01 May 2015

Skywatch Friday - The day the sky came down to earth

My, my but the week has flown by quickly.

With two long weekends in a row and a short week in between, with only three working days, it been a manic time, trying to get through all my work.

Last weekend Suzie-K and I did a spontaneous trip to the Mountain Zebra National Park. What was just going to be a day visit turned into an overnight stay, when we secured a chalet as a result of a cancellation. Unless you book well in advance accommodation in the Park is not available over a long weekend.

But for that we would never have seen the sky come down to earth.............

This picture was taken three years ago looking in the same direction at the endless vista of rolling hills that disappeared when the sky came down.

Two mountain zebras having a drink in a pool, reflecting their images and the sky. These rare animals may at a first glance look like their cousins, the burchell's zebra, but they are quite different with denser stripes, a brown muzzle, a dewlap and slightly larger ears.

More pictures from around the world can be seen at the Skywatch site.

23 April 2015

Skywatch Friday - Kgalagadi Sunset and Bateleurs

The Kgalagadi has definitely become one of my favourite spots in South Africa, in spite of its harsh and inhospitable climate, but for me that is part of the attraction.

Add to that its rugged beauty and its variety of wildlife from antelope to predators and the unbelievable variety of bird-life from the little brown jobs to the magnificent raptors. It is no wonder the place is fully booked a year in advance. Once it gets into your soul you can't get it out.

This sunset scene was captured along the Nossob River, with the clouds starting to build up at the beginning of the rainy season.

I usually keep my posts to one picture, but today I have decided to also include some of the magnificent raptors I was waxing lyrical about. The Bateleurs do not subscribe to the old adage that the early bird catches the worm. They are late risers and prefer to wait for the sun to rise before they do. Bateleurs are scavengers and set off as soon as the air to warms up, so that they can catch the thermals and look for their prey, or should that be carrion.

For more super pictures from around the world visit the Skywatch site.

The Climax Collection - The Secret Life Of Windmills - Special Offer

In honour of world book day, for today and tomorrow only (up to midnight, SA time, 24-04-2015) if you order one copy of the Climax Collection: The secret life of Windmills online from our website (www.theclimaxcollection.co.za), you will get a second copy for free, ideal as a Mother's or Fathers Day gift.

The Climax Collection - The Secret Life Of Windmills is a unique book which combines elements of coffee table photography and colloquial South African humour, with playful innuendo around the fact that most windmills in SA are Climaxes. It even offers a gentle armchair tour around some of South Africa’s back roads, because most of the photos have captions showing where the windmills were found.

It’s a fun book with quality photos of a well-loved South African icon, and the irreverent captions give it an amusing and unexpected twist. All this makes it the perfect gift for anyone who loves windmills and humour and is especially ideal for the man who is hard to shop for. The compact format makes this book easy to post overseas to all those visitors who would like a reminder of our unique country and to ex-pats who look forward to anything that reminds them of home.

Not one of the pictures from the book, but one taken on a recent trip to the Northern Cape, which I have called the "Sociable Climax" because the Sociable Weavers have decided that this is a perfect place to build their nest.

Just for fun I have also added a picture of two Sociable Weavers, being sociable with a stripe field mouse at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This is an arid part of the country, where the windmills have a vital role in providing water to the animals in the park. The water these guys are drinking was poured into the bottle caps left lying about by careless picnickers - kind of shows how scarce water is for these creatures.

05 March 2015

Skywatch Friday - Clouds and dust

This was one of those moments when a sudden change in the weather occurred and created a picture perfect moment. The clouds started filling the sky and the gusts of wind that seemed to spring up spontaneously created mini dust storms in the road - nice for photography, but hectic out in the open.

For more Skywatch photos from around the world click here.

19 February 2015

Skywatch Friday - Fifty Shades of Blue

Travelling between the towns of Aberdeen and Klipplaat I stopped to photograph a row of sisal plants, when another photo opportunity presented itself, in the form of a troop of vervet monkeys that had been feeding on the pods. This guy kind of blended in with the sky.....well ever so slightly.

Many more super pictures from around the world can be viewed at the Skywatch page.

08 January 2015

Skywatch Friday - Mata Mata Sunset

This was one of those moments where I had to stop the car and enjoy the sunset even though there was a race against time to get back to camp, before the gates closed. With the dry air and dust the sunsets in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are breathtaking.

Visit Skywatch for more great pictures from around the world.

01 January 2015

Happy New Year

May 2015 be the start of many good journey's for you. May your roads be without too many bumps and if there are may you sail over all obstacles without a care. Let 2015 be a fantastic year, look for adventure, take risks, have fun and make your dreams happen. When the road starts to get blurry, stop and smell the flowers. Spend time enjoying the sunsets and sunrises and look for the rainbows. Take pleasure in all that is around you and look forward to seeing what new experiences the next rise or turn in the road brings.

19 December 2014

Lappet-faced Vulture - Kgalagadi

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park can become a special place, if you allow it to get into your soul. I did not feel like that on my first visit last month, because the place is so hostile. It is almost as though it is conspiring to see how it can make life uncomfortable for you, but the heat, wind storms, dust storms and thunderstorms all become part of the experience and is what sets it apart from other parks.

Processing my photos after the trip is what has done it for me and I will have to start planning the next trip soon. It's not as though you can just decide to jump in your car and go there. You have to book your accommodation a year in advance - that tells you something about the place and its popularity.

One of the amazing features of the Park for me was the variety and number of raptors that one gets to see there. The Lappet-faced Vulture is just one of these - a magnificent bird, always ready to clean up after the predators.