Harassed, hardworking husbands

Male Weavers have got to be the most industrious, hardworking birds I know.  Common throughout sub-Saharan Africa with their bright yellow plumage and elaborately woven nests, they are harassed and henpecked until they get that nursery basket just right.  If not the female will rip it to shreds and demand a new one immediately.

This poor harassed Cape Weaver male is part of a colony nesting outside a gallery in Kleinmond.

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The Quest for Postcard Perfect Photos

It’s one of the most photographed Cape Town scenes and doing it justice was much harder than I anticipated.  I will go back again and again until I’m really happy with the results.  Or some fancy filters fall out of the sky. Sigh.

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A Day in the Life: Blouberg Beach

Daybreak and the iconic Mother City landmark looms larger than life, wherever you are in Blouberg.  In the foothills of the mountain, the city lights still twinkle like amber glitter as people walk the beach.

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Kitesurfers come and go all day.  Some stay until the light fades completely.

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Other locals like Professor Leonard with his boundless energy stick to the sand.

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Some are a little more sedate, while in the distance container ships wait to enter Cape Town Harbour.

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Nature’s treasures abound.

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As the end of the day draws to a close, pastel colours form the backdrop to the gardens of the landmark Dolphin Beach Hotel.

10-IMG_3124And waiting ships become silhouettes in the liquid amber of another magnificent Cape Town sunset.

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Back on my Feet: Silvermine Hike

September has seen Spring pop her head up, so it was time to dust off the hiking shoes and hit the mountains after three months recovering from digital realignments to straighten my toes.  RA has a nasty habit of causing hammer toe and this procedure was relatively painless with a quick recovery versus the less desirable couple of months in a moon boot.

The Noordhoek Peak trail, accessed from Silvermine Nature Reserve, didn’t disappoint with sweeping views of Noordhoek Beach and the Fish Hoek/Noordhoek Valley and  an abundance of fynbos bursting with colour along the way..

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A Little Surprise

Wildlife photographers often grumble about coming back from a trip without the photographs they envisaged.  It’s true.  A lot of the time.  But every now and then I get a surprise when I least expect it.

I was stepping over flowerbeds in the Dolphin Beach Hotel’s immaculate gardens trying to urge a pair of francolins into the sunlight, when we spotted this tiny striped field-mouse nibbling at young grass shoots.

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National Honeybee Foraging Week

This week has been declared National Honeybee Foraging Week, to draw attention to the needs of these important little creatures and promote the sustainability of bee farming in the country.  Please plant bee-friendly plants this Heritage Day (24 September).

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Pollen collecting on Euphorbia epithymoides in my garden on Saturday.

A flip across the Bay

Spring keeps popping her head up, bringing fair weather and the chance to sail across Table Bay on the Spirit of Victoria. After 20 years of living here, it’s still great to see iconic Mother City landmarks like the V & A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill.  Even more so when you’re sipping champagne on a yacht.

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Visit Waterfront Adventures for more information on their boat trips.

 

 

 

 

Hanging around ….,

Every night when the light fades he appears, hanging just below the garage light in the hope of trapping bugs attracted to the glow.  He’s survived incessant downpours and the choppy South-Easter, clinging effortlessly to the strands of his delicate fiefdom.  I didn’t stop to get the make or model number :-)

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Breathless in the Giants’ Playground

Living on the False Bay coast, the annual migration of Southern Right whales to our warmer waters to mate and calve is easy to take for granted.  It’s almost synonymous with these parts and I assumed I’d more than had my share of the greater experience.

Until I headed up the Whale Coast to board an environmentally sensitive whale-watching catamaran in Hermanus this weekend that is.  And that really took my breath away time and again.

Imagine being so close to a creature weighing the same as ten elephants that you can hear it exhaling through its’ blowholes, or feel the spay as it breaches near the boat.  Like my swim with dolphins off Ponta do Ouro last year, this boat-based whale watching trip ranks right up there as a top responsible tourism interaction with the creatures that fill our oceans.

Nothing beats lobtailing, when that magnificant tail rises above the water,

19-IMG_259820-IMG_259921-IMG_2600or the breaching,22-IMG_260323-IMG_260524-IMG_2606 the blowing,35-IMG_266725-IMG_2607or the spyhopping – when they decide to take a peek at the world above the waterline.42-IMG_2682And if you look carefully in the photo below, you’ll see that the whale to the right is an albino.

34-IMG_2653Especial thanks to Southern Right Charters and the crew of Miroshca for an incredible afternoon.

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