Psychedelic Creeper

I mentioned in my last post that I often use the digital filter function on my Pentax to take what are essentially black and white photographs but leaving highlights of red.  When we got back from our walk around Mountain Drive today I thought I would try something a little more complex and take black and white photographs but leaving in two colours.  We have a beautiful creeper in the courtyard that flowers in purple and yellow so I played with the filter to see if I could get just those colours and leave all of the foliage in black and white.  The first attempt gave a gothic-psychedelic result which is quite splendid but not what I wanted at all!  The second picture came much closer but just doesn’t have the same impact.  By-the-way I think the creeper is a type of Acanthaceae (Barleria Repens) ….

Kompassberg and the High Plains

Last week we spent four days in the Karoo. As usual we were based at Ganora Farm, which is near Nieu-Bethesda, doing some mapping work and interviewing farmers who kindly gave us their rainfall records.  At this time of year the light can be spectacular, especially in the early evenings when there are summer storms passing by.  The air gets scrubbed clean by the rain and wind leaving a sparkling landscape.  It is also high, at around 1500 metres, which also adds to the translucent skies.  These pictures are mostly in black and white though the filter I used on my Pentax K-5 leaves red shades in the images.  That’s easy to see in one of the pictures.  The landscape is dominated by wide open spaces, clouds, and Kompassberg mountain which towers dramatically 1000 metres above you.

Hogsback Sunset

Most trips to Helen’s house at Hogsback include a drive along to the the radio mast at the end of Plaatjieskraal for a walk, a sunset drink and a long look at the spectacular view.  When Andy was here last month we spent a night out at Helen’s inspecting the progress on her house.  We had a good walk in the forest up to the Kettle Spout waterfall, a picnic and, naturally, a sunset expedition.  You can see the view we were treated to in the photos below.  Her house is making steady progress now that she is spending more time there.  It was a little crowded with four adults and two dogs sleeping in one room though!

Luke and the two bears

Once upon a time there were two teddy bears much loved by two brothers called Andy and Roddy.  After they had grown up and left home the two brothers didn’t remember their bears.  But when mother Joan died the bears were found again: they had been kept as precious treasures in her special cupboard.  Roddy took them all the way home to South Africa thinking that one day he might have grandchildren of his own who would want to play with them.  They stayed in Roddy’s special cupboard for a long while but then one day they were brought out.  Brother Andy had come to visit and Roddy’s wife, Kate, took them out and placed them in Andy’s room: to remind him of home!

The bears spent several days resting on the bed in the warm summer sunshine.  Then one day Roddy’s grandson, Luke, came to play and gave the bears what they had wanted for so long: to be picked up and taken outside for some fun!  And here they are ….