Project “Living next to the road”. Arusha region, Tanzania, December 2017

 © RicardMN Photography http://ricardmn-photography.pixels.com/

Music: “Little Planet” from Bensound.com

I took these photographs in Tanzania, next to the roads of the Arusha region, in December 2017.

Along the route, I could see many people walking along the road and the sides of the road were full of activity when crossing the villages or their vicinity.

Many stores that sell phone credit, drinks and snacks emerge. There are stalls selling fish, fruits, roots, vegetables, spices, pots, pans, brooms or car parts. People gather, play, go to the car and motorcycle workshops or to the beauty salon, buy in stores, wait for the bus …

Some young people sit with their bikes talking and smoking while people pass by. Other people come to look for a telephone credit, to buy, or simply they are at the door of their house spending their time and protecting themselves from the sun under a tree or an umbrella.

The contrast between the traditional and the modern is remarkable, the rural is mixed with the urban and the primitive with technology.

By RicardMN Photography http://ricardmn-photography.pixels.com

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Great Migration

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© RicardMN Photography

Blue wildebeest during the Great Migration in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

The wildebeests, also called gnus, are a genus of antelopes, scientific name Connochaetes. They belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep and other even-toed horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou); and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus).

Blue wildebeest have both migratory and sedentary populations. In the Ngorongoro most animals are sedentary and males maintain a network of territories throughout the year, even though breeding is seasonal in nature. Females and young form groups of about ten individuals or join together in larger aggregations, and non-territorial males form bachelor groups. In the Serengeti and Tarangire ecosystems, populations are mostly migratory, with herds consisting of both sexes frequently moving, but resident subpopulations also exist. During the rutting season, the males may form temporary territories for a few hours or a day or so, and attempt to gather together a few females with which to mate, but soon they have to move on, often moving ahead to set up another temporary territory.

Each year, some East African populations of blue wildebeest have a long-distance migration, seemingly timed to coincide with the annual pattern of rainfall and grass growth. The timing of their migrations in both the rainy and dry seasons can vary considerably (by months) from year to year. At the end of the wet season (May or June in East Africa), wildebeest migrate to dry-season areas in response to a lack of surface (drinking) water. When the rainy season begins again (months later), animals quickly move back to their wet-season ranges. Factors suspected to affect migration include food abundance, surface water availability, predators, and phosphorus content in grasses. Phosphorus is a crucial element for all life forms, particularly for lactating female bovids. As a result, during the rainy season, wildebeest select grazing areas that contain particularly high phosphorus levels. One study found, in addition to phosphorus, wildebeest select ranges containing grass with relatively high nitrogen content.

Aerial photography has revealed that there is a level of organisation in the movement of the herd that cannot be apparent to each individual animal; for example, the migratory herd exhibits a wavy front, and this suggests that there is some degree of local decision-making taking place. Numerous documentaries feature wildebeest crossing rivers, with many being eaten by crocodiles or drowning in the attempt. While having the appearance of a frenzy, recent research has shown a herd of wildebeest possesses what is known as a “swarm intelligence”, whereby the animals systematically explore and overcome the obstacle as one. Major predators that feed on wildebeest include the lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard, and crocodile, which seem to favour the wildebeest over other prey. Wildebeest, however, are very strong, and can inflict considerable injury even to a lion. Wildebeest have a maximum running speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph). The primary defensive tactic is herding, where the young animals are protected by the older, larger ones, while the herd runs as a group. Typically, the predators attempt to cut out a young or ill animal and attack without having to worry about the herd. Wildebeest have developed additional sophisticated cooperative behaviours, such as animals taking turns sleeping while others stand guard against a night attack by invading predators. Wildebeest migrations are closely followed by vultures, as wildebeest carcasses are an important source of food for these scavengers. The vultures consume about 70% of the wildebeest carcasses available. Decreases in the number of migrating wildebeest have also had a negative effect on the vultures. In the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania, wildebeest may help facilitate the migration of other, smaller-bodied grazers, such as Thomson’s gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii), which eat the new-growth grasses stimulated by wildebeest foraging. (Descrition from Wikipedia).

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In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight!

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© RicardMN Photography

African lion sleeping in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

The lion (Panthera leo) is a species in the Felidae family and a member of the genus Panthera. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996, as populations in African range countries declined by about 43% since the early 1990s. Lion populations are untenable outside designated protected areas. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes of concern. The West African lion population is listed as Critically Endangered since 2016.

The lion typically inhabits grasslands and savannahs, but is absent in dense forest. It is usually more diurnal than other big cats, but when persecuted adapts to being active at night and at twilight. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Prides vary in size and composition from three to 20 adult lions, depending on habitat and prey availability. Females cooperate when hunting and prey mostly on large ungulates. They are opportunistic hunters and prefer prey weighing 190 to 550 kg (420 to 1,210 lb). The lion is an apex and keystone predator.

Females form the stable social unit in a pride and do not tolerate outside females. Membership only changes with the births and deaths of lionesses, although some females do leave and become nomadic. Although extremely large prides, consisting of up over 30 individuals, have been observed, the average pride consists of around fifteen lions; including several adult females, up to four males (known as a coalition if more than one) and their cubs of both sexes.

The Serengeti National Park is a Tanzanian national park in the Serengeti ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions.

The park covers 14,750 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi) of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands. The park lies in northwestern Tanzania, bordered to the north by the Kenyan border, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve. To the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve, to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, and to the northeast and east lies the Loliondo Game Control Area. Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti ecosystem.

The park is worldwide known for its abundance of wildlife and high biodiversity.

The park was the location of filming for The Grassland Landscape Of Planet Serengeti along with Masai Mara. (Description from Wikipedia)

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Burma B&W – Part 1

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B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography.
http://ricardmn-photography.pixels.com/
Music: Silk Road – Kitaro.

Myanmar, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and formerly known as Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east and People’s Republic of China to its north and northeast. To its south, about one third of Myanmar’s total perimeter of 5,876 km (3,651 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km (1,200 mi) along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country’s 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometers (261,228 square miles) in size. Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city and former capital is Yangon (Rangoon).

Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese  language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country. The Pagan Kingdom fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Mainland Southeast Asia. The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British took over the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence in 1948, as a democratic nation. Following a coup d’état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship.

For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, has improved the country’s human rights record and foreign relations, and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions. There is, however, continuing criticism of the government’s treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, and religious clashes.  In the landmark 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a majority in both houses. However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics. (From Wikipedia).

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Ramesses II In Battle

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© RicardMN Photography

Wall Painting of Temple of Beit El-Wali, which Ramses II constructed in Nubia during a period of the New Kingdom (1550 B.C. to 1069 B.C.) when the ancient Egyptians controlled the area. This Plaster Cast is in the British Museum, London, United Kingdom.
The Beit el-Wali temple is located in the area south of Egypt known to the Egyptians as Wawat, and to us as ancient ‘Nubia’. It supposed to remind the local people of the power of the Egyptian pharaoh, and to promote the worship of Egyptian gods.
There is a courtyard, decorated with scenes showing the pharaoh Ramesses II in battle against the enemies of Egypt. The southern wall of the courtyard has reliefs showing a battle between the Egyptians and their enemies to the south, the Nubians.
The plaster cast of the wall reliefs from the Beit el-Wali temple is on display in the ‘Egypt and Africa’ room (Room 65) of the British Museum in London.

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Burma black and white (part 1)

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B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography. Music: Silk Road – Kitaro. (See with sound in 480p)                 – See Part 2

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India,Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The country has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rightsviolations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Burma’s most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.

Burma is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. (From Wikipedia)

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My Scottish Friend

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© RicardMN Photography

A lovely horse in East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom.

This horse behave like an excellent model. He posed for my camera and I could take a few pictures of him.

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