Another lovely day down at the Southern Tip. I moved some braai wood this morning to find this feisty little fellow:

I’ll update the image when I upload it to Flickr. [Note to self – update the image when you upload it to Flickr.] Yeah, yeah – I did this. [really cool Flickr link]

It’s a Opistophthalmus capensis. But of course you knew that already. Nasty, painful sting, (which he was more than ready to use) but not medically important.

So I was fairly safe while talking my photo.

Footnote: We also found a Parabuthus capensis the night before. [phone pic]

(I was a bit more careful with that one.)

Go out, get wet

The rain did eventually stop yesterday. 102mm later.

We went out as things were beginning to let up a little and walked by some roaring water. The camera came along, because it always does, and you never really know what you’re going to get with the weird light that follows a day full of cloud and gloom, together with a hint of golden hour hanging around.

Monochrome (or close to it) was certainly still the order of the day though. Whether it was the angry water in the canalised Liesbeek River:

Or the dangerously slippery footbridge going over it.

We came back damp, but happy.

6k display size support

When I recently achieved my milestone on Flickr (I blogged about it here, as you will remember), at the end of the celebratory telegram from Yahoo (everyone gets one of these, right?) was a request for any ideas I might have to improve the platform. I was a little tipsy from all the champagne and Castle Milk Stout, but I think I might have said something about making photos bigger and better. And then signed it with my nom de plume.


Now (well, from next week, at least) the new biggest image size for Flickr Pro users is going to be 6k (I thank you) along the longest edge.

We’re tripling our maximum display size for Flickr Pros up to 6K so you can show your photos off in all their pixel perfect glory. The maximum display size of photos is increasing from 2048px on the longest side to 6144px (6K). Now you’ll be able to show off every single detail perfectly on all the latest monitors and displays.

That’s great and all, but I don’t quite understand, given that I’ve been able to view images (mine and other people’s) with far more than 2048px on any given side anyway. I’m sure that my expert photographist readers (you know who you are) will be able to explain this to me, and I hope that they’ll take the opportunity to do so.

All I can guess is that Flickr are actually referring to their BEST display size, rather than the MAXIMUM display size. Because the MAXIMUM display size is clearly already way beyond that 2048 figure:

Anyway, bigger is always better (except in several or more instances where it’s not), so I’m looking forward to this new change, whatever it means.

P.S. Eyes a lot better today, thanks for asking.

Station to Station

I dropped the boy off early at school the nuclear power station this morning. The traffic back looked awful, so despite it being a rather grey, miserable day, I decided to delay my trip back home by having a wander along Melkbosstrand beach. Never having been to Melkbosstrand before, I decided to head for the Atlantic Ocean and then stop just before I got my tyres wet and walk from there. This approach worked well, and delivered me to the parking lot outside the local NSRI station. From there, I shot this:

…which shows just how close the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station was to my chosen start point.
Couple of kilometres, max, right?



I hopelessly misunderestimated the distance. As a wandered along the rather nondescript beach, the power station slowly moved away from me. Or did the beach between us elongate? I didn’t seem to be getting any closer.


I don’t give up though, and even though last night’s energetic game of football had taken its toll on me, I kept going. It turned out to be about 5kms before I was met by this sign:

That’ll stop the terrorists.

You’ll note that the actual power station still doesn’t seem to have got any closer.

Anyway, I thought that I’d better not go any further. After all, the sign says you mustn’t, and who’s about to disobey the Sea-shore [sic] Act 21 of 1935. Not I. Even if it has apparently (and unsurprisingly) been repealed. After all, Section 10, subsection 2  warns us:

Any regulation may provide a penalty, not exceeding a
fine of twenty-five  pounds, for any contravention thereof or
failure to comply therewith.

25 quid is nearly R500 (per baboon). They’re not messing around here.

This sign seemed like a good place to turn around, given that much like the previous five kilometres, I wasn’t going to get any closer to the power station. It was then I found that I was going to have to face the rather stiff breeze for the duration of the journey back to the car.

I might have misunderestimated that as well. Blowy.

In fact, it turned out that it was so windy that my gait was shortened enough for my watch to think that I was climbing stairs. 5km of them, starting at sea level and finishing at… well… also sea level.

I made it back, feeling smooth, energised, and smelling like tiramisu, and headed back home. A morning well spent, and I get to do it all again this afternoon – well, the driving bit, anyway.

I didn’t take my camera onto the near deserted beach. This is South Africa and one doesn’t take that sort of risk when one doesn’t know the area and there’s no-one around. It would have been fine, but there was nothing much to ‘tog anyway, so I didn’t miss out. Melkbosstrand might be nice in the summer (although I have no evidence), but it wasn’t much to write home about on a chilly, windy October morning.

Plum Blossom

Not just my wife’s affectionate nickname for me, but also a flower on a tree.

I had the pleasure of wandering through a plum orchard in bloom this morning. No plums yet: you’ll have to wait for January or February if you’re looking for actual fruit, but in the meantime, walking between the walls of pure, bright white blossom in the spring sunshine was quite the experience.

Plum blossom is apparently very short lived. Blink and you’ll miss it – if your blink takes about 4 or 5 days. And, in case you are wondering, this looks like a decent season for plums, if the blossom is anything to go by.