An unlikely urban sighting

Finding predators lurking in the garden is not that usual in our neighbourhood, but for a while a female rooikat (Caracal caracal)  comfortably took up residence alongside the urban edge rearing her young over a couple of years.  Sightings of her and the kits were always thrilling, whether hunting or just passing through.

WPC: Unlikely

Advertisements

The Octopus’s Garden

 

Krista poses the question this week: “If given the choice, what would you rather be doing, right now?”   Imagine a place – a “Stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off” kind of a place where you can escape the hurley-burley and be amazed and awed by a completely different world.  False Bay here in the southern peninsula of Cape Town is a wondrous place, where the influence of two ocean currents – the warm Agulhas and the cold Benguela mingle and create a flourishing ecosystem.

It’s been a while since i dipped below the waters, but recently my interest is inspired through the marvellous Blue Planet II series where the episode the ” Green Seas” features the extraordinary creatures living in the kelp forest including the cunning behaviour of a smart octopus.

WPC: Rather

 

The unexpected visitors

Living by the coast has it’s drawbacks sometimes – the seasonal wind and sea fret can impact the hardiest of coastal dwellers.  Just when we thought spring had settled a couple of low frontal weather systems had us scurrying to get out the winter layers again.  On the Atlantic side the seas were huge, and one of the unexpected visitors to our rocky beach was an exhausted young Cape fur seal. It hauled out of the water and spent the day on the rocks recuperating.  Seal pups are only weaned when they are about nine months old.  Baleful eyes warily watched as I attempted to remain discreetly hidden.

Rough seas at Scarborough
A young Cape fur seal.

Generally the dassie (Rock hyrax) colony commands rights over the rocks and sandbathing facilities, little seal was the first intruder and then up popped a Cape clawless otter.

The otter stayed for a nap, sandbath and returned to eat lunch after hunting down a pyjama shark.

It was all action for this photographer, as the next to appear (out at sea) were Southern right whales.  Their sheer size and tonnage have us entranced and the trick is to figure what is happening out there by trying to piece together the body parts which randomly appear – a ventral fin, the size of the flukes –  is it adult or newly born?  Or perhaps the cavorting of mating rituals?

The Southern right whales come to calve and mate  in the bay from June to November.

Further along the road at the penguin colony the chicks are looking quite bedraggled in various stages of growth:

African penguin chicks losing their fine fluff and showing their “blue” coats.

 

A juvenile African penguin accompanied by an adult.

Looking sleek and probably almost ready to fledge and make off on it’s own, this juvenile’s plumage will soon change to adult colouration.

False Bay is sometimes referred to as the “Serengeti of the seas” for it’s rich marine life and influx of seasonal species. Though there is the fear that many species are decreasing in numbers and little is being done to protect the resources.