Day 499 – ITAP

One of the things that was ruined by our recent family Covid experience was Mrs 6000’s [landmark] birthday, which was thoroughly annoying, because [landmark] birthdays don’t come around all that often. And one of the plans for that day was for her to go on a gentle horse ride with her friends around some of the local vineyards, followed by a picnic in said vineyards. That didn’t happen because of self-isolation and general crappiness.
But we did manage to get that to happen today.

For the kids and I, the brief was clear: deliver the picnic to the vineyard in time for the end of the ride, and get some photos of the ride for posterity. No problem: I’ve proven that I can drive and the horse place/vineyard is almost literally just around the corner. I can set the boy loose taking photos and the girl and I can unpack the picnic stuff.

And so that’s what we did.

While the boy was away doing his thing, the girl went to chat to some of the remaining horses at the stables and I was left alone with the birds: Jackal Buzzards, Drongos, Sunbirds, White-Eyes – feathery stuff everywhere. And when the boy came back, I decided that I had to shoot the Flycatcher that had been flitting around the car.

This was quite a big deal, because it’s the first time I’ve been out of the car for 3 weeks and the first photo I’ve taken in over a month. I only had to go a few metres from the car to get the shot, but that was knackering enough, especially with a football match to stay up for this evening. But, bread and butter shot of a cute little bird posing on a nicely-textured horse fence: couldn’t resist.

Now just to edit 175 various images of ladies on horses. And maybe a nap.

(Definitely a nap.)

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 342 – Misty morning

It’s been busy recently. I haven’t taken any photos in ages. It’s still busy, but sometimes you need to take your chances. And after yesterday’s rubbish day, I had some English muffins drenched in butter for breakfast and decided to blog early as well. Good start.

Mist – the photographer’s friend – is fairly unusual on the side of the mountain here, so when it arrives, you need to get the camera out and get going. Sadly, today’s episode was very transient – the descending and then disappearing within 10 minutes – and coincided neatly with the requirement to get the kids to school, so some some degree of balance was required.

I got a couple of shots. And the kids got to school on time.
Everyone’s a winner.

 

This is actually not a monochrome image, but as well as softening everything around you, the mist also drains all the life and the colour from the scene, which works nicely when you have vegetation at various distances from your position.

There are actually three layers here, but only two are really discernible. More time and less private property would have been really helpful to fine-tune this shot, but as mentioned above, sometimes you just need to go with what you’ve got.

And it was just nice to get something.

Day 304 – Wander with a camera

A quick trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens (we’re members now, don’t you know?) this morning with a camera (50mm prime lens only) in hand yielded some decent exercise and a few nice pics, not least this Common Garden Orbweb Spider (Agriope australis), which was much better camouflaged than you might imagine.

Not sure what the thicker woven threads top left and bottom left are, but it was quite an impressive construction for a relatively small spider.

And how about a bit of Erica densifolia to brighten your day?

Because of… well… you know what, a lot of outdoor spaces (basically those without controlled entrance) are out of bounds at the moment and even Kirstenbosch is only open 9-6, leading to huge, mostly socially-distanced queues outside the gates when we arrived. And then the frustrating stupidity of the official at the entrance with his mask under his nose, touching everyone’s hands while taking their temperature, but telling us all to behave safely.

Still, once you’re in, and past the muppets, you can lose yourself nicely for a while.
This was an hour or so well-spent.