Swathes of yellow catch the eye as the mountain slopes in the southern part of the Cape Peninsula are in full bloom with the showy Leucadendrons (the cone families of the Protea species). Winter is a dynamic time for a number of the protea species – Blackbeards and Green sugarbush proteas also flower showing off stylish flower heads.
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.
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.
Here it is: a single photo showing the passage of time, transitions and change. This bleak scene signifies change – climate change. A dry riverbed with almost no water may well be a typical scene in the future. Described as a water scarce country, South Africa’s average annual rainfall is a mere 464mm. While parts of the country suffer drought conditions, the Western Cape is in dire straits. This is “The new normal”, we are told.
This week Erica poses the WP challenge: Delta. Share a picture that sybolizes transitions, change and the passing of time.
It’s calmer on the False Bay side when the nor’westerly Atlantic swells push onto the coast; though the wave height may not be as high as along the western edge of the Cape Peninsula there is still power in the break. We watch with great anxiety for the otters and penguins as they exit the surging waters. Fortunately the Boulders’ penguin colony is sited in a sheltered sandy cove, with a defence of boulders breaking up the force of the water. Still these sturdy little creatures risk being tumbled in the surf. Once on land they head for shelter from the strong winds. Interesting to see the Cape cormorants happily hunkered down amongst the penguins. (Note the little penguin with the missing foot.)
Close by the Cape clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) maintain secret holts on land where they can hole up out of the rough seas. We’ve been fortunate to observe a pair which have returned to the area near our garden since the vegetation has regenerated after the devastating fires. Unlike the penguins’ sandy beach landing, the otters negotiate a rocky shore and often suffer from injuries. Pyjama shark is the catch of the day. If you’d like to read more details about the otters Wilf Nussey’s enthralling stories are here.