One World Project

Welcome to our new blog. For some time now Cathy and I have been changing the focus of our photography. Our trips around the world have made us more aware of the changes that are happening to our planet. It is disappointing that everywhere we go we can see the negative consequences to our environment, wildlife and habitats brought about by man. However, we are still inspired about the great beauty that we see everyday and hopeful that things can improve. As a result, we have created what we call our “One World Project” whereby we will use our photography as a medium to document the inter-related nature of climate change, loss of habitat, poaching, etc. We have just One World, and we are the stewards of it.

There are many sources of information about doom and gloom scenarios of environmental destruction. Unfortunately, the consequence of such unrelenting bad news is that people become discouraged and “tune it out”. The subtitle of our One World Project is to “Inform and Inspire”. We hope to Inform by bringing the news from the environmental front in an easy to understand manner. But we also hope to Inspire people to see the beauty and magnificence that exists and to contribute to the causes of conservation and preservation.

Lion eating cape buffalo kill

Two lions devouring the carcass of a Cape Buffalo on the Masai Mara.

I would like to initiate this blog with a wonderful story that made the news a month ago. It is the story of a 13 year old Maasai boy, Richard Turere,  from Kenya. Despite his young age, Richard had the job of protecting his family’s herd of cattle. However, the many prides of lions in the area inevitably killed many of his herd. Richard hated lions as a result. In situations like this, many cattle owners will kill lions that they come across to protect their herd. In some cases entire prides have been killed or poisoned. It is a classic example of man’s encroachment into the territory of wild animals and the wild animal suffering the consequences of this loss of habitat.

Richard, however, was a smart young fellow. One evening when he was patrolling the area with a flashlight “I discovered that the lions were scared of the moving light.” This got him thinking and over the course of a few weeks he rigged up a series of flashing LEDs onto the poles of the cattle enclosure. The lights were connected to a switch box, car battery and a solar panel and were designed to flicker on and off in a way that simulated a person walking with a flashlight.

And it worked. Since Richard rigged up his “Lion Lights,” his family has not lost any livestock to the wild beasts. It is a small victory but an important one. Today there are about 2000 lions in Kenya, down from 15,000 only 10 years ago. We need many more people like Richard Turere to help preserve our wildlife.

To read the entire article about Richard’s invention click here.

Personal Experience

During our visit to Kenya in January of 2012 Cathy and I had a chance to briefly visit with the Maasai and learn a bit about their way of life. The village that we visited was filled with wonderful, open people. They raised primarily goats and some cattle. They were clearly good stewards of the land but had to worry about the constant presence of predators.

The following are a few of the photos that we took during our visit with the Maasai.

Maasai Village

Maasai woman with child and the family’s prized livestock.

Maasai Village

Cathy demonstrates the wonder of digital photography to Maasai children.