About Me

Cheryl Merrill

Writing, elephants and photography are my passions.  Right now I’m just finishing a book, Larger than Life.  The book is about some pretty big themes – life and death – as experienced through my time with elephants in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and taking care of my dad until his death. Big themes, big subjects.

And, of course, this book is about how those years changed me.

51 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Nice blog! Also like that you photograph the parts of an animal that we don’t always notice when we look at the whole, if that makes any sense. 🙂
    You might be interested in my blog, especially the Elephants of Yala post – incidentalnaturalist.com

  2. Hi Cheryl, love this blog. I wanted to let you know about a new book coming out about elephants, specifically male elephant behavior. It’s by Dr. Caitlin O’Connell. She’s written about the Godfather of a pachyderm posse. She’s also written about the illegal ivory trade. She’d be a great interview, I think, since you share elephant interests. Let me know what you think of this! Thanks. – Lee

    1. I’ve read Dr. O’Connell before. Cool that she’s studying male interactions. I’d love to interview her. Do you know how to get in touch with her? Thanks for the kind words and thoughtful suggestion.

      1. Thank you so much for this contact information. I’m just finishing up a manuscript, and would like to schedule something for May. Is the Univ. of Chicago your client? You’ve been more than kind!

  3. Hello Cheryl!
    I am currently in Botswana on a Watson Fellowship to learn about the relationships between nature conservation and creative writing. I’m inspired by your advocacy for and writing about elephants. Would it be possible for us to meet? Please email me at carolyndecker92@gmail. I hope to hear from you soon!
    Thank you,

    1. Thank you. Your blog is fascinating, and I love the story of Limikani. Do you use any deterrent methods for elephants? What crops do you grow? Just now writing about the subject of crop-raiding ellies in the Okavango panhandle. Thanks for any info!

      1. Thank you for the very encouraging comment about my blog!
        We grow seed maize and wheat in the winter months when the elephants are most hungry – as I have said on my blog, mostly because of fires burning the bush.
        I will add a post on my blog about how we ‘try’ to keep the elephants away – otherwise my reply will be Very Long! 😉

      2. I’ll look forward to seeing your post! Be sure to message me when it’s available. I will be camping in the woods/mountains for a few days, where reception is spotty, but will be able to spot messages when we return. Winter there is summer here, and our winter wheat is harvested in the late spring, summer wheat in late fall. Seed maize is like our corn, right? You grow it for feed for cattle?

  4. Very nice blog! I also hope that people will come together and help prevent the extinction of these animals. I will be in Africa soon, can’t wait to see the elephants in their natural environment:)

      1. Dear Cheryl, I just picked up a small 3 ring binder at a second hand store in Ocean Park, Wa. It is a typed book by you, called Shades of Gray. I was curious about the origins of it, so looked you up. Were you ever in this area?

      2. Hi Cindy – Wow, I wonder how that binder got to Ocean Park. I do live in Washington State and go camping on the coast, but have never lived in that area. I think I remember giving a bit of my writing in a binder to my dad a long time ago, but he’s been gone now for 5 years. Shades of Gray was the working title of my book about elephants; it’s now called Larger than Life. I do post bits and pieces of it on this blog as I’m finishing it up this year. (I’ve been back to Africa several times.) I hope you enjoyed that bit of my writing.

  5. I just wanted to send a quick note to you…Yesterday I featured Nicholas from PAWS and today is Iringa…two lovely, lovely, adorable elephants! I thought you might enjoy my photos! Merry Christmas to you and yours Cheryl! ^..^

    1. Thank you so much for following my blog. I enjoyed your photos of the San Diego Zoo elephants. Have you seen the ipad app for “Zoo News?” It’s a monthly, interactive magazine for the zoo, first in the country. My friend Karyl writes for Zoo News – we communicate via FB. And I’m a follower of Ray Rhodes – three degrees of separation, I guess! Glad to make your acquaintance and I look forward to your posts. – Cheryl

  6. What a great blog! I’m so excited to have found it through Walking with the Alligators. I’m glad to see an inspiring woman working with and for wildlife!

    1. Wow! Thanks so much. that’s a wonderful honor. So glad you like my blog and I see I am in excellent company. There are many blogs I follow, and picking among them is going to be difficult, but in the spirit of the award, I’ll do my best! Once again, thank you.

  7. I too have a love for elephants. I was in Kenya in 1987 for a safari and continuing education (I’m a veterinarian). So amazing to see all the creatures in their natural habitat with their families and interacting with other species. Looking forward to your posts.

  8. I arrived here through a link on a friend’s blog. This must be serendipity since I will be visiting Etosha national Park next month. When I see elephants, I will think of your blog.

    1. Etosha means the land of great white spaces. It was once the world’s largest reserve, at 36 thousand square miles, but now it is just one-fourth that size. Hope you enjoy your trip!

  9. A lovely blog you have! On our trip to Namibia we saw hundreds of elephants (they would come to the waterholes a few times a day. I think I took about 300 pictures of them 🙂

    1. Elephants are amazing. I’m posting a photo of three elephants drinking from the Chobe River in about 12 days (after I get back from a camping trip.) Thanks for following!

    1. Meredith – Wow, thanks for the shout-out. I’ve just read your “Awards and Things” post and am really excited to check out to check out the bloggers you mention and follow them. You read a lot! So cool. And anyone who’s blog post ends with the “Extinct is Forever” elephant rides high in my heart. I’d love to find out where you found that image so I may use it too. Thank you again – Cheryl

  10. Hi,
    Would you be interested in writing a guest blog post on our blog, http://www.womenstravelblog.com/ ? We are a PR 2 blog whose audience enjoys reading anything about travel (e.g. “Top 4 Places for Women Travelers”, “The fun and excitement of Solo Traveling”, “Turkey land of Holidays”, etc). And, of course, you’ll receive a FOLLOWED link to your blog or page of your choice. Please let me know if you’re interested. I think you’d be a great fit with our audience, and we’d also like to talk with you about other partnerships.I have few more travel sites and blogs for link exchange and article exchange if interested please feel free to contact me

    Talk to you soon 

    Ratna Sharma

    1. Thanks for the offer Ratna! Yes, I’d love to do a guest post. Since all of my travel is to Africa, often solo, I could do a post on “Safari Surprises: Ten Things You Wouldn’t Expect While On Safari” or something along that line. I could also do a post on how to travel solo to Africa. Let me know which direction you’d like me to go and I’ll draft something up for you. Thanks again, Cheryl

  11. Cheryl, my elephant painter was Prathida, from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand. She paints in the SE Asian Abstract style, rather than the Okavango Orthodox school. Chuck

  12. Amazing blog, Cheryl! You make me want to go right now to Africa. Still a dream which I hope to realize one of these days. 😉

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