Explorers 17. Margaret Fountaine

Margaret Elizabeth Fountaine (1862–1940) traveled in Southern Africa in 1908 and 1909, collecting, studying, breeding and sketching butterflies. Between 1890 and 1940 she traveled to sixty countries on six continents. She died on a path on Mount St. Benedict in Trinidad; it is said she had a butterfly net in her hand. Whattaway to go!Continue reading “Explorers 17. Margaret Fountaine”

Spotter of Note

Jess is my spotter in the game reserves. ‘Dad What’s That?’ she’ll say time and again. And it’s always something interesting. Once she said ‘Dad What’s That?’ and I peered and peered and eventually saw it after she’d told me exactly where to look – a snake in a tree as we were driving past!Continue reading “Spotter of Note”

Childless Cathedral

Aitch needed a break and Barbara Jeff, LindiLou and Robbie agreed to have the kids on their Umvoti Villa farm. So off we went to a luxury stay in the Cathedral Peak Hotel. The breast cancer had spread to liver and bones and the treatments she opted for were severe. Here was a break fromContinue reading “Childless Cathedral”

Experimenting with a Canon

I’ve learned a bit more about my little pocket Canon camera. updating the firmware and software and checking all the settings seems to have helped better, quicker focusing. I’ve taken my first lightbox picture – the nest of a potter wasp who obligingly built it in the neglected lightbox, thank you. And learned to setContinue reading “Experimenting with a Canon”

Play the Warsaw Concerto!

Play the Warsaw Concerto, demanded 99yr-old Louise at Mom’s retirement home today. Ooh, says Mom – eight years younger and has always respected her elders – I used to play it, but I don’t think I could play it now. You go right back to the piano now and try! ordered Louise. Mom says she’sContinue reading “Play the Warsaw Concerto!”

Welcome Visitors! Daily and Occasional

Tea on the patio was a pantomime with five vervet youngsters playing tag and hide-and-seek in my meadow using branches, the birdbath and the semi-engulfed garden bench as their staging posts. Then as they left, two banded mongooses arrived: and the White Pear showed up nicely. Apodytes dimidiata Trish got from Geoff Caruth’s Geoff’s Jungle

Snow’s Here!

Pictures coming through from friends in lockdown in Harrismith and district The top photo is the view from friend Koos Beukes’ stoep of the Maluti mountains on the Lesotho border. In the middle ground is Qwa Qwa kop. What a magnificent view! The others look like views of the Drakensberg from the N3 highway. SharedContinue reading “Snow’s Here!”

Lockdown Lookback – 6

This lookback to 1972 came about because of a photo from 1967 which triggered memories! First the old photo, sent by Mariette who got it from Janetta – both of them feature. Taken in the Drakensberg on a weekend to beautiful Thendele above Royal Natal National Park. One memory led to another and then weContinue reading “Lockdown Lookback – 6”

Zululand Zilwaans!

izilwane – (wild) animal/s. Phinda game reserve started as Phinda Izilwane – the return of the animals. We’ve been missing our monthly jaunts up to Zululand. Jessie asked yesterday ‘Dad, when can we go to Mfolosi again?’ One consolation: I have been added to the whatsapp groups that share sightings in Mkhuze and in Hluhluwe-MfolosiContinue reading “Zululand Zilwaans!”

Mother Mary under Lockdown

She’s reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. ‘I can’t follow the plot but I’m enjoying the descriptions of the Thames, the muddy banks, the river traffic . . ‘ Apparently there’s a Miss Haversham in the book – she was let down by her to-be on the day of her wedding – she stayed in herContinue reading “Mother Mary under Lockdown”

What a Collection!

Optometric colleagues and classmates from way back in 1977, Di Fotherby, Ray Schoeman, Terry Saks, Pete Brauer and I met at Zena Jacobson’s lovely home in Sandton a while back – 16 Feb – and how very fortuitous that turned out to be, as we have been a great support group for each other duringContinue reading “What a Collection!”