Pro Bowl 2017

America’s big annual sports event is the Super Bowl, happening in Texas next weekend and hopefully bringing the New England Patriots to another win! Last night however was the “Pro Bowl” which is supposed to be a “best of the rest” game – and since it came to the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, we decided to watch a real live NFL game there!
A short twenty minute drive to the highway exit got converted to an hour by the time we parked (it’s a big stadium and a popular event!) but after that an easy walk into the stadium and to our great seats – in fact a big part of the entertainment was where we sat, surrounded by fans and close enough to the field to interact with some of the performers.

During the game I mostly watched the action, but here’s a few photos and videos I took early on, including the first touchdown right in front of our seats:

Great Horned Owl

We’ve not seen any Herons in the nest behind our home, this winter (example from last year), but at lunchtime I noticed “something” there so got my high zoom camera out to take a closer look.
Here’s a photo of the general view with the Heron nest in the distance; it’s hard to spot that there’s something there, but take the camera to maximum zoom, and we find a Great Horned Owl!


UPDATE: I videoed the Owl for a while – turns out they are really quite inactive! But when it stands and looks around under itself near the end, I wonder if it’s checking eggs …

Manyara National Park

Our last full day in Tanzania had us being driven the few hours from Ngorongoro Crater back to Arusha for a second overnight at the Arusha Coffee Lodge before our early morning flight.
On the way we spent a few hours at the Manyara National Park for a last chance to see Elephants, Zebra, Monkeys – and loads of Pelicans! We had a nice picnic lunch there, too. And so, here’s the last safari video:

Grumeti Balloon Flight

One early morning during our stay at Singita Faru Faru in the (private) Grumeti reserve, we experienced the incredible views of a balloon flight over the reserve. Mostly the views were of the open plains, occasional trees and streams, and distant hills; but the most amazing views came at the end when we drifted over a herd of more than 100 Elephants! They were clearly bothered by us up in the sky above them – you’ll see a few turn to look and then begin moving away in the opposite direction …

YouTube has the full resolution version.

Tanzania Photo Safari

Here’s another interpretation of our recent Tanzania Safari, this time created from photos I took. Once again, created from those photos using Apple Photo Memories – I’ve found that tool to be both excellent and terrible! It’s very fast to create a nice video slideshow using the Apple tool, but as soon as you want to alter or fine tune it, it becomes very challenging – the tool frequently and arbitrarily discards adjustments, and provides no way to control many aspects of the final creation. The minutes it takes to create an initial presentation turn into hours and days to try and get everything perfect. As you’ll see in this video, I eventually abandoned my attempts to reach “perfect”, and stopped at “good enough”!

Check out my other post for the alternative presentation, from videos rather than photos.

Driving in the Serengeti

It’s hard sometimes when watching a Safari program on television – or when watching my Safari Video(!) – to get a realistic idea of what a Safari drive is like. So here I’ve put together a few videos taken during our trip, using just my iPhone (so these views are close to the truck, not zoomed in from far away!)
You can see that the terrain is sometimes grass plain, sometimes more full of trees, sometimes no animals visible and sometimes you have to stop because the animals are blocking the road!
Overall, it’s a spectacular place to visit; even when there’s no animals the scenery is very special …