Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Sometimes certain settings appear to be "framed" - as dead branches seem to form a natural frame for this scene of vultures gathered around the remains of a kill . . .

. . . or these impala antelopes . . .

. . . also a male buffalo . . .

. . . as well as a Crowned hornbill . . .

. . . and this Cape eagle-owl  chick (1 of 2 in the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden this year).

Looks as if this mother-baboon & her little one (at Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve) are stunned by this?? :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Natural Bouquets

At this time of the year nature is at its most extravagant in the southern hemisphere - as this magnificent floral arrangement of 1 of many pincushion protea displays . . .

. . . or these pelargornium with their array of colour . . .

. . . as well as these erica highlighted by the afternoon sun.

Adding a "neutral" colour are these sewe-jaartjies (immortelles = daisy family if looking like dried flowers) presently blooming amongst many other fynbos (the Cape Floral Kingdom).

As is often the case with regard to the ENORMOUS range of indigenous plants found in South Africa, I haven't been able so far to identify this interesting "bouquet", which looks like another species of immortelle I discovered growing amongst the sewe-jaartjies (see above) in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

I'm not even sure if this is an indigenous flower (found it growing in the Storms River bridge area), but I believe it "deserves" to be included as another example of how nature "creates" its own bouquets.

Last but not least - another species of the pincushion protea family presently on natural display in the Cape Floral region.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fine Plumage

Although the weather was disappointingly "somber" during the last tour through our beautiful country, it didn't stop the birds from "coming out to play" & to reveal their fine plumage - like this Giant kingfisher . . .

. . . or this Burchell's coucal also known as the 'rainbird' because of its typically mellow hooting voice during or after rain.

A special treat was this preening Black-bellied korhaan . . .

. . . as was spotting this Orange-throated longclaw.

Always a favourite in the plumage "department" is this Greater Double-Collard sunbird . . .

. . . whereas the larger sized Helmeted guineafowl usually occur in flocks.

Although an Olive thrush is quite a common resident amongst the South African Birds, its plumage generally tends to be more dull than this specimen . . .

. . . and whereas the plumage of a Hartlaub's gull isn't as colourful as those of the ones above, this bird nonetheless is posing quite impressively.

Monday, October 14, 2013


There is this cute little baboon in the Kruger National Park . . .

. . . which nibbled on a dry leaf whilst its mother was busy grooming the troop's alpha male . . .

. . . when it appeared as if the little one started to copy its mother's movements . . .

. . . before it moved up and over to have a closer look at what was going on.

In response the female turned to glance at the little intruder in a more proudly encouraging than disapproving way . . .

. . . because other than demonstrating that "hands-on" implies active participation in a direct and practical way, the female was probably aware that her little one would in future be regarded with reference by the male associating a feeling of well-being with their intimate interactions right then.

Clever trick OR natural selection??

Saturday, September 21, 2013

African Safari

When on safari in the African bush (in this case in the Kruger National Park) being alert is part of life - as these 2 Impala antelopes demonstrate.

However certain sightings can be deceiving - especially if obscured by tall grass - is what we see a so-called camelopardalis?

Sticking out it's tongue after lifting it's head - confirming that it is indeed a Giraffa camelopardalis, which refers to a giraffe's camel-like as well as leopard-like appearance.

At first glance some of the visitors in the open safari vehicle (driving through the Kruger National Park) thought a leopard was "joining" us - however it was a female cheetah . . .

. . . with some very cute youngsters in her wake.

On the prowl was a "mean"- looking spotted hyena . . .

. . . although when lying relaxed on a sandbank one can't help comparing otherwise sinister hyenas with domestic dogs - although strangely the name 'hyena' is derived from the Greek word for 'pig' (probably referring to its eating habits!?)

Last but not least - a lion is usually on the "wishlist" of most visitors on an African safari - in this case a young male guarding its prey: an old buffalo.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Only in Africa

Only in Africa . . . can you drive through a National Game Reserve and expect to see the BIG 5 - crossing the road/walking next to your vehicle/appearing tame but actually being (completely) wild!!!

NO Zebra-Crossing but instead yet another 1 of the (famous) BIG 5 "blocking" traffic - which can only happen in Africa.

Take a good look through the window of your vehicle - yes, that's another 1 of the BIG 5 grazing peacefully right next to the road.

Number 4 of the BIG 5 - what a pleasure if you can find all of them on 1 day whilst driving leisurely through a park.

And there he/she is = Number 5!!! [Click on photo to enlarge and check bottom-right of photo] - this leopard was REALLY ANNOYED - just like us in a vehicle STUCK in a horrible traffic jam because some IDIOTS "hogged" the road/prevented all other vehicles to pass in an "orderly" fashion - "shout out" if you've experienced a similar situation before in a game reserve in Africa.

And to "calm down" again - Number 6 of the BIG 6!!! Yes, it's whale-season again (until about November) and the Southern Right whales can be found all along the southern African coast - and yes, again, South Africa is now known as a BIG 6 country - no, sorry, make that the BIG 7 - but I have no personal photos of Number 7 [Check my previous blog-entries to see "who" is the 7th member] - it's no mystery, just one way of me expressing WHY I LOVE living in Africa ;)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

For Residents Only

"Use of pool for residents only"!!

Swimming at own Risk

When in her element the female ignores the male . . .

. . . the male's ego has suffered so . . . time to flex his muscles - perhaps that will catch the female's attention?

In the mean time . . . at a hotel at another place . . .

. . . after "testing the water" both parents declare that the pool is safe for swimming . . . 

. . . so now they have "all the ducks in a row" ;)

Sorry, was meant to say: all the little Egyptian geese in a row.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Who's your Daddy?

Had some fun & interesting responses on my FaceBook wall about this so thought of also sharing  it here on my blog :)

I posed the Question - Who's your Daddy?

Answer - (perhaps) ET ??
It's all about a caterpillar I found in our garden (here in Port Elizabeth, South Africa) & wondered what it would "become" once it "grows up" !?

So here are: the many faces of .......

A caterpillar that looks like ...... a monster ??

That looks like ..... a crocodile ??

That looks like ..... a seahorse ??

That looks like ..... an elephant ??

Yes, certainly looks like an elephant but .......

......... when it does "grow up" it turns into a Hawk-Moth!!!!!!!!!

A weird & wonderful creature - had fun photographing it :)