Saturday, June 20, 2009

ellie's for geli

Welcome to Elephant Valley Lodge and the Ellie post!
(I know i'm supposed to be resting, and I am, right here on our cozy couch, with my laptop)

This is for you Geli, because you couldn't be here, because it was your birthday and because you said you wished you could hear an elephant. I couldn't get the video to upload (my computer,blogger and I are having issues, I think they have a bug too!) but nevertheless, here are lots of Indlovu for you!


...walking into this open air bar~lounge and peering out into the sunlight, only metres away, and seeing Elephants! See them out by the watering hole? and if you squint and turn your eyes on to the patch of grass where the chairs are, you will see where Karen, Val and I stood and called you that night in May... is a closer look. We weren't this close at the Elephant Valley, but with a good lens here is how it looked!

...same photo but notice the addition of the graceful trunk in the foreground... they come, out from the bush, to get a drink... there are five ellies... there are many...

...if you would like to see more of the African Elephant, gorgeously filmed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert and all on location in Botswana, this is a wonderful movie for the entire family. I have my sister to thank for telling me about it. Thanks Lindy ♥

...we sat in hushed awe as this mother and child walked right past us...

....can you see the wee one?! ...sigh...

...oops. We are being trumpeted at! haha!... elegant pose... we are visiting a lone male, he was busy eating this grass...

...he is so smart, he tears a bunch with his nimble trunk, then swishes it through the water in order to clean it. We learned that the elephant is born with a set of teeth, when each set wears out, a new one comes in, kind of like a conveyor belt of teeth. So, when he cleans his food, there is less wear and tear on his teeth, and he can live longer. Because when the last set is worn out, he dies.

...not only is he smart but gorgeous too, look at these tusks!... is a tusk of another kind, a broken one stuck in a tree,
I wonder what this ellie was doing?

...and here is Tendai our most excellent guide showing us an elephant skull. Tendai said that this ellie died from natural causes at an advanced age.... this photo you can't see any ellies, but they are there often. How do I know? Well, this little village is Zambia, in the middle is the Zambezi River. We are staying right across on the Zimbabwean side. Every night when I would go to bed I would hear these people. They would begin banging pots and pans. And singing loudly! I asked Sibbs, one of our guides about this. He told me that the villagers sleep during the day and stay awake all night to keep the ellies out of their gardens! I couldn't help but shake my head, can you imagine?...

....i'm almost done, but before I go, I thought you'd like to see this little tiny ellie bottom...

...trying to hide behind this not quite big enough tail...

...we still see you, baby dear!...

...ahh... I don't believe that they're not really smiling, do you?...

Happy Birthday Geli
it's still your month!

with much love,

Update: Val has given me some valuable information I'd like to pass on as well,
Dereck & Beverly also did a movie called Reflecting on Elephants - more of
a docudrama than the Disney one. They also have a website:
thank you Val ☺


  1. Hiya beautiful Lori... nice to read that you are relaxed at home and obviously feeling a little better.

    These shots are awesome!
    Aren't elephants just the best.
    I would so love to be able to touch one :-)

    best wishes and great to see you out & about again in blogland...
    and a very happy birthday to the bthdy girl too :-)


  2. Hi Lori,
    I hope you're feeling better. It's great to see African elephants up-close and hear about your adventures. Looking forward to more of these treats.

  3. What a totally cool post,Lori.
    I love elephants!
    I especially loved the little baby one, hiding out under mama.
    Hi Geli! Even though I have wished you happy birthday already,I am gladly celebrating again with the elephants.SMOOOOCH to both of you.xx♥♥oo

  4. Oh, and make sure you are resting, Lori. No,no, I mean it , sit down love.Get well soon, I will be posting your parcel tomorrow. :D

  5. Beautiful!!!
    And Happy Birthday Geli!


  6. fab post Lori!!
    it's so great to re-live the moments with you through your blog

  7. Oh, this was fabulous. I enjoyed it so much. The baby ellie, the herds, all the rest. Thank you Lori. It was grand.

    (he was absolutely smiling)

  8. Aaaah! I BELIEVE THEY SMILE. I don't care what people say.... The pictures are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing these but don't forget to rest some too!

  9. so glad you are feeling a bit stronger - enough to re-enter the blogosphere :-) that ele probably broke his tusk in the tree while trying to dig out some bark???
    gorgeous photos as ever...!! more more xx

  10. Hey Lori!! Hope you are feeling a lot better now!

    Great post as always. And what beautiful pictures! Especially of the baby elephant. Soooo cute :D

    Get well soon!

    ♥ Chaitra

  11. I have tagged you by the way! Come and visit my blog when you feel well

    ♥ Chaitra

  12. ah GORGEOUS> so sorry you haven't been well lori darlin'...just back from northern serengeti dreamscape...! loved all your ellies! lots love xx j

  13. Oh Lori Ann -- thank you, thank you so much this has absolutely made my day.

    You are so gentle and tender and I adore you.

    The picture of the last baby elephant smiling, would be just like me if I saw you. I would smile too.

    Love Renee xoxo

  14. I just loved this post, Lori. Your pictures brought to life one of the most incredible creatures on earth. I'm in love with ellies and worry about them all the time. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. Dereck and Beverly also did a movie called Reflecting on Elephants - more of a docudrama than the Disney one. They have a website

  16. Lori,
    you're posting about Africa, showing us beautiful elephants and definitely sounding better, I'd say that's a clear sign that the recovery is in full swing.

    Keep resting on that sofa, though. Maybe just a little walk on the beach at sunset, wrapped in a comfy shawl and your hubby's arms would be nice too. You need to breathe in that ocean spray to get your immune system going at full speed.

    The images of the ellies are fabulous, and the little one is definitely smiling! The sepia is perfect, it really accentuates their leathery skin.

    I'm so happy you're feeling better.
    Love and light to you,
    Lola xx

  17. So sorry to hear you're sick! We Americans don't have the same kind of resistance to bugs that people who live in Africa develop - though no one is immune to malaria. It's epidemic all over that continent. So sad! Glad you're taking good care.

    OK. Now ... elephants! I didn't know about their teeth - how cool. And if anything is cuter than a baby elephant, it's elephant bums. They are the cutest!

    Take good care. Sending healing energy and much love.

  18. Wow! That was the most perfect way to start a Monday morning - thank you darlingest Lori! What fantastic photos of those most fantastic of animals. My favourite creatures in all the wide world....

    Whew! I'm so, SO please you're feeling better. As Lola please take it easy on that sofa...and yes, gentle beach walks are quite the best medicine. Lots of hugs to you, Lori, and lots of love. xxxooo

  19. OH my God, Lori, this was for me, and I am LATE!!! I am hugging you in tears, oh, what a birthday gift!! I love it that we can share these pictures with all our blog friends! Welcome to my party here on my Baltic Sea Island, all of you!! Lola, and thank you for TELLING me about this post - I did not find the time to look at blogs over the weekend, and here it was waiting for me... Now let`s beam the Elephant Valley Lodge over to my place at the beach (Lori, you go into my hammock!)and let`s have a close look at all those ellies together! That BABY smile! And Lori, your comments are just the best! Did Val also tell you that Dereck is her brother-in-love? He and Bev create the most incredible movies, she also sent me one.
    I will write you a snail mail letter tomorrow, this would be getting too long here. But thanks to you and everyone for my beautiful birthday gifts and wishes! Love you all, Geli

  20. omg - these pictures are just amazing - the last smiling baby ellie being the best.

    I hope you are feeling better. Have you checked for typhoid? I don't know your symptoms, but just mentioning it anyways. Last time we came back from India, my daughter had 104 deg fever for 10 days and doctors couldn't find anything wrong. Then I mentioned typhoid and they sent her to childrens hospital where it took them another 4-5 days to confirm that it was typhoid. poor thing suffered so much.

    Hope you are feeling better and thanks for sharing gorgeous pictures.

  21. Oh, aren't those baby ellies just too cute for words. And aren't ellies just the most magnificent creatures (them and whales). So glad you were able to get such great shots.
    And take care, see, and be better really soon! xx

  22. Precious monsters aren't they?


    Hope you're feeling a lot better these days Miss Lori. Take care of yourself.

  23. They are gorgeous, what can I say! Hope you'r feeling lots better xx

  24. Rare photos! The baby's glance is so cute.

    Are you still having problems entering my page?

    If you don't see me around doesn't mean anything...I'm here too.

    Good night:-)

  25. I just read your previous post. What happened to you? Are you ok now?

  26. What a marvelous treat. I am still very humbled by the fact that the pictures you are sharing, were taken while you were standing on the other end of the shutter. To be that close to one of natures wonders is simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

    On Sunday, our city celebrated our Multi-cultural event. There were a couple of kiosks which reminded me of your journey.

    Take care of yourself Lori

  27. Hiya back Ribbon :),

    thanks alot for the kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed the elephants, they are definetely fasinating, we were so close at times I think i could've touched one, but i'm not sure that would have been ok. Their so cute but still wild.But it would be fun!

    Feeling a little better, thank you. I really am glad you are enjoying these posts. I do have more, oh yes. I can't wait for my Comforter C.D.

    Oh you must believe me, I am sitting/lying down, not really too much better yet! But i do have energy(and time at the moment)to look at my photos and blog. Ooooh exciting, mail to look forward to! thanks!
    that is a huge compliment coming from you.Thank you. I LOVE to relive it, and now its even more fun to share with you.

    thanks so much!
    It's hard to choose which photos to share, we took alot. ALOT. I'm really glad you enjoyed this.
    Dear Tulsa,

    It makes me so happy to know you liked this post, I was hoping it wouldn't be too long. Elephants are amazing, I could've gone on...
    Hi Val,

    It's easy to rest and blog, even not feeling too well. It's distracting in a good way.
    I thought that's what happened with the tusk, but how funny that looked!
    and thanks for the award AND the info. I just spent an hour looking at everything. WOW.
    Thank you thank you dear, you are so sweet ♥
    I want to be you for awhile. I want to be in northern serengeti dreamscape. i time i am in the serengeti i hope you are there.

    honestly, how do you do that? you have a way of taking the simplest of words and making them profound. they really go straight to my heart. you've made my day.
    Dear Love,

    I don't think you have to worry, as far as I know at the moment the Elephant population, in this part of africa is thriving. They are fantastic!
    Dear Lola,

    your idea is perfect, I will do just that, soon. thank you for the compliments on the photos, I'm so glad you noticed the sepia, my favourite! resting now :)

  28. Reya,

    Thank you dear for the healing love, I really appreciate that. Now you've said something about Americans that I can agree with! haha! you are right about the immunity or lack of with us. And you can only prepare so much.
    So glad you like the ellies!
    Dear Tessa,

    thanks so much, for the compliments and for the worry and concern. slowly slowly, seems to be the way, i must be a good host.
    Ah Geli,

    you are the best! I want to send you an ellie photo, if you like one of these let me know and i'll make an enlargement for you.
    do you really have a hamock? i'm coming!
    Gosh Bhavana,

    How dreadful, your poor baby! that must have been the hardest 5 days of your life.
    it is frustrating here because i still don't know and am facing more tests. Hopefully we'll find out soon. Thank you for telling me that.
    Oh! and i'm so glad you liked the ellies!
    Thanks Nicky,

    It seems I have a particularly tricky bug, it wants to remain anonymous. more tests this week, in themean time, more resting and blogging and fun with photos. Thanks for the compliments re my photos, I really appreciate it.

    yes. i wanted to bring one home.and a couple children. so precious.
    feeling a bit better. will be ALL better soon. crossing fingers.

    what are you doing here?? go back to all those fun kids and your in and out room and the game and wine, ha! you are so sweet to come see YOUR ellies here.


    Hello! oh you have no idea, i am having trouble getting into many sites these days. My computer seems posessed, X-ing me out. I will have to get it checked out soon. I can only get to your site through my work computer which for obvious reasons (i should be working!)i don't do too often.
    I seem to have brought something home from my trip to africa. I've not been well.The doctor's are still testing to see what it is. Thanks for the visit and concern. I'll keep trying yours.

    That's exactly the word I use too, humbled. Being able to be in these places in the first place is such a privledge, I love to be small and quiet and hopefully blend in, and then just be surrounded by the magnificence of it all. I'm really so glad you enjoyed this.

  29. Lori, YES, I have a hammock!! I had one in our former place which could be tied between two trees, and I loved it. But then H cut one of the trees down, and so it left me lying on the ground! But he bought me one in a frame here, so you can use it, watching me while I am picking strawberries for you!

    Typhoid - yes, that is a thought, too. My brother once had it from drinking Luangwa water...and Pam`s grandmother cured it with HONEY, so goes the legend.
    Oh, a photo, YES PLEASE! But - as I tried to decide, I thought, now THIS of course, and no, wait, that? Or the mother and child? Or the graceful leg? haha, that is quite a sight, like in Germany`s Next Top Model TV show... I must think a little longer and am off to writing you a mail. Sorry to take up so much space here! You always make me chat on and on with you! Your fault.

  30. Hi Lori,

    I have been out of touch lately and have just gone back to look through your posts. These are outstanding, absolutely fantastic photos.

    When people buy elephants from me they always want elephants with the trunks up. Now it makes sense. Ofcourse, and upraised trunk would bring hapiness!

    I hope you are recovering well. Thank you for the marvelous journey.


  31. I love Africa and this post is making me all nostalgic from London.

    Gorgeous pictures, lovely time, blessed you!

  32. Hi Lori,
    Thanks for passing by our blog. Then we could discover yours! Wow! We really enjoyed your blog with the amazing shots!!Will eb following:)

    Shantana and Arunava

  33. Thank you dear Lori, and you know of course that I didn't get to 217 pounds by eating only one cupcake at a time.


  34. Lori, thanks for the ellie post. I'm so glad to have you back in blogland and I love the ellies (especially as I have an "ellie" of my very own. She's not an elephant, though, but she's cute!

  35. Wow this are exciting pictures - I really do adore elephants. And those eggs!!! Are they elephant eggs??!!! ;-))

  36. Oh you are so fortunate. What a treat!
    The photo of the smiling baby with the peek-a-boo eye is one of the cutest I've ever seen!

  37. Hi Lori...
    I hope that all is well with you and that blogger is behaving itself now.
    I'm still having the odd trouble accessing some sites, but am able to post.

    best wishes

  38. Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes. Please post more, I'm Africa hungry.

  39. Dear Geli,
    haha! you always say the funniest things, i can picture you lying on the ground. Glad to know you've fixed that.
    i am taking lots of honey now, you never know...still hoping for a cure.
    Hi Jennifer,
    thank you for the kind words, i have been having problems with internet and blogger so i couldn't get into your site! i'll keep trying. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos!
    Thank you Clarity, and welcome. I do know just how you feel. I'll have more so check back if you like.
    Shantana and Arunava,
    thank you for your kind words. I have been enjoying your blog too, it's so interesting to see our big beautiful world from every corner.
    no,no! this one is fat and calorie free. YeS! enjoy darling.
    Dear Aden,
    Thank you. Then your little Ellie must be very blessed (which of course all children are)with such a charming name and all!i'm sure she's lovely.
    Joanne, elephant eggs? only if you want them to be. I'm pretty sure they came out of an ostrich, ;). Thank you for the very kind words! oh and thank you for the get well wishes. yes, soon.
    Thank you Lori Lynn,
    Yes, so cute. Really great,elephants. I loved your pics of Paris as well, glad you had such a nice trip.
    AH Ribbon,
    thanks for asking, it seems my computer and me are both infected with the same virus! I'm imagining bug free days ahead...
    you are so welcome. If you go back a few posts you can see more Africa. I've still got more coming too.

  40. Lori, I just went through all of your Africa posts ... I love them all. And the Elli pictures are my favourite -- I have a special love of elephants. I just want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing the journal of your wonderful adventure. Thank you.

  41. Dear Lori,
    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post with me! I loved reading it and the photos... just stunning.


xoxo lori