Day 199 – Theewaterskloof revisited

It’s was 980 days ago that we went out to Theewaterskloof Dam to see for ourselves just how bad the drought facing Cape Town actually was.

Here’s my post from the day. And here are the images I took.

Today, we went back to Theewaterskloof Dam. And wow. What a difference a day 980 days makes.

Compare this from February 2018…

…with this from this morning:

Quite chuffed how close I managed to get those two images, given that it has been 2½ years and given that the place (thankfully) looks completely different.

Cape Town will always be threatened with water shortages, given the twin issues of rapid population growth and global climate change, but this is about as good as things could be and it was a truly heartening sight.

And yes, everyone knows that the dams are back up to 100% – I didn’t need to personally go out there and take this image to prove it. But we need these little wins right now, and this comparison very much fits that agenda.

I couldn’t get the drone up – the wind was blowing like a overenthusiastic lady on Kenilworth Main Road – but there will be more photos to follow.

I’ll let you know.

UPDATE: Here you go: photos.

Day 198 – My image on a boring meme

Thumbing through Reddit yesterday evening, I spotted a post entitled “Boring Meme”.

Here it is, shared for your observation:

I’m no expert, but it appears that the creator of the piece is describing the near immediate bad fortune s/he has upon embarking on a particularly important online computer game, which s/he is unable to pause.

Look, I get it. We’ve all just begun something when something or someone demands our instant attention. It is annoying.

For some reason, they have used four images of birds to represent the potential annoyances they might face in their particular situation.

Top left: possibly a baby Great Grey Owl? I’m not big on owls.
Top right is an apparently walking Cinereous Vulture by Canon Ambassador Vladimir Medvedev.
Bottom right is a local fellow (bird and ‘tog) – A Jackal Buzzard by Clint Ralph taken in the Drakensberg Mountains in KZN, South Africa.

But that bottom left image, the one depicting “noob teammates”?
Well, that’s a Cape Vulture and I know that because I took that photograph.

Seriously:

I took it on 20th October 2013 near Plettenberg Bay – a young male who had lost his family to poisoning or poaching and now resides at Radical Raptors, raising money and awareness so that other young male Cape Vultures don’t have to go through what he has gone through.

I’ve had my images published in a few places: a German football quarterly, a UN Water Ambassador’s presentation about Climate Change, a Cape Town lifestyle magazine, a UK steam engine heritage publication – even in an actual National Geographic book – but this is my first (known) example of one being used in a meme.

Except, this guy got the images from here. I had already been memed!

Who knows – maybe this meme will “take off” (pun intended) and vast sums of money will arrive at my virtual door. Except that obviously, nobody except you and I knows that that bottom corner one is my photo, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be quietly impressed.

(Discreet) fame at last!

Day 191 – A new lighthouse

You know me. I like lighthouses.
So imagine my delight at being able to add another one to my list today.

This one:

Long story short, I was out helping with a risk assessment near Cape Town this morning, and was seriously privileged to be able to visit this particular lighthouse – one that not many people get to go to. Anyone able to place it?

18 metres worth of stocky masonry, flashing for 5 seconds, every 7 seconds.
Although… not when we were there… because… well… daytime. Obviously.

On my return trip later this month, I might even get to go up it.

I am almost twitching with anticipation.

Day 186 – Up the mountain

The Boy Wonder is leading a hike up Table Mountain this weekend, and so we decided to do a quick recce in case there had been any changes since the last time he/we were up there.

Not much had changed since I was last up there except that the dams were a whole lot fuller.

Here’s proof:

The image on the left – showing 11 rungs going to the water level on the Woodhead Dam – was taken on the 24th of March last year. I took the one on the right this morning and the water level is above the third rung down. 18 months and 4 days change.

The overflows were hard at work:

It wasn’t raining while we were up there – it was all gorgeous and sunny – but we did get caught in an unforecasted and therefore unexpected downpour on the way down. A stark reminder that conditions can change very quickly on the mountain.

13km (and 650m of ascent) later, we dragged our soaking wet bodies into the car and headed home for hot drinks and showers.

It was a great way to spend a morning.

Day 183 – SLPP

I’ve never been a huge fan of Sir Lowry’s Pass, which carries the N2 out of Cape Town and towards the Overberg. Too many hours spent in traffic jams heading home after wonderful weekends away. It’s a means to an end and we generally like to get past it as quickly as possible.

When we drove over it yesterday though, we went through the clouds and suddenly… well… wow.
For the first time in literally hundreds and hundreds of trips, we had to stop and admire the view.
And, given the fact that my tripod was buried under a few days’ worth of luggage, I’m fairly happy with how this hand-held pano came out.

44.6 Megapixels of view above the blanket of clouds covering the Cape Flats. And – about a third of the way in from the left – Table Mountain and Devils Peak, floating like an island* in a sea of clouds about 46 km away.

Go and look at the whole thing here.

Today couldn’t be more different: horizontal rain being flung from the South Atlantic at the front of the cottage. We’re staying inside, drinking red wine, playing games and… well… writing blog posts.

I may drag the beagle along the beach later.

 

(I may not.)

 

 

* do islands float?