Village Weaver_Manzini-Swaziland_LAH_0766-001 Weavers! I was sure that the hanging nests of carefully woven grass belonged to some sort of weaver bird. After all, I’d seen such things in National Geographic. Now, here I was in southern Africa and the Jacaranda tree in front of me was decorated with dozens of these nests! Bluebird-sized birds fluttered around, and if I squinted, I could see them entering and leaving these cocoons through holes at the bottom.

As I mentioned last month, I recently returned from a trip to Swaziland. Fifteen people from my church were there to love on some AIDS orphans, and I was the team photographer. While my focus was on the kids, I couldn’t help but scan my surroundings for birds. After all—how often was I going to get to Africa?


A Delightful Read

a-guide-to-the-birds-of-east-africaI recently read a book that I just have to recommend. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, by Nicholas Drayson, is a delightful read about love and birding.

Combine un-confessed love, complicated by a long-standing rivalry, with detailed descriptions of life and politics in Kenya. Add a generous helping of Kenyan birds. Stir with charm. It’s the perfect recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable novel.

Mr. Malik is short, round, and brown. He has a classic comb-over. At 61, he has been widowed for 8 years. Burying himself in his  family-owned manufacturing company only led to a heart attack. To relieve stress, he has taken on several other pursuits, including birdwatching. Although he has never let on, he is in love with…