Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
wildlife (47)

Stepped out of Westminster Station and came nose-to-nose with this gloriously pretty magpie. ...   (read more)

Back yet again - not precisely due to popular demand, but let's call it high page impressions - here's more of this sort of thing. Somewhat unlike Failblog, the cutesy animal photos just never get old....   (read more)

The Photoshop Rap from CollegeHumor.com is nothing short of sublime. It's so good you can actually pick up useful Photoshop tips from it....   (read more)

'I see it only that thyself is here, and art and nature, hope and fate, friends, angels and the supreme being shall not be absent from the chamber where thou sittest.' - Emerson...   (read more)

"Adapt yourself to the environment in which your lot has been cast, and show true love to the fellow-mortals with whom destiny has surrounded you." - Marcus Aurelius...   (read more)

"I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Winston Churchill...   (read more)

So when we last left our heroes, I was banged up with a bum leg, nursing pints in the Glen Nevis Inn, counting curios; Tim had hiked off alone to Ft. William, just by way of something to do; and we were both locked in a death struggle with boredom and unaccustomed idleness - and wondering if the jewel in the crown of our hundred-mile Highland hike, Ben Nevis, was going to be forever out of reach....   (read more)

Well, it was the last walking day, and all we had to do was climb out of this strangely industrial Shangri-La. That of course meant Up....   (read more)

Awoke from a series of long, vivid, detailed dreams (probably something to do with being in a real bed!); and Tim and I went down to the dining room (a dining room!) for a leisurely continental breakfast (breakfast!)....   (read more)

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the well-appointed, if slim, West Highland Way Sleeper dining room. The morning train went by outside....   (read more)

Well, the Large Hadron Collider had gone online. And we were still there. That was a nice start to the day - not having been sucked into a small black hole, nor woken up to find that stranglets had devoured the entire planet, leaving only an inert hyperdense sphere 100 meters across....   (read more)

We bid farewell to the Crap YHA, and its lovely lochside backyard, on what was already starting to look like a nice day... I realised something today that was already probably obvious to anyone with a head: photography is all about light....   (read more)

During our breakfast at the big table in the big kitchen of the bunkhouse-y B&B, we were joined by a man leading a tour... So then it pretty much a matter of getting ourselves down off of Conic Hill, and onto the shores of Loch Lomond - the bonny banks of which we'd be walking along for the next two days....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, tea in our room, and Tim happily moblogging from his bed. Me: This feels like redemption. I can't tell you how much time on how many trips I've kept people hanging about while I typed, or edited images, or battled net-cafes....   (read more)

Lying in my tent in the Lizard, near to the pigs, I dreamt long, vivid, grand, yet frustrating dreams. Really long and involved. I wonder how time compression works in dreams. Are we like Data, reviewing video at impossible speeds?...   (read more)

Morning now, and I am standing on the stairs to the slide of the camp site playground, soaking up the first sunlight. I am not sitting here, nor anywhere, due to the dew, which is just a monster. The surface of the world couldn't be any more drenched if a thunderstorm had stopped five seconds ago....   (read more)

In nomadic camp life, you really do just get into the rhythm of waking at dawn. Badger! badger! badger! What I took to be a badger ran by, along the opposite edge of the field, with a crust of something in her jaws....   (read more)

It had stormed overnight. I got up, crawled out of the tent, and moved the now-even-more-soaked travel towel from the fence (where it had been "drying") to an actual clothes dryer in the main building. I then broke camp, stowed my pack, and hoofed it into town...   (read more)

So - Ali was right. The bus driver really doesn't have anything better to do than tell you where to get off the damned bus....   (read more)

Upon checkout, the nice innkeeper man, Terry (*) , gave me a replacement pen, gratis. Hard to argue with that. The least I can offer in return is some free, and much-deserved, publicity: http://porthcurnohotel.co.uk/....   (read more)

Awoke ten minutes before my alarm was to go off (I know - but we were meeting for breakfast, and generally wanted to get an early start) to an absolutely glorious morning. While languorously performing my toilette in the sparklingly lit mirrors of the immaculate bathroom, the radio reports: "Twenty-two degrees today, clear skies, cool breezes - and plenty of sunshine!"...   (read more)

And so C&M met us in the morning back at the pub, after Tim and I had broken camp. Here they are looking all cutesy-skippy- happy, and all bad, respectively. I think I can explain the skippy-happiness....   (read more)

"'I know what's wrong with him now,' said the doctor. 'He had a dream and it's come true. What gives an ideal beauty is that it's unattainable. The gods laugh when men get what they want.'" - W. Somerset Maugham...   (read more)

Early morning in the Schesse-frei pub backyard. The very first light of day glances off of the still and quiet (and glisteningly wet) tents. Mark: I suppose there's nothing for it but to get moving. Me: But we don't have to do it now. Mark: I wonder if we could for once manage not to be excruciatingly early or absurdly late for breakfast . . . Darby Danger, we're up!...   (read more)

Mark: Wow, that's the first time the sun has driven us from our tent . . . It was true, we emerged to a gloriously sunny day in the back yard of the White Swan. This called for shorts....   (read more)

Morning finds Applegarth Camping Barn - and our heroes snug in bed: Mark: I can't tell if that's wind or rain. Me: It's not rain. Go back to sleep. Mark: That's definitely rain. Me: No, you're dreaming . . . I had the most awful vivid dream last night. Mark: Were you trapped three quarters of the way across England with two freaks? Me: That's no dream, that's your reality....   (read more)

Darby: Screw you guys - I'm goin' to the B&B. Us: But- Darby: Eh! Screw you guys - B&B....   (read more)

It appears that on this walk if it's not one goddamned thing, it's another: if you manage to avoid getting blown off the cliff-edge of a fell, you've only survived to later get swallowed whole by a bog. Well, never a dull moment....   (read more)

Did I mention my resolution to read only English novelists while I'm here? Luckily, England's produced one or two decent ones. ;^) I actually broke down once, which event I memorialized in this poem:...   (read more)

So I actually spent a lot of time worrying about, and trying to figure out how to avoid, dying in that Land Cruiser we took to Serengeti....   (read more)

Dawn on the Crater Rim - and major themes seemed to be brutal cold, and sophomoric humor...   (read more)

Morning on the Endless Plain. We crept along in the sharply slanting light and windy, slightly chirpy quiet - five fleshy periscopes extended through the roof panels, and not another vehicle or human in sight...   (read more)

That's what "Serengeti" means, in Swahili. (So "Serengeti Plain" - like "tse tse fly" - is redundant.) Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's - and almost certainly the world's - most famous wildlife preserve....   (read more)

I emerge from my "life enjoyment break" in African Gelato Heaven into the lightest, gentlest sprinkle, which has floated in on the offshore breeze. Looping hotelward, but wide, I find myself in the proper, local (non-tourist) market - filled with stalls, vendors, shops, honking vehicles, and thousands of faces (all of which but mine are non-white)....   (read more)

I suppose that the trouble really started in Cape Town - the truck trouble, that is. I'm much more amazed than angry that Nomad doesn't maintain their trucks - given that their business pretty much is their trucks, and they (not to mention their customers) are going nowhere fast without them....   (read more)

We moved to a rougher camp site (a bit too rough, in my view), on the banks of the Zambezi River. Mark: I just saw a mamba. Me: Is it dangerous? Mark: Heh heh, ha ha. I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I mean, if it bites you, you're dead. But it's a pretty happy, peaceful snake . . . Though, again, if it bites you, you're dead....   (read more)

What can be said of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? How about, "Get the *&%$ back right now, you massed, marauding swarms of human stinging flies!" for starters? ...   (read more)

Betwixt the Delta and Chobe, we paused for a brief respite at something called Planet Baobob - a camp site situated amidst 3,500-year old baobob trees....   (read more)

We woke with the dawn - to beat the heat, and ideally to meet the animals, who were also beating the heat. We quickly spotted more red litchri, splashed with steeply slanting sunlight, as well as a lonely elephant in the (far) distance....   (read more)

Our last night in the world, Paul sat us down before dinner, and gave us the scoop about the Delta: how to avoid becoming meat for any of the local Delta denizens....   (read more)

She came out of the sun, as we motored our way out of Etosha. Mark and I were fast asleep, and roused by Jo's piercing cry: "Lion, lion!"...   (read more)

We arrived in Etosha Park earlier than expected on Tuesday afternoon, allowing us the opportunity of a 70km game drive straight off, basically just to get to our camp site. Etosha is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest wildlife-viewing parks...   (read more)

"But mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun." - Noel Coward ... Astute readers will recall that the above quote has been previously used on Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. However, it turns out that it really, really bears repeating - the moment one sets foot in the Namib Desert....   (read more)

Well, I've really gotten completely over this Cool Guy Hat Flaps Up pretension, let me tell you. The African sun - as advertised - is a brutal, insidious, and insistent beast....   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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