Tag Archives: stories

Study in Yellow

Cape White Eye 1

Haiku 208

Little Cape White Eye

Blending in the setting sun

Camouflage technique

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While I was sitting outside under the Eugenia tree late one afternoon having a cup of tea, I heard a commotion going on in the yellow honeysuckle. There was a lot of twittering and the branches were shaking as birds flitted about. I grabbed my camera to take a few shots.

My little Canon camera does not do too well in low light, which explains the lack of clarity, but you can still distinguish the birds.

Sunbird 1

I could see a male Sunbird sipping nectar from the flowers and assumed the bird with him was the female. The Sunbird’s iridescent colours were not showing in this light and he appeared dark, until sunlight caught his feathers.

Sunbird 2

It was only later, on looking at the photos, that I realised the bird keeping watch above him from the grape vines was this little Cape White Eye.

Cape White Eye 2

The tiles on the roof are actually a brick red (or they were at one time!) but appear yellow, because the lengthening rays of the early evening sun cast this gorgeous glow.

You can see this effect, as well as both birds, in the photo below.

Cape White Eye and Sunbird

Well, nothing earth-shattering. Just a moment captured in time and a glimpse into the wonderful nature here in my own back garden.

 

I Am Six

Six Year WP Anniversary

Six Year WP Anniversary

It is six years since I first started this blog. And I’m still here!

Thank you to everyone who has joined me along the way and shared in my little blog of everyday life. Without you there would be no Mad Cap Dog!

Thank you for your support, words of wisdom and sarcastic comments. I appreciate them all! You know people are your friends when they start being sarcastic!

Thank you to everyone who has popped by my blog and liked or commented on a post. I thoroughly enjoy visiting your blogs, reading your interesting posts and marvelling at your awesome photography. I really appreciate the interaction and have found the WP community to be friendly and caring.

I have come to know many of you well, even though we have never met, being separated in many instances by vast oceans, and I count you as my virtual friends.

Here’s to many more years of Blogging.

Cheers SciFi

 

Languages

Duolingo 1000

Duolingo 1000.

I have just completed 1000 consecutive days learning languages on Duolingo. Hooray!

It’s amazing how it all adds up when you spend a few minutes a day on a task and make it a habit.

So far I have completed the language trees in French, Italian, Spanish and German. I’ve recently started Portuguese, Latin and Navajo, for fun!

Not that I can speak any of these properly, but I do understand a lot more than I did, especially in languages I had never learnt before, obviously.

Now, I have the even harder task of making myself miss a day to re-set the counter back to zero.

Why?

Well, I don’t want to feel that I have to study each day. I do it for fun after all. And to keep the little grey cells going!

Also, despite all this learning, I still only speak two languages fluently: English and Dog!

 

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!

 

I’ll be Home on Christmas Day

 

I left home when I was 18, but still went home every Christmas.

I left England when I was 21. In the following years, before my parents both died, I was only “Home on Christmas Day” three times.

Though I made my own family Christmases here in South Africa, it is just not the same, celebrating Christmas in a very hot country, in the middle of summer.

Christmas will always feel a little sad to me.

So here is Elvis to sing it like it is.

Wishing those of you who celebrate it;

Merry Christmas;

and those of you who do not;

Happy Holidays. 

And sparing a thought for those who are lonely or sad at this time of year and sending you a Sunbeam!

 

post script: In the spirit of re-using last year’s Christmas wrapping paper, I am re-cycling last year’s Christmas post; because you can’t say it any better than Elvis.

Traditions fall away or are no longer viable (you can’t build a snowman without snow) so you have to start new ones. This is the fifth time I have recycled this post and it is now my new tradition. My Old Faithful (followers) will no doubt remember this post and join in the tradition.

 

If you have trouble watching this video, you could try here Elvis 1,  Elvis 2, or Elvis 3, or just search on YouTube for “Elvis, I’ll be home on Christmas Day.” It is worth the effort to hear Elvis singing this lovely song.

 

The Dark Ages

Angel Chimes

We have load shedding again! It has been Stage 4 for several days, meaning scheduled power cuts of up to 2 1/2 hours, 3 times in 24 hours.

Last night they announced it was going to Stage 6. There are jokes about this online: namely that at Stage 6 a man from Eskom comes round to your house and blows out your candles!

Mostly people work round the power cuts. Knowing the times beforehand means you can plan to some extent. It is still extremely annoying though. The other night our power went out at midnight and came back on at 2.20 am. The neighbour’s alarm went off both times, waking everyone up!

Your day becomes divided into 2 hour allotments. Either you have power, and watch the clock counting down with anxiety and dread, till it is switched off; which can be anything from on the dot, (mean!) to 13 minutes past the hour, as today, giving you the momentary false hope that maybe they’re not cutting your power!

Or you are sitting in silence and perhaps darkness, anxiously waiting with anticipation for the power to be returned. This can be from 10 past the hour to half past the hour, by which time you are beginning to wonder if they have forgotten about you!

It is not too bad here in Cape Town, as daylight in summer is from 5.30 am to 8 pm. Johannesburg, 1400 km farther north, only has daylight from 5 am to 7 pm. Believe me, they will notice that extra hour of darkness at night!

Also, I feel sorry for those who work online. Even if you do have power, the internet is slow because other places are down. Service providers try to re-route your connection, but there is still a bottleneck.

I even feel sorry for businesses. This time of year they make enough money to see them through the following year. In an already struggling economy, many businesses will fold next year.

Why is the power supply still so bad in South Africa?

Ageing power plants and equipment; poor maintenance and repair;  mis-management; lack of planning.

Well, the purpose of this post (OK I had a good moan!) was just to let my Readers know that I am struggling to keep up with my Blog, especially commenting on yours. So if you don’t hear from me as much as usual, at least now you know why.

– – – – –

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do.”*

*Can you guess who said this and which book it is from?

Sunbeams will be sent to those with the correct answer, which I’ll put in my next post.

 

Sunday Musings #198

My favourite machine at the gym is the vending machine.

– Caroline Rhea

 

Actually, I don’t go to the gym, as I exercise at home and also get a good workout hacking branches off trees and lugging buckets of grey water around the place etc.

But if I did go to the gym, the vending machine would definitely be my favourite!

 

WordPress Ads

Dianthus Raindrops 1

I apologise for all the Adverts you might be seeing these days in my blog posts or WordPress emails.

This has absolutely nothing to do with me!

My site is not monetised and I make nothing from these extremely annoying in-your-face adverts.

I take care when writing a post to place my photos and text carefully, so it is easy to read and makes sense. WordPress sticks its Ads in wherever it feels like, completely messing up my layout and leaving stray bits of text wandering free!

WordPress has been nagging me, again, to upgrade to a paid domain. I ignore all their many emails. I have noticed in the past that when they pester me like this and I don’t upgrade, they increase the amount of adverts on my poor little blog, as a kind of “Look what we can do! If you want your Blog to be Ad-free, then BUY BUY BUY!”

My blog is tiny. I write just for fun. The whole point was that it was free!

So, again I apologise for all the annoying Ads. But I guess WordPress must make its money somehow; if not a paid account, then adverts!

 

Seen Out and About

Egyptian Geese 1

Haiku 167

Seen out and about

Showing off their family

The new residents

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Egyptian Geese 2

I was driving back home one day and came across this little family of Egyptian Geese on my street.

This is the house where the funny-looking Dikkops live; I only hope they have not been displaced!

I stopped my car and got out to take a few photos. As I did so, the parents became more watchful, protecting their clutch from me; they are very good parents.

Egyptian Geese 3

One little chap had no such reservations and came towards me to see who I was! The parents looked nonplussed, but stayed with the main group of goslings.

The bold youngster waddled closer, had a good look and then returned to his family. I think he will go far and become a Leader among Geese.

In the meantime he is a headache for his parents!