21 September 2008

Amongst the lily pads

This family of Egyptian Geese was spotted at the Boardwalk Casino complex yesterday morning

Mama goose and the three "ugly ducklings" taking to the water

They have settled into their new home quite happily and do not seem mind the presence of humans, or should I say that they tolerate us

For one more picture go to Port Elizabeth Daily Photo

18 September 2008

Sky Watch - Nebula sunset

On my way home from work yesterday I was greeted by this sunset and I had left my camera at home. I stopped any way, just to enjoy the view then out came my cell phone and I was quite pleased with the result.

Visit the Sky Watch site for more stunning pictures

11 September 2008

Sky Watch Friday - The Donkin

The lighthouse and pyramid viewed from the bottom end of the Donkin Reserve are iconic symbols of Port Elizabeth.

The pyramid was erected by Sir Rufane Donkin in memory of his young wife who died in India shortly before he came to the fledgling city. He administered the Cape colony from 1820 to 1821 and named the rising seaport of Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth in memory of his wife.

The plaque on the pyramid reads, "To the memory of one of the most perfect human beings who has given her name to the Town below."

The lighthouse is no longer in use as it lost its effectiveness as the city grew up around it and was replaced with a new metal structure on the coast.

07 September 2008

Pin Cushion Protea

A Pin Cushion Protea (Leucospermum) photographed at the Walmer Park Shopping Centre yesterday.

06 September 2008

Don't mess with nature

Spring was certaily ushered in with a bang this year. Take a massive cold front that created swells of up to 11 metres and couple it with a spring high tide and you have a recipe for destruction.

Here are a few before and after shots, to show the awesome power of the sea.

Kings Beach on a normal day.

Kings Beach last Sunday

Waves battering the sea wall at Sidon Street, behind Stuart Graham. This is not one of my pics but one that has been doing the rounds on the internet, so I cannot give acknowledgements to the photographer.

The aftermath. The building from the top picture can be seen in the top left.

The sea wall shot about a year ago. And I thought the waves were spectacular then.

The same area as it it is now

A tranquil scene taken from one of the popular fishing spots last year.

...... and the railway line heading towards the city

In one fluid movement the sea changed all that. I do not think the trains will be running any time soon.

It just goes to show that you cannot tame the sea and that bad town planning does not pay

For more pictures go to Arty Fartying Around and PE Daily Photo.

04 September 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Amidst the pachyderms

So who is going to watch the sky - or even care about a dirty windscreen - when you end up in the middle of a herd of elephants and there is no escape route.

I have been charged by a herd of elephants cows in the Zambezi Valley, many years ago when in the army. It was quite a scary experience, even though we were in a huge truck and were able to out run them. With some of these being less than two metres from the car, I was hoping these mommas would be more amenable to humans, than their Zambezi cousins.

We were hemmed in by elephants and cars and had no room to manoeuvre. Fortunately the Addo elephants are used to people and are fairly placid, but one still does not like to take chances with them.

As it turned out they very quickly ambled off into the bush and we were able to drive off with a feeling of exhilaration.
For links to a whole lot of sky watch pictures go to the Sky Watch site

Birds of the Addo bush

Cape Weaver. As with all weaver birds the males become very busy during the breeding season building their nests, with incredible skill and precision..

Fork Tailed Drongo. A very bold bird common throughout Africa. In my farming days they would often be seen following the tractor when we ploughed the fields, catching anything edible that was turned up.

Spotted-backed Weaver, not to be confused with the masked weaver.

Glossy Starling. Though common, these are usually very shy birds, so I was glad to capture this one.

03 September 2008

Antelope and buffalo

This old buffalo bull looks very benign, but don't be deceived by his bovine looks. The old bulls can be very dangerous and there are many reported cases of them goring people to death. If you happen to be on foot in the bush, give these guys a wide berth.

My favourite antelope is the kudu. Their population seems to have exploded in Addo.

Kudu cow browing. I once bottle reared an orphaned kudu, which is why I have such a soft spot for them.

Red hartebees.

When seen from behind these antelope seem to be wearing boxer shorts.

01 September 2008

Ecological Day - No to Nukes

Ecological day is a monthly feature started by Sonia at Leaves of Grass , to give bloggers the opportunity to post articles on any ecological matters, on the first Tueday of every month.

My first venture is into the spectre of nuclear power.

When you look out on this vista, it is hard to believe that a nuclear power station could be build on the second point, not too far in the future. Yes, Thuyspunt has been identified as one of the sites for a pebble bed nuclear reactor. All indications are that the Governmant and Eskom are intent on building on this site.

The Government is firmly commited to its programme of building nuclear power stations and the powers that be are going through the motions of the environmental impact assessments (EIA). The assumption is that as long as one goes through the legal motions, it justifies the end.

The EIA is now being conducted on the route of the power lines, which can only lead one to conclude that someone in high places has already made up their mind.

The reality is that we do not want a nuclear power station on our door step.
  • Nuclear power is not safe despite what the experts say. Yes, you can take precautions, but the inherent risks are big.
  • Pebble bed technology is as yet untested.
  • The site is alongside the ecologically sensitive sand river system.
  • This site is in the heart of one of the country's prime tourist and dairy farming areas.
  • 20,000 people will have to be evacuated from Cape St Francis in 12 minutes, on a single access road, if there is a nuclear leak. It is even closer to Oyster Bay
As country we need to do something about about our electricity demand, but I believe we should be looking for better sustainable alternatives such as wind.
For more Ecological Day posts visit Sonia at Leaves of Grass.

Caricatures of the bush?

Warthogs can be seen around just about every turn and corner at the Addo Elephant National Park.

They give a new meaning to the word ugly.

In fact they are so ugly they are beautiful.

Those tusks can inflict a nasty wound if they are cornered and go into self defense mode.