Red Tide

Pools of toxic algal bloom which sometimes occur when there is an upwelling of nutrient rich phytoplankton, turn the water an unusual  reddish brown colour.  These red tides cause depletion of oxygen in the water which is harmful to filter feeders and crustaceans.    Tons of of rock lobsters and other shellfish become casualties and the beaches fester with the die off of many of these species.

WPC:  Unusual

Roots ‘n shoots or bins ‘n boots?

A collage promoting natural foraging for baboons versus raiding refuse bins and car boots.

Creating applets in Photoshop is a creative way to collate a series of shots and it fits with this week’s photo challenge  “Collage”.

The message here is if we paid a little more attention to disposing rubbish responsibly, stopped littering in conservation areas and secured refuse bins carefully wildlife such as the Cape’s Chacma baboons would be less inclined to raid bins for leftover food.    Foraging in the wilds for roots and shoots is far healthier and natural food choice rather than the detritus left by humans.

The Link between Dinosaurs and Ostrich

Ostriches crossing a sandy corridor in a gale.

Imagine if you will Tyrannosaurus rex running through the landscape, and how compelling this scene is knowing that evidence now points to birds being the dinosaurs’ closest living relatives.  Back in 2004 scientist Mary Schweitzer at North Carolina State University made this exciting discovery when studying the soft tissue of an ancient leg bone of a T.rex. which had been dug up in a site in Montana.  Proof of the evidence came when she compared samples of the dinosaur bone with ostrich and emu bones which show near-identical features.

Since then further fossil finds are revealing more information on feathered dinosaurs and evidence to their link to the evolution of modern day birds particularly the ostrich.

WPC: Bridge

Southern Right whales: nomads of the southern seas

They’re back!  The gentle giants – the Southern Right (Eubalaena australis) whales ply the seas from the Antarctic visiting the Cape shores between June and November.  Despite their size they have gymnastic tendencies.  Through leaping, tail lobbing and spy hopping they create fantastic shows with tremendous splash down .  They’re easily recognised by their callosities (sometimes mistaken for barnacles) that cover their heads and blowholes.  These patterns are like unique fingerprints particular to each individual.

They’re welcomed with joyful spirit by the many spectators who enjoy their exuberant antics.

WPC: Transient

Eerie

The riggish scent of the sea hangs strongly in the air; there’s a chill wind and I feel uncomfortable as a strange and creepy feeling envelopes the beach strewn with storm detritus and mounds of kelp. In the distance lies “The Log” a casualty from some long ago episode when it washed ashore to lie abandoned and forlorn.   This is a hostile place for ships when the Cape is battered by the huge breaking Atlantic swells.  Just off this beach lie four shipwrecks and some say that the ghost ship “The Flying Dutchman” still plies these waters…..

WPC: Focus