On the Seventh Day he rested… in the Kalahari…

I had to go to Upington for my son yesterday. Linda was to accompany me on the long 400 km round trip, but due to 12 stitches in her foot, she stayed behind…

Now this trip alone would normally have been taken at breakneck speed, but for a change I merely tootled along and admired the scenery…

The Kalahari is flat, the roads straight, and normally everyone is breaking the speed limit… I didn’t…

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Interspersed in the long straight roads will be a range of hills as you can see in the photo, but I’m now convinced that the Lord created these flat areas with his hand so that he could spread his blanket and enjoy a picnic in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa… the Kalahari…

“What is so brilliant about the Kalahari? It’s damn hot or bloody cold, it never rains and it is so flat there is nothing to see…” this is the normal reaction to my stating I love the place…

Go slow people and look around… the area is ablaze with flowers at the moment… that purple haze on the ground? Look closer its flowers…

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as far as the eye can see is this purple haze

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The yellow is now breaking out all over….

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This area is the garden of Eden.. there is not a thin sheep, cow, horse or for that matter donkey and they never look fat…

Happy Thanks giving to all my American friends…..

A New Camera for the Bulldog….

I have a new camera on its way to me from America…. A Bucket List wish fulfilled by a friend… Is this what you look like when you go on a shoot.??

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Or maybe your camera is too heavy to even hold.???

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Well this is what I’m getting … and here is a photo to compare it with a camera with half its zoom…

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My Fujifilm HS50EXR is in the air as we speak…

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Oh what fun I’m going to have with this… now I too can walk around with two cameras in bags…

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Elephantorrhiza elephantina … now there’s a mouthful for you..

Eland’s bean, elands wattle, elephant’s root (Eng); baswortel, elandsboontjie leerbossie looiersbontjie and olifantswortel (Afrikaans) 

I know that some call me a bit of a “tree huger” but this would be one very difficult tree to hug…. But yes, I am a bit of a tree huger and hate seeing plants being destroyed unnecessarily…

A recent walk around the Sishen golf course caused my faith in plant protection to be renewed… somehow this plant is doing well and if anything increasing in the area. As the course is within a forest of protected trees (Camel Thorn Vachellia erioloba ) it was great to see many outcrops of the plant or tree…

Underground trees??? Sound like a misnomer??? Not so, they do exist and this is one… walking amid the stems that grow above ground gives one the feeling of walking on the canopy of a very old large tree….

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Perennial suffrutex (Low-growing woody shrub or perennial with woody base) produces unbranched, unarmed, aerial stems up to 0.9 m high. It is these stems that represent the canopy of the much larger tree which is growing below ground… Now how do you hug a tree that is below ground.??

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This plant when I first came across it in the Steelpoort area was listed as “threatened” on the Red Data List, but has now been categorised as LC (least concerned).. It was thought to be threatened because of its medicinal uses, but studies have now shown it has withstood the test of time better than what was first expected….

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The flowers grow in clusters near the ground and even in some cases protruding from the ground.. it flowers from September to November and has never relied on rain, the pods are dark or reddish-brown…

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Although considered least concerned on the Red Data List… it is important to realise that when a stand is destroyed, regeneration is not always forthcoming… this is not a weed, yet it is often wrongly identified as “Black Wattle” (Acacia mearnsii) and destroyed as unwanted…

The medicinal uses of this plant by the local tribal doctors is thought of as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhoea, stopping bleeding, treating intestinal disorders, hemorrhoids, heart ailments and syphilis..

South Africa’s largest solar power plant… REISA… Solar Power..

Renewable Energy Investment of South Africa.

A company called REISA has almost finished with a project 16 km from Kathu… This is a farm of solar panels, that when finished will produce 100 MW of power without any CO2 emission..

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I had passed the area before today on my way to certain areas of interest for my camera, but never expected to see what I saw today…

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Apparently the park is 75% complete and is now producing 75 MW of power that gets fed into the national power grid controlled by Escom…

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Escom’s coal fired electrical generating plants produce 36725 MW so a solar generation of 100 MW does not sound a lot in fact only 0.27% of our power… but if we save that percentage in carbon dioxide emission, then I’m all for the progress our country is making….

Above a few photos of the apparent 350 000 panels all mounted on their stands, all in rows as far as the eye can see… do they move with the sun ?? No one can tell me, or they don’t want to tell me…

The Tenacious Leopard… not my usual post…

This is not the type of posts that I put on my blog, but because of the last few post of lion and leopard I’ve ended with some good discussions… So I decided to show the danger of the leopard by sharing a few video clips from Youtube…

The first is a leopard being released back into the wild and is not too graphic but shows their agility and how dangerous they can be…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPEFMMqXfow

The second is a hand raised leopard being filmed by our famous travelling TV producer and his team… this young leopard (tame they say) decides to bite a camera man… also not to graphic but does show one should not play with these animals and that you might be able to take it out of the wild, but you’ll never take the wild out of it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7eKXQ7bb4s

The third I will not recommend you watch if you don’t want to see an animal being killed… this is a video of hunters following a wounded leopard and it comes into attack the hunter doing some lovely damage to him before being killed… I did not enjoy watching this one as the beautiful animal is killed instead of the hunter… but for those of you brave enough watch the tenacity of this beautiful cat…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-JnCbR83VA

I would far rather see them like in my photos, and here is another to remind you of their beauty…

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Leopard or Lion… you make the choice…

Here’s the scenario… you’re walking through the bush and you come face to face with either a male Lion or a male Leopard… which would you prefer to face…

A male lion at 190 kg (400 lbs) or a male leopard at 77 kg (170 lbs)

Lion at shoulder height 120 cm (48 in.) leopard 80 cm (32 in.)

Lion a length of 195 cm (78 in.) or leopard 165 cm (66 in.)

Taking the stats of their sizes I’d say the leopard would be the one of choice…. but knowing their aggression I’d say the lion would have to be the choice….

What would I choose ?? Well to start I don’t want to bumble into either and would do my best not to, but if I had to select one… it would be the lion… the leopard, specially a male, frightens the bejinkers out of me… here’s a photo or two of a male leopard we encountered in KNP a while ago…

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and how do we know it’s a male… one its head is bigger than the females and he has a set of … (look at the photo…)

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I’m going to show more leopard photos in my next post… so you are forewarned if you want to ignore the next post…