Having Fun On A Windy Day

It’s been a strange sort of vacation, with far too much time spent in doctors’ waiting rooms, hospital X-ray department, CT Scan and Bronchoscopy units. There is no part of my lungs which haven’t been minutely inspected and scrutinized. My persistent cough is apparently due to nothing more serious than chest inflammation and sensitive airways. I’m now on my third lot of antibiotics plus a course of corticosteroid tablets which actually give me nightmares. For example, last night I dreamed that I was staggering around with a fold-up bed on my back, looking for hubby who was supposed to be meeting me with the car. My cell phone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t call him. Luckily I woke up before I got too tired of lugging the bed around whilst totally lost. So many pills that I do believe were I to be shaken, I’d rattle.

On the bright side, I’ve seen quite a lot of my darling sister and a few very dear friends. We’ve had some really fun times together. Here after dinner, we had just discovered that our fingers are actually identical in length.

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Today is the last day in our beach front apartment here in South Africa. Tomorrow we drive up to stay with our daughter in Johannesburg for the weekend, before flying to England on Monday to see hubby’s soon to be 104-year-old mom, Kathleen.

We have a splendid view of the Indian Ocean from our balcony and yesterday hubby took these photos of intrepid guys having fun in the surf. I think it must feel really awesome to do this.  I’m not much of a water-baby myself,  but I do enjoy watching them.

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I may not be able to blog or comment for the next week or so until we get back home to Florida on July 4th. I wish you all a very good week and will see you again soon.

 

B&W Sunday: The Mussel Man after and before.

Paula’s B&W Sunday Challenge this week is ‘After and Before’. Yesterday, whilst walking along the beach footpath, I noticed some activity going on in one of the rock pools.  A mussel collector, wearing snorkel and flippers, was at work filling a bag with tasty morsels. Here is the B&W edit of my shot.

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In the original colour version, he’s far more visible. Must be something to do with the bright yellow flippers.

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One of the guests at my sister’s birthday party on Saturday brought along a plate of delicious bacon-wrapped mussels which he had earlier collected from this same part of the beach. Needless to say, they didn’t last long.

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Floral Friday Fotos: Pink Profusion

This amazing Vanda orchid which we tied to a palm tree about a year ago, is flowering yet again. I blogged a photo of it in flower in September just before we left for South Africa. Our next door neighbour admired it, so we gave her permission to cut the flower stem and put it in her house. When we returned ar the end of November, it was in full bloom again. On our return from our Antarctic cruise in mid-January, the flowers were finished, so we cut off the stem. Towards the end of last week, I noticed new buds were opening, and today I counted fourteen flowers and four more buds waiting to open.

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You can call me ‘the orchid whisperer’, but all I do is water the roots every Monday and add a small scoop of orchid food to the water every fortnight.

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New Backyardigans Come To Play

The opening of my kitchen blind this morning, revealed a couple of newcomers to our backyard.

Odette and her cute baby Ollie were frolicking in the pond. If they were looking for fish, they were disappointed.

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They stayed to play for a few minutes before running back to the lake where fish are plentiful. River otters have few predators, but are sometimes hunted by alligators and birds of prey, so I guess these two had better watch out for Ali-Baba and Ozzie osprey. They’re pretty fast in the water, so their chances of survival are quite good.

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I’m always happy to see new critters on my patch. Do you have any interesting animals in your backyard?

Happy Tuesday everyone.

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B&W Sunday: After and Before

Paula’s B&W Sunday challenge this week is to show the same photo, both in colour and monochrome.

No surprise that the subject is one of my beautiful backyard creatures. Woody wood stork is very impressive in colour, as he says, “Flaps up, ready for takeoff!”

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Here he is looking rather dapper with his B&W tuxedo look.

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Wishing you all a very good week.

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The Gentoos of Waterboat Point

On the last day of 2016, our cruise ship the Seabourn Quest, anchored just off Waterboat Point in Paradise Bay.

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Here is Chile’s Antarctic Base which was active from 1951-58 and again briefly in the early 1980’s. The base was named after Chilean president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla who in the 1940’s became the first head of state of any nation, to visit Antarctica.

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Waterboat Point is an official historic site under the Antarctic Treaty and this sign honours the smallest ever wintering-over party of just two men, who spent a year and a day in 1921-22 in a shelter they made out of an old whaling boat they found on the site. Maxime Lester and Thomas Bagshawe, 22 and 19-years-old respectively, were junior members of the British Imperial Expedition, and when their particular project was aborted because of lack of funds, they and two others hitched a ride on a Norwegian Whaling ship. Against the advice of the whalers, these two opted to stay over in Antarctica for a year. They survived the Antarctic winter ‘against the odds’ by extending the hulk of the old boat with packing cases, sacks and timber. This small, uncomfortable but almost weatherproof hut became their base, and they supplemented their meager supply of biscuits, baked beans, pemmican, sweets and crème-de-menthe sweets aand a little alcohol, with seal and penguin meat, as well as penguin eggs. They used seal blubber for heating and cooking fuel. When the two whaling Captains returned for them on the 18th December, they sent them away again, refusing to leave until they’d spent a full year there and completed their research. They left on the 13th January, 1922. Theirs is an incredible story of  ‘survival against the odds’.

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Whilst there, they did daily metrological measurements and conducted detailed studies of the wildlife. Bagshawe wrote the first scientific study of penguins and their development, and today the Gentoo penguins, the descendants of the ones he studied, nest in the ruins of the whaleboat shelter.

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If you’re a penguin hugger, this is the place to go. You can really get up close and personal with the gorgeous Gentoos. This Mama-to-be even stood up from her nest to proudly show us her eggs. (I told her you’d like to see what she was sitting on.)

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Here is Marilyn, the blondest and most glamorous of these red-beaked creatures. Our expedition leader told us that she’s very popular and never without a partner.

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This jolly pair were most cooperative and posed very happily for their photo shoot.

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We only had about an hour to explore, as there’s a limit to how many people are allowed on land at any one time. Passengers on our expedition cruise were split up into five groups, and as one lot left to rejoin the ship, the next ones were arriving.

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At this point, we had travelled just over 3.500 km from our starting point in Valparaiso.

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We still had another two weeks to go, so I have lots more to share with you.

Tonight we’re going out for dinner with friends to a restaurant who’s motto is “Eat, drink and be comfy.” It gets great reviews, so I’m looking forward to it very much. Hope you’re having a relaxing and fun weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WPC Solitude: Solitary Seal

On the last day of 2016, this fur seal wasn’t out partying with his friends. He chose to spend his day all by himself on an iceberg.

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I don’t think you can get much more solitary than that.

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Happy Tuesday to you all. Click her to see more entries for the ‘Solitude’ challenge

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A Lucky Black Cat On Friday 13th

Here we are in Buenos Aires. Across from our hotel room is a very sad-looking abandoned building. I wonder who painted this colourful cat, high up there. The sight of it certainly brightened my day.

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Happy weekend to you all. We’re almost at the end of our month-long trip, and I’m so looking forward to getting home again. See you all next week.

Macro Moments: Sammy is back!

I hadn’t seen this sweet little creature since we returned home, but at breakfast this morning, Sammy decided it was her turn to sit on the rock outside our kitchen window, which is so often occupied by one of the Iggy family.

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Wishing you all a really good week.

To participate in Susan’s macro challenge, just click this link.

 

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