South Africa: Penguins!


I don’t know why I’ve struggled to get the South African stories down from our trip at Christmas. Lots of competition, I guess…. But here’s a little photo tale of our visit to the penguin colony near Simon’s Town, about an hour or so south of Cape Town. Its become a significant tourist attraction about half way down the drive to Cape Point, but its very well done with the penguins’ well-being in mind, and its doing its part to monitor the African Penguin population.

African Penguins have recently been reclassified from “vulnerable” to “endangered” and the numbers have continued to steadily decrease despite the establishment of the Boulders Penguin Colony in 1983. This is due in part to the usual depressing list of environmental challenges that all marine life faces today, but at least the colony is providing an income towards their conservation, as well as an opportunity for environmentalists to monitor their progress.  It was my first time seeing penguins in the wild:

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That’s not snow or ice. I’m pretty sure its penguin poop!

Beach walkway at Boulders Penguin Colony

The walkway allows visitors to get up close and personal with the penguins without any physical contact. They seemed pretty used to humans and just ignored us!

Penguins, Cape Town, South Africa

Yes…I still felt like I was watching a cocktail party…

Moulting penguins, Boulders penguin colony

…a cocktail party where some guests were much better dressed than others!

Moulting penguin

I think this poor little guy was about to be shown the door.

nesting penguins

They are noisy critters too. Someone should explain to me why they do that while they’re nesting

African penguin

There were little fibre glass shelters dotted around on the scrub land near the beach. This guy looks like he doesn’t want visitors!

 

Cees Odd Ball Photo Challenge 2015 Week 13


Driving back from visiting a community farm — in the middle of nowhere — we came upon this giant statue of a baby Buddha and had to take a photo!  He had a neon wire halo (unfortunately you can’t see so well in the photo) which lights up at night. Even more odd were the electric cables running across his body. Bizarre, sincere, and a little creepy all at the same time! buddha statue http://ceenphotography.com/2015/03/29/cees-odd-ball-photo-challenge-2015-week-13/

30 Seconds: The Birds (and the Bugs)…


This evening, after some unseasonably heavy rain, I returned home from work to a cloud of dragonfly-like bugs swarming across the garden. I followed their source, across the flower bed, to a patch of dirt where the bugs were hatching. They seemed to be materializing from thin air, struggling for just a few seconds to find their wings, then moments later they fluttered up and flew away. The crows had spotted them long before me, and were watching greedily from the surrounding rooftops. They watched, they waited, and then swooped down for bug snacks. The life span of some must have been less than one minute: a murder of crows, indeed!

Its not uncommon to see crows at dusk in Kathmandu, but you usually hear their raucous cries first. As the sun goes down, they circle the tree tops to nest for the night and it feels (and sounds) just like a Hitchcock movie. So, with apologies to Hitchcock, here are some shots of this evening’s bug and bird spectacular that happened right in my yard!

30 Seconds: Chitwan Village Night Fall


As sort of a second installment of my recent stay in Chitwan, here’s a follow up video to The Bridge.

Most evenings, we like to sit by the river with a glass of wine, fight off the mosquitoes and watch the sun go down. Across the same bridge, a ten minute walk away, is the nearest village. On our second to last night there, we took a stroll over and shot the evening routines. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh


For me “fresh” doesn’t really mean signs of Spring like melting snow or fresh flowers.  In pollution-choked Kathmandu, fresh is the quality of the air, and visiting a place where the plants are green and not coated in dust.  The good news is that an hour drive out of the city takes you out of the valley’s smoggy haze and into a cleaner, fresher environment.  And although I was tempted to do a Nepali interpretation of “fresh” with wonderful mountain views, my mind kept going to South Africa where we visited this Christmas.  Oh, the fresh air, bracing winds, sparkling, sunny, blue skies, and freezing cold waters that clear out your lungs and take your breath away!  Now that’s fresh!… Here’s a late afternoon walk we took along Cape Town’s, Cammp’s Bay in December:

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/fresh-2/

30 Seconds: Kathmandu from the Back Seat


We have drivers here in Kathmandu. I’ve a personal driver who takes us back and forth to work and motor pool drivers that take me to work events. Its a necessity really, not a luxury. I don’t think I could ever stand to drive here myself amid all the traffic mayhem or take the crowded, tiny micro buses that serve as public transportation. So I spend a lot of time in the back of a car, watching flashing images of people, places and things fly by the window. The surprising, the colourful, and the sometimes downright scary, make up for the monotony of traffic and the blare of omnipresent horns. Sometimes, I try to capture all of the craziness with my camera, but often soon as something interesting appears, it is gone. But, occasionally, I succeed and a little bit of the city is captured with my lens. Here’s a set of some of the better images, presented as close to realism as I can manage. Plug your ears!