08 December 2013

Camel racing exercises

Dubai has never been on the top of my list of places to visit because of my perception of the glitz and commercialisation, but what I have rapidly discovered is that if you scratch under the veneer the country has so much more to offer.

On day three of our visit I reluctantly got up in the early hours of the morning, to see the camels being exercised at one of the race tracks at the outskirts of the city. A camel is a camel after all...... After a short drive through the traffic, which was beginning to build up for the early morning rush, we turned off the freeway and entered another world - the world of camel racing.

Not that there was any racing happening at that time. Instead the riders were taking out the animals for a slow walk around the perimeter of the track. As we watched, group after group came past us in the perfect morning light.

What struck me was that the camels were all well groomed and attired. The riders willingly allowed us to photograph them as they rode by in procession.

This has definitely been one of my highlights so far, but then I am not one who wants to hang out in the shopping malls.

06 December 2013

Dubai Sunset

Definitely not my usual stamping ground, but I take the opportunities wherever I find them. Drive by shooting of the sunset in Dubai, with the Burj Khalifa towering above the city.

Visit Skywatch for more great skies from around the world.

30 November 2013

Port Elizabeth Tramways Building

A blue heron lurking in the Baakens River under the M4 freeway. The reflection in the water is from the Port Elizabeth Tramways Building which is being restored after many years of neglect.

Restoration of the Tramways Building is well under way. When this project is complete this it is going to become one of the city's iconic landmarks. Credit must be given  to the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) for having the vision to turn this once derelict building into their head office.

26 November 2013

Baby elephant pile on

Living near to the Addo Elephant National Park has its advantages, because when I need my bush fix it is a mere 40 kms from my front door.

This year has been really special, with the arrival of a big crop of baby elephants and like all children they are playful,  mischievous and a joy to watch.

On this trip I spent a long time sitting in the middle of a small family group watching the antics of these two .

The game ultimately culminated in a pile on and you can see that they are really enjoying themselves.

25 November 2013

Wrecked car

This old car spotted alongside the road on the way to the Tankwa Karoo National Park, makes a nice photographic study, as it blends in with the vegetation and soil.

24 November 2013

Cape Recife - gannets

Cape gannets flying home near the beacon at Cape Recife

12 August 2013

World Elephant Day

The quote sums up the objectives of World Elephant Day very well:
"On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants, and when appropriate reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.
World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.
Elephants are simply one more natural resource that is being caught up in human greed on the one hand and human need on the other. We somehow need people to become reacquainted with nature or they can have no clue as the interrelatedness of cause and effect.” - Dr. Stephen Blake, Mac Planck Institute for Ornithology