The Mother of all updates

Fighting Hippos, Seregneti National Park, Tanzania

Nikon D300, 200-400mm f4.0 VR

Well, the winter, spring and summer seasons have just flown by with very little time to get those routine chores accomplished, such as keeping this blog up to date.  So consider this the marathon blog update.  My winter started by spending 29 days in the African bush of Tanzania.  Across three safaris, I can think of two great highlights that I will remember for a long time.  First was spending hours with a cheetah mother and her six cubs on the plains near NDutu.  I would estimate that her cubs were not more than 6 weeks old.  It was during this time that I also witnessed and photographed my first cheetah chase as the mother attempted to bring down a young wildebeest calf.  Despite missing the calf, the chase was exciting to see unfold before my eyes.

Mother and 6 week old cubs

Ngorongoro National Park near NDutu, Tanzania

Nikon D300, 500mm

The next memorable event happened during the second safari at Lake Manyara.  At the end of the day, I had positioned myself at one of the pull-outs near the shore of Lake Manyara in hopes of photographing a large heard of elephants.  My guide, Kelio – the “Master of the Serengeti” – had received information that a massive herd was on the move from Tarangire to the northern end of Lake Manyara.  As luck would have it, more than 100 elephants emerged from the dense underbrush making their way along the shoreline.  One tiny baby elephant dwarfed by the large males and females was a treat for the eyes and made the photograph.

Elephants on Parade

Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Nikon D300, 70-200mm VR

My spring started off with the death of my Mother, and the birth of our first grandson, Cole Alexander.  Demonstrating that life goes in circles, Cole was born the morning of the funeral.   He arrived healthy and complete with a pair of killer blue eyes.  The proud parents, Kevin and Alexis, currently reside in Texas which makes for a slight challenge to visit Mr. Cole.  Kevin and Alexis are both Army Officers and face those difficult career challenges that all young Officers face as they begin to build a family.

This past May I did what all fathers of daughters do, I gave away my last daughter in marriage to Paul Adams.  Paul is a great guy with an incredible family.  We are very proud to have a new son in the family, as well as being a part of the extended Adams’ family.  The wedding was held on the grounds of Lakewold Estates in Tacoma, WA with the reception following at the Tacoma Yacht Club.  A simply gorgeous wedding followed by a marvelous time for all at the reception.  Coogan and Paul are both Air Force Officers, currently stationed at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

The Longest Walk

Introducing Paul and Coogan Adams

The Dance

Family Fun

All wedding photos by Paul Dudley Photography

On the heels of the wedding was the Tacoma Tall Ships Festival in which I was the photo pool manager.  In this position I managed some 25 photographers charged with documenting the entire 7-day event.  My previous image, “Lady Washington Returning to Port” was featured as the cover shot for the Tacoma, Pierce and King County Business Directory.  At the end of the festival another shot of Lady Washington silhouetted by storm clouds was selected as a special gift for VIPs.  All in all, more than 22,000 images were shot by the photo pool staff.  What a great group of guys and gals to work with!

Now with summer almost gone, I have found time to publish my new web site and setting things in place for the 2009 and 2010 safaris to Tanzania.  I am also in the early stages of planning an Iceland photo safari.  Keep checking back for more details on this safari, if you are interested.  Also give the new web site a look and let me know what you think.

Cheers and best Photo’ing to all.