Tag Archives: Photos

Close Up

Plumbago 1

Haiku 206

Delicate petals

Sparkling with morning dew drops

Diamond encrusted

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Plumbago 2

Just playing around with my new camera phone, Samsung Galaxy A50.

Plumbago 3

It’s got a great close-up feature, Live Focus, that produces shots like the above, with minimal skill on my part!

 

Winter Solstice 2020

Poinsettia 1

Haiku 198

Winter Solstice morn

The shortest day of the year

Sun now returning

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To be honest, I can hardly say that the sun ever really left! Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with very mild winters.

Poinsettia 2

Here I’ve photographed my Poinsettia in a little morning mist. The plant is a good 6 metres (20 feet) tall, so basically a tree. I have to shoot from underneath and with my arm high above my head to try to capture the red leaves, technically called bracts.

Right now my garden is full of plants and shrubs in bloom.

The Sunbirds have returned to the Honeysuckle; the Camellia is filling up with large pink blooms; and of course, the Poinsettia is a lovely splash of red in a mostly green world.

Poinsettia 3

Still, it takes some getting used to, after growing up in the North of England, where you had real winters!

Also, most of my Readers live in the Northern hemisphere, where you will have just experienced the Summer Solstice and your longest day. Hopefully you have many more summer days to look forward to!

 

Autumn

Autumn Leaf in Dog Water Bowl

Haiku 193

Single golden leaf

Floating in the water bowl

I guess it’s Autumn

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One swallow does not a summer make, nor a single snowflake winter, but in Cape Town, a solitary fallen leaf does make Autumn!

Autumn and Spring are so brief here that you have to look at the calendar, rather than the weather or flora, to know what season it is.

Although there is a chill in the air, during the day it is warm and pleasant, usually around 20C, (26C on Wednesday!); what I would call a nice Summer’s day in England!

Right now in my garden, I still have roses in bloom, as well as the honeysuckle, plumbago, hibiscus and frangipani. The camellia is absolutely covered in buds ready to unfurl into massive pink flowers.

So yes, one golden leaf fallen from the grape vine is as good an indication as any that it is actually Autumn.

After all, the 20th of next month is the winter solstice!

 

Freedom Day

Rose

Haiku 190

Freedom Day Lockdown

Let your mind and spirit roam

Because your feet can’t!

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It is Freedom Day here in South Africa and Lockdown Day 32. It does not compute!

As you probably know, we are under a strict Lockdown, which is now designated Level 5. We are only allowed out for essentials such as meds or food. The white-haired woman queuing in front of me outside the shop last week had been stopped by police on the way there, demanding to know where she was going.

So how’s my Lockdown so far? Here’s a run-down for you.

Lockdown Day 32

Chocolate

Emergency Chocolate supply

I have no idea how this happened, but I guess every week I went shopping I thought I’d better stock up on chocolate – just in case. When I finally looked through my supplies I was (pleasantly) surprised to find so much!

Books

Books Read

I am scouring our bookshelves for anything I haven’t read too recently.

Kitchen Shelves Cleaned Out

Three drawers cleaned and re-lined and one large shelf.

Uninvited Guests

Oh Thousands!

An army of teeny sugar ants has decided to brighten up our Lockdown by invading the kitchen. No sooner do we spray everywhere and block them off, than they find another way in.

And one small Golden Mole in the garden, who has made it his life’s work to dig as many soil mounds as possible, in the shortest amount of time.

Knitted Squares and Wool

Knitted Squares

I knit simple squares while watching movies (see below). Then I sew the squares up into blankets and donate to charity. I was actually elated to find wool was still on sale at our local shops, as I doubt it is essential. I found a small supply hidden away by a checkout counter and asked a passing shop assistant if I could buy it. I was really happy when she said Yes!

Netflix Watched

Far more than is good for me! This can be seen by the large amounts of knitted squares – see above!

Jigsaw

Jigsaws Completed

One.

It only takes a few hours and I don’t have many that I haven’t done recently, so I have to pace myself!

Garden Circuits

Since we are not allowed to walk outside, I walk round and round my garden most days.

Number of circuits round the garden during Lockdown: 277
Kilometres walked: 42

I am wearing a path in the grass. By the end of Lockdown I shall be walking in a trench a metre deep!

LM Vodka Day 1

Vodka Drunk

About half a bottle. I was incredibly lucky that I had just restocked my vodka supply before Corona came to SA. Alcohol is not on sale during Level 5 Lockdown.

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SA Corona Stats

As of today, SA has 4546 confirmed cases of Corona, 1473 recoveries and 87 deaths.

This is considerably less than most countries. Who knows exactly why, but the severe Lockdown must be helping. (Other possible reasons: the warmer weather; the comprehensive TB vaccinations of all SA school kids.)

However, on Friday 1st May we are downgrading to Level 4. Hooray! It is uncertain yet exactly what this will entail. A few more businesses will be allowed to open; cigarettes will be on sale, but alcohol sales or walks may still not be allowed.

So how’s your Lockdown going?

 

Sacred

African Sacred Ibis 1

Haiku 179

Exotic Ibis

Images in black and white

Nature’s monochrome

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African Sacred Ibis 2

These are African Scared Ibis, spotted recently at a local vineyard.

Apparently they are called Sacred because of their role in the religion of the Ancient Egyptians, where they were linked to the god Thoth.

Apart from the dramatic black and white colouring and being a little larger, the Sacred Ibis are very similar to the Hadeda Ibis that are frequently to be found eating insects on my own lawn.

African Sacred Ibis 3

This African Sacred Ibis on the grass at the vineyard looks like a youngster, as his plumage is not yet fully black.

There’s a saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

I wonder if “A bird on the lawn is worth two on the fence?”

 

Social Butterfly

Butterfly

Haiku 177

Flitting here and there

Never settling anywhere

Social Butterfly

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I’ve been trying to capture a shot of this large butterfly for a while now, but it is so fast and flies so erratically, that it’s been very difficult! Finally, I managed this one shot as it flitted over the roof.

When you see this butterfly in real life you think it’s got to be a bird; it’s so large! Indeed, it is nearly as big as the Sunbirds that visit my honeysuckle. I estimate its wingspan at around 10 cm (4 inches).

It looks like a King Swallowtail, Papilio Thoas, even though Wiki does not say it is found in SA. Or a Constantine Swallowtail, Papilio Constantinus, or Forest Swallowtail, Papilio Euphranor, which are found in SA. They all look the same to me!

 

Happy New Year 2020

Sunrise

As the sun sets on 2019 and rises on 2020, I’d like to wish my WP friends all the very best for the coming year.

Thank you for your friendship during this last year and here’s hoping the coming year will be a good one for you all, with health and happiness.

Here’s to a great 2020.

Cheers from Scifi.

Happy New Year!

 

Why I Love My New Flip Flops!

Flip Flops 1

Haiku 164

Sparkling on the peg

Calling me across the store

Buy me! Buy me! Buy!

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Flip Flops 2

My new flip flops have sparkly straps and the moment I saw them in the shop, I knew I had to have them.

Why? Because they took me right back to my childhood and the following story:

When I was a kid I saw some children’s plastic mules for sale in a shop.

They were slip on play shoes, with a high heel, and made of a hard reddish plastic, embedded with spangles.

They glittered and called to me every time I saw them. I would stand in front of the shelf, take them down and caress them lovingly.

Oh how I coveted those sparkly mules.

But Mum said No!