Posts Tagged With: birds

[D+97] – “Chez Tonton Mack” – Part 2 : Beach and Fire

[read part 1 here]

This place was really marvelous. I felt something I believe I had never felt that much strongly. Being almost alone and contemplating the exotic landscapes and seascape that Nature was offering us was mesmerizing, as if I was living ten thousand years ago. As if I was the first one to set foot on this part of the world. A sort of rustic yet almost initiatory, energy-filled context.

84mm - 1/800 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

116mm - 1/640 - F/7.1 - ISO 200

I know my pictures do not totally reveal it, but the seashore was surrounded by luxurious vegetation, alternating with a savanna-like environment. I don’t have decent pictures to show of this, but there were a few ponds with water-lily around our camp. We could also hear crickets noises in the tall grass nearby, as well as many birds tweeting.

84mm - 1/500 - F/7.1 - ISO 200

90mm - 1/500 - F/6.3 - ISO 200

135mm - 1/1000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

After a good lunch in the shade of a sort of large grass hut under which had been put some tables, we eventually went to the sea and stayed there for almost the whole afternoon, playing in the big waves (once again my photographs do not exactly do justice to their size) as if we were still children.

Ousmane, Rémy and Rémi (yeah, two of them)
18mm - 1/250 - F/6.3 - ISO 200

Rémi, Marine and Julien
24mm - 1/1250 - F/6.3 - ISO 200

41mm - 1/2000 - F/6.3 - ISO 200

There was a lot of driftwood on the beach…

250mm - 1/1000 - F/8 - ISO 200

24mm - 1/1250 - F/6.3 - ISO 200

55mm - 1/640 - F/7.1 - ISO 200

…but also lots of crabs which were moving incredibly fast as we approached them. Hard to catch !!

250mm - 1/3200 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

250mm - 1/1600 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

55mm - 1/1000 - F/7.1 - ISO 200

Look at how great the landscape was ! Marvelous !

18mm - 1/800 - F/9 - ISO 200

18mm - 1/1000 - F/8 - ISO 200

As sun the was decreasing, we went back to the camp. Cocktail hour. On the picture below you can spot two Congolese beers : Mutzig (green bottles) and Turbo King (brown bottles). One day I’ll tell you more about them.

Pierrick and Julien talking about politics
32mm - 1/100 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

We went to the top of a nearby hill to watch the sunset, but unfortunately there were some clouds near the horizon line, so I couldn’t shoot the magma-like ball I was expecting.

29mm - 1/60 - F/6.3 - ISO 400

We had gathered some dry wood, and spent the night around a joyful fire (mostly mastered by Ousmane, thanks man!), eating chicken and potatoes. How great this was ! The ambiance was friendly and I assume we all spent a great moment talking on the beach like this.

27mm - 4" - F/8 - ISO 200

During the night, I recorded the sounds coming from one of the ponds I mentioned earlier. If anyone knows what kind of animal produces the melodic/rhythmic sound you can hear in the sample, I’m interested to know more about it…

Getting asleep was a bit hard for me because I was afraid there could be spiders, but luckily I did not see any of them !

Time for me to end this article… You’ll have to wait another day before reading part 3 !! Do share your feelings about these pictures : would you like to be here ? Do you think we forgot something ? Anything you wanna know ? Just post a comment below and I’ll answer you !

[read part 3 here]

Categories: Landscapes, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

[D+97] – “Chez Tonton Mack” – Part 1 : On the road

After a good bunch of days without any news, I am finally able to provide you with some fresh new pictures. A LOT of new pictures.

This weekend was my first real trip on the countryside. I mean, far from the big town of Pointe-Noire. “The plan” was to sleep at a place called Chez Tonton Mack, which corresponds to a few small huts. The price is pretty cheap : 5000 XAF per night (7.5€ / $10), and spend the week-end over there.

We had prepared some food, with the idea of making a fire on the beach for the night.

We left home around 7am : 5 trainees, the girlfriend of one of them and 3 friends of Remy, with whom he had met in a party. Two 4×4 pickups.

Here we go.

We stopped for the first time just after the bridge that crosses the Kouilou river, in order to taste some Yanga, which happens to be a sort of palm tree wine. Probably not the best drink ever, but a cool experience anyhow. Ten minutes ago we we were back on the road, until Madingo Kayes, were the asphalt road ended. We had travelled half the way in terms of length, but only one quarter of the way in terms of time. Indeed, driving on a sandy track with large and deep puddles (almost ponds sometimes) accross the road is not always as easy as one may think.

Rémy, who was driving me
24mm - 1/3200 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

Ousmane and Pierrick
20mm - 1/800 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

20mm - 1/200 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

20mm - 1/500 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

187mm - 1/1000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

250mm - 1/1000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

55mm - 1/2000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

We eventually reached the entrance of the Conkouati natural park, where we got stopped by some guards. Supposedly, we should have paid 5000 XAF per person, but after 45 minutes of useless discussions we eventually paid 5000 XAF per vehicle, and felt pretty relieved, since we weren’t aware of that fee.

Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to see a lot of exotic fauna (I mean, elephants or antelopes), but we caught the sight of a jackal and of a few birds…

250mm - 1/2000 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

250mm - 1/2500 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

116mm - 1/1000 - F/7.1 - ISO 400

After a rather long travel, with a lot of laugh but under a hot equatorial sun, we eventually reached our goal around midday. I have to say we were astonished by the place, and immediately felt we were about to spend a particularly great weekend.

It is getting late, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read the rest of the story… Don’t hesitate to share your point of view regarding the pictures above !!

[read part 2 here]

146mm - 1/1600 - F/7.1 - ISO 400

Categories: Landscapes, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Just a few birds

Categories: Just a picture, Nature | Tags: , | 1 Comment

[D+21] – A Mangrove

Wow! I just came back from a little excursion in a not-so-far mangrove (basically a seaside swamp), and it was pretty great ! There were hundreds of birds in the trees (like the white one below), and a lot of crabs as well as fishes with modified fins, which allowed them to get out of the water.

I maybe should have taken more shots, and maybe some general shots to give you a better overview of how the whole thing looks like. I apologize for that, but I promise I’ll try to remember this next time…

Some dead birds, too… but after all it’s Mother Nature !

A picture of Remy, who comes from the same school than me :

And finally a picture that doesn’t exactly satisfy me, but I think it’s still cool :

Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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