Voyage of the Moons

Well, this is fairly amazing.

“Software engineer, planetary and climate data wrangler, and science data visualization artist”, Kevin Gill has – as far as I can make out – melded together images from the Cassini spacecraft you may remember it from this post) during its journey past Jupiter and Saturn, and made them into a mini video:

The silence makes this all the more powerful, for me.

First up are Io and Europa passing over Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot (has anyone suggested using an ointment containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide?), followed by Titan moving past Saturn’s rings, seen as a thin line, edge on.

It’s all rather mesmerising. The latter, especially, has a really otherworldly feel to it. I mean, I am aware that these are bother very clearly other worlds, but I’m sure you get what I mean.

Original link here (creative commons says help yourself – thanks, Kevin).
The rest of his photostream looks equally impressive.

Wildlife

It was an amazing weekend. Wild and windy, but full of spring sunshine, and Cape Agulhas really showed off.

Sure, there was the whale, but that was dead and anyway, we’d already seen snakes and tortoises and the infamous Pengueagle (or Eaguin?) (more on that another time) before we saw her.

And then a walk on the beach this morning yielded Plovers, Kingfishers, a Curlew, some Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia):

…some very dramatic waves, photobombed by a Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus):

…and the highlight of my weekend, a Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capenensis), showing off his catch of (I think) a Carpenter (Argyrozona argyrozona):

We disturbed him as we walked along the beach, but he was as interested in us (and the beagle) as we were in him. He floated a few metres out in the bay with his fish in his mouth before transferring it to his (clawless) paws so he could give us a proper grin.

It was a reminder how lucky we are to have the cottage and how much our kids can learn from visits there. If we’d been in Cape Town this weekend, it would have been all iPads and crap on TV (although less windy, admittedly). Instead it was fresh air (albeit moving rather fast) and some amazing experiences. All in just over 24 hours.

More photos to follow, but I feel like catching up on the footy now.

Of whales

A quick trip around the corner (not this corner, another corner) from the cottage took us to Rasper Punt.

We were there, not just because it’s a nice walk through the fynbos to the beach, but because on that beach was a dead whale.
Dead whales might not be to everyone’s tastes (in fact, I’d advise you not to even think about eating one), but they are interesting when you’ve never seen a dead whale up close before. Sad, but educational.

And so we went to have a look, take some photos, poke it gingerly and slip all over the whale-oiled rocks.

I am not an expert in whaleology, but I think (think) this might be a Humpback. Probably 8-9 metres long, lying on its back, its body attacked by the seagulls and its skin sliced by some humans. And why not?
It’s not going to need it anymore, is it? See my link on “Stuff you can make from dead whales” (jks, I never wrote that post, but I know it’s a lot). Having stood on the rocks with the oil leaching from our floppy friend, my feet are so lovely and soft from all the grease on the stones.
I’ve never felt so young! Just wait til Tim Noakes hears about this.

It was blowing a literal gale while we were down there, so conditions weren’t great for togging stuff, but I got a few which I’ve put onto Flickr already.

Heritage weekend photos

Yes.
Belatedly, but still: weekend photos.

Some proteas (not from the weekend, but who’s checking anyway), a specific startrail (despite the brightest moon EVER!), some shipwreck (I didn’t know which one I liked best, so I shared four) and some birdage (taken by my daughter).

Here’s an example:

And here’s the link.

Knock yourselves out. (Not literally.)

First French pics

Did a bit of work last night and I’ve now got some pics onto Flickr.

Here they are. Please do go and have a look.

This is just the first batch, documenting only the first few days of the holiday as well. I do seem to have taken a lot of photos.
Looking back through them now, I couldn’t even remember taking some of them.

The one above though: well, I decided that I couldn’t sleep, jumped off the boat (fortunately on the dry side) went wandering around a deserted village in my nightwear looking for shots.

There’s still another week of France to come before we head over to the UK and the Isle of Man.

And there are still all the images from my phone and my Mavic.

I’m still going to be busy for a while, then.