Rain or shine; there are always people wandering and wondering around and between Grotto Beach and Stanford Lagoon in South Africa. The last of the selected pictures I made last Sunday (see also the 5 previous postings).
It rarely happens that I go out without my camera to take pictures where-ever I go (except shopping and parties). Yesterday we were at the Grotto Beach in Hermanus (near our village in South Africa) and I shot some images in the mist. The next days you’ll see more pictures I took during this hike along the beach and the lagoon.
South Africans …. well … there are no better story-tellers in the world and sometimes the truth is something different although the best stories always have some truth in them….
But now they are stuck. Everybody I ask about the background of The Red Bike stands with his/her mouth full of teeth (as far as any left in many cases…. dental care is unaffordable for the majority). Even the local historian, who wrote an awesome good documented and illustrated book about Stanford, doesn’t know. The Red Bike is ‘walled’ against the Caltex petrol station at the entrance of the village and the local tourism bureau advertises it amongst the many things to see in and around the village. Is the story too gruesome to tell? Is there something about this bike that people are ashamed of? Well one can think of numerous questions. Maybe there is a simple answer to all this such as “there was no green paint” or “they just put the bike against the wall for decoration”. Maybe the answer is not that simple. It just remains a mystery and that explains this imaginary (second picture is the original).
Somewhere on a farm near our village lives a guy who has dedicated his life to ants and spiders. And these insects you can find in abundance around his dwelling. Oliver (but all say ‘Ollie’) will never kill an insect. He’s so inspired by them that he copies them in diverse materials. And they look real. Ask a dear friend of us in Zurich; she jumped and screamed and the whole of Zurich was awake in the middle of the night. This might be exaggerated a little bit (not too much) but it just shows how well crafted these little creatures are. Last Saturday Yvonne bought a silver ant and I started to experiment with my camera.
We can’t even go one day away from this village. There is always something happening. This time the third ‘veld fire’ in a few months time and this time on our side of the village. Luckily for us the wind was in our favor towards the ocean but the fire fighters in this area are making overtime. You have to admire these guys; to put more or less their own life at risk; just to save farms and their crops plus all other properties. We came home late this afternoon and saw the smoke from a distance of 20 km. Most of the fire was at that time under control but I was able to make a few quick shots of the helicopter from our front door….
Looking into details of plants stimulates my imagination. This (in Color and Black & White) is a tiny leaf with thorns of an ‘Euphorbia akmat’ from North Yemen; one of the succulent plants in our collection. Bottom picture is the plant itself which, after one and a half year on its new spot, is starting to grow fast. It can become 6 to 7 meters high.
Both, my wife and I, like flowers. Maybe it’s our Dutch background (“Dutch say it with flowers”) but more likely it has to do with the restoration and extension of a historical botanical garden in South Africa that has kept us busy between April 2000 and July 2011. Anyway you find me every day in our garden with my camera and virtually every day there is something new. We live in an area with a subtropical climate (climate zone 10); ideal for succulent plants including cacti. Here are some pictures I shot during the last week or so.