OurLifeInSlowMotion

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About OurLifeInSlowMotion

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  1. Thanks guys for all the help and feedback. Sincerely appreciated. I need all the help I can get. I dont want to waste time> I want to be as prepared as possible for the eventuality of a move. Very excited to be looking at new adventures!!
  2. Hi There, Is there anyone out there who could offer me any advice or direct me to the right agency/person to deal with? I need to apply for Botswana work permit and have no idea how to do so as the company concerned have no idea either. I do not have a clue what is needed or where to even begin. Please could someone help me understand better what processes I need to take and who should I be speaking to? Thanks a mil Marcelle
  3. I would be interested...but as a photographer Would love to conduct a course in our capacity as photographers. Dont know why it isnt done yet. Where is your place near Kruger? My husband and I run two private residences in West Limpopo, Waterberg region of South Africa and use the time available to us to try and further our photography careers. We worked near the Kruger for a while. Such an amazing area of our country. Beauty beyond imagination.
  4. So here goes, my predator bird. Enjoy.
  5. We were pondering doing a self drive photography course through KNP...wonder how that would work out!
  6. I got chills reading your story before i got to the part about you having chills What a wonderful experience. We celebrate our 10 year weddding anniversary next year in Feb and have planned an epic trip back to Kruger. I so wish I could spend my life within its boundaries. You guys must be a happy couple...only a special kind of person would have their special kind of day in the most inspiring place in South Africa.
  7. Thanks Matt. Most definitely, you will be seeing way more. Thanks for the warm welcome.
  8. It rained today, Wed 23 August. Okay I will admit it was only like three drops here and there, but it really means something when you live on a game reserve. Rain now, at the close of the dry season, in any way shape or form signals renewal. When the tiniest amount of water drops from the sky, the excitement is palpable. Soon, everything around us is going to transform. As I sit here on my brand new patio courtesy of our wonderful bosses and owners I gaze out into the bush. It looks drab. It’s brown. It’s Dull. It’s bare and above all, it’s quiet. I guess it’s true that there is a strange kind of beauty to this dry environment surrounding me, but it gets to a point where it’s just plain unpleasant to look at. Especially when you know full well what it looks like in Spring and Summer. Everything is bare and exposed at the moment. Dry and withered, seemingly devoid of colour and smell. Dust lies everywhere, thick and crusty. You breathe in and the sharp stench of dry earth is the predominant smell. Animals are starting to look gaunt and frail. Everything seems to be scrambling for food and waiting for better days. Okay, not every living thing is looking that way, but a fair deal more than what I have been used to seeing in the past five years. It’s a slightly depressing time in the bush veldt. Where we live, on a private section of Mabula Game Reserve in Northern Limpopo, South Africa the dry winter season is such a great contrast to the wet summer season. As the dry season invades your senses you can’t help but feel kind of sorry for the bush veldt. It always looks like its dying a slow and agonizing death. In summer though the abundance of trees layered in the bush hang heavy with large leaves, sweet smelling flowers and delicious fruits. Birds flock here in their hundreds, some a common sight like the Yellow-Bill Hornbills and other rarer sorts like the Grey Headed Bush Shrike litter the branches. Babies are born to all sorts of creatures and life roams around everywhere. The sounds coming out of the bush are jolly. It’s a warm, cheerful mixture of tweeting and chirping. Insects come out in their multitudes. The variety of insects we have observed here is astounding and each year we see at least one species that we have never observed before. Frogs and toads too make their appearance. All shapes and sizes. It’s these small creatures that keep the nights on a high volume setting during summer with all the buzzing and croaking. What about lightning strikes and thunder! Oh my giddy aunt, there is no sound in the world that can compare to an almighty thunderstorm. Every year we get three or four storms that are practically of biblical proportions. The bangs of thunder scare the living daylights out of a person and lightning frequently strikes close by. It’s sometimes slightly scary and exhilarating all at the same time. The colours also change so vividly between the seasons. There are such severe contrasts to be seen, rich and vibrant greens, yellows, whites, pinks, orange’s, blues, purples. There are flowers, so many flowers. The big blue sky often sports large white puffy clouds and sometimes deep dark black or purple storm clouds. There are just too many colours to mention. The list is endless. Then there are the smells. Oh the smells. A complete sensory overload at times. When the Sweet-Thorn blossoms, you find yourself dragging in large deep breaths of sweet smelling air. It’s such a pleasant and comforting smell. The occasional Fever Tree has a scent I would love to bottle, much like the smell of Jasmine, just wilder. Let us not forget to mention the smell of the Silver Cluster Leaf tree. There are large forested areas here filled with them. The scent of the Cluster Leaf blossom is strong and hangs heavy in the air, but for some people it’s far from pleasant. It smells an awful lot like stinky feet or overly powerful parmesan cheese. But for us, we look forward to it. It’s a sign that summer has fully arrived. Who would have thought that a smell like sweaty feet could hold so much meaning for certain people like us? However, the most noticeable smell is that of rain. Arguably, the only other moment that could stand close to the scent of rain would be the warmth of the sun (particularly on a cold winter’s day) but the aroma of rain tops everything, because it smells of things to come. It smells good and clean and fresh...tra-la-la. At the end of a dry season, the scent of rain before or after a storm is a like a promise. A promise of change, in a good direction. An indication that new life will fill the plains and a time of plenty is on the way. It makes everything giddy with joy. Including us who live here, who can’t wait to witness the transformation. The promise of summer. It’s extraordinary. This year, the change seems more significant. Especially after a slightly upside down year for us. The past few months have been quite a challenge. After living out of a few different homes for a while waiting for our staff accommodation to be renovated, courtesy of the 18+ owners we work for, we are finally back to what can now only be called home. No longer just accommodation, but rather, home. It’s so exciting for us. It feels like a new chapter in our life is about to be written. Like we have been granted a new beginning. Change. We welcome change with open arms. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Since the inception of Our Life in Slow Motion, we have focused on a shared passion for photography. It has become such a joy in our lives and something we will keep pursuing for as long as we possibly can. Having said that, I have to admit that for a little while, we did wander off our original intended track. We focused on some wrong areas for a little while and it certainly began to show. Soon we found ourselves focusing only on the word “photography”. That doesn’t sound so wrong does it? But really, it is wrong, very wrong. What we do is “wildlife photography”. We are not merely photographers. We are WILDLIFE photographers. It’s always been about the wildlife. The whole big move from city life years ago, giving up our home and creature comforts all the way up until now, it has always been about wildlife. The love we have for the wild, its places, its living things, everything that surrounds us, is something difficult to describe. I have often tried to put words or a metaphor to it to aptly describe this passion, but have always failed. It’s all consuming. It’s ultimately the very thing that has shaped us as individuals and as a couple. It’s who we are. With that in mind, during this break we had from online society for the few months that they were renovating here, Anthony and I realised that we need to take a step back. Make a change in our daily actions. We need to go back to the beginning, where it all started. With a happy conversation about loving what we do and finding an outlet for this passion of ours. So a short conversation that went something like “how about we start a page on Facebook and share our stuff. It will pass the time and who knows, maybe people will enjoy what we have to offer” gave way to our page. Our Life in Slow Motion. And now approaching two years this October 2012 with 700 odd followers so far, we still love every minute of every day even more so because of Our Life in Slow Motion. It makes us happy to chat, interact and share anything we can about wildlife with all of you. This is a fact we had to remind ourselves of. We had to be honest with ourselves and understand where we were going wrong. Too much focus on so called “fame and fortune” within the close knit and cliquey photography community, and too little focus on what was our original driving force. To showcase wildlife in all its forms has always been for us, the ultimate way to spend our time. It is so rewarding and satisfying. Lesson learnt. We love the wild. It comes first in our lives. It is that simple. So here we are starting new, like the season with its rain and all the promises it holds for the future. We too are making some changes. Some small, some big ones. Some personal changes and some professional. But without a doubt we are coming back. Stronger and more determined than ever before. With the word WILDLIFE constantly before the word photographer, where it belongs. That’s a promise.
  9. I cant finding a little blushing face to put on here. Thanks so much for the feedback. Maybe I can write another at some stage. Lets hope it all comes pouring out as easily as it did last night!!
  10. Oh yes Dik Dik, besides hopefully one or two whirlwind trips during the year, we are planning a long one for later in the year back to KNP. Besides KNP we have yet to visit certain parks, such as Mapungubwe and the Armour-dillo will be hosting us all the way! Just getting around on our holiday and trips is an adventure of its own with the Landy. Love it!
  11. Thanks Its my first attempt at a article/blog, very nervous about it. Jock is a legendary dog that traversed the bush veld region in the late 1800's with his owner Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick wrote a book detailing their adventures and especially the bravery that Jock displayed. Here is a link for some more info, its really well worth the read Jock of the Bushveld
  12. Im not a very experienced traveler by any means. In fact I haven't really been many places at all. But it doesn't matter where I end up going in the future, Kruger will always be, for me, the best place on earth and where I have buried my soul. Our photo album, Kruger Park 2011 is a very happy collection of our first trip back to KNP after a near 5 year absence. We spent 24 days driving from North to South stopping in loads of camps along the way. We were so sick of packing and unpacking by the end, but it was such a memorable trip. The best we have had by far. Ever. Trying to condense the immense amount of photographs into an album that folks would hopefully not get bored with was a difficult task. As a team of photographers we, and many others, are always so intent at getting that PERFECT shot that I think sometimes we forget to just seriously let go and have a bit of fun. We had to show people out there, us, and who we are. Of course we spent major amounts of time trying for those special shots that every aspiring photographer dreams of. But, all the moments not spent waiting and watching at sightings were spent having the best, funniest, most interesting holiday of our lives. It was the first BIG trip with our 1988 Landy, affectionately named the Armour-dillo. Anyone who has ever owned a Landrover will attest to the fact that things go wrong with them. Sometimes the "things" are huge disasters, and other times its stupid silly stuff, like a rusted fuse terminal. The aforementioned electrical failure, if you could call it that, kept us confused for about two solid days a few weeks after we bought the car. It kept simply dying and nothing worked after that. Turned out it was an old fuse board. It still had that ancient little glass system! It was rusted, so a couple of rand's later, a new blade fuse system box thingy was installed quite competently by my husband. Fixed! We had spent long hours sweating in the sun constructing and fitting water tanks, covers, speaker mounts, we even rubberised the interior ourselves. It was the biggest DIY project we had ever undertaken! We did it though. We were ready in time for our epic trip and we could not wait to get into our Armour-dillo and begin the adventure. We tried new camps too and spent time in a part of the park we had never ventured to, for any length of time, bar the occasional lunch or drive through on the way to the next camp. The central Mopani area. If you actually take the time to stay more than one night, and explore the region, you will find the most spectacular watering holes flanked by huge flat open plains teeming with wildlife as well as large amounts of Kori Bustard! The tar road from Phalaborwa gate is a real hidden gem! Come to think of it, we drove the strangest roads seldom traveled by many. Nyala drive in the Pafuri area is an awfully short in and out "loop" that takes you through scenery I know exits, but that I have never seen before. Huge trees and large shady areas surrounded by sand. Red sand.Everywhere. Barren below but teeming with life higher up. The bird life is staggering and the feel of the place is ancient. We made a comment which I thought appropriate, "Dinosaurs walked here" If you are ever up that side of the park, don't miss this drive. We also spent a night at a Bird Hide overlooking a magical place that will forever be etched into my soul. Sable Dam. Situated 8km inside of Phalaborwa gate. It features often in our album because it was a surreal experience. I cant explain it. Just book a night...and go, you wont regret it! No words can describe that sunset! I saw Thick-Tailed Bush Baby for the first time, and saw Civet for more than roughly 3 seconds at Punda Maria camp. We had an evening of intense excitement when two young male lions were trotting alongside the fence, roaring and seemingly picking their next meal from the buffet of enthralled campers watching them. It always amazes me that humans think a thin strand of wire fencing can protect them. We are seriously a strange species. So clever in some ways and then completely ignorant and arrogant in in other ways. We spent a lazy afternoon in the company of 4 Elephant bulls, 3 Kudu bulls and a very brave baby crocodile at Mooiplaas picnic spot situated right next to Tzendze rustic camping grounds. I forgot my watch, that my husband bought me in the wash up area of that camp. Sigh. That was a bit deflating. We sat in awe as over 1000 buffalo came to drink right in front of a bird hide that we happened to be at, which was situated alongside a river. Its not far from Mopani camp. Shipandani Hide. We later on that year, spent Christmas night in that very same hide, serenaded by crocodiles and woken by barbel reaching out of the water to try and catch low flying birds! That was an amazing thing to witness. They never got it right and they had many opportunities, so why do they even bother to try if they are so unsuccessful in this method of hunting?Must be a case of "Thomas the Tank syndrome" Pretty admirable for a fish! Wild Dog is my husbands favorite animal and we spent an unexpected morning with 11 dogs sleeping,playing,sniffing and generally doing real doggy things all around us just outside of Maroela camp. We encountered Elephant gatherings of more than 120 individuals at a single water source, all simultaneously swimming and enjoying the most fun filled mud wrestling sessions. Some individuals swam for over 20 minutes at a time, sometimes playing with other Elephants and other times having a private roly - poly session.There were lions, 22 of them on one specific day! This was on the famous S100 by Satatra camp.Of the 22 lions, 11 were cubs. That was a special memory, so many cubs together. We also met an new friend on that day. This friend led us to new, new friends. We drank milkshakes, at dusk on a hot, day. Strange sun downer I know, but I guess its one of those "had to be there" moments. It was, until our Christmas Kruger trip later that year, the hottest I have ever felt in all my not so many years of life. Beers or whatever one may choose for a sun downer was in no way appealing at all. So we chatted over an ice cold chocolate shake..on the rocks! We had pancakes for lunch at Afsaal picnic spot, and were harassed by Hornbills, who were so naughty but so endearing at the same time. I don't know anyone who dislikes these sly and mischievous little winged creatures. Afsaal, incidentally, provided emergency sheltering for a very wet and bedraggled Hyena over the January 2012 floods. The picture, located somewhere in the SanParks forum pages is a good representation of the sheer amount of rain that was falling. To top this whole adventure off, we saw, for the first time in our lives, a Black Rhino. It was very obscured by trees, but it was unmistakably a Black Rhino. I'm sure the lady who stopped next to me to ask what we were looking at was very curious as to why I had tears running down my face. You see to me, in my mind, there are certain species of animals I have always resigned myself to never seeing in my lifetime. The Black Rhino being one of them. I know there are many reserves who stock Black Rhino, but Black Rhino in the Kruger National Park? That is a privilege enjoyed by few and a moment I will never forget for as long as I live. On our way home, beaming with pride that our Armour-dillo got us all the way around the Kruger National Park without any major hiccups for 24 days, we reflected on our holiday. This totally uplifting journey we had made. We couldn't help but admit to ourselves, that no matter where the wind blows us in the future, there can be no place on earth like the Kruger National Park. Could there be another place for us that could hold these kind of memories? Could there be another place that could feed our soul like this. Perhaps. There are surely many places more wild, less fenced, with way less cars, boasting all kinds of exclusivity and privacy. But there are not many places out there that can offer all of that PLUS a haven for folks like us, who enjoy rustic tenting among the easy going atmosphere that has always been and still is present in the camping community of the Kruger National Park. There are not many places that can offer on top of all of that, the most amazing wild places and once in a lifetime experiences. All that and a camera and lens at our side. Priceless! We even got married in the Kruger Park, a week from today, nine years ago 2 February 2003, in Skukuza camp surrounded by 14 or so people who love us! We promised to share this journey of life with each other that day. A life we have chosen for ourselves. A life we have dreamed of since childhood.We promised all of this to each other, in the best place on earth, the Kruger National Park. Marcelle Robbins Photo Album
  13. I said it before and now take the oppertunity to say it again...yes its not ideal and Rhino's should have horns blah,blah,blah etc etc. But I really really take my hat off to you and your family for making the right decision for your Rhino. No horns, but alive and well with a possible future ahead of them. I agree with Matt, seeing your swift action and absolute love and care for your creatures makes a person want to get to know you and visit your park to get to know more about your vision and ideals. I really commend you for making a tough decision and sharing your thoughts with the world. The best way we can ALL get involved is to talk, spread the news, make people aware of whats happening out there...really truely lending a voice. We have over 20 rhino on the reserve that we work on, all of whom we have gotten to know very well, and the thought of losing one to this brutality makes me want to cry. Hopefully reserve management will have a level head to make tough decisions in the future so that above all other things, the future of the species can be preserved. Thank you guys for setting such a fine example.
  14. Well I am not sure if I can do this...but Matt will moan at me later..hehehehehe We are running a small little competituon for kids which Im sure that they and their families will enjoy. We encourage you guys to get your kids and your friends kids to participate. After all, its for our future generations that we are trying hard to preserve the wild places on earth. So therefore its our resposibility to make learning about the wild fun, interesting and family orientated. So we at Our Life In Slow Motion look forward to seeing the entries come in.....come on guys....lets get involved in some fun things with our kids! This first competition we are running is aimed for your kids. Children5-12yrs old ONLY! (Dont worry..look out for other age groups next month) and we are hoping you will encourage your kids to participate.This is a great oppertunity for you and your kids to get together and be creative. Take 10min or 2 hours out of your day and spend it with your child.(smell the roses yet?) Your child could win a really awesome prize - First Encyclopedia of Animals by Paul Dowswell, http://www.kalahari.net/books/First-Encyclopedia-of-Animals/632/39504656.aspx What do they have to do? We would like your kids to pick their favourite animal and make it. They can draw a picture,use play dough, make a cookie design,build it out of matchsticks, paint it, sculpt it, anywhich way they want to.Send us a picture or scanned document. We will pick our top 5 and then with the help of two external judges, will pick our favorite. Picture or documents can be mailed to olism@rhatuafrica.com Look out for the gallery that we will post on Our Life In SLow Motion. Encourage your friends to come and support your children by "liking" your childs picture. The mosted "liked" picture may not be the overall winner (bit unfair if you have 300 F/B friends and someone else only 50), but will be our profile picture for a full week. So come on folks...get in the spirit of things and please encourage your children to participate and have some fun! What a wonderful way for your children to learn about the wild Looking forward to the e-mails!! Competition Closing Date: 2 July (saturday)
  15. Hi All Well its been a disjointed couple of weeks since we have returned from leave. The weather has played absolute havoc with our daily routine. Its been terribly cold and rainy and just all round miserable. Although one can still get out and about looking for game, the possibility of seeing much is incredibly slim. On our reserve (Mabula) The game are so terribly spoilt with great weather and good grazing, that when the weather turns sour, they shelter up and wait on the sunshine before venturing out again. So as the cold days have passed us by, we spent them studying, and fixing my pc. A certain little squirrel had a facination with my keyboard and proceeded to chew all my keys off. I ended up writing my first module of Game Lodge Management and very proudly passed with 90%. That really served to boost my confidence as its been years since I have "schooled" and one often thinks that you may not be able to get through studying if you have left it for some time. So YES!!! I can do this!!! In amongst all this very boring stuff going on we were wondering where Cow7 (oldest rhino cow on our reserve)was hiding as she so often came calling around our lodge. She has a unique shaped horn and the most wonderful gentle nature and is always a firm favorite with the rangers and guests. She has had 8 calves, which really is allot for a rhino and we were hoping she would'nt have a 9th as she no longer produces milk. Her 8th calf, Peanut as we now call her, had to be removed from Cow7 and hand reared as she wasnt producing milk and baby Peanut was starving at 1 month old. Ok, whats the point I am trying to make?? Well sadly Cow7 was found dead on the morning of 30 June in a open exposed area. She died from old age, can you belive it! Its thought that the extreme and sudden change in temperature was too much for her weary body to bear and she simply laid down and died. So as a tribute to our old girl who we will miss terribly I am posting some pics of old life to new life. The saying goes "every cloud has a silver lining" and Baby Peanut is the silver lining in this story. This is cow7 with her unusual shaped horn. The horn was removed from her body, chipped and handed over to the appropriate authorities for safe keeping. This is the silver lining...little Peanut. She has the most wonderful loving nature. Peanut searching for her next bottle...perfectly round hey! Thought that was so interesting. My hubby playing with Peanut. People took turns getting inside the enclosure with her to play and chase and kick ball...which she loved the most! This is Peanut 2 weeks ago, coming onto around 18 months old..I think?? She has an interested buyer who rescued a little orphaned bull that is roughly the same age as Peanut. The hope is that the two can make friends and give each other a new lease on life. Well that my little contribution this week...hope you enjoyed! Chat Soon

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