Category Archives: Photos

Ode to a Rose

Red Red Rose

Ode to a Rose

Pretty ruby rose

Why hang your heavy head

Is your secret life

Better left unsaid?

.

Is your glorious scent

That wafts as you’re unfurled

How you wish to be

Remembered by the world?

.

 

What a Whopper! I’m trying to show how big this bloom was in comparison to my hand, though it was so heavy on its tiny stalk that it was falling over.

My deep red rose bush only produces a few blooms each season, but they have the most glorious scent.

No matter how late I am, I always have to stop and smell the roses, every single time I walk past them.

 

Advertisements

Ugly Duck?

Guinea Fowl Chicks 1

Aren’t these little chicks the cutest thing?

I spotted three Guinea Fowl escorting their collective brood of about 16 chicks around the neighbourhood recently.

The next time I saw them there were only about 10 chicks and the last time I saw them there were only 4 chicks.

Guinea Fowl Chicks 2

Guinea Fowl are not native to Cape Town, but over the last decade or so they have really made themselves at home. And despite being very bad parents and losing most of each brood of chicks, their numbers here are steadily increasing.

They are not popular! When they get in your property they scratch up the ground and in minutes can destroy your flower beds, or the lawn you have been pampering for months.

Guinea Fowl Chicks 3

Still, Guinea Fowl chicks really are cute looking, but when all grown up they are pretty ugly. Sort of the reverse of the Ugly Duckling story!

.

Egyptian Geese on the other hand are excellent parents. Little Monkey and I walked past a group of youngsters seemingly alone on the grass verge. Suddenly Dad (or Mum) flew down at us from a roof top, honking loudly as he flapped his large wings. He landed between us and his chicks, successfully defending them. No wonder all his chicks make it to adulthood.

 

Dogs Around the World: One Man and his Dog

Scott Memorial 1

One man and his dog, Spot, a bottle of lemonade and ginger pop; went to mow a meadow!

I couldn’t resist quoting the song One man went to mow that we sang as kids on school coach outings. The addition of “a bottle of lemonade and ginger pop” was a local variation.

This is the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland. It commemorates Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Completed in 1844 after the author’s death in 1832, it is in Victorian Gothic style and is the largest monument to a writer in the world.

Scott was a dog lover and you will often see dogs in his portraits. His favourite dog, Maida, depicted gazing lovingly up at his master in the statue, was a Deerhound cross. Actually, many people do not spot the dog at all, maybe because it looks like a lamb!

I sat on a bench right by this edifice while I ate a sandwich, accompanied by that seagull (You’ll never eat alone.)

As it is one of the tourist attractions, it’s difficult to get a picture of the memorial from a distance without lots of people in the shot, so the photo below isn’t too bad.

Scott Memorial 2

Residents of Edinburgh might be surprised to learn that there are more dog statues or memorials than just Greyfriars Bobby and this one. Apparently there are at least five more:

Greyfriars Bobby, Maida, Toby, Bum  (the American 3 legged one), Cuillin, Dobbler and Beauty.

 

You can read about them all here: Other dog statues or memorials in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

Windswept!

Wind Turbine 1

I was chuffed with this image of a wind turbine that I managed to snap from a train window in passing. You really get the sense of size as the massive blades loom over you.

Wind Turbine 2

Even seen from a distance they are truly majestic!

You can read here about Wind Turbines, how they work and their advantages and disadvantages.

.

I’m all for using alternative sources of energy like the wind, water or sun, which are all there for the taking. I don’t know why we don’t use them more.

There is a strong persistent wind that blows in Cape Town from September to March, which is known as The Cape Doctor, because it supposedly blows away the pollution. Cape Town is actually known as The Cape of Storms!

I was happy to find out that we do have some wind farms around the area.

 

These photos are from one of my train trips in the North of the UK last August.

 

Lavender Blue

Hydrangea 1

Whether you see this as pink, lilac, mauve or purple . . .

Hydrangea 2

I think it is a lovely colour!

Hydrangea 3

This ancient hydrangea was already in the garden when we moved here yonks ago.

Hydrangea 4

The plant looks dead in winter but always amazes me by producing these lovely blooms each spring.

They don’t usually last long in our harsh sun, but I enjoy them while they’re here.

 

post script: I have promised my Northern WP friends gratuitous Spring photos to sustain them as they plunge into the depths of winter! In return they will supply me with Snow Photos in due course, to sustain me during the searing temperatures (38C – 100F) of summer here in Cape Town, South Africa.

post post script: And because I love the song, here is Lavender’s Blue from the movie Cinderella.

 

Remembrance Sunday

Poppy Day

 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon.

 

November 11th was Armistice Day and today is Remembrance Sunday.

Traditionally red poppies are worn to symbolise those that grew on battle fields such as in Flanders Fields. Here I have a photo of my own little yellow poppy that survived itself against all odds.

A two minute silence is held to mark the end of the First World War, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Because we should remember all those fallen in all wars.

And make sure that some day it stops.

.

As a young kid I used to buy a poppy each year at school and when older, go round selling them to the other kids.

I used to observe the two minutes’ silence while watching the poppies fall in a remembrance service on TV, at 11 o’clock on the 11th November. They just kept on falling.

So    Many    Poppies.

So    Many    Lives.

And still we go on killing each other.

When will we stop?

 

Shimmering Reflections

Reflections 1

I have always been fascinated by reflections in water. I can stare for ages transfixed by the rippling images, as one would do a flickering campfire flame.

Reflections 2

Here you see buildings mirrored in the glossy Water of Leith, the main river running through Edinburgh, Scotland, for 35 km, till it flows into the Firth of Forth at Leith and thence into the sea.

Reflections 3

It was a little windier on our return trip walking back up the river, as can be seen by the cloudy appearance of the water closest to us; the surface whipped up by the strong Scottish wind.