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Archive for October, 2012

I  take too many photo`s according to my Wife, but with digital it`s not a problem because I just delete them if they don`t make a blog.

I was watching this bird from the stoop thinking maybe it was a Sparrow Hawk when it decided to land on one of the trees at the far side of the dam. Looking through the photo`s I had taken this one came up on the screen. I enlarged it as big as possible but still thought it was a monkey.

Only when seeing the next picture on the screen and checking the tree did I realise it was the Hawk from a different position.

Looking around the side of my car and found the cat had been hunting. well she is keeping the rodents down. If you have animal feed you will have rats, so we have 4 cats also. 🙂

Taking a walk round the dam that I see from my stoop I see the usual suspects, except the mother Duck now has some youngsters.

The other birds seem to be too busy searching for food. they seem to be a cross between a Hadida and the White Ibis.

Today we were treated to a display of old biplanes. But they still landed faster than I could focus my camera. 🙂

On walking back from the flight path I noticed this footprint, it is the size of the palm of my hand. I found some spoor that was too large for Alice so I was wondering if this print was from one of the big baboons that I see in the area, what do you think?

Alice is still looking for a Hog, but hopes you all have a great weekend.

Alice seems to be growing by the day.

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This will be mostly photo`s with a few jokes thrown in. sometimes I get the urge to do more than two blogs a day as I find it relaxing. The other reason is that some days I don`t even get the internet, I am trying to sort out my old Wardriving antenna`s out because I think I am too far away from the main house.

This was my first experiment.

WiFi Dish.

WiFi Dish.

As my DSTV dish is no longer needed I have decided to use it for WiFi experiments.I started moths ago with a sieve as a reflector to improve my WiFi signal, it has worked very well especially when mobile. Being some distance from the wireless router I am using the signal keeps dropping.

Signal keeps dropping

Signal keeps dropping

Because I keep loosing the signal I now use this setup with a small sieve as a reflector. In the center of the sieve I fitted the dongle attached to a USB extension cable. When this was fed into the laptop I had a steady signal. I am now waiting for my local shop to get me a dongle with external antenna fitting then I will experiment with some small hi gain antennas. Can be seen on my Webpage, just click her.

Here are a few Bat photo`s done in the garden with a Fuji Film Camera camera with flash. The problem with this camera is that I can`t use the flash when on telephoto. These pictures had to be blown up from pea size objects.

This was the original.

A few things struck me as funny when I was in London last year.

First, what happened to good old fashioned beer. It seems its not good unless it`s Organic.

Then next thing was that you couldn`t smoke anywhere under cover of the rain. which makes it difficult for smokers. there are even notices up on all station platforms stating “ No Smoking” so why was this Steam Train puffing smoke all over the Station and adjoining flats.:-)

 

Enjoy what`s left of the Weekend and Smile if you can.

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As I said not long ago, it never stops raining where you don`t need it.

As soon as it stops the pig seems to want to be my car guard

The windmill is still standing but its just indicating the wind direction at the moment as I have to modify the generator.

At last we have access to the internet again, or so I thought.  The problem is that I still can`t get on all day or every day which is the same as before when we had whispernet.  The signal is quite weak as I have a cottage away from the main house.  I will have to use a reflector that I made a few years ago when wardriving was the in thing.

This is one of the orchids in bloom at the moment, every one is different even the plain colour ones.

Finally remembering Alice when she was just a little pig.

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I have done many blogs on our new road to the Airport in Plett.  Usually I make fun of the new road being layed with its own built in potholes.  They are now digging up this road after spending the last year putting it down and repairing the surface and potholes.  It is still a long wait either end as they have supervised stop  signs.  It is sometimes more than 20 minutes waiting time either way, its a good job that i`m retired. This makes the trip to the shops a long haul so I must make sure I get everthing on my list.

I am a compulsive photographer and my Wife is always saying I must be careful where I point my camera. These were taken with my trusty cell phone. This reminded me of an email I got, labeled ” Machine arives in SA without instruction Manual”.  These two workers are filling the front shovel of a front end loader. This is then driven a hundred yards to a lorry and dumped.

Total labour for this :-  2 workers shoveling, 1 front end  loader with driver, 1 longbed lorry with diver and mate.  So we have 5 peoples wages and 2 machines pumping out deisel fumes along side of us while we wait.

As the piles of gravel were only about one shuvel full. It could have been done with a small lorry and one person with a shovel in a fraction of the time.

I have put the road progress on youtube and sent an email to the roads department,but have had no reply.

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While doing some boat Whale Watching earlier this year I took a few photo`s of the local bird life. Instead of making a blog with many pictures I decided to incorperate them in one. At least they can be seen in sequence. I originaly made an Animation into a .gif file following one of the birds but it was so fast that I have just used stills.

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whitewolf-avitar18

Can you imagine keeping this in your pocket? Then you have to find a way to use it without loosing a finger or two.I have never been a lover of multipurpose knives. I do however have a small Leatherman that was a present, this has not got too many blades and has on occasion been very useful.

swissarmy

This was the writeup supplied with the picture.


The Giant Swiss Army Knife is a monument to the hacker ethos.
It includes 85 separate tools for over 100 functions, ranging from a laser pointer to a fish scaler. Its unparalleled assortment of features has enshrined it in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most multifunctional penknife. At nearly three pounds and over 8 inches wide, it’s a good gift for dads who like multi-functional pocketknives, even though it won’t fit in his pocket.

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hadida3

There is a large tree in Plettenberg Bay, which overhangs a rim flow pool. The Hadida couple moved in just before we arrived, in early August. It is an idyllic spot, with sweeping views of the bay and Tsitsikama Mountains. From a large 2nd storey patio, we became their closest neighbours, with a clear view of their lifestyle and habits.

nest2

What fun we had observing their clumsy nest building techniques, which is not much more than a platform of sticks, placed rather higgledy piggledy in a fork of a tree. Mr and Mrs Hadida participated, often with disastrous results and more often than not dropped the sticks into the water below. They would take turns to feed, while the other one guarded their coveted spot. Both returned at night to roost just next to their budding nest. After even short separations they greeted each other lovingly, rubbing their beaks together.

dad-nest

Just over a month later when the nest was nearly completed we witnessed their mating and from then until she laid her eggs, there was a burst of energy from both, to line their nest with soft material. About 3 weeks ago she laid her eggs.

Mr and Mrs both took turns sitting on the eggs. They would relieve each other after a few hours, and were very rarely late for duty.

How patient they were, positioning themselves so carefully and elegantly,with beaks tucked beneath their wings. Ignoring the flock of Weavers who were noisily building their own nests, 15 in all.

And so the days went by and the embryo`s developed, there was a sense of expectancy in the air. My daughter`s forth child is due on the 26 th and we wandered who would arrive first.

Days and nights they persevered. We were concerned for them during the recent strong winds and rain, but they were not daunted, they were wet , bedraggled and wind blown, but their nest and eggs were intact.

If a large bird perched too closely they would let out a piercing call and extend their wings and fold them protectively over the nest.

I regret to say, we will not be hearing the cheep of baby birds. We will not observe their rearing.

Yesterday , the pool cleaner lady, prodded the nest with her long pole dislodging the eggs, which dropped into the water and shattered, disgorging the nearly formed chick. We only found one egg in the bushes and it had a very thin shell.

We did not witness the event, but we saw the aftermath. The pool lady then admitted that she had pushed the nest to scare the bird away as it was making a mess in the pool.

egg1

The female Hadida was stunned and confused and very distressed. She stood up searching her nest for her egg. Her mate was away feeding at the time. After about half an hour she left with loud calls to locate him. He returned with her just before sunset, and I can only describe their calls as grief. Not long after, a small flock of hadidas arrived to add their cries of indignation and sorrow. It was like a wake. The Hadida couple stayed around the nest for a while and then left, never to return.

Yes as previously mentioned they did drop twigs and excrement into the pool. This obviously caused headaches for the pool cleaning services, and yes, I might be a sentimental old fool, but as I sit here on the patio, looking at the remains of the nest, I cant help wandering at the injustice of it all. If it were at all possible I would have joined that flock of comical birds and added my own voice.

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