A little Triptych I did over the weekend from photos I took on our trip.
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This little man was born 2 days early, but those two days saved his life. He was born with a lung virus, which as far as I know they have not identified (not sure). In any case by the Monday, the day he should have been born, the hospital called the family together to say their goodbye’s as the blue boy could not get oxygen and was deteriorating rapidly.
Everybody was praying for him to pull through…
The Doctor then tried as a last resort to use a CO2 machine they use on Adults to pull the CO2 off his lungs. At this time he was hooked up to 15 machines to keep him alive.
The tide turned over the next few days and then the worry was brain damage, which also seems to be negative. When he was 1 month, 2 weeks ago, I offered to take a few shots for them.
Watching his proud Mom, who literally went through hell was great..
She is the only one that can kiss him…she had to wait 2 weeks before she could hold him for the first time – he weighed 1.7kg by then from the 3.6 kg he was born with.
He is back at 3.6 kg and past it. He is a fighter.
He has no comprehension about what transpired and already a mind of his own…very cute too!
We came across this scene. A rare one indeed. A group of zebra drinking while being watched but not chased away by 3 bull elephants. They did chase them eventually.
Two of the male zebra got into a disagreement shortly after this and had a full go at each other. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time and shot a series of photos. The best of the series…
It shows the explosive power and agility of these normal docile animals. Each photo looks ominous, yet not one ended in a “hit” as the other animal managed to move or pull away in time.
I am practicing the art of pin-up’s from the 40-60’s. It is more to create a base to have in my portfolio. This would allow for people to see what is possible with a normal portrait photo given some more room to play. We need to explore and play – make things and life interesting.
My latest pin-up painting from a stock photo..
This is the 3rd of 5 pin-up’s I am planning to paint. The first 2 were just faces and I am building on this with more and more detail.
It is a fun project. Will show you the last 2 once I have them sorted.
I thought one of the ways to enhance the blog in future was to not only give you an image or 5, but also speak more toward my feelings and the reasons for the work.
I will begin with saying that the whole family has the flu. This already had put me on this path of wanting to create an image with that theme. What led me to use the birds was actually very sad. The bird being held softly in her hands is in fact a swallow that was killed by a vehicle and I found it on my morning walk.
I photographed it with flowers and tar (maybe a future image), but being so fond of swallows since I can remember my overwhelming sadness for this loss and wish for it to fly again crept into this design and eventual composite. I used the Tern image to link the river and the ocean in the background with the model.
Hope this post in interesting enough that you would like to see more.
We spent the first week of 2017 at Struis Bay, which some of the older followers may know as our most special place, holding deepest of meanings.
As our little grows, it just become more special to us. He is enjoying the space and unique environment there too.
We loved taking a drive, buying fish and chips at our favorite shop and eating it at the beach, sometimes in the car, other times sitting on the rocks.
The real Southern Point of Africa has a whole different feel of ominous danger to it. Many a ship has gone down over the years. This part reminds us very much of our home, the rocks being more similar, but not as sharp and pointed.
After turning around, we walked back slowly, still looking for anything interesting.
The sun was going down fairly quickly by now. We still had a bit of a walk back home. Boeta did not care one bit.
Every time I pushed him a little he complained and wanted to walk in the opposite direction, only for the drag of a dad to remind him that it was getting late and we had to go home.
I loved this spot with the green algae to spend some moments here to shoot a few shots, all freehand.
I looked for Boeta who was in his own world, finding another treasure, I am sure. I called him and he came walking toward me pointing at a Oystercatcher flying past and asking what it was.
I again reminded him that we had to move on and he reluctantly joined me as we walked towards home. I took a few shots in that direction. You can just see the houses.
It was a brilliant evening yet again. I could not get enough of the clouds and the setting sun, so every now and then I would get another shot.
As we got closer we saw some fisherman again. Sometimes the ladies join their husbands/friends as they angle in the early evening as was the case with this young man.
Boeta was in great spirits and still throwing rocks, running and enjoying being at the beach. You would never know we were coming to the end of a 6 km walk.
It was too dark now. I was on the built-in flash to get any descent shots. Really time for us to get home.
I took a last shot of the white rocks and the remaining sunlight.This is the last of this series of posts. We hope you enjoyed the full photographic walk with us.
Tomorrow we leave for a short Safari and a few days in the mountains to celebrate our son’s 3rd Birthday. Hopefully we will bring lots of photos of wildlife and landscapes to share next week. Have a great weekend, I know we will.
I looked for Boeta …. he was busy looking for crabs under the flat rocks.
My son – The explorer! Happy Birthday, we are so proud of you! Love you, Mom and Dad!
The aim of this trip was spending time together as a family and enjoying being one. So I will try to give some idea of this through the activities of Boeta for a day at the lodge. After breakfast we sat outside having a nice coffee. It did not take long before Boeta had one and then two friends from the lodge and they played together.
Their mom called them for something and Boeta decided to take mom for a walk as I was also walking around looking for birds to photograph, such as the those in the previous posts.
He was in a running mood and at that moment nothing else mattered to me. I wanted to capture the 2 year-old in flight and I wanted to capture the delight.
Se if you think I managed this…
Before we knew it, it was midday and time to nap. After his 3 hour nap, he was ready for more play on the big lawn at the lodge. We were so peaceful at this stage, totally relaxed. I say we, because I could see mom also felt relaxed.
The best for me was watching them together, mother and child, just being together.
Boeta, being a healthy toddler, does not sit still for too long and as you would guess he was off again, exploring.
He found another friend of similar age and they had a quick play or combined investigation of the wagon behind them.
It was getting late and we had to start planning dinner and bath-time. We spent as much time as we could outside together that day and the day played along even keeping the mood serene right into the evening.
So as the sun sets, you can see the figure of a mother and her son on the grass taking it all in. I soon joined them, taking a deep satisfied breath.
For the purpose of keeping up to date with all that happened around the festive season, I have to include Christmas too. This was the reason for Boeta’s Grandparents staying with us and the first time Boeta had more of an idea what it was all about.
It started the previous day with preparations and for the first time a photo of the half-finished kitchen, I am nearly done, just the tiles and a few smaller touches. This is such a nice pick of mom doing her thing, I have to include this.
She is the heart of our house after all.
I took time to shoot a few more shots of her and Boeta.
The photo of Boeta and mom is after his afternoon nap, he loves waking up in her arms.
We started by opening some gifts with Grandma and Grandpa, while they were still in bed that morning. We spread the opening of gifts over the whole morning for Boeta, otherwise it is too much and he does not enjoy each as he should. After the first session we had breakfast and then we did another stint.
We decided to change and do a Christmas photo shoot. I am pretty certain I do not have to add to much words to this, as you can easily see that we had some fun here…
Personally I would like to add that I love the photo and it represents all that my wife and Boeta’s mom is.
Elegant, motherly, soft touches, warm personality and full of love and again the heart of our house.
One final (official) photo we all liked.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner and after nap-time for the whole family we went to the beach for Boeta’s sake. I took the camera with and took a few shots.
Mom and Boeta watching sundown and throwing rocks.
Grandpa watching the sun going down.
So that was our day, Christmas 2015.
Next morning was the last morning on the farm in the Karoo. We started the morning s we do nearly every morning, with hour of book reading.
This is an important hour of bonding between mom and Boeta, while daddy get ready for the day ahead with Boeta. On this day we were on holiday, so daddy got ready for one last walk on his own, while Boeta got ready for the day with mom. The road to our next destination was waiting. But we had some time to walk around one last time.
I saw a pair of Pied Barbets having a disagreement. Sorry about the second shot, but message is clear to see.
My first stop was to see if I could capture the Rock Hyrax in the Agave plants. Many of the old farm have these near especially old houses, but I have never seen Rock Hyrax living in them and using it as obvious protection.
They were warming up in the early morning sun, so I got a few nice shots. As I passed them walking into the fields, they disappeared to the lower levels and protection. I heard a crow on the morning breeze and looked in the direction of the calls. It was slowly gliding along the road, probably looking for possible easy food from a car strike during the night.
The sounds of the sheep grew louder as I walked into the field. My senses were alive and I was determined to enjoy every sound, smell, sight as the crispness of the morning tingled on my face.
I am taking you back to the Karoo and our holiday. Some of you may remember that I was taking you on a walk around the sheep farm, ending with the medusa succulents. When I got back at the stone cottage, Boeta was awake and it was family time. We took the yellow ball grandma gave Boeta, the week before and started playing. From this point I will add a note or two, but the photos will talk for them self….
So much fun to kick the ball past daddy…
Every now and then we worked on the ball catching skills. Boeta was precisely 2 years old and since this point we have progressed to catch and pass, but it all starts somewhere…
Then mom got an invite to play along…
Daddy snapped up the camera for a few shots… Boeta was really in his element by now, especially now that mom joined in the fun…FULL BLOWN FAMILY TIME!
I took a final shot of him watching a bird on the chimney as the sun was setting, before joining them for some more play.
About 20 minutes later we had to stop and get a fire going. We had a fun day with lots of exploring and walking great distances, it was time to feed the tummies and build strength for the next day.
Boeta looked for the tractor and while mom took a break, dad lit the fire and the adults had a nice red wine to finish a perfect day as a family.
Round about the time the meat was done, Boeta was also running out of steam.
He slept soundly that night, as he does for most nights. We hope and believe that he does so in the knowledge that he is loved and in his dreams he is still laughing and having quality family time with mom and dad.
Earlier this month the boys decided one morning to go climb some dunes. The 2 year-old has never attempted this before, so it would be a great new experience for him too. We walked past some driftwood left by a previous storm.
The dunes start at this point and Boeta did not hang around, he wanted to try this out.
It is pretty steep. We climb it in a zig-zag motion/action. At the steepest angles you really struggle to go forward/upward, but with some support Boeta got to the top.
I carried my tripod up the dune as well and attempted some new shots from the top. Here are a few.
Boeta got a drink on top and while he investigated the new environment, I waited for a moments in which he stood still long enough for bracketed shots.
I saw a how the wind excavated the top of a dune and attempted to capture it, overlooking the ocean.
Unfortunately the wind also started to blow with strong enough gusts that the sand really bothered the little man, so we decided to walk back down to the beach. More photos of the rest of the walk later.
Thursday was a great day for the boys. Mom was on her way back from Uganda after near 2 weeks away. This was the last in a series of trips over the last months that left us alone regularly.
Boeta was dressed and ready to go and fetch mom. He could not wait.
We bought a bunch of flowers (roses) for mom and daddy gave Boeta one to give her when she arrives.
Arriving at the airport we got bad news, the flight was late (delayed). Daddy decided that we had no option but to go to the little airport restaurant and watch the activities outside with the planes landing and departing.
A BA flight was the only one at the airport, preparing to depart.
Boeta was excited about this ability to see the planes and all the trucks and other funny vehicles used at the airport.
We were lucky to get a seat with a great view and we settled in for the wait, which hopefully would not be more than 30-40 minutes.
Daddy got a menu and Boeta enjoyed asking about all the things on the menu. Daddy decided to order a strawberry milkshake. Boeta very first milkshake. He loved it and using a straw made him feel very grownup.
A pair of common doves decided to sit in front of our window and groom each other. Boeta enjoyed this as well because he could get close to them and watch them carefully.
The BA flight prepared to leave. Boeta watched the process with great interest. We saw many smaller airplanes landing or taking off.
Shortly after the BA flight departed we noticed a South African Airways flight coming in.
Daddy immediately realized that this is mom’s plane landing and told Boeta the news. His whole demeanor changed. He was much more alert and immediately teary eyed.
Daddy told Boeta that we had to wait a little longer. From past experiences he knows that the little man becomes much more troublesome at the arriving hall after he has seen his mom. So we watched as the plane taxied to its bay.
Every now and then he would excitedly ask me if we could go now. He wanted to get out and he wanted to get to mom.
We were off to the arriving hall. Here you have a door with security that separates the arrivee’s from the family and friends collecting him, similar to most airports nowadays, I guess. One person does not care one way or the other. When he sees mom, he runs to her. This happens every time mom arrives, but this time I had the camera, because we had a flower and mom came home for her birthday, unlike the previous year when she was in the USA. What now follows is the most the purest of joys one could ever ask for. I do not need any more words…
Daddy got reduced to baggage master in that instant and mom became primary caregiver. Boeta would not let go soon and he kept hold of the rose too.
Mom said he told her: “It is a rose, smell!”
At home he showed her his new puzzles and they spent some immediate quality time together.
Daddy taught Boeta the “Happy Birthday song” with the aim that we could sing it to mom on Friday morning. Unfortunately after the long previous day and the excitement, Boeta was in no singing mood. He just wanted his morning tea and mom. So Daddy obliged and mom had to face another lonely effort by dad on her birthday. Daddy tried to make the scene festive which was to the little man’s liking.
Boeta had a card and present for mom. The card was written by him with dad holding his hand.
Boeta enjoyed the balloons very much and he is still playing with them as I type this.
He played while mom opened the gifts and then Boeta got into the paper more and really tore it apart as can be witnessed above. Daddy also presented mom with a Cream cheese fridge tart and an oven baked Cheesecake. He made 3 of each.
We end this long post by saying that the boys are so very happy to have their mom/wife back. She is truly our beautiful flower.
In Boeta’s words…a song he only sings when we are all together…
“Family, family, that is what we are, everyone with same name, that’s who we are!”
So, after many “boys only” excursions to the beach and learning sessions, mom was available for a walk for the first time after 2 weeks.
Boeta enjoyed having this girl back in his life. It is his most favorite girl in the world and he even has a loving name for her…”Mamma!”
They decided to do fishing together, while daddy got a chance to walk on the rocks and deeper in with his camera.
While daddy was shooting the large old barnacles, Boeta who learned about it in the week, showed mom the small ones.
I carried on walking around looking for interesting finds. I looked back to see if they were okay and Boeta had another girl in his midst.
He was less taken by the love showed to him by the 5-year-old, he prefers older women. She seemed to like him and he decided to allow her join him in rock throwing.
He really enjoyed this and decided this girl was okay too (for throwing rocks), not so much hugging, he did not want to hurt “mamma’s” feelings. Then he saw Uncle Bennie and ditched the lot…he adores Uncle Bennie.
It did not take long for the two and daddy to find his favorite climbing rock. Now he could show Uncle Bennie his real capabilities.
I want to do a follow-up post on the last post ice cream at sundown. The little man has developed a lot of stamina over the last 24 months. All toddlers are busy and active that is for sure and Boeta is no different. I chose stamina because it’s definition states “the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort“.
Boeta now easily walks, runs and climbs his way along the same path I walked before he was born and just as far as what we did in the stroller every morning. We walk, run, climb and explore for 1.5 to 2 hours every time we go out and sometimes twice a day. In the previous post we showed such morning walk and we did it again, the following morning.
The climbing and jumping is now standard procedure for the little man. He does recognize his limitations too and quickly calls “Daddy help” when he gets stuck.
Being present to explain finds and teaching, while playing is just as important in my mind. We talk about everything and it goes with a “wow, look at this or that!”. We are lucky to have lots of rocks (many shapes) and shells…touch exploration.
Even things like throwing rocks in water becomes a chance to learn. I would start by saying, wow, what a beautiful oval rock, and then he will go nice round rock, wow, a triangle and so on, learning to see the shapes in the environment.
Then there is running on the rocks. Even walking on rocks like these lets you slip and slide a little. Here he learns more about keeping balance while enjoying the chase of daddy.
Over the past weeks we have started fishing (post), looking for crabs and other live sea creatures, really looking at the treasures each pool holds. The green shell below hold a crab and other 2 photos are of fish “fingerlings” hiding. Look closely at the sense of wonder in that little face.
Just to put context on above photos, here is another set of him from a distance as I walked on.
In above photo I called him and his newest reaction is a sort of jerk and face pull to show he is not impressed and wants to stay longer.
But being daddy, I do have veto power and insisted that he joins me. We had some more exploration to do.
Luckily toddlers do have a short memory and by the time he reached me the slight frustration had given way to fun, running and play again. It was not long before we climbed higher again and I offered him a potential strawberry flavored milk drink, which always seems to make the decision to go home less troublesome in his mind.
Walking back home we have to climb a little last hill to get to our road/street. You can just see the narrow path.
Here is the thing, play at the beach, yes…but also in this play the little man is learning biology, maths, science, art and so many more things. This is the physical part of the word stamina, the other valuable part of this exercise to my mind, the ability to keep himself busy at home, the ability to sit at his table and build a minimum of 3 (4-1) puzzles, meaning each box hold 5 puzzles varying from 20 to 6 blocks, and he loves it. The puzzles are all 3+ and 4+ year old puzzles and he builds them without help. I am noting this fact, because it serves to show that we should be careful to get stuck on age vs toys. I react on what I see and experience with him.
He pages books by himself and even tells some stories to himself as he knows them from all the reading, especially done by mom in the morning, but loves it when we read to him and he seems to not get enough of that (normal I think). So without much hard work he has developed the mental stamina that sometimes astounds me for a toddler of 27 months. Yes, we are fortunate, but the point is this, I now see the benefits of the last year of exploration and letting him explore, playing outside.
I only allowed him the tablet a few months ago for the first time, he mastered it in a week and plays on it mainly at night if not building puzzles. It is as if they are born with the ability to operate tablets and alike. He will leave it and any other thing he may be doing if I say, “Boeta, wanna go for a walk?” Right now, I am truly grateful and proud of that.
PS..NEXT post we will return to my walk in the karoo. I cannot wait to show more finds of that walk.