Day 469 – Blue

There’s little point in me writing an essay on any given subject while I’m away and unable to discuss my thoughts on that given subject. And so that’s why I rely mainly on short posts and quota photos*.

Like this one from September 2017.

This was an art installation called Waterlicht, in which a certain pass in the Peak District National Park in the UK was flooded with blue laser light to represent rising ocean levels and general panic. To be fair, if the sea gets there, we are going to be in a lot of trouble, given that it’s about 300m above (current) sea level.

The project hadn’t been well advertised or attended on its first two evenings. But this particular night was chaos, with 6km tailbacks and lots of walking along dark country roads with traffic everywhere. Was it worth it? Probably not.
But it was an experience.

You might think from my flippant attitude just beneath the image above that I’m some sort of climate change denier.
Not so. Obviously not. I recognise that things are changing, and not in a good way. And because it’s a gradual change, rather than one specific moment in time, it’s being overlooked by many people as far less of a problem than it actually is.
I do think that we would all be better served by less sensationalism around the subject, though. Good science is still just science. It isn’t compatible with sensationalism, and I do completely understand people’s scepticism when they have been fed ridiculous headlines of doom and gloom by celebrities and newspapers for years and years, only for those predicted timelines to be wholly unfounded.

Those individuals and publications sowed the seeds of doubt; they have made the bed upon which we now lie. And yet, science still gets the blame. Regaining the trust of the public on this subject is something that we will probably never be able to do.

* this one seems to have gone on a bit though.

Day 451 – Sunbirds in the wind at Kirstenbosch

Father’s Day, and after some lovely gifts and a nice coffee in bed, I was lucky enough to be taken out (not in a Mafia way, no) for a picnic brunch at Kirstenbosch.

A few things that are relevant or of interest at this point:

It’s midwinter’s day tomorrow, but today is 28 degrees with a strong, gusting gale force, Bergwind blowing. (You’ll note that that link is illustrated with a photo from Kirstenbosch, almost as proof that it can happen there. Because it does.) It’s hot, dry and very breezy. Not bad for June, great to be out and about, but not great for watching the birds, as their perches were waving about all over the place and the feathery things themselves were very skittish.
Kirstenbosch was empty. Like, park right outside the gate empty. On a sunny Sunday morning (and Father’s Day, nogal) at 10am.
Why is this? Where is everybody? I don’t understand. Still: fantastic for social distancing.
Also, Kirstenbosch needs a bit of TLC. I’ve never had to say that before. Yes, of course it’s still utterly magnificent, but the lawns need a mow and the beds need weeding. Basic stuff that makes a lot of difference to the general appearance and the overall impression. I don’t know if this is a money thing or a Covid thing or a environmental decision, but it looks a bit tatty at the moment.

Anyway, after a very pleasant brunch and an international Zoom call to partially fulfill my own filial duties, I tried to find a few more sheltered places to get some quick shots. The pincushions were bright and cheerful, and the sunbirds were out and about. It was frustrating stuff with the birds flitting at the slightest movement and the flowers being buffeted by the wind from all angles, but I did manage to get a few decent images. You can see them on Flickr here.

I feel that in better conditions, I could have done better, and so I’m determined to pop back “soon” (it is just up the road and we are BotSoc members, after all) and see if I can improve on what I got today.

So… look out for that then, I guess.

Day 446 – Some photos

(at last!)

Just a quick in-and-out (careful now) from me here today, because I have to play football half an hour and I’m n kilometres away from where I need to be to play football at that time.

But I did manage to edit some photos – mainly of birds – from the weekend: here they are.

Here’s a Little Egret having a bad hair day, just to get you in the mood.

I know that these are feathers (I did Biology for GCSE), but the term “bad feathers day” doesn’t really exist, and I’m trying to be whimsical.

Have a lovely evening. As mentioned, football for me, then the Ramaphosa announcement, then France v Germany, at least one of which should be an absolute humdinger. Two if we’re properly lucky.

Day 437 – Photos and postcards

A run on the mountain yesterday, a surprisingly hard game of football in surprisingly warm conditions this morning.
I are a bit broken. I have sat down to blog and I might never be able to get up again. But it’s all been fun.

Today: A photography competition judged by someone called Trevor.

Win A Canon Kit Worth R68 999

Decent prizes there, including the chance for your image to be featured on the Sea Point Prom, where it will be seen by literally thousands of people every day. And also some cyclists.

But then you look more carefully, and there are separate prizes for Pros and Ams. I have to say that while the Powershot is very nice, the R6 and that monstrous 800mm lens (that’s clearly not it in the image above) is far more tempting. So, do you have to be a Pro enter the Pro arm of the competition? What exactly is a Pro in this context? I regularly take photographs in exchange for money, so can I enter that one? Especially now I’ve got my nice, new, big lens (bought from Orms, by the way). And while we’re getting the props in early, I also follow Trevor on Instagram and once advised him on Facebook of a good place to get a laptop screen fixed.

I’d say that I’m pretty much a shoe-in for this one.

All I need is a decent photo of a bird. Hmm.


And then, this.

I love the Postcard from the Past twitter account – I said it was good back when it started.
An image and a line or two from any postcard in Tom’s collection, presented without context and thus really prompting some thought into what exactly might have been going on in the writer’s mind (or on their holiday).

I have a virtual concert to attend on Thursday evening, so sadly it’s going to be difficult for me to do this one, but if you are interested, all the details are available on the link just above the image above.

[too many aboves, above? – Ed.]
[Nah – no-one will notice. I’m just going to hit the Publish button.]

Day 433 – Not a horse

I was at a local riding school, ostensibly to take photos of some of the horses for their social media, but there were also cats (and dogs and chickens and guineafowls) around.
So even though it wasn’t feline Friday, I shot a bit of them too.

This guy is a Cape Leopard Bengal cat.

Apparently:

…many people consider the Bengal to be a wild cat that only pretends to be domesticated

And that fits pretty well for this chap, who doesn’t like to go indoors or hang around humans. But will always be nearby when there’s food on offer.

But that’s your feline studies lesson over for today, because right now, I need to get on with editing some horse pics before the football.