30 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Synagogue sunrise

The historic Edward Street Synagogue in Richmond Hill, photographed on an early morning walk, as the sun started rising. The ominous looking clouds in the background opened up a few minutes later and Sue and I had to run for cover.

For more pictures from all over the world, visit the Skywatch site.

26 September 2010

Bringing in the harvest

These Northern Harvester Termites are hard at working stocking their larder. And I would not like to get onto the wrong end of the nippers of that fellow with the red head.

The area is full of evidence of the activities of the aardvarks, so it is very likely that these termites could end up as the main course one evening.

24 September 2010

Only a cat

Is this why it is called a recliner.................?

23 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Heavy metal and blue skies

I am featuring a two different views of the skies this week....................

A machine gun looking very menacing on the INS Tabar, which was docked in Port Elizabeth last weekend as part of a joint South African, Brazilian and Indian naval exercise.

A view of the giant flag at the Donkin Reserve, looking over the roofs of historical houses in Central.

Visit the Skywatch site for more pictures from around the world.

21 September 2010

Rust bucket

You would have to be a real adventurer to go out in a rust bucket like this one. It is quite a contrast to the well maintained naval ships I had just visited.

I somehow think that this ship will not be having any more adventures at sea.

19 September 2010

Flowers of the Eastern Cape #19 - Heliophila cornuta

Heliophila cornuta, or sunflax is found on rocky slopes in arid fynbos from southern Namibia  to the Eastern Cape. This one was taken in the foothills of the Grootwinterhoek Mountains, near Klipfontein.

18 September 2010

The navy comes to town.........

......make that three navies. The South African, Brazilian and Indian navies are about to embark on a joint anti-piracy exercise in the Indian Ocean. Seems like they are preparing, for in case the pirates extend their sphere of operations to the Southern Indian Ocean.

Today we had the oportunity to visit some of the ships.

The first stop was the INS Mysore, a Delhi-class destroyer and then INS Tabar (battle axe), a Talwar-class frigate from India. It was an enjoyable visit and soon it was time to leave.

We then had a taste of navy protocol, or maybe it was a reverence for authority. When we were about to disembark the officer in charge would not let us leave, a decision, which to me made no sense. One thing that really pees me me off is a lack of logic. He was very aggitated and not content to make us wait, we were then asked to move to the stern side of the gang plank. Soon a more senior officer arrived and barked out an order to straighten the gang plank. This was done with great alacrity. When all was in order a grey haired gent in civilian clothing, with the look of someone who had a stick thrust into the nether regions of his anatomy, marched up the gang plank and was smartly saluted.

It turned out that he was the fleet commander - el supremo the man who makes the life and death decisions - who does not stand aside for anyone on his ship. No wonder us civilians were kept waiting, we are mere mortals after all.

The next stop was the Brazilian frigate, MB Niteroi, which was alongside the SAS Spioenkop, a Valour class frigate. By this stage it was getting late and we had to leave and so did not make it on to the SAS Spioenkop. You will see that the MB Niteroi has anti-rat barriers on some of its ropes.

Looking out across the harbour was a "little yacht" sailing past the INS Ganga is a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate, from India.

On our way out  the SAS Amatola was coming in to dock. It is the first of four Valour class frigates that were recently acquired by the SA Navy.

I was not too happy with the overcast weather, but I think grey light combined with the colour of the ships has almost given the pictures a monochrome look that is quite effective.

16 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Formation flying

Today's Skywatch is for nature lovers and aircraft nuts. I fall into both categories.

Kelp gulls taking off at Port St Francis.

Cell C aerobatics team performing a manoeuvre in their Harvard aircraft.

For more pictures from around the world, visit Skywatch.


Catching the early morning sun

15 September 2010

Flowers of the Eastern Cape #18 - Snake Thistle

 A ground level view of snake thistle, growing at Cape St Francis with the pink remains of a Sour Fig.

12 September 2010

Aerobatics at the beach

Some precision flying by the Cell C team in their Harvards aircraft at Hobie Beach this morning.

The team put on some slick aerobatic manoeuvres.

Buzzing the pier.

11 September 2010

Hopping around the Karoo

When you walk through the Karoo you can be forgiven if you don't happen to see one of these grasshoppers, because they blend into their surroundings so well. The only reason I found these was because of their efforts to escape being crushed under my boots.

I am new to insect identification, but I think this is the blue-wing grasshopper.

09 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - More Karoo Skies

More big Karoo skies

Visit Skywatch for more great photos from around the world.

The power of the pen and the brush

"We lose them they expand" is one of the latest paintings completed by Sue. This is one of a series of paintings in a collaborative project of art and poetry, between her and Nox Mafu, who is currently resident in New York.

The painting is a graphic representation of one of Nox's poems about a traumatic incident that happened during the apartheid years in South Africa, when a number of demonstrators were killed in the former Ciskei. This is one of my favourite paintings in the series.

What is so amazing about this project is that is has been put together by two south African women from totally different backgrounds who met on Face Book.

If you want to see more, Sue has posted pictures of the paintings and accompanying poems on her blog site Arty Farty Musings.

06 September 2010

Penguin rehabilitation

Six rehabilitated penguins were released from Hobie Beach this weekend.

The first guy out decided to head for the shore and needed some help to get back to the sea.

Heading for freedom.

Taking the plunge.

Heading out to sea.

Last hurdle

Free at last.

05 September 2010

Flowers of the Eastern Cape #17 - Plumbago second time around

I have really enjoyed this project, which was to photograph the indigenous flowers that have been blooming throughout the winter months and have decided to continue with it.

This week I am featuring the plumbago for a second time around. Wherever I have gone I have come across one in flower. Ignore the elephant and enjoy the flowers.

The plumbago is so simple, yet so striking.

04 September 2010

The road to...................

.............if your car's suspension can take the hammering, it will eventually get you to Uitengage.

03 September 2010

The wheel turns, no more

The spokes on this discarded old wheel, I found in the bush, have been carefully repaired with wire. It just goes to show that recycling started a long time ago and probably kept this wheel turning long after its sell by date.

02 September 2010

Skywatch Friday - Karoo Sunset

This shot was taken in the Karoo last weekend, where the sunsets are always spectacular.

Pop in to the Skywatch site to see many photos from around the world.

01 September 2010

Flowers of the Eastern Cape #16 - Happy Spring Day

Despite the aridness, the Steenbokmelkbos (Euphorbia burmannii) are making a beutiful splash of colour throughout the Karoo at the moment.

These plants also seem to attract the flies. I did not try smelling them for fear of getting a fly up my nose.