Friday, February 19

A little "quiet" time at Biyamiti Weir

Making my leisurely way out of Kruger 3 weeks ago, I paused a little while at the Biyamiti Weir.

At first glance there didn't seem to be much going on, but after a longer, slower look I found myself snapping away for at least a half hour.....

The road crosses the spruit immediately below the weir wall, so if anything is happening in the pond upstream one has an amazing eye-level view of it.

Both the water lilies and dragon-flies were almost glowing against the bright green water vegetation - a stark contrast to the dry, bare earth just a few metres away from the river banks.

Three-banded plover

A little further across the weir and there were a couple of waders reflecting prettily in the still rock pools. With very little other traffic to disturb me I tried my best to get some good pics at close range.

Wood sandpiper

A little spurt of excitement rippled through the still hot air, as a water monitor lizard clawed and scraped across the granite boulders on the left, inspecting the rock pools for little fish, frogs and other tasty tidbits...

Sadly my "quiet" time was coming to an end as other travelers through the park were catching up with me and I couldn't remain blocking the road so completely!

So with a last photo of another little wader on the weir beside me and an indifferent farewell from the Vervets in the river bank trees, I moved on southwards..........

Common sandpiper

Vervet monkey

Sunday, February 14

Past and present - photos from the archives

Cape Winelands, view from Nuy Valley - February 2015

Whilst my "gypsy" lifestyle is on pause I've been revisiting my photo archives and realising just how much ground I have covered over the years!

This again is a collection of photos that I have posted on my Coral Wild Snapshots Facebook page over the last few weeks, in no particular order. I hope you enjoy both the images and my recollections!

Most of our vulture species are "threatened" or "endangered".

However within a large conservation area like Kruger National Park one can see the more common species fairly regularly.

This particularly handsome bird, however, is a rare and exciting sighting. It is a Lappet-faced vulture (Torgus tracheliotus) - our largest.

That huge, strong beak is quite capable of tearing the toughest skin on an animal carcase open!

Kruger National Park, November 2010

A sunset across Table Bay, seen from Maestros on the Beach, Milnerton - November 2015

Having been introduced to this "restaurant with a view" by Cape Town cousins, I often book our "end of tour" dinner here.

The food is great and our international guests are always blown away by the sunset over Table Mountain, followed after dark by the twinkling lights of Cape Town reflected in the Bay.

Lake Panic Bird Hide is one of my favourite spots in Kruger.

It's a great place for birding, and if one is lucky, hippos and crocs can be really close. Other times I've seen bushbuck, baboons and elephant there.

Early in the morning the lighting can be really challenging for photography, but this Goliath Heron flying past is still recognisable :) -  September 2009

When I visited the US North West and Vancouver Island in 2007, I was "blown away" by the vibrant displays of flowering broom.

I was repeatedly assured that it was an invasive alien plant and the bane of both farmers and conservationists.

That didn't keep me from photographing it at every opportunity and admiring it (silently after the first few lectures!!;))

Vancouver Island, May 2007

SA Agulhas II - Feb 2016

This last Thursday morning I was at the V&A Waterfont, Cape Town, seeing my tour guests on to the Robben Isl. ferry.

The lighting was cool & misty and I couldn't resist spending an hour or so taking some pics.

I was especially excited to see South Africa's Antarctic supply and research vessel, the S.A. Agulhas II enter harbour.

Seeing ships like this really stimulates my wanderlust.

During this last tour, we had a very wet day at Tsitsikamma, yet again.

I suppose that's why it has such wonderful forest.

Anyway despite the steady drizzle I went for a walk on the Goesa trail, of which the highlight is the tree ferns.

I had a good time trying to capture the rain dripping off their fronds.

And for an abrupt change in subject matter, date and colour, here's a photo I took in New York City in June 2007.

Editing the image from color to B&W produced a more dramatic picture, I think!

Keeping to the B&W theme, I edited a whole lot of distracting green from this image of a Nile crocodile to highlight the beauty of it's skin patterns.

This was taken in Kruger National Park in August 2015.

And back to colour for this photo taken of handsome, young and male Water Buck.

Taken in Kruger in January 2013, it shows how lush Kruger can be in a good wet season - not how it's looking right now!