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.

Rain: 1.6% rise in Cape Town’s dam levels

Baboons huddling together to keep warm.

The welcome rain continues to bring relief to the parched veld and urban gardens.  Within days new shoots are greening up and animals appear to be coping, if not revelling in the fresh rainwater.  Though we have a long way to go before the strict water restrictions can be eased.

Interesting to note the animals’ fur ‘fluffled up’ to create thermoregulation which helps to insulate and retain body heat.

Baboons huddling together to keep warm.

 

Dinnertime

Cape Sugarbirds mob feeder_01 Cape Sugarbirds mob feeder_02

We’ve been putting out nectar feeders for the sunbirds and Cape sugarbirds while the fynbos vegetation recovers from the mountain fires in November.  This mob of chattering sugarbirds rushes in as the sun dips in the late afternoon just in time for a dinnertime feed.   We expect to see less of them as their nesting season approaches and other duties call.  Soon the females will be building nests while the males protect their respective territories.

WPC: Dinnertime

March: Wildlife in the garden

A sunny spot in the late afternoon.
Enjoying a sunny spot in the late afternoon just over the edge of the garden is a Cape Clawless otter.

This month I’ve joined Jude’s photography challenge.  The subject is wildlife in the garden, which is ‘right up my street’.   The urban/wildlife interface here between mountain and sea is pretty active with a range of wildlife visitors – from the smallest of critters such as baby field mice to baboon, otter and porcupine … dassies, mongoose, genet.

 

 

The raging fire season

We were on our way home after a trip to the local grocery store when we noticed the pall of black smoke billowing over the Red Hill mountain ridge.   Like a dragon exhaling a plume of fiery breath, flames licked along the rocky edge in a raging inferno.  The Cape fire crews are fighting another devastating fire burning out of control across the peninsula mountains in the deep south.  Southeasterly winds are howling at gale force driving the blaze through tinder dry vegetation.  According to estimates already 1000 hectacres have burned.   The fire is reported to have started near the Red Hill informal settlement then onwards threatening the coastal villages of Scarborough and Misty Cliffs.  It spread towards the back of Kommetjie village today destroying seven homes in the rasta settlement and encroaching into Ocean View.  The City has rolled out it’s disaster management teams; Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP), Working on Fire (WOF) and Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) are all pitching in while airside five helicopters and two fixed wing planes are waterbombing from above.

Kleinplaas dam area, Red Hill
Kleinplaas dam area, Red Hill.
A fixed wing plane waterbombing the advancing flames.
A fixed wing plane waterbombing the advancing flames behind the crest of the hill.
One of five helicopters dropping water.
One of five helicopters dropping water.
Traffic exiting from Kommetjie and Ocean View
Traffic exiting from Kommetjie and Ocean View.
The fire advances into Ocean View.
The fire advances into Ocean View.
Homes in Ocean View engulfed by a thick pall of smoke.
Homes in Ocean View engulfed by a thick pall of smoke.
Flames pushing towards the houses.
Flames pushing towards the houses.

My thoughts go out to the communities in peril tonight, and I think of the bravery of the fire crews who have the challenge of a long night ahead as they battle this mad, towering inferno.