The Royal Red flight of the Knysna Turaco by chrishpetersen

The crimson wing feathers of the Knysna Turaco were highly valued by the chiefs of Swazi and Zulu royal families.

While the green and blue feathers of the Turaco are quite beautiful, you only see the magnificent red wings in flight.

Most bird feathers only reflect colors of light. Turaco feathers are very unique in that they contain actual pigments derived from copper and other minerals. Put a Turaco red wing feather in a glass of water and it will turn the water pink.
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The beautiful Knysna Turaco by chrishpetersen

The hidden beauty of the Knysna Turaco found only in South Africa.

It is estimated that less than 10,000 of this species remain in the wild. Most are found in the coastal forest, especially near Knysna, South Africa.

Despite their bright colors, they blend in perfectly with the high canopy where they perch … making them hard to find, and even harder to photograph!

Their bright red wings are only seen in flight … captured in the next photo post.
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Red Hot Poker by chrishpetersen

The Kniphofia literally looks like a “Red Hot Poker” standing tall above the grasses on the plains of Africa.

The “big flower head” is comprised of many smaller “tubes” which are the actual flowers. The over all appearance is like a brightly colored torch that will stand out to attract bees and birds for pollination.
African safaris are not just about watching wildlife … there is some amazing natural beauty if you make the time to stop and explore.

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Outstanding in his field by chrishpetersen

A giraffe truly outstanding in his field … part of a most unusual herd! It is hard to imagine just how large these gentle giants are until you realize that zebras are 6 feet (2 meters) tall at the tip of their ears. The zebra could walk right under this giraffe and not touch his belly!

I debated whether to post this photo. It is one of my first photos on my first African safari in 2007 shot with a Canon 30D. It is not up to my quality standards today shooting with a 5DIII. But this is a case where the quality of the memory far outweighs the technical quality of the image.

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