Elephants at Itumba, Kenya

“Elephants walk through the spirit as much as the do across the earth. They are the ambassadors of peace, the universal prayer, the Om in motion”   ~ Boyd Varty, Cathedral of the Wild

In Kenya, I had the privilege of staying at Itumba, the bush camp of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). After years of capturing images of people from the remote corners of the world, I am now exploring the endangered species of the Animal Kingdom.

Wild elephants visiting the orphans at Itumba

The opportunity to interact with the orphan elephants in Itumba Camp in Tsavo East National Park is an elephant-lover’s dream. At Itumba, you have the unique opportunity to interact with young elephants who trust humans during their transition towards a life in the wild. Wild elephants also join in, mixing with the orphans and tolerating our human presence. Itumba has had extraordinary success in rehabilitating and releasing elephants. It plays an important role in elephant conservation in Kenya. Benjamin Kyalo, the head keeper tells us the orphans communicate with the wild elephants and let them know it is safe and okay to be here with humans.

Ben leading the young orphans coming to camp for the evening feeding

While at Itumba, I became involved with the adoption program and chose Laragai for my adoptee. She is a young female rescued by the staff at a lodge in Northern Kenya. When Laragai was rescued, there were many herds in the area. The rangers waited a couple of days after finding her and observed that her condition was worsening. They concluded that she was abandoned. The rangers managed to subdue her and brought her to the lodge to await the help of the DSWT Rescue Team.

Meeting my adoptee Laragai

The DSWT Rescue Team and the new orphan arrived at the Nairobi Nursery in the late afternoon after a successful plane journey. She was soon safely relocated to a comfortable stockade next to Sities, an older orphan who was a soothing presence to the newcomer who needed all the reassurance she could get. Laragai was in a wild and emaciated state, but she took milk from a bucket during the night, and from a bottle the following morning, though only behind the security of the stockade gate. Laragai took much longer than usual to tame, despite the keepers’ best efforts.

The young ones race in to getting their mid-day bottle of milk

Once the elephants are a little older, they are ready to be transferred to one of the two relocation centers in Kenya to ease their transition back to the wild. It is like when your child graduates from nursery school to kindergarten. Itumba is one of these centers.

On our arrival at Itumba, we went immediately to the mud baths to meet the orphans and ex-orphans (that is, those orphans that no longer require milk – usually at 8 years old the elephants no longer need to take milk or return to the stockades at night for protection).

Suddenly, your ears are met with the trumpeting of a herd of elephants coming straight towards you, ravenous for their morning milk feeding.

And then there are the mud baths. It is like watching extremely large kids go crazy in a sandbox.

Kenya_2015_red-1088-104 Kenya_2015_red-1225-105Elephants taking a mud the ultimate mud bath

Our three days at Itumba were amazing. We observed the older orphans and their wild elephant companions, fed them milk, played with the babies, and were physically pushed around by the enormous animals. This is what you come here for. Being surrounded by these gentle giants for even a short time is a magical and unforgettable experience.

Kenya_2015_red-1083-103Elephants socialize at Itumba

Elephants, more than any other species of wild animal, need room. The Tsavo National Park is the only park in Kenya large enough to accommodate them. Nothing in nature stays the same. Elephant numbers are designed by nature to fluctuate in unison with the nature’s own cycles. They are highly intelligent,­­­­­­ sophisticated, long-lived animals with an emotional make-up and sense of self, family and even death that are akin to our own.

One of the world’s most pressing environmental problems is species extinction. The survival of the African Elephant as a species presents one of the greatest challenges today.

“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa” ~John Hemingway


A wild elephant walks towards Kilimanjaro


I’m thrilled to have two images featured in the 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit.  Excited to see Robert Wilson and Kanye West’s collaborative art installation piece and all the other amazing artwork and performance art.  It’s an evening when the woods come alive with magical happenings…

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! On Saturday, July 30, 2016 The Watermill Center will once again bring together the worlds of theater, art, fashion, design, and society for The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction. Watermill’s International Summer Program participants come from over 25 countries to create installations and performances throughout our eight-and-a-half acre grounds for the event. The funds raised support The Watermill Center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs, providing a unique environment for young and emerging artists to explore and develop new work.

Hamar Family in the Omo Valley - Terri Gold

Hamar Family in the Omo Valley – Terri Gold


Silent Dune – Terri Gold

To bid on the work online, follow these links on Artsy:

Hamar Family in the Omo Valley

Silent Dune



PX3 2016 certificate


Kenya_2015_red_-2471 px3



Terri Gold of United States was Awarded Honorable Mention in Wildlife category for the entry entitled, ” Under The Daum Pine Trees .” The jury selected winners from thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries. 


The “Prix de la Photographie Paris” (Px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are exhibited in a high-profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality, full-color Px3 Annual Book.

Visit http://px3.fr


The San People in Namibia

“We are at a crucial crossroads of human history. We are losing traditional cultures with their ancient ways of life and spiritual beliefs at catastrophic rates … With my photography of the First Peoples of our fragile planet, I hope to show spiritual traditions from our past in the present, and become part of the process in some small way of helping prefer life for future generations. I believe photography plays a crucial role in helping sustain and revitalize cultures on the edge.” – Chris Rainier

The San people are the first people of Africa, they are descendants of the original Homo sapiens, who occupied Southern Africa, for at least 150 000 years. The San  already have been forced to abandon their traditions. Some people are working to preserve the culture, but the last remaining areas were they could live as hunter-gatherers are slowly being converted to commercial farmland.

We met the people featured in the German movie called Ghostland about the life of the Bushmen in the 21’st century. Life in the vast Kalahari desert has changed for one of the most ancient cultures on our planet: the lifesaving and nurturing hunt has been forbidden by law by the Namibian government in 1990. Fences are now dividing the former endless open land of the dry savannah. The former nomads are now pressed into an unused life in fixed housing and are forced to live of spare gifts from the government or, if so, adventurous tourists.

They graciously welcomed us to the area in their  village called the living museum and showed us some of their traditions and the plants they used as food and medicines in the forest.

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The Mermaid Parade

“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin

A sea of Mermaids, Mermen and Sea Creatures  filled  Coney Island Saturday for the 34th annual Mermaid Parade.

The Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and myths of Coney Island.  In hand-made costumes, everyone promenades, sashays and struts riotously down Surf  Avenue. It’s an all inclusive affair with participants from infants to octogenarians.  It’s part-fantasy, part-escapism, but all real –  celebrating  the imagination and  combining all the eccentricities and joys of artistic self-expression !

The Parade is the largest art parade in the nation and I love it and never miss it if I am in NYC.mermaidparade_2016C-515 mermaidparade_2016C-547 mermaidparade_2016C-563mermaidparade_2016C-478 mermaidparade_2016C-482 mermaidparade_2016C-502 mermaidparade_2016C-531 mermaidparade_2016C-536






Kenyan Stories

Everything from the humble woodlouse to specks of dust moving through a ray of sunlight. Each tells a story. ~ Fennel Hudson

With my camera, I try to bring the diversity of distant lands into our modern world, and share the stories I discover in my travels ; to create imagery that reminds us and generations to come how beautiful and diverse the world is. Our challenge now will be to keep the poetry of diversity alive…kenya_red_ambo-256 new sky Kenya_2015_red_-1903 Kenya_2015_red_-1907 Kenya_2015_red_-2120 Kenya_2015_red_-2172 kenya_red_ambo-234 kenya_red_ambo-236

In Kenya, the Maasai and Samburu warriors rite of passage used to be pretty standard: Spend three months in the forest, learn how to herd cows, kill a predator.

“Some years back, for you to become a chief, you had to kill a lion. But conservationists came in and stopped the killing,” explains Mtaine David Swakei, a Maasai leader.

Now dance is part of what defines the ancient tribes of modern Kenya, the “adumu”, or “jumping dance”.

It’s been captured in endless pictures and documentaries; and is a recognizable ritual of Maasai and Samburu life. On this day the young men performed a version of it for us. The adumu is just one in a series of rituals that make up the Eunoto, the ceremony in which the junior warriors, or morani, graduate to the ranks of manhood.