One Word Sunday: Rock

Debbie’s One Word Sunday Challenge this week, is ‘Rock’. As some of my blog followers may remember, I am now in South Africa after a two and a half year absence. We started off in Johannesburg for a week with our daughter and son-in-law, then drove down to the coast to Umhlanga Rocks, the seaside town where we used to live. As its name suggests, there are many rocks along the shoreline.

Some of the rocks are rather large.

My favourite lighthouse has been warning ships off these rocks since 1954.

The sad news is that so far, I haven’t been able to walk along the promenade to see the lighthouse up close, as my left hip which has been giving me problems for quite some time now, has finally decided it needs replacing. Tuesday is the day when this will happen, so I may be absent for a little while. I’m very grateful to have found a highly recommended surgeon here to do the deed. See you all soon.

To join in Debbie’s ‘Rock’ challenge, just click the link.

B&W Sunday: My favourite landmark

Paula is back again with her “Black and White Sunday Challenge” and this week the theme is ‘Landmark’. What a great excuse to post a photo of my favourite landmark in Umhlanga Rocks. I do miss seeing it, since we moved away from our lovely seaside town.


This 21 metre tall circular concrete tower, painted white with a red top, was completed in 1954. An interesting fact is that the lighthouse has never had a keeper, as the nearby Oyster Box Hotel has always been the official warden, with the lighthouse controls housed in the hotel office and monitored by the staff.  It’s been the subject of numerous paintings and memorabilia, and stands guard to some of the most treacherous waters of Southern Africa. It not only warns ships of the dangerous rocks closer to shore, but the flashing light is also a welcome to the cargo ships sailing into the safety of the Durban harbour.


WPC: Close Ups from South Africa and Florida

In this week’s Photo Challenge, we’re invited to” discover the hidden details that can only be seen up close.”

I’ve posted this one before, but it does happen to be my all time favourite close up. Isn’t he cute?


Another popular subject for my photos, is the Umhlanga lighthouse.


These pigeons in the aloe caught my attention as I strolled along by the ocean.


Another much bigger bird is the Ibis who often comes pecking his way through my back yard here in Florida.


I certainly couldn’t leave out Mr. GBH, as he looks so good close up, especially on a windy day.


Hope you’re all off to a good start this weekend. Enjoy.


3 days … 3 quotes challenge: Shine a light

Thanks to Aletta of ‘nowathome‘, for tagging me to do the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. As some of you may know by now, I really love lighthouses, especially the red and white one here in Umhlanga. My quote for today is the caption beneath the photo.

"Many people spend too much time trying to be the captain of someone else's boat. Learn to be a lighthouse and the boats will find their way." ~ Anon

Many people spend too much time trying to be the captain of someone else’s boat. Learn to be a lighthouse and the boats will find their way.” ~ Anon

The rules of the challenge are:

1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for 3 days.
3) Each day nominate 3 new bloggers to take part.

My 3 nominees for today are:

Marylou of ‘natuurfreak’

Geralyn of ‘Where my feet are’ 

Jude of ‘Travel Words’ 

(No problem if you don’t have the time or inclination to accept this challenge.)

A Hungry Critter and a Romantic Moment, for WPC: Minimalist

Jen H. has asked us for ‘Minimalist’ photos. She defines them thus, “An artfully executed minimalist photograph is anything but mundane. It illustrates a moment in time, or an artistic perspective, with simplicity and grace. Minimalist photography is characterized by a large portion of negative space, a fairly monochromatic color palette with good contrast, and an interesting subject that is able to stand on its own to capture the interest of the viewer. At first thought, it may seem like it would be easy to shoot an engaging minimalist photograph, when indeed it can often be the opposite. A minimalist photo can also effectively tell a story, in spite of its relative simplicity, and it is anything but “plain”.

Today, I saw a tenacious little lizard clinging to the bug screen outside our lanai, waiting for insects to land there, so he could gobble them all up. It inspired me to enter Jen’s challenge. I think this image does tell a story of a small creature doing what it has to do to survive.


Out to dinner with the man who has been by my side for almost half a century, I looked down at our hands joined across the table, and decided to record the moment.


The restaurant was right next to one of my favourite landmarks in Umhlanga, where we lived until we recently moved to Florida.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos for the challenge. To join in, just click on the badge below.




Landmarks of Umhlanga, and the Demise of the Lifeguard Tower

In 1869, the first beach cottage was built in Umhlanga Rocks. Named ‘The Oyster Lodge’, it had a beautiful ocean view, and tea and scones were served to passers-by in a true spirit of hospitality. The cottage had a reflective roof, which served as a beacon for the captains of passing ships, to help them navigate their vessels around the rocky headland.


In 1954 Umhlanga’s distinctive red and white lighthouse came into operation, to warn ships away from the dangers of these rocks. The red sun umbrellas of the Oyster Box Hotel, which was built on the site of the original cottage, can be seen to the right of the lighthouse.


Another landmark for me, has always been the Lifeguard Tower at the main beach. As I walked past, I would often see the young volunteers up there, watching over the bathers. About a week ago, I was really surprised and rather sad, to see that the lifeguard tower which has been there as long as I can remember, was being demolished.


Every time we went for a walk along the promenade, I would take photos, as it slowly disintegrated.


At this stage, it was quite distressing to see how this once bright and beautiful tower, was reduced to a pathetically sad ruin with a bad hairdo.


It didn’t take too long before all that was left, was this forlorn heap of rubble.


And now the rubble is cleared, and work on the construction of the new one can begin.


Soon, a new and improved tower will rise in it’s place. It will be ‘C’ shaped, and the balcony will have a 180º view of the beach. It’s expected to be completed in October, but sadly, we will have left long before then. I’m sure we’ll be over again some time next year, so I’ll be able to see  if I approve of the new design. In the mean time, the lifeguards will have to made do with this.