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Last Light on The Mara

This image was made at the end of a magnificent day in Maasai Mara, Kenya, and depicts the symbiosis that exists in the animal kingdom. These Oxpecker birds live most of their lives on the giraffe; they were startled into flight by the giraffe's movement, but quickly resettled on the giraffe's neck for their continued mutual symbiotic relationship.

Nothing in the universe exists alone. Every drop of water, every human being, all creatures in the web of life, and all ideas in the web of knowledge are part of an immense, evolving, dynamic whole as old, and as young, as the universe itself.  ~   "Symbiosis"  (1982)

The Plus One Collection project by +Ivan Makarov is an amazing cooperation between the talented community on Google+ and others in the world in producing a published photographic collection and helping others to also experience the joy of photography through this year's cooperative program in Kenya. I'm honored to be a part of this group by contributing this work to the publication. Thank you to Ivan Makarov and others in our wonderful G+ community who have dedicated their valuable time and expertise to this project. 

#plusonecollection2012  
#plusphotoextract  
#HQSPanimals   curated by +Marina Versaci +Joe Urbz  #HQSPbirds  
#kenya  
also for +Roni Delmonico  who loves giraffes!
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335 comments
 
It was incredible +Cheryl Cooper ! I think I must have held my breath the whole time this giraffe was walking by us.
 
I would have done that too ! I am just amazed seeing it here can't imagine the feeling in real life!
 
As the giraffe walked beside us +Cheryl Cooper , there were at least 10 Oxpeckers on the giraffe's neck--I was able to capture their flight as they took off--an amazing end to the day!
 
Oxpeckers spend almost their whole life clinging to a giraffe, even courting and mating there. They nest elsewhere, but pull out fur from the giraffe's mane to line their nests. The oxpeckers are of benefit to the giraffe because they pick parasites out of its fur with their specially adapted beaks. (from BBC Nature) +Cheryl Cooper 
 
Holy moly that is so very interesting!!!!
I never knew they courted and lived there.
I think that part, travel around on a giraffe and courting would be quite the life. I could skip the parasite part ha!
 
Got back on the 10th. I'm posting a picture a day and am happily editing the 7000 images I shot (not that bad, really, I shoot bursts of 3 just in case an eye is closed or some such). I will eventually do a photo book.

Of all the trips we've taken, this was far and away the best. 

By the way, your monochrome work is outstanding. I usually only like mono for things like architecture, but the work you did on some animals, especially elephants, blew me away. 
 
Thank you so much +Steve Kalman , I really appreciate it! Africa is so amazing for wildlife and landscape photography, it is difficult to come home with less than a few thousand images! Like you, I have been slowly working through mine and try to post an image a day--it has been working well, and I also made a 30 min slideshow in two parts--one in color and an artsy part in monochrome. I like the drama of the bw images too. My plan is to make two books, one color, one bw, probably with quotes.
 
Thank you very much +Chris Day --it was interesting, as the giraffe walked, I just kept hoping I would catch one bird flying off, then the whole flock took off, and I was able to get 4 in the image.
 
I'm going to do the iPad option on the blurb book, too, so I can share it with a wider audience. 
 
Hello Gail.  Wonderful shot, again.  Thank you for sharing. 
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Wow! Such a beautiful fairy tale! Fantastic picture!
 
Nice choice of exposure.  Powerful.  Well done.
 
cette image est tout simplement magnifique ,il fallait etre la au bon moment,c'est peut etre ca qu'on appelle finalement la prevoyance et le hasard en photographie !
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Dit is een uitstekende opname's die je gemaakt heb, het is een + waard.
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Amazing! Love the composition and colors!
 
+Wayne Marinovich thank you for your comments--these birds were actually on the giraffe, and had just been startled into flight by the giraffe's movement. It was great being able to make this capture.
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+Cherif Abada C'était le bon moment pour être, nous étions en train de penser qu'il était temps de retourner à notre loge, lorsque cette girafe est apparu et se dirigea droit en nous. Avec le soleil couchant, c'était magique!
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+Roberta Murray Thank you very much, capturing this felt like a wonderful bonus at the end of a fantastic day!
 
Ok then +onnie hull  this one's for you too! ♡ thanks for your comments my friend!
 
You are very kind +André Appel I am so happy to share this incredible experience through my images!
 
Thank you for resharing this image +Deane Ogden I appreciate your comments as well! It was incredible seeing this!
 
Always nice to dream though +Michel Paulin --this was a dream for me for a long time before I got there.
 
Thanks for sharing this very nice set.
 
This is just gorgeous +Gail Beerman! What an amazing silhouette... giving a shout out to +Roni Delmonico for this shot, she loves giraffes and shouldn't miss this one!
 
Thank you so much +Heather Webb I am glad you enjoy this image! I know Roni will find this eventually!
 
This picture was selected as winner and You're included in January Winners group!
Congratulations 
(Syuzan)
 
Thank you very much +HQSPwinners , I am honored Syuzan! Thank you also for all your work curating!
 
Oh thank you so much +Sairam Sundaresan the cause is a worthwhile one, and the Limited Edition copy I got of last year's book is wonderful! This year's will be just as amazing!
 
I just read +Joel Tjintjelaar 's comment on your last post--so wonderful that Google+ fosters communication between artists like this! We are truly fortunate to be a part of the G+ community and part of wonderful projects like the Plus One Collection! +Sairam Sundaresan 
 
Indeed, I feel really blessed to be part of this community, it has bridged all gaps between artists all over the world. I couldn't imagine how else I would have found so many inspirations and talented artists otherwise! Thank you +Gail Beerman :) appreciate it!
 
Definitely, I'm very glad I came across your stream! You have some phenomenal images! Keep up the great work :)
 
Saw this over in the plus one collection gallery and instantly fell in love. Such an incredible shot, Gail!!!
 
I think this is an image you'll treasure all your life +Gail Beerman. I love the words you chose to go with it. An awe inspiring image!
 
wow, this is so incredibly awesome, Gail !!!!!!
 
This is an incredible image. Maybe my favorite image from an African Safari.
 
And I am glad to have you in my circles too +Sairam Sundaresan ! Thank you so much! It's hard not to keep up with all the inspiration being spread around here!
 
+Alexis Coram thank you so much! When I made this image, I knew that it was the one I would want to contribute to the Plus One Collection. And then when I realized that proceeds would go to The Kilgoris Project in Kenya http://thekilgorisproject.com/ I knew it was meant to be!
 
+Kurt Harvey you are so kind! I treasure this image because it was such a magic moment on a trip that was a dream of a lifetime! My eyes and heart have been opened to the magic of Kenya.
 
Thank you so much +E.E. Giorgi I feel so lucky to have made this amazing trip and to have the opportunity to see things like this!
 
What a lovely comment +Chris Smith ! I am so happy this image has touched so many people! Glad you like it!
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夕焼けの空。巨大なシルエット。
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Thank you very much +Morkel Erasmus , that would be a perfect theme, you are right! I will have to remember to add the tag to my next images!
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This is really an artistic work. Excellent!
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Солнышка... цвета получились бесподобные 
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La photo est très belle
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Gasp! This just popped up on my iPad and it looks AMAZING! I thought it was awesome already, but seeing it on this just took my breath away +Gail Beerman! (Just thought I'd let you know)...
Seima I
 
Fantastic silhouette!!
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It is a really beautiful silhouette! Wonderful!
(^ェ^)♥。+.。゚:;。+
Pedro O
 
Una foto estupenda. Felicidades por su reconocimiento de Picasa.
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Beautiful picture my favorite animal of all time
 
Beautiful picture my favorite animal of all time
 
This is TRULY amazing!  Not just the beautiful photograph-- I love sillhouettes and this shot with the colours and the birds flying is just breathtaking- but the fact that you were there to see this in person...
 
Thank you +Leesa Garcia it was amazing--just seeing the image brings back such wonderful memories of the setting sun, the warm air, and the magnificence of these animals.
 
Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing with us +Gail Beerman!
 
Fantastic and a beautiful pic for the Plus One Magazine. :)
 
Such a romantic scene.......
Posted Via Picasa Photo Albums iOS app
 
hat is such a cute pic I wish I could see a giraffe....
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Nora W
 
La natura è così spettacolare e noi non stiamo facendo altro che distruggere tutto ciò! Vergogna!
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foste tu que tiraste a foto? ta fixe
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A dire poco FANTASTICA!!! In più io amo l'Africa
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legal que gostaram
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This is amazingly beautiful!! Love it!
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Is it possible to change the pic of the giraffe by a cheetah or anybody knows a nice wallpaper wioth a cheetah?
 
Une pure Merveille !!! Merci pour cet émouvant partage.
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Unique et précieuse mélodie d'un envol gigantesque et majestueux en terre Maasai, instant figé pour mon plus grand bonheur par l'oeil du photographe que je félicite. Merci pour cet instant rare.
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trés heureuse la giraffe dans ce paysage vierge.beautiful.
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Un hermoso contraluz,me gusta mucho.Un saludo.
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dats sumthing new i got to know... :P
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wow que linda jirafa me encantaria verlo en vivo ,,,
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OMG! Just Incredible! Would love to share this on my tumblr blog and facebook page Gail.
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inqreible foto severa el atardeser y la jirafa detres de la montalla
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very nice giraffe!
deserves so many comments and responses after seeing the beautiful gods creation!!but odd alright and unweildy to walk
 
Sometimes you wait for a shot, and sometimes things just fall in front of you.
 
So true +Karen Wiggins --this image was made at the end of our day of game drives, we rounded a corner and the giraffes were walking in front of us. A few minutes earlier or later, and I would not have been able to make this image.
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toi rat muon duoc chia se cung ban!
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Mick A
 
fantastic silhouetes ,  great shot
 
Esa jirafa nos enseña a mirar el mundo buscando mejores perspectivas. Bella foto.
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toutes ces beautés sont spectaculaire et bravo aux photographes merci
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my favorite animal  i cant wait until Gods New World if i am permitted to have one  i will be ever so grateful
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This a a beautiful picture. I was wondering if you would mind if i make a painting use this photo as a reference?
Kezza B
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This reminds me of The Lion King
 
Woa! i belive it's like a great poster about Africa. Nice picture, I love the threatment of against-light in all the picture. Really congratulations about it!
Ada M
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Magical!
 
it's really beautiful
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thats not a person on its back?????
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WOOWWWWWW ESTO ES EN AFRICA QUE LINDO
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I HAVE A GIRAFFE HENNEAED ON MY ARM CAUSE I AM A GIRAFFEE!!!!
 
suspiro al ver esta imagen , es hermosa , perfecto complemento
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oohhh ich liebe dieses bild 
da bekomme ich so die lust auf sommer und aufs verreisen
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Me encanta esta foto, esos tonos naranja que solo el safari nos ofrece y pocos tienen el privilegio de ver ese único acontecimiento.
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+Joel T. Jode Me sentí muy afortunado de experimentar esto, muchas gracias por sus comentarios
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It looks like a drawing but am sure its from my country [Kenya] and its real
 
It's real and it's from your beautiful country +MORGAN KIMANI . I really enjoyed seeing some of Kenya!
 
IT'' is all so breath taking & so unbelievable the beauty,that has been captured. by all the gifted photographers,It's so inspiring,makes me want to go to school,buy a better camera,& travel.GIVES me dreams,hopes & wishes..All of the eye of the beholder
 
+Tracy Kurtz thanks Tracy, there is so much inspiration to be gained here on Google+! I am glad this image gives you inspiration too!
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Gail !!!! Over 1000 plusses, wow! Totally deserved, go you!!! :-)
 
+Kalebra Kelby thank you Kalebra, it's one of my favs from my Kenya trip! Now I just have to figure out how to get back there to get all the shots I missed...
 
no te conozco
no hablar english not english
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очаровательный силуэт...
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GRACIAS ES PERFECTA LA NATURALEZA
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wow, never would have thought those birds would hang on a giraffe. What a beautiful picture
 
+christine POPISH thanks I am heading back to Kenya at the end of this month, I hope to have another sunset experience like this one!
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