We've added new galleries of photos after wonderful excursions to Italy and Indonesia. We've fallen in love with Assisi, and I've come completely under the spell of St. Francis Assisi. You'll see a landscape photo of Assisi, at sunset, which for me defines this place as a land of visions, home of one of the great mystics. St. Francis is also a great nature lover and animal lover. He spoke to animals of all kinds. He convinced a wolf to be friendly to the people of Gubbio, and he gave a famous sermon to birds he encountered in a tree. Pope Francis is the first Pope by that name, and you must read his Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality. Clearly, the Pope is inspired by St. Francis.
Indonesia: It was my first visit to these islands, and I loved them. We embarked on something of an expedition, getting to tiny islands which local people often did not know existed, going by cargo boat and using a fishing boat to cross 12 miles of open ocean. Totally worth it to see the rarest of the rare---Abbotti's Cockatoos on one tiny island, the last place they survive. Only twenty left, but the good news is they're breeding and also the local people have taken to protecting them as an icon of the islands in the Java Sea. You'll see here photos of nesting Abbotti's Cockatoos, displaying to each other, preening and loving each other, and standing at the nest hole. A magnificent experience.
Plus we went to Seram Island, the original Moluccan Island, where Portuguese traders came for spices and other exotic cargo. These are the Spice Islands. Here we found many species of parrots. Two are especially noteworthy: the incomparable Moluccan Cockatoo, and we helped with a release of several of these heavily trafficked cockatoos back into the wild. And the Pygmy Parrot--at 2 inches long, it's the world's smallest parrot.
Please enjoy the images and the narratives that lie behind them. I'm off now on a return to Uganda.
SEE: Photo Galleries