Red Sky

Red Skies 1

It is rare for me to see a red sky, with little hint of blue or purple, and this is such a deep red, it is really dramatic.

Red Skies 2

While I was taking my photos at dusk, with the sun rapidly setting, I was “serenaded” – if you can apply that term here – by a couple of Egyptian Geese, standing atop a neighbour’s roof and screeching loudly to another couple some distance away.

It is not a pretty sound!

 

You can read more about the noisy birds here: Sittin’ on a Roof and Cacophony.

 

The Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice 1

Yes, it is officially the Winter Solstice down here in Cape Town. This is our shortest day with the longest night.

Apart from it being a little chilly now and then, when a cold front all the way from the Antarctic sweeps over us, you wouldn’t know it was winter just by looking outside.

Winter Solstice 2

It still looks sunnier here than most summer days in the northern hemisphere, where, yes, you have your Summer Solstice right now; longest day and shortest night.

Winter Solstice 3

All I could wish for really, is some rain!

 

Back Lit

Back Lit 1 GALAXY

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising . . .

I grabbed all my cameras and photographed my daughter’s lavender bush as it basked in those first warming rays.

Back Lit 2 CANON

I clicked away using variously; my Galaxy camera phone, my decent Nikon camera and my little point and click Canon.

Below, my Galaxy camera phone really captures the effect of the sun’s rays slanting towards the lavender bush.

Back Lit 3 GALAXY

As expected, my Nikon camera (with no zoom lens) achieves the best close up of the lavender, with a lovely bokeh.

Back Lit 4 NIKON

I really liked how my little point and click Canon camera catches the sunlight, so that the lavender bush appears lit from within.

Back Lit 5 CANON

I found it interesting that each device offers a different aspect of the sunlit challenge. Though the results differ I think each has its own merit. They all found something unique to highlight in apparently the same shot.

Bearing in mind I have no filters; (and, indeed, little skill!) I was quite pleased with the varied results.

And that so far I have managed not to kill this lovey bush!

 

Sunday Musings #98

Only dead fish go with the flow.

– Andy Hunt

 

A little encouragement for those of you who, like me, always seem to be going in the opposite direction to everyone else. Rather that than go belly up!

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One time I particularly remember was arriving at Nottingham train station, where I’d never been before. They were renovating the whole station, so things were all over the place. I had a back pack and small case on wheels. Off I went, carrying my bags up some steep steps and so onto the walkway over the tracks towards the Exit.

As I got up there, suddenly it seemed that the whole of Nottingham was advancing towards me. I soldiered bravely on, following the Exit signs I could see high up at the end of the passageway.

People were bashing into me, How Rude! But I held my ground.

Finally, the mob dissipated and I went down the steps alone. There I was wandering around a platform looking for the exit. A man and boy sitting on a bench waiting for a train had no idea where the exit was either.

Nonplussed, I went back up the stairs (carrying heavy bags) and into the passageway again.

This time, because it was empty, I could see signs stuck all along the walls, directing you to their new Temporary Exit.

In their wisdom, all these signs were placed at waist height; which meant that when the mob thronged through the passage, not one sign was visible.

Eventually, I found my way out to the Temporary Exit, with one novel thought:

Perhaps, sometimes, it is better to go with the flow!

 

More Hilarious Spam

Pink Flowers 1

Most spam is of the annoying advert type, but now and again there is something that makes me laugh. The spammer will try everything to get you to interact with them, telling you all sorts of nonsense. They are easy to spot though, as they tend to comment on much older posts, which is a complete give away; if their writing were not enough of a clue!

I couldn’t resist sharing this little gem with you –

“I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this site is actually nice.”

Actually nice? You needn’t sound so surprised!

Also, I know I have gained a leetle weight, but it’s still quite rude to refer to me in the plural! (how are you everybody!)

And, No, you are not a regular visitor; I’ve never seen you before (most likely thanks to the efforts of the amazing Akismet!)

Here’s one that flatters away without actually saying anything. It was in response to my post Please WP! where I complain about the alterations to the WP Reader Notifications!

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now. 🙂

Yes, there was a smiley face at the end. What’s not to like about this one?

As I said above, all I did in my post was rant. High-grade? haha Nope! But at least someone appreciates the efforts I put into penning my posts!

And another gem –

Aw, it was a truly good post. In concept I should put in writing related to this additionally – spending time and actual effort to manufacture a superb article…but exactly what do I say… I procrastinate alot (sic) and no indicates locate a method to go carried out.

I totally agree… exactly what do you say?

This was in response to a Sunday Musing from May last year, where the quote was, “Don’t suffer from stress: Be a carrier!” A superb article? Spending time and actual effort?

Well at least somebody thinks so!

How about this one, which speaks for itself, amazing punctuation, spelling and all! –

Should you turn a door knob recently touched by a sneezing, sniffling person,and thus lift help to yoour nose, you afflicted both yoursslf internet marketing After the draft Direct Mail Marketing Nevertheless loved fundamental idea!

time answering when your breaathing routine is underway you’ll get to coughing a lesser amount change career Tailor selecting based over your book area time freedom

I can’t help but feel they have simply lifted whole sections from different articles at random.

And what any of this has to do with my post, River Dance, which is about rain on my stoep, I guess I’ll never know.

 

Does anyone know the purpose of spam such as these?

I understand the advert type ones; they want you to click on their site, or respond somehow. But these other ones? Are they the same, but use a different method by claiming to be a regular reader and all friendly?

I have no idea.

All I know, is that checking my spam caught by Akismet, provides me with great amusement and entertainment.

 

post script: If you find a particular post is being bombarded by spam, you can disable comments for that one post. I’ve had to do this a few times lately. You have to work from the “improved editor” not the old Dashboard and WordPress support tells you how to do that here.

I got this excellent tip from a post by da-AL; 2 Fab WordPress Tips.

 

Confusion

Grapevine 1

Peeping out from seemingly dead branches, a few new leaves sprout on my grape vine.

You can still see the remains of last season’s bunches of grapes.

Grapevine 2

My grapevine normally only comes alive again after winter, when it suddenly bursts forth with bright green leaves all over the vines, in October.

The grapes ripen over the summer months, becoming large green bunches ready for picking towards the end of summer, in February.

Grapevine 3

I’ve no idea why my grape vine got confused.

Doesn’t it know it’s winter here in Cape Town, with more storms on the way?

Maybe it was too much sun a while back?

And we all know that only Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun!

 

The Most Beautiful Sound in the World

Rainfall

Rainfall in a drought-stricken land.

 

Haiku 44

Whispers in the night

Dying leaves now susurrate

Regeneration

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How I have missed the soothing sound of rain falling, especially in the middle of the night.

My trusty Canon captured Nature’s special effects: Raindrops frozen in spacetime.

In the background you can just make out the pink blobs that are new blooms on my camellia bush.

 

post script: I just love the word susurrate: meaning, of leaves or wind, making a whispering, rustling sound. Definitions and origins can be found here: susurratesusurration.