OL DONYO WUAS CAMP, CHYULU HILLS, KENYA – We spent the morning connecting with our charter aircraft and flying to the Chyulu Hills, where we stayed at Ol Donyo Wuas, the only camp that we are staying at with permanent structures (as opposed to tents). We did a game drive from the dirt airstrip to the camp, and cycled later in the afternoon. Game was fairly scarce – this area has suffered three years of drought.
Kilimanjaro from the air – to the south of us on the other side of the Tanzanian boarder.
Ol Donyo Wuas has built a watering hole fed by the camp’s “gray” water. It’s very popular. Here’s a giraffe getting a drink – the giraffe is vulnerable to predators when it drinks because it can’t give defensive in this position.
Ol Donyo Wuas met us un the bush with elaborate tea and cocktails after our ten mile ride on trail bikes.
Sunset. This happens quickly and doesn’t last vey long in the tropics. We’re almost on the equator so there is very little variation in sunrise (6:30 AM) and sunset (6;30 PM) throughout the year.
NAIROBI, KENYA – We spent the day touring around Nairobi. Starting now and for the rest of the trip I’ll be showing more than one picture a day – typically four or five. I’m capturing 500 – 600 images per day – boiling this down to a single image per day takes more editing time than I have available. Here’s a link to a New York Times article on what to do if you have 36 hours in Nairobi: 36 hours in Nairobi Here we go:
Maria makes a tall friend at Giraffe Manor, a Scottish hunting lodge set in what is now the outskirts of Nairobi (Giraffe Manor)
Lunch at the Talisman Restaurant – this is a large bird in the garden of the restaurant – we had not gotten into the habit of asking about particulars of gender and species is at this point so I don’t have any notes as to what this is.
Maria and Nancy at One Off Gallery – a delightful art gallery owned by Carol Lees. She represents (among many other artists) Timothy Brooke, who’s paintings from the set of the film version of White Mischief adorn the walls of the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel.
LITCHFIELD CONNECTICUT – We visited Arethusa Farms, a dairy farm owned by our friend Tony Yurgaitis and George Malkemus. Here’s a link: Arethusa Farm. Arethusa is serious about improving Jersey and Holstein breeding stock. We met Veronica, a charismatic Jersey and, in dairy cow show circles, one of the most famous cows in the world. The light and angles were poor in Veronica’s barn so I had to settle for this outside of one of the barns.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – Our travel from Quito finally ended this morning after an all night flight with a layover in Miami. I managed to keep a lunch date with my son, and I managed to stay awake during the drive to Warren to arrive in time for dinner with some old friends.
Here is the sign for our house that we put out on Rabbit Hill Road after a number of guests were unable to find us. We used the wild turkey theme because . . . well we have a lot of wild turkeys.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – I dropped the car off at our garage after driving back from Connecticut. That’s me, and our Norwich Terrier Basil, in the mirror. I’ve vowed never to post a picture of Basil on my blog (remember all of those pitiful posts on online photo forums to the effect: “Here is my cat Midas shot with my Nikon SuperUltra 9700 – you can see every whisker) but this seemed to be a reasonable exception.
NEAR TLALPUJAHUA, MEXICO = We witnessed a remarkable phenomenon in the mountains above this lovely colonial town. There is huge annual migration of Monarch butterflies from Canada and the Northeastern United States to this mountainous region of Mexico, about a three hour drive from Mexico City. The Monarchs arrive in early November, which coincides with the Day of the Dead – the pre-Spanish people resident in the area believed that Monarchs were the souls of their ancestors. They cluster in very high density (estimated at about 20 million butterflies per hectare) at very high altitude. It’s possible to visit them by driving deeply into the the mountains and riding a horse for about a half hour from a nomadic base camp. It’s possible to walk, but not advised because the elevation is very high, 11,200 feet (3,400 meters) and the half day one is there is too short a time to become acclimatized to the altitude. The Monarchs cluster quietly on every surface until the temperature goes above 50 degrees F at which point they take to the air in breathtaking density, The Monarchs we see in Connecticut take part in this migration.