The hidden powers of H2O

_DSC2044I grew up in The Netherlands between the two main rivers; protected by dikes and averaging 1 meter below average water level was my house amongst many others. Growing up with water learns you the (hidden) powers of H2O. Moving to a farm in South Africa in 2000, situated on the slope of a hill, we started immediate with water works to keep our house free of water just in case of a flood rain. Virtually all neighbouring farmers were laughing loud saying ” Ag julle malle Hollanders en julle water werke ….” (“you crazy Dutch and your water works…”). One year later we had the first flood rain; we were laughing. In 2003 another flood rain. Just before this flood rain one of the neighbours let his staff moving rocks uphill to avoid visitors of staff going with their cars uphill (well it’s South Africa and the time still stands still in the farming community of Robertson, where we lived…). During the flood rain the rocks came down and landed in the garden and the entrance path of the neighbour. We laughed together with his staff. And still history keeps on repeating itself and ‘water affairs’ in my village and other parts of South Africa is a hot item at the moment after over 200 mm of rain this weekend.

_DSC2047To keep it within the village and direct surrounds: Last year a part of the road next to the bridge over the Klein Rivier (Little River; now THE Missisippi of South Africa as you can see) washed away. With the repair of it and additional ‘water works’ numerous shortcuts were made (shortcuts are seemingly a part of the culture) and again same part of the road washed away. Hopefully they learn (but I doubt).

_DSC2043The part of the village most affected by the water is where the ‘Bold and Beautiful’ (let’s say the ‘village elite’) is living. Living at the waterfront is for the so called ‘privileged’ and I’m fine with that. But being ‘privileged’ comes with certain obligations; one of these in our village is cleaning the house after a mud water ‘invasion’. Bet that, as last year, quite a few ‘For Sale’ signs will be erected.

On purpose I did not photograph all those unlucky people up to their knees in the water. Facebook pages are already full with it

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In the Middle of the Road

When the Germans made there ‘Autobahnen’ throughout their country the slogan was “Immer Gerade Aus” (=”Always straight forward”). I thought about that when I recently drove up North from our village. I also remember a true story from my youth when a German lost his way in my village of birth (Beneden-Leeuwen, Netherlands) and asked road directions to the bridge over the river. The old man he asked knew his German: “Immer gerade aus. Immer gerade aus”, the villager answered, “and at Hent de Kul turn right (the last part in his dialect and probably needless to say that ‘Hent de Kul’ was the name of another villager).

For the second picture I just turned myself around.

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Landscapes of the Overberg 13

Farmers are the large scale landscapers on a global scale. Here in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, more specific in and around our village Stanford, it’s not different to the rest of the world. Every human intervention in nature leaves traces and around here I enjoy the photogenic gems on my way to nowhere; just touring around to shoot. All pictures in this serie of 13 are shot on the morning of Monday 15 july. All pictures are made along the road between Stanford and the borderline with Caledon. I hope you enjoyed these daily postings as much as I love shooting them.

Part 13: At last but not the least and certainly not the last

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