It was one of those perfect spring days, warm and sunny and the local baboon troop came down to forage along the beach. Playful, curious and full of energy, the youngest baboons explore their surroundings. Observing them from a distance and not intruding into their space (keeping 10m away) is part of a photographer’s required etiquette around these wild animals.
There’s a good reason for motorists to pay attention to the warning signs which dot the roadside along the Cape Peninsula’s scenic drive: Beware the baboons – keep car doors locked and car windows closed!
Spring has wafted in bringing some relief from the drought as swathes of wild flowers stretch across the veld. There’s an air of triumph about – a flap of wings and the squawking of little hatchlings. A welcome sight in our backyard is a newly fledged Cape wagtail chick. It plopped out of the nest like a little plum pudding and landed with a bump. The parents continue to fuss around encouraging it to fly, following with encouraging tweets.
Initially there was a setback with the first nest when it was abandoned after the local baboon troop came for a visit through the neighbourhood. They’d spent a week constructing a perfect little structure and had just lined it with soft feathers when the furry visitors rudely clambered right up the very jasmine creeper where it was sited and partially dislodged it in their rush to jump over the wall. The birds were so spooked that they took off and disappeared for a while before returning to choose a new site to rebuild. Happily there was a successful outcome and if the pattern of past years is repeated the adult pair may well produce two more batches of chicks this season.
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.
“Stats” haven’t really been too much of a motivation for me, that is until this past week when my site unexpectedly started ‘pinging’. Topics relating to the Cape Storm got great press pushing up the visitor numbers to an all time high. Then came a further boost with a shout out from Ben Huberman on Discover: Editor’s picks.
I feel quite overwhelmed by the response and would like to post a hearty welcome to all the new followers.
To Ben and the WordPress team, i send a big thank you and a gift of virtual flowers – protea repens. The birds love them for their rich sugary nectar and are also known as the sugarbush protea.