A walk in Cape Town

Today I went for a walk through the city in Cape Town, and although the weather was cold and wet, the feeling in the city was the same.

Walking down one of the pedestrian only streets in the city, under the leafless trees of winter
Various generations of buildings in the Cape Town CBD.
Friends walking through the city towards Green market square
A reminder of the past. Two benches sit outside the enterance of the High Court Civil Annex in Cape Town. One says ‘Whites only’, the other ‘Non whites only’. A interpretive display showing the past we have come from, and a reminder to never allow this country to return to such times.
Walking up past the Company Gardens, Cape Town.
Friends chat as they wait to cross the road

Till next time, chase the light.

Fynbos, fire and rebirth

The fynbos plant kingdom is the smallest of this planets 6 plant kingdoms, and is endemic to the Western Cape province of South Africa. This is a fire driven ecosystem, requiring fires at varying frequency from every 5 years up to every 30 years. In a natural environment, most fires are caused by lightning strikes, but in the modern human intervention environment they tend to occur far more frequently then is ideal. In the Table Mountain National Park there are areas that burn every year, usually caused by cigarettes thrown from passing cars.

But, from these burned areas, new life erupts. Today we visited one such area, burned just over six months ago. New life abounds.

Rivers, mushrooms and back to sunny skies

After a short reprieve from the drought gripping the Western Cape of South Africa, the rivers on Table Mountain are finally flowing again. 

Today’s venture was into Cecilia Forest. Although it cannot be called a forest anymore, with most of the pine plantations being cut down to allow the natural fynbos to return. In the ravines, there still remains remnants of the original mountain forests and it’s there where we find the small rivers flowing after the rain.

In those small pockets of remaining pines, various mushrooms can be found amongst the pine needles.

Till the next outing, chase the light.

Drought stricken forests, Newlands, Cape Town

A morning walk up the side of Table Mountain into Newlands Forest, just a day after some rain finally hit the drought stricken Cape Town. Our hope was that there would be some water in the small streams that flow through the forests, but the rivers were mostly dry, with very little water in those that did have. We’re down to the last dregs of the supply dams, desperate for the arrival of some winter rain.

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An old wall from the canal to the woodcutters shed.
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The mid section of the stream on Woodcutters path. No water in this section or above.
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Sentinels guard the river bed waiting for the rain.
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Felled pines lie forgotten by the cutters, but not by nature.
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Roots growing around and over rocks. The immovable become encased, trapped.
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Every which way one can go.

More New Zealand, a different view

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Paths through the forest. One of the best things about New Zealand’s North Island is the forests. One could spend a lifetime just exploring them. (Olympus OM-D E-M10mkII, f8 12mm 1/80 ISO3200) 
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La Rotisserie, the best roast duck I’ve ever had! Wellington, New Zealand
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Tangles in the forest. Kapiti Island off the North Island west coast. (Olympus OM-D E-M10mkII, f9 60mm 1/30 ISO3200)
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The Kūkupa (New Zealand wood pigeon), Kapiti island, New Zealand (Olympus OM-D E-M10mkII, f5.6 150mm 1/320 ISO800)
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Forest path along the Pohangina river, North Island, New Zealand (Olympus OM-D E-M10mkII, f9 13mm 15s ISO200)
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Water flows over the rivers rocks. (Olympus OM-D E-M10mkII, f9 36mm 3.2s ISO200)

New Zealand. Forests and rivers.

Torn between hunting trout and chasing light. The Hutt river, North Island, New Zealand. 

There’s more to an island than it’s isolation.

Living in Cape Town means being within a short ferry ride to Robben Island. This historical island was home to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, a trio of decommissioned World War II 9inch naval guns as well as a handful of ship wrecks that litter it’s coast. 

Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles peak out over a fog bank Cape Town.  (f18 20mm 60″ ISO200)

Hartlaubs gulls take to the air. ( f10 14mm 1/200 ISO200)

Trees on the horizon, clouds in the sky.

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One of the wrecks, facing towards the sea from which it came. (f18 28mm 20″ ISO 200)

As the Sun sets, the moon becomes visible. (f16 14mm 15″ ISO200)

Stars above. The Southern Cross above what’s left of a fishing trawler. (f3.5 14mm 33″ ISO200)

The journey back to the mainland aboard the ferry, the Susan Kruger.
All in all, an interesting time spent on the island. Till next time. Cheers.