As the Sun descends towards the horizon, visitors on game drives in the Kgalagadi National Park start heading back to the Camps to ensure they get there before the gates close. The desolate camps are suddenly a hive of activity as everybody starts preparing dinner. More than likely this will be a open fire braai outside the chalet or tent as may be the case. Shortly after Dinner, the camp is quiet again as everybody gets some well deserved sleep, prior to waking up at the crack of dawn to head out for game drives as the next day dawns. Dinnertime is the prompt on the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, and images of the activity around the campsite at this time are my response to the prompt.

…………the journey continues…………



Travel Theme : Parks

Established in the 1650’s, nestled below Table Mountain, home to the Iziko South African Museum, the Iziko National Gallery, the National Library of South Africa and literally on the doorstep of the South African Parliment, the Company’s gardens are very much an essential part of the central City in Cape Town.

A favourite green relaxation spot for inner City workers at lunchtime, for a gentle stroll, or a spot for enjoying a packed lunch, perhaps a cup of coffee and a snack at the restaurant, or just a pause to watch all the activity. Always busy on weekends with families on picnics, friends just hanging out, couples just enjoying the open space, childrens birthday parties, and even a favourite photographic backdrop for weddings.

The Gardens are home to a rose garden since 1929, has a well stocked fish pond, an aviary, a Restaurant/Tea Room, Botanically and historically valuable trees, a herb and succulent garden, statues, large lawns and benches in the shade of some huge trees, including the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa.

It was also the venue for the recent “infecting the city” event, which saw numerous installations and performances happening in the gardens and the entire city. Held throughout the day and evenings, it was a wonderful opportunity for Capetonians to take in some “culture” provided on the house by the City. It was an incredibly vibrant time in this strategically positioned green space in the City.

I happened to be out there, camera in hand, to get some shots of the action it the garden. Some of these images are my post for this week’s Travel theme “Parks” on “Wheres my backpack”. It was wonderful to see how “normal” life in the garden was able to continue, despite the introduction of stages, etc. Those that came to watch, watched, and those that came to visit the garden, continued doing doing just that….:-):-)

………..the journey continues……………….

52 Photos Project : Summertime Colours

The prompt on the 52 Photos Project for this week is “summertime colours”. Bella, who has been coming up with these inspirational prompts each week, has been super accommodating in asking those of us that are experiencing winter, to submit colours of our current season.

I recently posted about a visit to the little village of Barrydale. On this trip to the area, I came across this colourful field of vines, beautiful rich deep colours, backlit by the softer winter sun. I suppose those in the Northern regions would probably associate these colours to “autumn”, even though we are in the midst of winter. Today being the ‘shortest” day of the year.

So my images for todays prompt are some of my “seasons colours”. Vibrant and lit up by the weaker sun, absolutely perfect for warming you up on a winters day.

………………….the journey contnues……………………………………

Travel Theme : Secret Places

More often than not, when you discover a secret place, it is somewhere you’ve been before. Not necessarily as in to the actual spot, or the place for that matter, but in the vicinity.

Have you ever wondered (when you’re on a long road trip) about the numerous places you drive by as you’re heading somewhere. Some of these places may have roadsigns advising where to turn off, maybe even with a clue as to what it is, perhaps a farm, or a resort, or a weekend getaway place or a farm stall, a training venue? The truth is one never knows until you venture beyond that roadsign, into the zone that you’ve driven past so many times. Often once you enter that realm, the secrets of that place are revealed, and it becomes clear that all is not as mundane as it appears when you’re just driving past en route to somewhere else. I suppose the discovery in itself adds something to the “secretness” of the place, considering the numerous others who are just driving past unaware of what lies waiting to be discovered.

I recently visited one of the places that I had driven by many times previously, and found the secret places that others before me had found and others after me will still find, adding to their repertoire of “secret places”. This secret place was like an indigenous forest with a stream running through, filled with tranquility and colourful contrasts in the vegetation.

So my post for the “travel theme : secret places” on wheres my backpack has extracted shots from this “secret place”, perhaps these visual cues will provide some prompts for you to formulate an image of what this place was like 🙂 ………………..the journey continues…………….

Weekly Photo Challenge : Unfocused

Last night was the “supermoon” – the biggest and brightest full moon of the year – with the moon passing closer to earth than usual, something like 24 140km closer than usual…..and like many other lunar-tics 🙂 I was out there to check it out. I’m not sure if you actually notice the difference, when its up in the sky, perhaps you do when it emerges from the horizon.

I was out on Lions Head, a hill alongside Table Mountain, overlooking the City, trying to get a few shots. It was a bit cloudy on the horizon so the supermoon only revealed itself once it was above that. Quite amazing with the City as a backdrop. I stubmbled upon the remains of a tree, burnt in a recent fire and used it to add some foreground to my shots. Amongst the various attempts at shooting from this position I ended up with a few that were “unfocused” or I guess it would be more appropraite to say “unfocused” in some areas. I think the “unfocusness” adds another dimension to the image, though I’m aware that is a very subjective thing :-). Nevertheless, the last image in the series is one of the others that does not eaxctly fit the “unfocused” label, though is one that will give you an idea of the burnt tree I am talking about…………..

……….the journey continues…………………

spring breaking out………………

Those of you that have read some of my previous posts may remember the post about always taking the camera with, and how you actually see so much more when you do. Of course, each one of us, sees different things, and what appeals to one may not appeal to the next, but I guess the point I was making is that shooting opportunities just seem to present themselves in all sorts of circumstances.

This happened to me a few days ago, I had to meet some officials on a building site, not too far from the City. As the traffic is unpredictable, I left a little earlier and reached the destination before the person I was meeting arrived. Yes, I did have my camera, with me, so I walked around looking for opportunities to shoot. I momentarily looked up, and noticed the trees against the cloudy blue sky. What was pretty significant was that the trees were completely barren, almost skeleton like, except for what appeared to be some new leaves that were just emerging. The coming of spring is kindof accepted as being the 1st of September in these parts, so I momentarily wondered if this was Spring breaking out :-). We’ve had an unusually mild winter thus far, so was this a sign that spring was here?

Well, my ignorance around birds and trees has been mentioned here before :-), so I couldnt provide an educated answer :-), nevertheless, what I saw appealed to me, and these are some of the resulting images

It wasnt long after that the person I was meeting arrived, and it was business as usual …..:-)   ………………the journey continues……………….

towering giants………..

Yesterdays post was about the huge pine and eucalyptus trees that are being felled at Tokai Forest. As I mentioned in the post, there are both schools of thought, those that support the felling, and others that dont. I must admit, that I have not been privy to the discussions or motivations coming from either of these camps. So, for the purposes of this discussion I’ve just been focusing on the enormous presence these trees have had in this area. The density of the trees and their high and mighty stature make them  absolute giants towering above the humans that come to relax in their midst. Hopefully, they will still be with us for a while before all of them are eventually removed.

The journey continues………………..

Todays images are a continuation from yesterday and show a perpective that emphasises these towering giants………………

…..wood for the trees……..

It’s been a while since I had been to Tokai Forest, situated on the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. A Nature reserve that is home to extensive plantations of what I think are Pine and Eucalyptus trees, which are considered Alien. There are also indigenous trees but the area appears to have a larger proportion of the Aliens. But with my limited knowledge of trees, I would have to qualify that by saying, I speak under correction :-). Essentially a forest, which was pretty obvious to anyone who visted the place. There are a huge number trees, in close proximity to one another towering above the ground, as if reaching to the sky. The tress create an amazing canopy through which light filters resulting in a wonderful atmosphere below. The area has designated picnic spots, mountain bike trails, even horse riding areas. The area is frequented by hikers, and walkers too, some just out for a stroll, urging their dogs to get some exercise.

When I visited the area recently, it became obvious that there had been some serious harvesting of the trees over time. I remember reading something about the working for water campaign which promotes the removal of aliens which consume large amounts of water, and replace them with indigenous trees that are more water efficient, once again, only what I recall reading. There are obviouly two schools of thought, those that are for and against the removal of these trees. Forgetting the green aragument for a moment, I felt the area was losing some of the character of the place. Yes, there were still areas with trees, but there were also large expanses of land where the trees had been already felled.

I walked around taking a few shots, and came across a pile of what was now wood, which would have been one of the trees I talked about earlier. Hopefully, it was destined to be used somewhere close, and not shipped off somewhere else, generating a much larger carbon footprint than if it remained in the first place.

The journey continues…………………………

Todays images are an attempt to show the atmosphere under these tress, and the pile of wood which they become at the end of this “alien” removal program.

early spring??……….

I wrote in a previous post about the wonderful weather we have been having in what is normally our winter season. Yes, there have been cold and wet days, which is very characteristic of our winter, however its been few and far between. Some people you talk to say its normal, but somehow I dont recall there being so many good day’s in any winter. The negative of all this good weather is that we have not had anywhere near the amount of rain we normally have in the winter season. The obvious consequence of this is likely to be water restrictions :-(.

The beginning of September is often referred to as the beginning of spring. I was walking out of the driveway the other day when I noticed the sun just highlighting what looked like pretty new leaves on the huge oak tree in our street. Is this a sign of early spring? I’m afraid I dont know, I’m a self -confessed unclued up on birds and trees person, so I wouldnt ask me :-). Nevertheless the sight of these crisp green leaves immediately made me think of Spring. Perhaps this is when Oak trees start to show their new leaves, two weeks before the start of spring, pehaps not, I wouldnt know. Either way it was a pretty sight, and fortunately the camera was close at hand :-), so I could capture a few images.  The journey continues……………………………