Dog Paddling Cats

You can lead a cat to water, but can you make him swim? Well when swimming is the only way to get to their next meal some big cats in Botswana have adapted to the life aquatic. Having once tried to give my cat a bath, I have the scratch marks to prove most cats have a real aversion to taking a dip, but these Botswana lions have learned to dog paddle their way across the rivers and wetlands of the Okavango Delta.

I recently spent a few days following the lions at #DubaPlains and filming their swimming and wading in the water.  It was a scene I first filmed seven years ago and some of the cubs from that time are still splashing around today.  They’ve also passed on their swimming ways to a new generation of lions.  And when I traveled to #SelindaExplorers in Northern Botswana, I encountered another pride of lions who’ve adapted to living in a watery environment and added swimming to their hunting repertoire.

Baby Elephant Walk

In spite of the old saying, not everyone has to learn to crawl before they walk. In fact if you’re a newborn elephant you’re expected to hit the ground running or at least staggering fast enough to keep up with the herd. Here’s some video I shot in #Botswana of a baby elephant, just a few hours old, as he put on a show, stumbling around, falling in hole and basically giving a physical definition to the term cute. #SelindaExplorers #GreatPlainsConservation

Among the Sugar Pines: Ethan Johns


Ethan Johns stopped by National Geographic to talk about his new album and sing a couple of the songs.  This is one of the tunes, “Among the Sugar Pines”.  The interview runs this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend.  Johns is also a recording engineer and music producer like his father Glyn Johns who working with many of the big acts of the 60’s & 70’s, artists like the Stones, the Beatles, Clapton, Zeppelin, The Who, The Eagles, Dylan, The Band and scores of others.

The Crusaders: Today Show profile


Joe Sample keyboard player with the Crusaders died yesterday in Houston. In 70’s & 80’s he was one of the most recorder keyboardists in music playing on hit records for lots of big name artists. I was lucky to get to spend some time listening to him in the studio in those days. Here’s a profile I did on his group the Crusaders for the Today Show many years ago. Just yesterday Bill Maxwell & I were talking about Joe & his great playing & how Bill was going to go visit him in Houston in a couple of weeks. You never know. A reminder when thinking about an old friend, give ‘em a call. RIP Joe. thank you for the great music.

Behind the Green Door


In Rome yesterday I went to see Behind the Green Door.  No not the old Marilyn Chambers porn movie, but the green doors in the center of the Villa del Priorato di Malta.  A peephole in one door offers a unique view of the dome at St. Peter’s framed by the Villa’s secret gardens.  The grounds of the Priory atop Aventine Hill are home to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Since it was a long flight home I killed time by editing together a few pictures I took thru the peephole so you too can now see, “Behind the Green Door”, & not worry that someone will catch you looking.

Elvis Death 5th Anniversary


Throwback Thursday Elvis anniversary special.  37 years ago on Aug. 16th the King of Rock ‘n Roll died at his home in Memphis, Tenn.  On the 5th anniversary of his death I filed this report for the Today Show talking about all the fans who showed up for a candlelight parade past his grave at Graceland.  Who would have guessed the fans would still come every August and in even greater numbers, but they were there again this year.

Icebucket Challenge Accepted


Betty had way too much fun helping me take the als icebucket challenge, but it’s for a good cause. An former NBC colleague, Kathy Riggins, issued the challenge so I had no choice but to accept.  But a suggestion for ALS, next time come up with a hot shower fund raiser. Certain parts of my anatomy, let’s call him Mr. Groundhog, determined the water was so cold he’s gone into hiding for the next 6 weeks.

Antelope Canyon: Cathedral in Nature


On approach, from only a few feet away, Antelope Canyon looks like nothing more than a narrow nasty gash in the red Navajo Sandstone near Page, Arizona.  But descend into this crack in the earth & you enter one of nature’s spectacular cathedrals.  Hiking in Upper & Lower Antelope in 2006 I shot some video that was sitting unviewed until I found it yesterday.  So I strung a few images together to show what time, & water, & erosion can sculpt. You can see why it’s one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world.

Couch Potatoes On The Trail

Couch Potatoes, the movie. Taylor & I find a couch by the trail in Colorado where we take a break & reward ourselves for 5 days of hiking and climbing two 14,000 ft. peaks, Mt Sherman & Mt. Sneffels. The views & the brews were great.  ID’s were checked and no kids were injured in the filming of this video



James Brown Self-Destructs


Throwback Thursday Godfather of Soul special. The new James Brown biopic, “Get On Up” reminded me of a story I once did about the legendary singer and the police chase that landed him in prison. The movie begins with that event, but here’s how it went down in the words of the people who were there. This story also features Bobby Byrd, who started the, “Famous Flames” with Brown, saying Brown never paid him for the songs he co-wrote.