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In this Issue:
“Pantanal & Rio de Janeiro Adventure”
Titusville ’s Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival
January’s “PONTOON PUTT” –Your Florida Adventure
PANTANAL & RIO:
June 10th thru June 29th
I LOVE Rio de Janeiro for one very special reason—its wildlife; both the two-legged, four-legged, furry & feathered kind. I’ve never been to a city with such diversity in culture (on a par with our own NYC), but with much more color, scenic vistas & ‘zing’, but also with real wildlife running free right under your nose as you walk the streets, & outskirts of the city. Another wonderful feature for the photographer (other than all those photo ‘opps’) is that the national park system is only within a few hours of the city, but there are also parks and areas to go and shoot right within the city limits-- a short driving distance--- depending on the traffic! Rio de Janeiro is now officially added to my 2009 Brazilian itinerary!! We’ll fly into Rio, spend two days & nights, then we’ll head off to spend three days in a lovely lodge within the National Park area heading up in elevation. As well as our ‘home base’ lodge, we will drive to a higher elevation & visit another lodge for lunch and shoot the hummingbirds, toucanets, woodpeckers, & tanagers that come into the feeders provided. The highlands have different critters than the lowlands, so you must be constantly on the look out as you drive upward into the clouds viewing breathtaking vistas. Then we’ll head back down toward Rio, but will skirt west to another lodge for a few days of photographing at a lower elevation. The drive is through beautiful farmland, little towns and perhaps we can sample some special homemade sweets & treats along the way at the roadside stands. I had no problem with that on my ‘recon mission’ and would love to repeat the experience!
It’s now time to go back to Rio’s airport and fly to Campo Grande where we will be picked up and driven to our first “fazenda” (a privately-owned ranch) for a real taste of the Pantanal. When asked by a potential client; “Joanne, in your experience, where would you take me to get the most species of birds & other critters, and have the best photo conditions and opportunities.” My answer was instantaneous. I cannot wait to have him join us on this year’s venture and to experience what I’ve been saying. Mike, who was with me on last year’s tour, was practically weeping after a few days as his ‘trigger finger’ was so tired. It’s true!! You just don’t know where to point your lens sometimes as there is so much going on, even right outside the doorway of your room. One of my favorite trips is when I take you out on the ranch’s double-decker pontoon boat to ride down the river and see the Giant Otter, basking Caimans---who often follow the boat hoping for a meal opportunity as we catch piranhas, which we throw out to the Black-collared Hawks in hopes of getting a decent flight & fish catching shot! We do this once a day. During the other half of the day we will venture out in vehicles that are setup for our comfortable shooting experience. This is when we encounter Crested Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, trees full of Guira Cuckoos, Red-legged Seriema, Southern Screamers, Great Potoo and let’s not forget the mammals you’ll see; Tapir, Giant Anteaters, Lesser Anteaters, Capybara, Crab-eating Fox, Oscelots, Jaguars, Marsh Deer, and Howler monkeys….well, the list is endless.
I’m always somewhat amused when some of my traveling photographers say “well, I’ve already been there, and there’s no need to go back”. Not True, Wrong!! I’ve been to the same area in Kenya 12 times and am still getting new and different critters, scenics, and experiences. As I told a friend & tour participant recently, I would be very, very remiss as a tour leader, guide and wildlife & nature photographer if I didn’t bring you back to the areas that I know are tried and true just because we’d been there once or twice before. New species of mammals, birds, bugs, reptiles (even an unknown tribe of humans) are being & have been discovered all over the world every year! If you want to go to the Pantanal and come home with tons of images of the wildlife, sign up now, bring plenty of film or memory cards, your battery chargers as the cameras will be firing hard all day and into the night when we experience our night drives—where & when I’ve shot Screech Owls, Barn Owls, and a Pigmy Owl. On one night-drive, a Nightjar flew onto my lap! After four days, we’ll head out to another private Fazenda. Here the endangered Hyacinth Macaws “rule the roost”. Not only is this fazenda a full-time running cattle ranch, but also a research center where they study, document, and protect these beautiful birds. Visit my website Gallery, The Pantanal, Brazil, at www.joannewilliamsphoto.com and view a few images of what you’ll get to see and photograph.
Also, please read Newsletter #72 for more information, which you can find on my website
DATES: June 10 th thru June 29 th
COST: $8,350.00 Double Occupancy
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $1,800.00
DUE NOW:“To Hold Your Spot” $1,500.00 (this is refundable only until Jan 9 th, 2009)
DEPOSIT DUE: $4,000.00 by January 10 th, 2009
BALANCE DUE: $2,850.00 by March 10 th, 2009
All drivers & guides, tips for all services rendered, Full-board (rooms & meals), one night drive each Pantanal lodge, pontoon boat trips, bottled water per day, Park fees & Professional Photographic assistance
Airfares, wine & other extra beverages, any extra sightseeing excursions in Rio such as a helicopter ride around the statue of Christ the Redeemer (and such). Does not include visas & any airport taxes etc.
It is gratifying to know that some of you are really reading and looking closely at the newsletters, which keeps me going…at least it has for 73 times! I often get lovely praises about the content, but also appreciate it when you point out incorrectly identified ‘critters’. Two of you get the “Ooops” award for this month for correctly identifying the Rufous-collared Sparrow (which was wrongly named a Ferruginous Antbird, which is much, much, much too long a name for the little thing anyway!!). Thanks Nancy & Bill…………
SPACE COAST BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL in Titusville, FL
There aren’t too many places you can go in January where the sun shines, the balmy breezes blow off the sun-drenched beaches overlooking the blue-green waters while a myriad of species of birds fly overhead!! Picture this: it’s January 23rd or so. It’s freezing in Chicago. The Detroit winds are probably howling. This time of year Boston is always cold & rainy, as is NYC. Parts of Maine are probably buried under a foot of snow, but here in Sunny Florida we are ‘romping’ through the surf, slathering on sunscreen, & drinking Pina Coladas AND visiting the famous Titusville Festival!! Better think about your room reservations and such, as accommodations fill up fast, as do all the planned activities.
I’ll be leading a couple of photo tours around special areas locally noted for their flora & fauna, & giving a presentation which will have a few hundred images projected on the Big Screen as I explain how I managed to get them. Of course, instead of a camera or binocs, or a scope you could opt for a shovel and stay up there in the cold. At least visit their website and see what your options are: www.nbbd.com/fly/
“THE PONTOON PUTT”
This Florida Adventure follows immediately after the Festival. To shorten this Newsletter, I’ll send you back to my website (click on the image below) to view the Florida Adventure itinerary and read more about the Pontoon Putt. If you are interested, remember space is very limited due to camera gear and easy-photo-opp considerations.
If you are interested in any of my tours, click on their corresponding link below:
Photo Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:
As stated in previous newsletters, at no obligation to you, send me a “want list” of images you are looking for that may coincide with a trip I’m about to take, or have recently taken, and I’ll do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your request in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific mission and possibly a sale of that image. It’s a ‘win, win situation’!
A quick reminder that my library of 35mm original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital library presently holds over 100,000 (and growing-hourly)!