Looking down at a little sunshine

The wind is blowing as a cold front passes through, whipping up the ocean, waves crashing thunderously down on the rocks and beach, taking sand back into its depths with every new wave and exposing the round pebbles, so formed by years of tumbling through high and low tides.

Sometimes it feels like giants walking on the beach, their steps rumbling as they walk and as the wind gusts, it is like they take their big hands, shaking the house at the foundations, hoping an unsuspecting prey will come running out.

I feel a tug on my pants and look down at a pair of perfectly rounded blue eyes, it has been a few days of being stranded inside the house and although that little person has very little words to explain his feelings, I can see he wants to go out, he is longing for new adventures.

By midday the winds and clouds break enough to allow a little sunshine. We took our chance to escape the electrified light for the some pure vitamin D producing sunlight, faint as it is. Clipping on my long-lens, loading him into his secure chair, we fire-up the old diesel.

The hope was to find a whale to photograph, but this hope was quickly dashed by the uneasy ocean. The whales were there, blowing a fountain of seawater every now and then, but the ocean hid its giants well, maybe tomorrow or the next.

We turned inland, maybe a bird or something else, but as we drove looking at the trees swinging in the still fairly strong wind, this also quickly became an unlikely prospect. Stopping at some random spot next to the road, I walked around the vehicle with a quarter bottle, prepared in advance for the little one, in case he got thirsty. Opening the door the blue eyes smiled back at me, contend. He was watching the big green things swaying in the wind, next to the vehicle.

1-DSC_0025The wind tugged at my pants and I looked down again, only to look into the face of perfectly formed blue-purple little flowers not higher than a few millimeters from the ground. They also enjoyed the sunlight and at once I became aware of self and how the most beautiful things are sometimes at your feet, and not somewhere in the distance.

Feeling partly ashamed for only having a long-lens on my camera, because I was not prepared to look closer to the ground, at my feet, I stood back far enough for the camera to be able to focus on the little flowers. Delicate little wonders that stood tall in the face of the storms we experienced, not showing much in the way of damage, perfectly adapted to withstand the fierce rumblings of mother nature.

2-DSC_0032We drove home and with a sense of peace, we walked back into our house. We had lunch and both of us slept peacefully after our little adventure, content to take on the last part of the day, hoping that tomorrow will bring another chance to escape our brick shelter.


Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Very common bird in South Africa and Africa, also found in Europe and Asia. Birds of the extreme northern and eastern parts of its range tend to be migratory, but those in Africa do not and many part of Europe.

You can read more about them, here.

The pictures I have so far, are from various parts of the country, dry central, garden route and sunshine coast.

8-DSCF6260 6-DSCF6258 5-DSCF6257 3-DSCF0346 Grey Heron (BlouReier) #62 W#36980 1-62 c

Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

2-Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis (Female2)A pretty common kingfisher throughout most parts of Sub – saharan Africa. Only black and white kingfisher in Africa.

This one is a female and only varies from female by a double band on the breast, being the male. Interestingly, I read somewhere once that they have helpers when breeding and a scarcity of food occurs. Helpers usually, offspring or non-breeding individuals, increase as the food becomes less. Wonderful how nature works.1-Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis (Female)Previous birding post:

Knysna Toraco

Knysna Toraco (Tauraco corythaix)

An amazingly beautiful bird with a not so great hoarse voice. One of the special birds in my heart. First time we saw it was on honeymoon in Knysna area, on the Garden route of South Africa. We took coffee, binoculars and selected a piece of natural forest to go sit.

I remember it took a little time to get used to the sounds and surroundings, we saw basically nothing, and suddenly, the forest came alive around us. My wife went missing for a while, hunting a bird she saw with the binoculars, next moment I saw 2 Turaco’s, and tried to get her attention. Waving, soft calling, whatever, eventually she noticed my attention seeking behavior, and saw the birds. We left that spot excited and happy. I did not have a camera either, so it was a pure experience for us.

2-Knysna LourieWe now live in a region where they also occur, just 1 km from our house we tend to see them fly over the road. They are endemic to South Africa and occur along the western and eastern coast forests.