Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Total lunar eclipse this weekend

On Monday morning I was up at 3.30 to check on the eclipse of the moon. When I saw that it had already eclipsed quite a bit, I dashed to my office, grabbed my camera and spent the next hour-and-a-half snapping the moon!

A Total Lunar Eclipse becomes a deep red and is sometimes called a Blood Moon.

The Moon may get a red glow during a Total Lunar Eclipse
Earth casting its shadow on the Moon.

The moon does not have its own light, but shines because its surface reflects the sun's rays.
Eclipses of the moon happen when the sun, earth and moon are aligned to form an almost or exact straight line. The technical term for this is syzygy, which comes from the Greek word for being paired together.

I wonder what my Mum is looking at? It's three in the morning! 

Total Lunar Eclipse at 04.37am in Marquard 

The moon beginning to set at 5.55am. I could only catch glimpses of this large red orb through the tree branches in my garden

I'm linking my post to Our World Today here

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rugby World Cup II

Rugby World Cup is still on -  of course.

And this weekend the Springboks (SA rugby) teem had a chance to redeem themselves after last weekend's ignominious  defeat against Japan. 

The past week, the newspapers, the weekly magazines, the TV talk shows and the radio  programs were dominated by supporters giving vent to their disappointment in their team. The main moan was the many of the players were too old to play world cup rugby.

The coach made significant changes to the team during the week...

So all eyes were on the screen on Saturday night when the Springboks took on Samoa. 
  The Samoa HAKA to intimidate the Springboks 
The Springboks while the Samoans did their HAKA 
Within the first 15 minutes, JP Pietersen, (winger) intercepted a pass between the Samoans and pumped it up to the line to score his first of three tries

The SA supporters in the stands in the UK were ecstatic

The Springbok suppporters in our TV lounge in South Africa were ecstatic!
 So much so that the poor pup started hyperventilating because of the  excited screams and cheers by his yoomens
The SA coach who was persona non-grata after last week's defeat, and the butt of jokes on FB within minutes after the game, looks a lot less stressed this week
 One of the changes the coach made was to bring in the young blood (eight changes from last week) during the second half of the game. Raised in the air, is  the replacement for Victor Mattfield, our oldest player, a lock and the best line-out man in the business . The replacement lock came up trumps in the line-out and the result was another try by JPP Pietersen. 
Second try by JP
The crowds go mad in the stands

As do the SA supporters in our TV lounge!
 The Guard Dog ended up on the sofa between his two mamas 

After full-time JP scored his third try. We thought this was IT! The Brian Habana scooped up the ball and made for the try line. 
Brian Habana, who is one of the fastest land mammals on earth clinched the deal for the Springboks to win hands down! 

So the "Boks" are back in favor with their fans; they're top of the log in Pool B and we have great hopes for our rugby team for this Rugby World Cup.  

Happy Monday to you all! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scavenger photo hunt Sunday

My blogger friend and fellow-birder, Margaret,  shared new meme link with me. You're given five words and you have to take photos expressing these. I had great fun preparing for this post. 

Here is my interpretation of the words.

Our five-month-old Labrador pup, Skabenga loves to lie near his yoomen

The afternoon shadows play across our patio and driveway

A solitary bare tree 

The waxing gibbous moon earlier this week, high in the sky

I used the Creative Shot function on my camera. I liked the vibrant - yet moody - colors of this image

Please pop over and check out Scavenger Photo Hunt Sunday here

Happy Sunday to you all! 

Ambrose chastised!

Hi Bozo and all Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and I hear I'm being chastised. Mmm. That means I got into trouble. Mmm. Probably because two days in a row I came home very late. This meant that Tipsy (who goes outdoors when we three kitties are in our boudoir) couldn't go out the first day and only went out late on the second day. Mmm

I wonder what Mum will do? 

Meanwhile she took photos of us so it can't be all that bad! 
Do I look as if I should be punished?

I'm the picture of innocence! 
Unca Shadow rests in the sunshine under the window. Mum says he and I have big feet
Unca Shadow is thinking about his babyhood in a F A R place
Dad Ginger sleeps in the afternoon sun under the other window
Mum says I look like my Dad Ginger

For more cute posts about pets, please click here

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Critters alive !

With the onset of summer, the garden is looking good and of course critters are thriving in and around us. Also, while traveling to the city earlier this week, I snapped cattle grazing in farm fields along the way. (I missed the horses and guinea-fowl while I was reading my mail on my Smartphone!)
 Cattle grazing
Back home I photographed a grasshopper on the lawn
It didn't like me zooming in on it and kept trying to hide
Last photo then I left it in peace
Eddy and Skabenga frolic on the driveway

The Banksia rose is looking most beautiful at our gate entrance 
Our lab pup is growing up fast and is very gangly at the moment
A close-up of a relaxed GUARD dog! 

I'm linking my post to Eileen's Saturday Critters here

Happy Saturday to you all!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Waxing gibbous moon

I captured these images of the waxing gibbous moon on Wednesday 23 September
This phase is when the moon is more than 50% illuminated but not yet a Full Moon

The phase lasts around seven days with the moon becoming more illuminated each day until the Full Moon. On Wednesday night it is 72% illuminated
The word Gibbous first appeared in the 14th century and has it’s roots in the Latin word "gibbosus" meaning humpbacked

I'm linking my post to Skywatch Friday here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Good fences, great house

In March 1994, we moved from the diamond mines to Marquard. We took possession of a house we'd bought the year before and which the owner occupied until we arrived. It was a very large house: seven bedrooms, a huge dining room, a pillared arch separating it from the lounge;  a mammoth kitchen and pantry leading off. A wrap-around veranda which was closed in and a long passage running through the interior of the house. The Oregon pine floors, pressed steel ceilings and an elbow-height dado rails running along the papered walls were classic. The house was set on a double sized corner property in the middle of town and there was a erf / tract of land next door of the same size, which came with the house! At the bottom of the yard, were six garages and two outhouses. The property had business rights and Grant ran a motor repair workshop from here.  We lived in this house for six years until in July 2000, I sold it. I subsequently bought our present house in a quieter part of town while Grant was away in West Africa. 

Our first home in Marquard. The image doesn't do justice on the size of the house. Note that 21 years ago there was no need for high fences and electric gates around your property!  A four-foot fence and small gate was all that was needed - primarily to keep your pets from wandering into the street

Shortly after I sold this house, the owner died leaving his young family penniless. The young widow sold the house to a wealthy businessman in town and he razed it to the ground. Last week Rina and I stopped outside the property and I took photos. 
Only the fence and a pile of rubble remains of our first Marquard home
The front gate [posts] which led down a short garden path onto my front veranda

I'm linking my post to Good Fences Thursday here

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More birds from Kwa-Zulu Natal

I've dug back a week or two and am now posting more of the beautiful birding trip I enjoyed with my SIL Shelley and birder friend, Don. Please click here if you missed my post. 
Hottentot Teal

The Hottentot Teal is the smallest duck in the region. The blue-grey bill, dark crown and small size is diagnostic. The female (although similar to the male) has a slightly lighter/browner crown and in flight, trailing edges to secondaries are white. The bird above is a male.
African Sacred Ibis (Juvenile)

The juvenile African Sacred Ibis has a bare head and a spares feathered neck. I managed to snap this bird several times from a great distance. When I downloaded the photos I chose this one to share. I hope you can see it clearly enough!
At least when it lifted its head, I was able to snap it almost completely
Southern Pochard (Female)

The Southern Pochard male has a dark brown head and upper parts, with a red eye and pale blue-grey bill (with black nail). However, today I'm posting the Southern Pochard female which plumage is overall paler with a whitish crescent extending behind the eye. She has a brown bill and brown eye. Next week I'll post the male and the pair together.
A closer image of the Southern Pochard (female)

Close below the bird hide we photographed several small waders who feed on the shores. I was thrilled to see the Three-banded Plover.  
Three-banded Plover

This is the only plover in the region with a double black breast band. It's a common resident, mostly sedentary but undergoes large scale movements in response to water levels. 
I hadn't had one of these in my viewfinder since Mwadui days. (*sigh* how I miss Africa!)

I hope you've enjoyed my bird post today. I certainly enjoyed posting the photos and writing about the birds. For more beautiful bird images please join Stewart Monkton's Wild Bird Wednesday Meme here