Photo Poem: “With Tropical Ease”


Posted by admin | Posted in Beach, Photo, Photo Poem, Poem, Poetry, sea, Tanzania, Travel, Tropical, Zanzibar | Posted on 11-04-2011

The latest Photo Poem – a simple one written whilst relaxing on a beach in Zanzibar the day before my wedding, Feb 2011:

Photo Poem: “With Tropical Ease”.


The Typhoon Wedding


Posted by admin | Posted in Africa, Beach, Chumbe Island, Getting Married Abroad, Tanzania, Travel, Tropical, Zanzibar | Posted on 03-04-2011

Mr David Bugg and Mrs Clare Bugg (formerly Miss Clare North) finally tied the knot on 9th February 2011 on the spice island of Zanzibar.  We spent 2 weeks away with time in the charming Stone Town before heading to Fumba Beach Lodge for the wedding.  Just before the ceremony a tropical storm hit us (apparently an effect of the big typhoon over Madagascar) with the wind kicking up waves and sand and a big ominous dark sky edge closer over the ocean.

Fumba Beach Wedding

Fumba Beach Wedding, Zanzibar

We battled through it all – in fact our 7 guests bore the brunt of it since we had some cover under the palm leaf archway with Father Charles.

Tropical Storm

Still, everybody came up smiling at the end and the celebrations continued into the evening over a superb private meal.  The Fumba staff were fantastic; Natasha was particularly attentive and definitely made the day extra special.

A couple of days later Clare and I went over to Pongwe on the east coast to see the typical ‘post card’ type beaches Zanzibar is famous for.  The colours of the sea did live up to expectation (see photo):

One of my personal highlights was the next stage of the trip on Chumbe Island (see this link for details on their big conservation project).  The snorkelling around the island was pretty special with great varied gardens of coral and a huge variety of colourful reef fish as you would expect with quality tropical snorkelling sites.  What stood out for me though were the big shoals of mini fish you could swim through, the many Hawksbill turtles we saw and also the odd impressive jellyfish.  See a few photos below taken on my underwater compact camera (Canon Powershot D10).

Chumbe is a great eco island even without the snorkelling though; it’s covered in a low dense bushy forest so there is even some good birding and the ground itself moves with the scuttle of hermit crabs.

The project has built several funky bungalows that proved their worth living through a storm whilst we were there without any issues at all.

So this represented the bulk of the pre-wedding, the ceremony day and our honeymoon on Zanzibar with just another night back in Stone Town.  This town blew me away – it overloaded my visual senses with its aged buildings brimming with character and its cramped winding backstreets.  we got lost several times and were always happy to have to meander our way back to somewhere we recognised.  Despite several long powercuts and being amongst the people and their day-to-day lives I sensed no danger as a tourist and felt a positive vibe about town.

The next stop was Selous game reserve in the south of Tanzania for a few days Safari – an ideal ending to our honeymoon for two nature lovers…

See the full set of photos here.

Safari in Selous – A Honeymoon Ending for Naturlists


Posted by admin | Posted in Africa, Birds, Mammals, Photography, Safari, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, Wildlife | Posted on 03-04-2011

Selous Game Reserve – on paper Africa’s largest protected wildlife reserve.  This is where we chose to polish off an unforgettable wedding/honeymoon trip.

Staying at Lake Manze camp we had just 3 nights to explore as much as possible.  Although Selous covers more than 5% of Tanzania’s total area, in reality the majority is a hunting reserve and just a relatively small area north of the Rufiji river is kept for ‘photography hunting’ or eco tourism.

From the small Coastal aeroplane I spotted my first giraffe and within the first 20 mins of the gradual drive from the airstrip toward camp my wildlife spotting senses were already in overload.  Plenty more Giraffes and Impala seemingly in a any view you chose from the jeep; and it was the view that struck me hard…

Usually our nature driven trips have been to tropical rainforests and we are well used to have no more than a couple of metres visibility both left and right with the only distant view being ahead down the path your are walking (and even that depends on how well and straight the paths have been cut).  So sitting in an open 4×4 Landrover and looking not just forward for a km or more but all around to both sides and seeing mammals off on the horizon – this was a whole new ball game in our mildly obsessive wildlife watching world.

What stood out to me as much as the game viewing was the birdlife, not just in quantity and variety but in beauty.  the Rollers and Bee-eaters have such striking colours but then also the 5 species of Kingfisher we saw, the number of raptors (from Osprey to Sea Eagle, falcons and so many vultures) and even the common passerines were interesting; perhaps not surprising being our first ever visit to Africa so all was pretty new and fresh.

One of the main reasons we chose Selous over, say, the Serengeti or Ngorongoro, was for the relative peace and quiet of the reserve.  During most drives we only saw up to 2 cars passing by and never another vehicle whilst watching an animal – the one big exception being on the final evening when we went out to observe a pride of lions with 2 males (brothers).  In that instance it probably resemebled the hoards that you hear about in Kenya or North Tanzania since we had 3 or 4 jeeps at one time in the same area.

The two the major attractions of Lake Manze camp were:

1) It is situated on the lake so you can mix up the activities by taking boat safaris.  This really gives you variety; the birding was superb and the viewpoint is always different from the water.

2) The camp is not fenced, you are staying in extravagant tents which means that wildlife can, and does, come right up to.

As well as having Impala and Monkeys within 10m we also had two special moments.  I never realised how silently a big elephant could sneak up on you!  One lunchtime we were relaxing on the tent porch when he appeared through a bush. As he came closer we went inside the tent and watched through the mesh window as he virtually brushed up against the canvas!  The Masai do look after you but hadn’t noticed this one so we just enjoyed the experience and let the elephant get on with his stroll.  In the bush everybody and everthing makes way for the elephants.

The other moment was during the night of a full moon; in the middle of the night a storm had passed over with a typically heavy tropical downpour.  Afterwards I had been awoken again but by a different sound, a sound of munching.  As it approached I could see moonshine but could not distinbuish its outline until my eyes adjusted to its great size and traced the outline of a large bull hippo under the moonlight!  He edged closer, regularly tearing huge amounts of grass and munching away.  Imagine the sound a cow makes when tearing up grass, now amplify that 50 times.  We watched this hippo as it stood as close and can be just a metre fromt he tent side.  Everytime we made a slight rustle it would stop, listen out and everntually carry on his midnight feast.  Everybody always says how dangerous they can be and having seen them running on dry land the previous 2 days I could well believe it.

Our first time in Africa, our first Safari and at the end of our honeymoon after a special 2 weeks that included a wedding in Zanzibar.  A great way to polish of a great trip for 2 newleywed nature lovers.

See all Safari photos here.

Berries or Aggregate Fruits?


Posted by admin | Posted in Berries, Food, Fruit, Nature | Posted on 21-02-2011

True berries include grapes, cranberries and bananas but, confusingly, not raspberries, blackberries and strawberries!  Blackberries and Raspberries are referred to as Aggregate Fruits and the tiny hairs on their outside are remnants of stigmas and styles…well, now you know!

Sad, I know, but I had a debate about berries recently and trawled the net to answer the questions.  I can imagine some other geeky soul doing the same some time and finding this summary!

Nature Photographs


Posted by admin | Posted in Images, Nature, Photographs, Photography, Wildlife | Posted on 11-01-2011

Many more nature images have now been added to the galleries over at Buggslife Photography.  All photographs are taken by photographer David Bugg who specialises in nature, wildlife, landscape and travel.

Go take a look.

Photo Poem: “Sparse”


Posted by admin | Posted in Birds, Photo, Photo Poem, Poem, Poetry | Posted on 04-11-2010

Photo Poem: “Sparse”.

One of many new poems now up.


Indonesia Gallery added to Travel…


Posted by admin | Posted in Festivals, Hindu, Indonesia, Nature, Photography | Posted on 15-08-2010

Just added Indonesia photos to the Travel section at Buggslife Photography.

See them here.

Walk in Upper Swaledale


Posted by admin | Posted in Nature, Photography, Rail | Posted on 12-08-2010

Last weekend I celebrated my 30th Birthday with my closest friends in a barn in Swale Dale, in the Yorkshire Dales (North Yorks).

Here are a couple of snaps taken during the walk into the hills of Upper Swaledale on the Saturday:

Walkers take a break - photo

Walkers take a break

There is a small Lead Smelting ruin above Healaugh by a brook (according to the sign the hills contain rich veins of lead ore):

Lead Smelting Ruin
I’ll add the storm and this last one to the
weather and landscape galleries.

The barn was Low Row bunkhouse (camping barn) partly run by YHA – a great option for a heavy session over 2 nights.

On the way there we passed through a beautiful plateau with a fantastic viaduct – I think it’s called Ribbleshead Viaduct – with low cloud all over the hills the scene looked great:

Note for tecchies: the post processing on the 2nd photo was simple using Lightroom 3: used ND grad tool and desaturated lower section, desaturate rest of picture slightly then up individual colour channels for red, magenta etc to bring out the heather colours…geeky yet simple.

Photo Galleries Taking Shape


Posted by admin | Posted in Development, Galleries, Nature, Website, Wedding | Posted on 29-07-2010

I have put a lot of work into building the site now coding it all from pretty much scratch in html and css, it would have been a much quicker job if not for IE6!

Anyway, the new system to host galleries and to populate them with photos is now up and running (using slideshowpro plug-in for lightroom 3 & SSP director) and I have designed a new gateway page to access them here.

From now on the photo slideshows will just keep growing and increasing in number as I update them from the past several years worth of shots.

Stoat taking its prey


Posted by admin | Posted in Mammals, Nature, Photography, Wildlife | Posted on 16-07-2010

Caught a great wildlife moment cycling home from work last Friday.

A stoat was taking out a big rat…the screeching from the rat caught my attention and I managed to get one rushed shot:

Stoat & Prey

Stoat attacking Rat

I then lay by a wall waiting for the stoat to return and finish it as the rat was still breathing but could hardly move and, sure enough, he did pop out to inspect my bike, dance around and disappear again once he spotted me. Unfortunately at that moment I had my camera set up facing the rat!

Buggslife website developing nicely…galleries


Posted by admin | Posted in Nature, Photography, Wedding | Posted on 25-06-2010

I have been working on a few aspects of my website which is now online but still in early development stages. The main focus of the site is the photo galleries.

At the moment I have 3 sample galleries up:

The latter covers almost everything from weddings to music gigs, macro insects to panoramic landscapes, sunrise, sunset, street graffiti and everything inbetween. A lot of focus will be on nature including wildlife and countryside with a slant toward travel photo journalism.

I intend to add more and more galleries throughout this summer so keep checking back and enjoy.

A British Bank Holiday w/e on Anglesey


Posted by admin | Posted in Anglesey, Boat, Nature, sea, Transport, Travel, Wales, Water | Posted on 10-06-2010

The idea of this blog is to write about anything and everything that I get up to or ponder – usually accompanied by a related photo. I spent the past bank holiday weekend with the missus and friends camping on the island of Anglesey, Wales in glorious sunshine…albeit in a chilly northerly breeze.

Porth Wen - buggslife

Porth Wen - secluded cove in north Anglesey, Wales.

On a tip we discovered this fantastic cover – Porth Wen – the site of an old silica firebricks manufacturer right by the sea. It’s all ruins nowadays but provides a stunning setting with contrasting man-made monuments and natural beauty with the clearest water and cutest of small beaches. It definitely hiked up my already growing love for Anglesey…

Highlights as moments…


Posted by admin | Posted in Nature, South America, Travel | Posted on 30-03-2007

What stand out as some of my favourite moments, on a very personal level:

The moments…”where” – “what”

In Argentina:

  • “La Bombonera, Boca Juniors’ stadium, Buenos Aires” – “…a period of confusion, the Boca keeper had come off his line, the River striker saw his chance and curled off a floaty shot towards the goal. As it was heading to cross the line from my angle I decided it was definitely going in, and, being well impressed with the shot I flung my fist into the air. In a tense situation surrounded by manic supporters who all appeared ready to kill for their club, the following period of time – which must have been about half a second – seemed to pass by over a couple of hours as thoughts, worries and emotions all cannoned through my mind instantaneously. I was sure that I was the only one celebrating this inevitable goal and unsure whether I was about to be majorly embarrassed, slightly strange looking or soon to be pummelled. Anyone in a rational calm state of mind would not have had this moment of, pretty much, panic and everyone would have appeared to react in a routine synchronised way. As the milli-seconds ticked by I was joined by many thousands of fellow River fans and the stand completely erupted with more force than I have ever known of any fans or for any group of humans doing anything…”
  • “Iguazu Falls, Argentinan Side” – “arriving at the top of the edge of The Devil’s Throat – the concentrated part of the huge falls – after a long day exploring the falls and park. The utterly immense natural power hit me hard, not literally luckily, as I watched individual drops and flows take their course down the fall and disappear among the mass of misty spray.”

In Chile:

  • “Portillo Ski Resort” – “Snowboarding down untouched areas of big sweet soft snow and even throwing in some little girlie jumps off rock mounds; the view of the surrounding mountains and lake at the bottom helped.”

In Paraguay:

  • “River Paraguay” – “the 3 day passenger & cargo boat trip up the river on the Brazil border including the week spent stranded in Bahia Negra; a great adventure period with great people (fellow travellers – Irish, English, French and Spanish, locals and military officers) – just a great crack.”

Hitch-hiking (actually in Brazil here) with the others from Paraguay

In Bolivia:

  • “National Park Noel Kempff Mercado” – “floating on my back swimming slowly backwards across the lagoon created by the magnificent waterfall ‘El Encanto’ – my only view in front of me and my ears underwater so completely silent and in my own solitude”
  • “National Park Noel Kempff Mercado” – “drifting along in a dug-out canoe before sunset in a totally serene but wild river and having our first big caiman suddenly leap out of nowhere from the reeds next to us. That was after spending time fascinating a troop of monkeys and having no effect whatsoever on a pair of capybara taking an afternoon snack on a bank.”

In Peru:

  • “A cliff trail near Chachapoyas, Northern Peru” – “being led by some local small children (without asking any help at all, just because they were so joyful and assume with little better to do) to the site of several ancient sarcophagi – like ritually painted coffins – stood scattered across a seemingly inaccessible cliff face. For me the sarcophagi were one of the most amazing historic artefacts I have seen”
  • “Gocta Waterfall, near Chachapoyas, Northern Peru” – “after a good hike, edging closer to the world’s 3rd tallest waterfall via a few roughly-made tree branch ladders and some slippery and thick mud trails. The others including the guide were happy with how close we had made it but, of course, I needed to edge those 15 metres closer and standing in the shocking force of the spray coming off the falls was one of a few truly life-refreshing experiences”
  • “Machu Picchu, Peru” – “Early in the morning whilst the site was still really quite empty we were exploring a set of terracing off in one corner. I, of course, had to go down the terracing as far as I possibly could just to see how far they went on. Doing that though I found a classic perch to sit, on the edge of the Inca wall, with a magnificent drop into the beautiful gaping valley in front to my left and a bit of an unusual view of Mach Picchu ahead that included terracing and other features leading all the way down a slope that – if you didn’t come round to this corner of the site – you wouldn’t even see. Sitting there with the breeze from the gorge, swallows hunting ahead and a tranquil scene of one of the most magical historic sites I’ve been to, was one hell of a moment.”

In Ecuador:

  • “In the jungle of river Shiripuno” – “Marching through the forest on a round of ‘the traps’ and our local colleague-come-guide doesn’t just stop in his tracks but bolts backwards a couple of metres. We then stood and watched an incredible Boa Constrictor – unbelievably thick and about 5m long with such beautiful patterns over its scales with red towards the tail. That was enough to make it into my most memorable moments but to add to the scene a few Monk Saki monkeys (lovely shaggy monkeys that I did not see again; at least not with certainty) came down to low branches completely in view wondering why we were stood in silence below them. Sweet as.”
  • “Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador” – “It’s tough to pick just one out from our time on this island. Free-diving with a turtle? Watching sharks swim by? Watching rays swim by within a metre if you? Sharing a beach with no one but 50 marine Iguanas? Nope. What sticks out more is when there was some major activity in the sea on the long beach at low tide with birds and sealions feasting. We were strolling along and, getting closer, we saw that birds would suddenly dive underwater having been floating on the surface. They looked like penguins but surely not. Besides, we never see penguins in groups of more than 15 resting and 3 hunting. This was a group of maybe 40 odd! Must be some other common sea bird. As we arrived to where they were fishing I could see for sure they were penguins and not far out at sea. Excited like the child I so often proved I am over the 12 months away, I used a sharp rocky outcrop that led out into the sea to get closer and was able to stand in the sea and watch loads of penguins pass right by me 1 or 2 at a time as they changed hunting sites. It was so cool.”

In Venezuela:

  • “Roraima, La Gran Sabana, Venezuela” – “Sitting by (not quite on as it was one hell of a scary drop) the edge of one of Roraima’s faces doing much contemplation and enjoying a stunning view of the savanna below and beyond.”

As well as all this there were so many other highlights that stick out in my mind but to try and list too many is pointless. Many of you will undoubtedly hear about plenty of the others over many years to come and often over many a pint I’d imagine.

HIGHLIGHTS – the places


Posted by admin | Posted in Nature, South America, Travel | Posted on 30-03-2007

My top top personal highlights – the elite of the cream of the crop – things that stand out in my mind:

The places…

In Argentina:

  • 1. The region of Santa Cruz, Patagonia – Lake Posadas, Cave of Hands, town of Perito Moreno and La Casa Amarilla, Patagonian countryside, tranquility, wildlife.

Wrapping up warm in the south

  • 2.Puente del Inca (Inca bridge) – natural bridge of beautiful colours from minerals in the mountains; surrounded by deep snow when I stayed there in a mountaineers hut.

In Chile:

  • 3. The Carretera Austral region – lush temperate rainforest, mountains, fjords/lakes, rivers, autumnal colours, cute villages.

View from window over a fjord in the Carreterra Austral region

In Bolivia:

  • 4. National Park Noel Kempff Mercado – remote and rarely visited huge park of jungle/rainforest, pampas and floodlands full of amazing wildlife and natural beauty.

In Peru:

  • 5. Region around Chachapoyas, North Peru – rivers, canyons, remote pre-inca ruins and the world’s 3rd tallest waterfall.
  • 6. Huayna Picchu; the tall peak looming over Machu Picchu – a good, fairly quick hike up the mountain which itself has cool Inca ruins, awesome views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and a bird’s eye view of the Machu Picchu ancient city.

In Ecuador:

  • 7. The river Shiripuno and its surrounding rainforest – wild, absolutely full of life, beautiful, peaceful and challenging.
  • 8. Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands – from the relatively tiny corner of the island that we saw it is in a fantastically unspoiled state and literally alive with wildlife with idyllic beaches.

In Colombia:

  • 9. National Park Tayrona – a tropical paradise but also very wild with untamed seas and forests and scenery that makes you want to just stay put.

In Venezuela:

  • 10. Roraima – the Tepuy (table-top mountain) with unique vegetation and even animals, awesome views and one of the strongest and strangest mystical atmospheres I’ve experienced.

Atlantic Rain Forest – Tijuca National Park


Posted by admin | Posted in Brazil, Nature, Rio de Janeiro, South America, Travel | Posted on 28-03-2007

Just came across this quote about the big national park I was impressed with in Rio de Janeiro…

“The Atlantic Rain Forest The Tijuca National Park is the largest urban natural reservation area in the world, covering an area of 3.200hec. and sheltering an enormous variety of birds and butterflies as well as “prego” and “sagui” monkeys. It is also home to hundreds of species of wildlife and plants, nowadays only found in the Atlantic Rainforest, many of them threatened by extinction.”

I can believe it’s the biggest urban reserve.

We saw both those species of monkeys there! The sagui is actually a marmoset (apparently the same as a tamarin but not certain) and it was the only time in the year that we saw ‘monkeys’ of that kind.

Number of Bird Species…


Posted by admin | Posted in Birds, Nature | Posted on 07-03-2007

No wonder I got into all the amazing variety of birds down there…

Number of Different Bird Species in the Continents:

3,200 South America
2,900 Asia
2,300 Africa
2,000 North America (from Panama north + Caribbean)
1,700 Australia + surrounding islands
1,000 Europe
65 Antarctica