9:30 and the light was flattening out – the start of a long, slow, hot November day. As our vehicle rounded a corner, tracker Glass Marimane called out, “Honey badger!” We slammed to a halt and pulled out binoculars, spotting a large male honey badger digging at the foot of a tree. (I flunk botany every time I go to Africa, which is now a lot of times, so I can’t tell you what sort of tree – a leadwood, maybe?) As I pulled out my camera, my guide, Chantelle Venter, got even more excited. “Look,” she whispered, “a python!”  The digging badger had flushed a large rock python out into the open. Here is what then transpired:

Posted in Africa, Photography

Emotional images: capturing and conveying feeling in wildlife photography

The photo that set me on a course to becoming a biologist was published in 1965, but I didn’t see it until a few years later, when I was ten or maybe twelve years old. I’d been rooting through a stack of National Geographic Continue reading »

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The elephant seal soap opera

The life of a scientist is an exercise in extracting information from signs. Nature speaks no words to convey her meanings, but though she is silent, she is endlessly and openly communicative. We scientists try to find a language Continue reading »

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Catching lions

Through a loudspeaker hung near the decaying carcass of a poached elephant, we broadcast the bawls of a distressed buffalo. The calls ended in quiet. We scanned the bush with a red spotlight, less visible to cats than white light. Continue reading »

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Communicating science through the arts

Danna Staaf wrote a terrific blog piece for KQED about The Senior Reflection at Stanford – have a look here. Andrew Todhunter and I launched TSR four years ago, and our experience has convinced us that the arts are a Continue reading »

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Riding in lion country

My husband worries when I leave for a horse safari in Africa. “You’re like the pickle on top of a hamburger,” he frets, knowing from past excursions that encounters on horseback with lions are not unlikely. Others hold this opinion Continue reading »

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Interview with Gallery for Good

Marc Chafiian, co-founder of Gallery for Good, asked me some questions about inspiration, passion, epiphanies, protection of wildlife, and my current Gallery for Good exhibition. The exhibition will run through July 25, 2014, Continue reading »

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Gallery for Good

Earlier this year, Allie Pyke at the Gallery for Good contacted me and asked whether I’d be interested in using my photography to benefit a cause close to my heart. It took about two nanoseconds to say yes! Here is some Continue reading »

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On becoming a photographer

I remember the precise moment at which I became a photographer. For years before that, I was someone who occasionally took pictures. And just before that, I entombed my old Pentax film camera in a closet and bought a digital camera. Continue reading »

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Does elephant compassion deserve our own?

Trunks aloft, ears aflap, the younger elephants were panicking. They trumpeted and paced in circles, eyes focused on a water trough where the littlest elephant, a year-old baby, had toppled in. The calf might easily have navigated Continue reading »

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