Thursday, 17 November 2011

Point of no return


Parachutist just after leaving the aircraft, Robertson Skydive, Robertson
Overcast, dark and had just started raining slightly.
Nikon D200, Sigma 150-500mm lens
Click image to enlarge
Shutter priority 1/1000
Image at flickr
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Blue Cranes, Bredasdorp


Image of two Blue Cranes, taken on the road between Bredasdorp and Stormsvlei
Full image at FLICKR
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum

Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum. Situated in Bredasdorp CBD, easily accesible, and parking was no problem. R20,00 per person entry fee, If I can remember correctly.
Staff were friendly and helpful. Photographs were permitted, but the request was made by staff not to take images of any of the maps.
Depending on your level of interest,

one could spend between 30 minutes to maybe an hour and a half in and around the museum.
The museum has an interesting history, which I am not going to repeat here. Village Life is a good place to start if you want greater background and stuff to see.
Posters and maps are available for sale, but somehow I missed this, and need to go back for a specific map with the locations of the various shipwrecks. This specific map is to be seen in virtually every home in and around Agulhas, but can only be purchased at the Museum for about R150,00, I was told. A framed map is available from other sources for about R2,000-00.
Open daily
Update: Framed copy of map "begrafplaas van Skepe" available @ R2,300-00

Weather vane, Dutch Reformed Church, Robertson

Church weather vane, Robertson DRC
Image taken early morning with a Nikon D200 and Sigma 150-500mm lens.
Click image to enlarge
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Monday, 14 November 2011

Gewone Bontrokkie, African stonechat, Saxicola torquata


Gewone Bontrokkie, African Stonechat - Saxicola torquata
Image taken with a Nikon D200 and Sigma 150-500mm lens
Click on image to enlarge
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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Cape Weaver with Lunch (Ploceus capensis)

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(Double click on image for larger view)
This is one of those "it happened" images. Was busy concentrating on aircraft flying overhead and the Weaver arrived. Many days I have waited in the same position to get a good image of a weaver and the nest, without much success. Subject usually facing the other way, sun from unwanted angle, factory wall in the background, no eye contact, underexposed, overexposed etc etc. Only had time to do a 3 frame burst on the fly with aircraft settings on the camera before she dissapeared. The bonus part was that I never saw the insect until the image was uploaded. Still getting to terms with the 18-200mm Nikor zoom. What I am beginning to appreciate is that many "keepers" just "happen", and theory considerations regarding planning, tripods, depth of field , focus and rule of thirds dissapear from one's mind when you have maybe two seconds to take the shot.
The distrust of the intruder into her domain is visible in her eye
I am by no means a bird expert, sometimes I get the identification all screwed up. , for detailed information

Tuesday, 04 October 2011

Image of a Chameleon

This image was take with a Nikon D200 and an 55-200mm Nikor Nikon lens from a D3100 bundle.
Dark, rainy and cloudy day
ISO 160 (Maybe I should have juiced the ISO up a

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tandem Jump , Robertson

Tandem Jump. Robertson
Double click for enlarged image.
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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

Cape Aghulhas Lighthouse from a different perspective.
Nikon D3100
Source: Karin
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Sunrise at Cape Agulhas National Park

Sunrise at Cape Agulhas National Park.
Image taken just before sunrise.
Nikon D200
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Exposure time 1/160
ISO 100
Double click on imgage to enlarge

Thursday, 11 August 2011

What type of spider is this?

Anyone know anything about this spider?
Dissapearing spider
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This image was taken at the Cape Agulhas National Park a few weeks ago.(Nikon D200)
The spider was seen late in the evening, despite not being around during the afternoon. At sunrise the next morning the spider and web had dissapeared. No trace of spider or web, as in nothing. Late next evening he or she was back, only to be gone early the next morning again.
I assume the web must be eaten?
Cannot find anything on the web,(no pun intended), but still looking
Found something here
A hairy field spider.

Lighthouse: Cape Colombine

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Paternoster beach

Cape Wagtail, Kwikkie : Pictures, Photographs, Images

Double click for larger images

Cape Wagtail / Gewone Kwikkie

Cape Wagtail Gewone Kwikkie
Nikon D200

Cape Agulhas, where two oceans meet

Cape Agulhas, (Cape L'Agulhas), the most Southern point of Africa. The name comes from Portuguese Cabo das Agulhas, meaning "Cape of Needles". It would appear as though the needles on the compass would behave erratically when passing around the Cape. Most probably due to the true north and magnetic north readings coinciding.
Not as impressive as Cape Point, but the geographical point that marks the divide between the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
I went scratching around records of shipwrecks in this area. Between Arniston and Pearly Beach, which is not far at all, (60 miles?), 120 ships have been lost between 1685 and 1975, of which less than half have been located.
The centre of the "Cape of Storms". The stormy conditions experienced mostly due to cold winds (Roaring Forties)and cold antartic current colliding with the warm Aghulas current. To make things worse the waters are relatively shallow. (Aghulas Bank). Mix this lot and one gets stormy seas with rogue waves of up to 100'. A place to treat with respect.
The lighthouse was built in 1848. It remains a functional lighthouse and is a museum as well, worth wandering around. Since commissioning it has undergone a number of changes.
There is a shipwreck museum at Bredasdorp, about 35km inland.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Full Moon


Full moon : Nikon D200 : Robertson
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Thursday, 30 June 2011

What is the difference between a Crocodile and an Alligator?

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What is the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
Last weekend I took this image of a crocodile and thought I may as well do something with it, so it’s on the web. Made me think about the physical differences between alligators and crocodiles.
First things first, not all the articles I read up on agree on many aspects, but not on all, even the basic differences, so beware, and double check if you are doing serious research.
The crocodile above has teeth sticking out everywhere. One of the main differences quoted is that when a croc has his mouth shut both upper and lower teeth are visible. Now I know this image is of a croc and there are enough teeth to be seen, therefore this is a croc. An alligator is different in that when the animal’s mouth is closed only the upper teeth or no teeth are visible.
Rule Number 1: If the reptile in question has its mouth closed and you can see upper and lower jaw teeth, it is a crocodile.
The second major difference has to do with the size. Crocodiles are larger and heavier. How much larger and how much heavier?
There are always exceptions to the rule but general consensus is that crocs can grow to about 19 to 20 feet and an alligator to between 14 and 15 feet.
The heavier part? Could not find an answer
Rule number 2: Crocodiles are larger and heavier than alligators. Which is of theoretical value unless you seen them together or have a tape measure with an accommodating animal.
Another major difference is the size and shape of the snout.
Alligators have broad noses as in “U” shaped whereas crocodiles have pointed sharp noses. One needs to see two images for comparison purposes to get this into perspective. Why the difference? Alligators have a greater crushing ability to break hard food like turtles, and crocs eater softer food such as fish and smaller land animals that are “ambushed” while drinking. Again this is rule of thumb and there are exceptions, crocs are known to bring down a Gnu, which cannot be considered small
Rule number 3: Alligators have shorter and broader heads with flat and wide snouts compared to crocodiles that have longer heads with pointed snouts.
Alligators are darker in colour and appear to be black when wet, whereas crocodiles are lighter in color as in gray. The image above is what one could expect from a croc out of water
Rule number 4: Aligators are darker in colour than crocodiles
By the way, according to one source, the collective noun for a bunch of crocodiles is a “bask of crocodiles”. I did not cross check this and present it at face value

Monday, 20 June 2011

Do Bees have Knees? The Bees Knees Origin and Meaning

Do bees have knees, and what does the bees knees mean and origin.
There appears to be lengthy debates on the Internet as to whether bees have knees or not. I found this more interesting than the origin and meaning of the saying The Bees Knees. There is no gray area in the questions and comments that I read. People either believe that bees have knees or they don’t, but none of the arguments that I read were convincing when evaluating the arguments for and against.

So I wandered off and decided to form my own opinion, for better or for worse.
Place to start was the definition of a knee in medical terms. There is no shortage of definitions, so, the decision was made to focus on one source namely, “Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Anatomy.”
The definition of a knee is as follows
The joint of the human leg connecting the tibia and fibula with the femur and protected in front by the patella ."

First to mind, is that this a definition of a knee, as in human, not as in insect and consists of an upper leg connected to a lower leg by a tendon (not stated in the definition) and covered by a knee cap.
So, by human definitions the bee does not have knees as there is no patella, ergo, no knees.
But bees are not human they are insects, so is there a definition of an insects knee somewhere in an entomology dictionary or published paper?
None that I could find, and this includes detailed drawings of the insect and online entomology articles and entomology dictionary searches.
Pop around to Bee Anatomy at for an example of the complex anatomy of a bee leg

So, my subjective interpretation is if that entomologists do not refer to a bees knees, therefore a bee does not have knees.
But then as usual one finds a definition from a reliable source that resets interpretations back to zero. Merriam-Webster definitions include a reference to “ the joint between the femur and and the tibia of an inscet”. No reference is made to a patella as being part of the definition.
So according to this definition a bee knee can exist, the joint between the two leg components being the knee.
Back to square one.
What about birds? The best I could find was a “Tibio-tarsal articulation”, which does not specify a patella.
Inanimate objects are also referred to having knees, but as in a pivotal action resembling the action of a leg with a knee. So, if anything can bend can it be called a knee?
To be honest, I am too lazy and frustrated to go that route at the moment.
My subjective conclusion, until an Entomologist will tell me otherwise, is that humans have knees, and insects have a leg construction that functions like a human knee.
The original intention of this post was to find out what “The Bees Knees” meant and origin. This is easy compared to the knee story. This is a nonsensical saying that originated sometime soon after the First World War (circa 1920’s), as did many other silly sayings. It means something of excellence. This sorted my perception out, as I was under the impression that it is a derogatory term, as in “ He/she thinks he/she’s the bees knees”, alluding to someone pretending to be better than the reality of the situation. A state of the art mobile phone can be referred to as the "bees knees”, when considered the best available.
Image fron Wikipedia
That’s it.....
Update/Edit : 20 June 2011
Most visitors to this page Googled " do bees have knees?". What I did not refer to in the above is that the hind legs carry pollen, and the pollen could create the perception that the inscet has knees


Thursday, 02 June 2011

The King is dead, long live the King: Origin and meaning.

"The King is dead, long live the King", origin and meaning.
This from an e-mail request.
However, after scratching around a bit the exercise became futile as an excellent article at the link below summarises it all.
Two other interpretations are firstly, that the King is dead, but his good work will be remembered forever, and, secondly alluding to only a King will rule England. History does not support this view.
Image from Wikipedia : King Louis XIV of France 1701

Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Image of the most attractive, beautiful and sexiest person in the world.

Look closely, undoubtedly the most attractive, sexiest, beautiful person you have ever seen, and don't forget it.
(Mirror, Mirror on the wall......)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Flea Market : Meaning and origin

What is a Flea Market, origin and meaning?
The concept of flea markets has been around for thousands of years, but with different names.
What is sold at flea markets? The definitions most often cited refer to second-hand items that are cheap. Some definitions include items that are cheap but not necessarily used, as in new. The golden thread throughout all definitions is cheap. Cheap can be defined as value for money, bargains, inexpensive, low price and a bunch of others words all meaning cheap.
How did the flea get into the market? This is where things get confusing. There is no consensus as to the origin of the flea in flea market. (The only consensus is that fleas were not on sale.) Internet articles mostly refer to old clothes and furniture that could have been infested with these parasites due to the nature, age and source of the articles. Interestingly, none of the articles I read, explicitly stated that the items were infested. Could, possibly, might, and potentially are the words usually used.
There are three versions as to the source of the flea in flea market.
The most popular version appears to be that the name was derived from the French words “marché aux puces” which referred to a market on the outskirts of Paris in the 1880’s that sold second-hand items. Marché translating to market and Puces translating to fleas. (This origin has the most credible sources, but there are differences in the finer detail, which one can expect after all the years)
The second version relates to the same words, but interprets marché as walking. It would appear as though significant changes were made to the infrastructure of Paris during the same period and the vendors in the city were banned from selling within the city limits and had to walk to the outskirts of the city to conduct business. In this version the word “flee” is used with the interpretation of walking away. Not much support for this origin that I could find.
A third version, not often cited, is that it is from Dutch origin during the period when the Dutch had settled on Manhattan Island. The markets were held in a swampy area and the Dutch word for swamp is given as “vlie”, which sounds like flea when spoken in English. In Afrikaans a “vlei” is a shallow depression that may or may not have permanent water. But again Vlo is Dutch for flea. So my subjective interpretation is that the Dutch origin was a translation of French flea market into Dutch. In Afrikaans the word is “vlooimark”. The time lines and possible misinterpretation of the meanings of words give credibility to the French origin.
It’s not over until the fat lady sings or something to that effect. At the last moment I found this:-

“ Legend has it that in 1880, an unknown bargain hunter was looking down from the top of the fortifications over the array of scrap metal, old furniture and scrap rags, and he exclaimed, “My word, it’s a flea market”

Lots more detail from this French site, in English
Image from Wikipedia

Friday, 25 March 2011

An ode of English Plural

An ode of English Plural

(Received this via email, source unknown)

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea
nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop