Tag Archives: sky

Sunrise, Blood Moon and Mars

Sunrise

Here is a gratuitous photo of a lovely red sunrise, in lieu of a decent picture of the recent Blood Moon.

We had crystal clear skies last Friday night here in Cape Town and a perfect view of the whole eclipse and subsequent Blood Moon.

Blood Moon 1

I did take a few photos, but my little Canon camera wasn’t quite up to the task.

What do you mean, you can’t see anything?

Blood Moon 2

Above is the Blood Moon and below is Mars.

Mars

Though people the world over were witnessing the same event, here in Cape Town we saw the Earth’s shadow creeping across the moon from the opposite direction to those of you in the north.

And when you think just how far away the Moon and Mars are, I think it is amazing that my little old Canon managed to capture anything at all!

 

post script: This is just a fun post. There will be many excellent captures of the eclipse out there online for those who are interested in actually seeing what went on!

 

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Wintry Morn

Winter Sunrise

 

Winter Morn

The cool colours of

A Winter Morn

Seen through dark branches

Barren and shorn

.

The crisp cold air and

A weaker sun

Remind you winter

Is not yet done*

.

 

This is about the only winter scenery I get to see, as most of my garden – and everyone else’s – is Evergreen.

Here you see dawn, as the sun rises through the┬ábare branches of a neighbour’s tree; the pinky-purple sky courtesy of a few clouds.

 

*Not yet done. This is an Americanism. My younger daughter used to say it sometimes as a teenager. In English you would tend to say something is not yet over, or finished.

But, you know, it rhymes so nicely with sun!

 

Dawn Over Suburbia

Dawn Moonrise 1

The upside of a clear morning sky is that you get to see the moon rise.

The downside is that, because there are virtually no clouds, it is freezing! (Winter here in Cape Town.)

A short while later I walked Little Monkey, with my gloved hands in my pockets and my breath billowing out in front of me. LM, old dog that she is, stopped to sniff every – single – scent, while I froze!

Dawn Moonrise 2

And if you’re very careful, you can catch a falling star – or moon! – on the telephone wire!

 

High Above Me

Crow 1

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

It’s SuperCrow!

I heard one crow cawing high above me as I was bringing in the washing one afternoon. I craned my neck back and saw it circling round and round.

Crow 2

It was soon joined by another crow and then another. I dashed inside for my trusty Canon and leaning right back took a few photos of what looked to me like clear blue skies. I knew the crows were circling away up there because I could still hear them cawing now and then, but they were far away and very hard to see.

Crow 3

However, I did manage to catch all five of them in one shot in the end.

They are Pied Crows, quite large birds around 50 cm in length.

Crow 4

Then after all their aerial manoeuvres they flew off into the deep blue sky. I bet all you can see in the photo above is just that! I assure you there are some birds there.

 

post script: The collective noun for a flock of crows is a Murder or Horde of crows.

And because you are probably thinking of it, here is a link to the song by Tal Bachman, She’s so High.

 

Storm Front

Red Skies 1

Haiku 58

A beautiful sight

Clouds amass in red sunset

Presage to a Storm

.

Did you know that Cape Town is referred to as The Cape of Good Hope?

Did you know it is also referred to as The Cape of Storms?

Red Skies 2

We get some tremendous gales down here at the tip of the African continent. We are the first outcrop of land to take the brunt of those Antarctic storm fronts that come rushing in from the south west.

We are used to it.

When we talk about it being a bit windy, you can be sure the trees are bending furiously in the gales and your breath is whipped from your body when you walk abroad.

Red Skies 3

This year we are particularly grateful for each and every one of these storm fronts that actually does hit our coastline.

Last year, time after time, they passed by south of us, taking their tantalising rain clouds with them.

Last year was the third year in a row that we received a lower than average rainfall and the drought hit us hard.

So far, this year promises to be better. Already we have had more rain than the same time last year. The total dam levels in Cape Town are at 26%. This time last year they were at 19%.

And Capetonians are continuing to save water like crazy. We are still limited to a maximum of 50 litres per person per day.

This is what has saved us; so far.

We can only hope that our rainy months of June and July fulfill our expectations and the dams replenish enough to last us through to this time next year.

Bring on the storms!

 

post script: You can read about how different our winters were back in 2014, in two of my early posts: Give a Dog a Bone and Cape of Storms.

 

Pink Dawn

Pink Sky

Haiku 57

Pink sky this morning

Put there for my delight, or

Sailors take warning!

.

 

I know it isn’t much of a pink sky, but I don’t often see coloured sunrises, more usually sunsets.

You need clouds for a start; which we see a little more of now we’re almost in the rainy season.

And you have to be very quick!

I opened the back door early one morning to call in Little Monkey (she still insists on sleeping outside in her cosy nook) and noticed the gorgeous sky at once.

By the time I had dashed for my camera and taken a few shots, the pink was already fading fast. In another minute it had gone completely.

Some mornings, while it’s still dark, I hear the Cape Eagle Owl. Magic.

 

post script: The poem I learnt as a kid is as follows:

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight;

Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

There are other variations on the old weather forecasting poem.

 

Not Yet Departed

Swallows

Haiku 53

Not yet departed

Borne aloft on southern winds

Spirited away

.

 

Once again I saw many European Swallows flying over my garden. They were milling round overhead, massing together rather than catching insects on the wing.

I dashed inside for my trusty Canon, but when I got back outside they were no longer flocking.

I caught one last glimpse of them over the rooftops, as they headed off – South?

Yep. They were definitely headed South, so I don’t think they’re ready to go back up North just yet!

Also, it was strange to see them flying in a skein formation like this. They’re not geese after all!