Although we had a few flowering cacti this Winter; most of the cacti flower between September and February/March. This Fero Cactus symbolizes the beginning of the Cactus Season here in South Africa. Although even local cactus nurseries tell their customers (who prefer indigenous plants) that cacti originate from (South) Africa I can assure you that they all originate from the Americas except for one (Rhipsalis baccifera) which does not look like a cactus at all and originate from coastal woodland between Durban and Kenya …

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Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa attracts many tourists for whale watching. Even in season (June-December) it can happen that there are days that you hardly see any and other days it’s a joyful sight seeing them play as far as the eye reaches. Yesterday, virtually the end of season, they were very quiet but just before I went back to Stanford I could make a few shots and added together with photoshop it looks like real. And I realize now that many (commercial touristic) shots of whales nearby a beach are manipulated ….. Best is to go with one of those whale watching boats and a telelens mounted on your camera to obtain a nice close-up.

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