Wednesday, November 30, 2011

S'long Spirit ...

I received bad news today - Spirit is dead.

He disappeared on the day before I left the North and I was hoping that he'd only gone wandering, as he has done in the past. I was told this morning that his body has been found in the long grass close to the house.

I strongly suspect that he was zapped by a snake. He was in perfect health and it could only have been a snake which caused him to die so suddenly.

The week before his disappearance it was very hot and humid and there were a lot of large snakes around, they were hunting and were likely all venomous.

I've probably been too lenient in dealing with snakes near the house lately - I was hoping we could live in harmony.

It's slight comfort knowing that he probably did not suffer or die caught in some trap but, still - I feel sad.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Tsumeb Copper Festival

At the end of October the 5th Tsumeb Copper Festival took place - I was looking forward to it because of the opportunity to photograph people and bright colours.

On the one day I took a break from building and journeyed into town to see what I could see:

A woman selling brightly-coloured dresses and bags waits with her child for customers.

A local band entertains the crowd waiting for the official opening ceremony to begin.

A police contingent leads the parade preceding the opening ceremony - I just love the way the kid popped into the picture as I took the shot, look at that mischievous face ... it's called 'photo-bombing' I believe ...

One of the many exhibitors - the organisation of the Copper festival seems to be getting better every year.

I was fascinated by how this tourist was fussing over two women who were carrying their babies on their backs, secured in blankets - a common sight in Africa and something I take for granted - unable to understand each others' language, the two women seemed bewildered by her attentions but the encounter was amicable, with smiles all around.

Something for your head.

Three heads are better than two ...

A local brew made of fermented something - the guy selling it told me the name of the stuff but I've forgotten.

Dried and fried Mopani Worms - a local delicacy - not for me though, I don't like the taste at all.

One of the food vendors prepares porridge in a massive 'potjie' cooking pot.

Related Post:
Tsumeb Copper Festival


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Trip To The Richtersveld - Part 2

Sunrise at the Richtersberg Camp site on the Orange River - all the camp sites are very basic, visitors must carry their own water and provisions.

Although I was a passenger, I know what a thrill it is to drive these roads.

I'm guessing that this is a lizard ... gorgeous colours hey ... if you look carefully you can see that it's still shedding its skin.

This viewpoint took my breath away.

Sentkannetjie - Crassula columnaris.

I almost missed these tiny well camouflaged plants.

Spectacular rock formations abound.

What can I say?

Helskloof - the sides of a mountain covered with Pearson's Aloe (Aloe pearsonii) - the only place in the world where this plant grows in such density.

Three Black Crows in one of the rare trees ... they were quite far away and I struggled to get a decent shot of individuals:

A lousy photo I know but, I like the way some of the feathers of the bird are sticking out equally around it's body ... it's easy to see why Crows are associated with witches and the Underworld.

I'm hoping that some of my artistic Friends here will be able to sharpen it up and/or incorporate it into an artwork ... :)

Related Posts:

A Trip To The Richtersveld - Part 1

Scenes From The Richtersveld

A Few Plants From the Richtersveld


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Trip To The Richtersveld - Part 1

Before I went north in September, Stretch visited this area for the first time and a group of us took a 3-day camping trip to the Richtersveld in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, about a twenty minute drive from my present location:

Approaching the Orange (Gariep) River, one of my favourite scenes in Namibia. I call it 'Flower Mountain' because to me it looks like a rosebud which is about to bloom.

The pontoon comes across the river from South Africa to fetch us at Sendelingsdrift - 'sendeling' means missionary in Afrikaans.

The terrain is very rugged and changeable.

We were a week or two too late to see the plants at their best after the sparse winter rain.

... so named because of the strange impression on the rock.

Most of the roads are pretty rough and are best travelled in a 4-wheel drive but, I've seen people driving here in ordinary sedan vehicles.

Another weirdscape.

I almost missed this fleshy starfish-shaped succulent flower.

A lone Quiver Tree, Kokerboom in Afrikaans.

I photographed this tree on my first visit visit here about three years ago but couldn't resist taking another shot.

I'll probably be off-line for a few days from Thursday exploring new territory but I'll set Part 2 to publish automatically.

Related Posts:

Scenes From The Richtersveld
A Few Plants From The Richtersveld


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bach To The Future

Hello Friends,

It's been a steaming-hot two months in northern Nam and now I'm back in the cooler southern Desert with a good internet connection. (It's cooler because I'm only 60 km from the coast - close enough for the ocean-breeze.)

I didn't have a TV at home and missed a chapter in the 'Arab Spring' with the demise of Gaddafi - perhaps it is better for my Spirit not to have seen it, I might have rejoiced ...

I also missed the beginning of what I hope is a 'Universal Spring' in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

I have a lot of time for reflection while I'm building and in that place beyond thought, some call it intuition, I know that if we don't (and we won't) shift away from rampant greed and excess in our dealings with each other and our Planet, we will lose it all.

'When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to lose' - when we reach a critical mass, violent revolution and chaos will drag us back to the stone age.

My good news is that the Flamboyant tree which was affected by Black Frost during winter is alive - severely battered but alive ... I'm so relieved!

My neighbour told me that for two nights the temperature dropped to -6° C ... unheard of in these parts.

I love the colour Red - it'll probably take a few years for the tree to recover completely.

I built the outer rock wall of the en suite bathroom up as far as I could.

My next task is to install a corrugated roof, cut to size, which rests on the inner wall and, when that's done, I can complete the outer wall with rock.

I also installed two glass brick windows to provide additional light in the bathroom.

I had no idea what I was doing but managed to muddle through the job all-right ...

It's strange - often I put off doing something because, in my mind, there are all kinds of obstacles and things which can go wrong but, when I'm eventually forced to take action, everything goes smoothly and I end up wondering what I was afraid of. Does anyone else have this kind of hang-up?

The last two weeks were extremely hot and humid - ideal conditions for snakes to hunt and seek water. I only saw one but there were fresh tracks of different snakes in the sand every morning.

It's often possible, by examining the ridges of the track, to tell which way the snake travelled. The ridges indicate the direction the reptile was pushing as it moved forward ... the track in the pic above shows that the snake was moving away from the camera.

One of Stretch Moonman's remaining babies which I photographed when I visited.

Don't ask me what kind of bug this is - I've only seen a creature like this once before - lovely colours hey.

A pair of Damara Dik-Diks grazing near my house - these two tiny beautiful creatures have been living on my patch of ground for about five years now - they're still very shy though and bolt at the sight of a human.

Sunsets were, as usual, stunning - it's impossible to recreate them in a photo.

I'll close this post with a thought written on what appears to be an old boiler which is being used as a farm entrance marker ...

... those words seem familiar, I think someone wrote a book ...

I've just had a thought; could it be a time machine sent here from the Future ... or the Past?