Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

This week’s photo challenge is to show what’s happening above us. Once again I couldn’t resist doing a little gallery (some of which photos I’ve used before). Looking up to the bird life, treetops, clouds, a lighthouse, a mountain top, The Giants at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2015 and the world’s biggest aeroplane coming in to land at Perth airport a while ago.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

This week’s photo challenge is to show opposites. Since it’s winter here at the moment and we have lots of rainy days I immediately thought of sunshine as opposed to clouds or rain. I love the drama of clouds rolling in, especially when the sun still partially shines on it, so I put together a little gallery of opposing sunshine and clouds/rain photos.



Z is for Zebra. During our visits to Etosha National Park in Namibia we were lucky enough to see plenty of them around. On both the last two occasions the park had been experiencing good rainfall and there were little puddles of water everywhere (even in the middle of the road) where they’d drink from. We saw so many that we in fact became spoilt. During the first couple of days we stopped whenever we saw anything of interest and took heaps of photos but after a few days of seeing so many zebras (and no elephants yet), we didn’t stop to take any more photos of them, instead opting to keep going to try and see animals we hand’t yet seen.

There were some zebras on my sister and brother-in-law’s farm in the Kalahari at one stage but it’s  a very sandy area which meant that the zebras’ hooves (which are shaped like those of a horse) didn’t naturally wear down because the sand was so soft. They used to catch the zebras and cut their hooves to help them because if they didn’t the hooves would keep growing to the point where the animal wasn’t able to walk properly. It was quite an experience doing this for a wild animal.

Z, being the last letter, also signals the end of this challenge. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, I’ve really enjoyed interacting with all of you and reading your A to Z posts as well.


E is for Esperance, around 800 kilometres south east of Perth in Western Australia, at the edge of the wheat belt with beautiful clear, crisp Southern Ocean beaches. Exmouth lies around 1400 kilometres north of Perth at the northern tip of the Ningaloo (coral) reef.

E is also for Etosha National Park, Namibia’s largest game reserve which was made famous by the Etosha (which means “great white place”) pan.

Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, and there are numerous different species. Emus are large Australian non-flying birds and Echidnas are mammals that lay eggs (otherwise known as monotremes).

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dancing Flames

This week’s photo challenge is about capturing rhythm and motion, and sharing a photo of something that appears like dance.

Sitting around a camp fire watching the dancing flames is one of my favourite things to do. The flames take on a life of their own and have a mesmerising and almost hypnotising effect. Watching the flames reach up, jump, disappear and reappear to their own rhythm with the smell and sound of a sociable wood fire is utterly peaceful.

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One of our camel thorn wood camp fires in Etosha, Namibia, on our last visit there


Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

This week’s photo challenge is to show what One Love means to us. The Urban Dictionary describes One Love as “the universal love and respect expressed by all people for all people, regardless of race, creed, or social status”. In the challenge Anne also says: “the universe is constantly whispering words of love: expressions of pure joy, respect, loyalty, and sacrifice for someone other than ourselves, and instructions on letting go and focusing on what is most important in this world”.

The natural world gives us so much every day, the very air that we breathe and beauty all around for us to look after, respect and love, without asking much in return. There are many elements that, together, form our world as a whole. Our natural environment, the animals and us humans who have the responsibility to care for and protect it. Love, respect and loyalty occur in our environment every day. I love the peacefulness of nature, and listening to its sounds. Birds calling, waves rolling in or animals moving around.

Sunrise is one of my favourite times of the day. It’s a time to be thankful for life, the promise of a new day and the privilege to experience it every day as we do.

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Sunrise over the mainland near Esperance, southern Western Australia, taken from Woody Island

Animals grazing at sunrise, at peace in and with their environment.

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Sunrise in the Kalahari, Namibia

What’s not to love and respect about mother nature when she shows all her colours? Out hiking, and it reminded me of a line I read somewhere: “Leave only your footprints behind”.


Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges, southwest Australia

Love, respect and loyalty in the animal kingdom – galahs are birds that mate for life.


Pink and grey Galahs, taken in Denmark, Western Australia

Mutual respect – I’ll help you and you help me.


Zebras dozing in the midday sun in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Love and tenderness from adult to the young.


Giraffe in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Caring and trust between humans and wildlife, two more necessary elements in looking after our environment.


Feeding a young kangaroo at Donnelly River, southwest Australia

Trust, respect, loyalty, caring, responsibility and love all come together to form a bond with animals where no words are needed.

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Child No 3 and Belle sharing a quiet moment a couple of years ago in Namibia

As the day winds down it’s time again to be quiet and reflect on how much we have to be thankful for, and also on our duty to care for our world and all those that we share it with.


Sunset at Sorrento beach, Perth, Western Australia


Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet

In this week’s photo challenge we’re asked to let the alphabet be our inspiration. I realised I have heaps of photos of writing, letters and/or signs in one form or another and got a bit carried away with my gallery. Please feel free to click on the images and read the captions.

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary Encounter with the Lion King

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

On our last trip to Etosha National Park in Namibia we were very fortunate to come across these extraordinary animals who were just lying around having quite an ordinary day.

A lazy day in the soft rain

A lazy day in the soft rain

It was remarkable to see them up close like this.


Some of the lions in Etosha are collared to track them

Some of the lions in Etosha are collared to track them

And then they'd had enough of all the tourists staring at them and snapping pictures of them and they wandered off

And then they’d had enough of all the tourists staring at them and snapping pictures of them and they wandered off

We managed to catch one last glimpse

We managed to catch one last glimpse

The encounter was made even more extraordinary by the fact that it occurred barely 100m from the gate of an enclosed picnic spot in the park where myself and one of our friends had got out of our vehicles literally a minute earlier to open and shut the gate. These guys clearly weren’t hungry.

Die Môrestond het Goud in die Mond

(Apologies to non-Afrikaans readers.)

Ons gesin is ‘n douvoordag gesin. Nie soseer die kinders noudat hulle tieners en jong volwassenes is nie, maar toe hulle klein was het hulle ook lekker vroeg opgestaan. Omdat ek en my man gewoonlik vroeg aan die gang is word daar selde baie laat geslaap in ons huis bloot omdat daar vroeg soggens beweging is en dis gewoonlik nie stil roeringe nie. Ek het al vantevore geskryf oor my man wat al die jare al bitter vroeg wakker word (dis dan seker voor-douvoordag) en die eskapades wanneer hy vergeet om die wekker af te sit want ek staan darem nie heeltemal so vroeg op soos hy nie.

My verhouding met die voordag kom uit my eie tienerjare toe ek probeer laat slaap het en my pa – wat self nog altyd ‘n vroegoggendmens was – my kom wakker maak het om die tuin nat te maak of te kom help met die kliëntestormloop in ons plaaswinkeltjie sesuur op ‘n Saterdagoggend. Daai tye het ek maar lekker my voete gesleep maar oor die jare het ek die goud wat vir ‘n mens wag in die vroëe oggendure leer waardeer. Ek het lief geraak daarvoor om die dag te sien breek wanneer ons die langpad gevat het met vakansies, van die eerste stadige verkleur van die horison wat die aankoms van ‘n nuwe dag aankondig, die sagte pienk, pers en blou lug wat volg en uiteindelik die son wat kop uitsteek en helder sy verskyning maak met al die belofte van ‘n nuwe dag. Deesdae is dit steeds vir my die beste en ‘n wondergevulde tyd van die dag – dis gewoonlik stil van stadsgeraas en –verkeer wat dit rustig maak en lekker om buite te wees, die voëls te hoor sing en die varsheid van die nuwe dag wat soveel hoop en belofte inhou diep in jou longe in te trek – en vir ‘n kort tydjie elke oggend voel dit asof die tyd ‘n bietjie stadiger beweeg terwyl ek my gedagtes orden en regmaak vir die dag wat voorlê.

Wanneer ek vroeg begin werskaf is ek altyd aangenaam verras oor hoeveel ek gedoen kan kry voor die dag werklik met erns begin. Dis asof daar sommer ‘n paar ekstra ure by die dag aangelas word, en dis gewoonlik produktiewe ure. Vroegmôre hou soveel verrassings in wat net wag om ontdek te word, soos die volmaan wat sak oor die oseaan of oor ‘n watergat in Etosha, om te luister na die geluide van die veld wat wakker word terwyl ons rustig koffie drink by Brandberg waar ons in die veld gekamp het of in die Kalahari waar die tyd teen sy eie pas loop of die lafenis vir die siel om die heuwel alleen uit te klim op Woody Island (naby Esperance, so 800 kilometer suidoos van Perth) voor vyf in die oggend om te kyk hoe die son oorkant die water oor die land opkom. Daar is iets omtrent die sonsopkoms (en –ondergang) wat ‘n mens dwing om vir ‘n oomblik stil te raak en een te wees met die natuur rondom jou en dit te respekteer sonder om ‘n indringer te wees met ons menslike geraasbesoedeling en die belofte van ‘n nuwe begin wat elke dag aanbreek te waardeer. Vir iemand wat foto’s neem by dosyne en werklik hartseer is as ek vir een of ander rede ‘n mooi potensiële foto nie kon neem nie, bied die vroëe oggendure soveel geleenthede en dis my gunsteling tyd van die dag.

Die volmaan wat sak oor die Indiese Oseaan (geneem naby Hillarys, Perth)

Die volmaan wat sak oor die Indiese Oseaan (geneem naby Hillarys, Perth)

Die volmaan sak oor die watergat by Okaukuejo, Etosha, Namibië

Die volmaan sak oor die watergat by Okaukuejo, Etosha, Namibië

Sonsopkoms in die Kalahari

Sonsopkoms in die Kalahari

Sonsopkoms oor Cape Le Grande National Park geneem vanaf Woody Island

Sonsopkoms oor Cape Le Grande National Park geneem vanaf Woody Island

Met die dat manlief so ‘n vroëer-as-vroeg opstaner is word ons naweekuitstappies ook gewoonlik beplan om douvoordag te begin, gewoonlik vroëer as wat ek sou verkies, want teen die tyd dat ek opstaan is sy dag al ‘n uur of wat aan die gang en trippel hy al rond om weg te kom, met die gevolg dat ek dan ook maar vroëer as gewoonlik opstaan. Soos ‘n dieselenjin wat eers moet warm word neem dit my brein ‘n tydjie om behoorlik wakker te word en nog meer so wanneer ek in die donker op manlief se verkieslike uur opstaan. Vir wedlope moet ons ook vroeg-vroeg aan die gang kom en veral vir Ironman wanneer ons omtrent drie-uur in die oggend opstaan om reg te maak en betyds te wees vir alle laaste-minuut voorbereidings.

Net die ander dag het ons twee ‘n daguitstappie na Dwellingup (so ‘n uur en ‘n half se ry suid-oos van Perth) beplan en hy wou graag sesuur die oggend in die pad val, wat beteken het ek moes vyfuur opstaan om wakker te word en reg te maak want hierdie ou dieselenjin spring nie net uit die bed en begin die dag teen ‘n honder kilometer per uur nie, dit neem ‘n koppie boeretroos of twee voor ek behoorlik funksioneer en stadig spoed optel en ek het so effens tëegeskop want dis winter en dis baie koud in die voordag-donker maar op die ou end het ek maar vyfuur opgestaan, my koffie rustig gedrink en ons het sesuur in die pad geval. ‘n Uur later is ons verras met ‘n ongelooflike sonsopkoms wat my weer van voor af laat besef het dat ten spyte van die vroegoggendkoue, moeg en slaap in my oë stel die sonsopkoms nooit teleur nie en die Afrikaanse voorvader wat hierdie gesegde uigedink het, het geweet waarvan hulle praat: die môrestond het werklik goud in die mond.

Sonsopkoms naby Dwellingup

Sonsopkoms naby Dwellingup