Ecological sound building

The village we live in is also known as the ‘Bird Capital’ of South Africa with hundreds of bird species of which, in 99.9%, I do not even know the common names. Sometimes it’s better not to know…. But I like to watch them and if the opportunity is there I like to picture them. There is an abundance of water around us with it’s own vegetation where especially weaver birds like to build their nests. These ecological sound structures last a year and are than fully absorbed by the natural cycle and the building materials are sourced and assembled on the spot. Just amazing to see these little guys working hard on their future.

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All those little faces

What you see is an ‘Euphorbia gymnocalycioides’; a very rare succulent plant that originates from Ethiopia. It’s very seldom that one sees this plant in cultivation but this beauty is one of the gems in our garden.

And look closely …. all those little faces.

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300 mm and cropped

Unfortunately an appropriate telelens (at least 800mm) for photographing birds and other wildlife is from a budgetary point of view not within reach (any sponsors? Sony for example since I work with a Sony A77 camera?). So I just have to use my 70-300 mm zoom and crop the end result. A bit greenish but than a lush garden is green.

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The Stanford Lagoon

The lagoon near our village is a true birdwatchers paradise with over 100 bird species in and around. It’s also a haven for peddlers and other manual ‘propelled’ craft. Hiking trails and diverse accommodation to suit individual needs and budgets. For the quality minded traveller on a road trip in South Africa and willing to experience the ‘true South Africa’, >100km beyond Cape Town, our village and surrounds surely has something unique to offer. I love it! A photographer’s paradise!!!

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The trick that did it.

Last Sunday I had difficulties in photographing a chameleon nearby the beach in Die Kelders between Stanford and Gansbaai. Only when I put my camera in the bag the little creeper came out of his hiding. Whenever I opened the bag it rushed to its hiding in the rocks. That repeated a few times until I did as if I was putting my camera in the bag. After it realized that the camera is a harmless instrument the chameleon posed patiently provided I did not come too close. Beautiful creature! Locally people call this chameleon ‘Bloukopmannetjie’ (‘Little Blue Head Man’) and you find them all over. These are shy animals and will only come nearby (but not too) if you sit still for a while. The portraits are made with a Sigma 70-300 mm macro lens fully zoomed in.

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Shot some ducks, just now

Just now, this late afternoon, I made a long walk with our dog and my camera along our road and back along the other side of the ‘Vlei’ (natural water reservoir of our village) and that is where I shot these ducks with the sun opposite me behind the trees.

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The hidden waterfall

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The hike (approx. 5 km) took a few hours and we had to climb and descent rocks, walk through a fern forest and follow a stream but the reward was amazing and refreshing: the hidden waterfall of Stanford, South Africa and only the very, very privileged know about it. Not that we are that ‘very, very privileged’ but our friends are and they have, after 16 years Stanford, obtained the key for the gate. A ┬áparadise for whoever want to take photographs of waterfalls and streaming water; frogs and other creatures, fynbos and other precious plants. Well we guess that the Garden of Eden must have looked alike. Our time was limited this Sunday morning for there were also lunch arrangements but we definitely will return for a day or longer to picture it all.

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