Insects, none domesticated animals alike, are not patient when posing for a photo shot. What the people of Cape Town are for other South Africans is the Hottentots God for insects; Relax, tomorrow is another day…
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.
Evolution is a weird subject if you come to succulent plants like cacti. Did you know that all succulent plants are originating from underwater plants. Hence that divers walking around in our garden are amazed by the view of many plants they link with plants they meet once they’re exploring the sea bottom. Southern Africa, where many succulent plants originate from, was once largely covered with lakes and during a period of thousands, maybe millions, of years these plants had to adept to a complet opposite environment; from surviving under water to surviving in a desert. So these plants evolved into waterstoring plants; storing water in roots, leafs and/or stems. Reason for us to collect some shells and rocks at the nearby beach and cover a small part of our garden with it.
Recently I posted about the experience with my first photo-model. Today I played with her a bit in Photoshop; i.e. adding different backgrounds. Think that the picture on top is the best. And if you have a different opinion just let me know. Never too old to learn!