Archive for July, 2013

rainbow disc

When we walk or drive around it`s easy to  find something unusual.
To define this is to say that anything can be unusual, it all
depends on how you perceive it.The sunrise was not spectacular
and there was a lot of mist at sea level which means that it
will be a hot day with no rain.


It`s like today when I went outside to look at the sunrise and
search the sky for meteorites. looking over at the flagstaff at
the police station I noticed that both flags were at half mast.
The first thing I did was to go inside and put the news on
because I thought maybe a late president had died, this does
not seem to be the case.I then thought that maybe Mugabe had
died and Zimbabwe was going to have a future.Whilst taking
this picture a lorry with two trailers went down a one way
street, as they all do now that we have a street blocked off
because of renovations across the road.

I was playing around with an old CD when the Sun came out and
they make good rainbows when shone onto a white background.
I thought it would be a good way to calibrate my computers
color problem.When you get close to  the screen it produces
a double rainbow,but moving it away it looks like an eye in
the middle. 🙂
eye rainbow
Going through some old time exposure photo`s this one
reminded me of yesterday morning when i tried to catch a
meteorite with my digital camera. I have so far not been able
to do this as the longest time delay is 4 seconds.There is
also a short delay from operating the shutter release and taking
the picture.I am using a Fugifilm Finepix but it`s probably
too cheap to take shots like a film camera.

meteorite film

As you can see by the elongated stars, this was a 10 minute time exposure. i was just lucky to get the meteorite on film. I took 35 exposures that night, but will put them in another blog

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I consider myself lucky to have passed the three score and ten and still be able to follow my interests.

Having had a slightly early night made it easy to go sky watching at 5 in the morning.  There were numerous shooting stars to be seen in the direction of Orion,shown in the picture below.It was taken from a northern star map so we see it upside down here. The tree stars in the middle are his belt were the sword is hanging up instead of down in the southern Hemisphere.



The meteorites were seen in the middle of the map and were of quite short duration.There were some strange lights that seemed as though they were meteorites coming straight at the viewer because they only lasted the same time as the ones seen sideways on.


After having a quick coffee and cigarette it was time for the sunrise. This was not very spectacular this morning as the weather forecast was for a dry day. The best and most colorful is when we are due for rain or a cloudy day.



The Sunset was quite colourful last night and lasted for about half an hour as it has to set behind the trees on a bit of higher ground.

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Today has been a a day of trying to restore my laptop to it`s previous glory, but it is still slower than when i first used it. I finally had to do a recovery  to factory defaults, but I don`t  think it is working any faster. 😦   I am not very happy with windows 7 but count myself lucky as my son has window 8 and his freezes about 4 times a day. I have now converted my desktop back to windows XP and have had no problems for the last 2 weeks. My only problem at the moment is getting them both to communicate with each other through my wireless router.


At least my wifi camera works through both, the time lapse facility works fine and I am going to take the sunrise from the computer instead of standing in the cold.


This is a nice small camera that is shockproof and waterproof, it takes stills as well as video so is quite versatile.


This is what my computer station looked like a few weeks ago when i was transmitting from the left to the  radio on the right. I was experimenting with an old system that transmitted text in a very simple form called Hellscheiber.  I found a program that allows me to use a computer for sending and recieving on a fuzzy logic site for amateur radio . All the work is done with the sound card in the computer instead of complicated machinery.

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The sunrise this morning was very subdued as there were no clouds again. However the sunset did make up for it. One frame actually captured a few birds making their way  across the sky to their nightly perches. As the sun set behind the  water tower on the hill, the sky progressed to a beautiful red and was aided by the cloud formation.

Another amazing thing is that seals catch bigger fish with their mouths than I do with a rod.
This was taken from a boat in the sea near the Robberg Peninsular where there is a Fir Seal Sanctuary.

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It`s very strange the interaction between humans and animals. When you have a trust between you both that is the bond. A bond with animals is usually for life, not like humans that go in and out of friendships. I remember my daughters large dog Spike he would always pick me out when I went to the farm as he liked to go for long walks. I then went to the UK for a few years, but on a visit he greeted me like a long lost friend. He made such a vocal homecoming that I had to take him on his usual walk to calm him down. He has gone now due to old age but I still miss him.

This is Tiny, Spikes replacement.


I had a dog called Lucky before going to the UK and it was quite a problem taking him. He had to spend 6 months in quarantine which seemed like a lifetime and many of my work mates could not understand why we paid so much to bring him. It was a very traumatic time for all of us and I think it was cruel because he was given rabies shots from birth and we had the certificates. But laws are laws. He lived a good life and had to be put down at the age of 12 as he got a brain tumour and was not a happy dog. He was integral to our life and being an Alpha he usually got what he wanted. He was a great dog as far as tracking scent as that was the main reason for going on long walks. He would have made a good sniffer dog and found lots of wild life on his travels. Whilst in the forest I may have to pee on a tree, if I did he would do the same soon after. Whether it was copying or just his Alpha streak I don`t know. When we went to bed he would get his favourite soft toy and rest his head on it like a pillow. One morning I woke up and saw black hair on the pillow beside me and wondered how my wife had come home from night shift and not woken me. On lifting the covers, what do I find but the dog sleeping like a human. He was stretched out in the bed with his head on the pillow and one paw under his head.


Some unusual pets or animal companions as they are now called, are Pigs. Due to the fact that the little Pot bellied Pig grew very quick she was left to fend for herself, so I stepped in. For the last 2 years I have taken on this task. Her name is Alice and she has had a very chequered life. It all started when she started to develop a belly. Not knowing that she was pregnant we didn`t worry until one morning I got a text from my daughters gardener that Alice had give birth to 4 piglets.


Over the years I have built her about 5 new homes. They have ranged from tempory shacks to converted canopies. She is now living in the Petting Zoo at the Wolf Sanctuary where I have built he and her friend a house with a canopy extending out the front like a covered stoop. As it is close and on the way to the Farmers market I get to see her every week, having got a season ticket. She still likes to have a tummy rub and a brush. When I was making her new house she would not leave me alone and followed me everywhere. She was pregnant again and if I scratched behind her ear she would lay down for a tummy rub. I suppose it was a relief as she was very extended.

tummyrubalice tummy

This was her last pregnancy and she just loved to have a tummy massage, I think it helped the young move down a bit. I could only feel 4 but she had 7.

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This is this mornings Sunrise of 22 photo’s taken on a tripod. The interval is 1 second but it seems like more photo’s are needed to make it like a video so the interval can be shorter. By watching the Sunrise it is still impossible to predict the days weather as yesterday it was so insignificant with no cloud but it still rained.

SR 240713

If you ever have central locking on your car an the key falls apart it`s quite a job here to get a replacement. I now have to travel from Plett to George to get the key programmed into the cars electronics.


As you can see the button was replaced with a red button from an old gate remote. The locking window is oblong so I couldn`t fix that. As the car was second hand it had been used quite a lot and the plastic gave up and fell out.

This drawing by Zapiro always causes a laugh when I here the people on the news saying that they want more rehabilitation in prisons. All you need friends and influence then you are free to do what you want.

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I have been thinking that it would be a good idea to take a video of Alice being brushed as she is very entertaining. When she is brushed she lays down and lifts her legs one at a time to have a brush under her armpits. she then gets up and lays down on her other side and goes through the same ritual all the time making lots of satisfied noises. This should make a good promotional video for the Wolf Sanctuary as few of the pigs, except for Molly seem to like human company. Many animal video`s have gone viral on Youtube lately so I think it should be tried. I will have to organize this with Pete in the next week as he has the last say on what is done there. In all the time she was at the farm I never thought to make the video as it was a daily thing and was just part of looking after her. It`s strange that things like this are missed only when they aren`t part of daily life anymore. Alice has got over loosing her piglets and has a new piglet friend who shares her enclosure and house. They get on very well and even share treats that we take. The little one is still a bit nervous of visitors but in time it will get tamed. Alice is loosing her Winter coat and is looking very fit so the food is quite balanced. She did get a bit overweight at the farm as she lived in very close proximity to my stoop and was always knocking on my gate for treats, which she usually got.


Alice coming for treats.


This is what happens to little Pot-Bellied Pigs when they eat what they want. This is Alice on the farm in the Winter where she used to take me for long walks.

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Digest 260.



As I am writing this blog the sun is going down. It was a great day even if the sunrise was a bit disappointing ,Alice is doing well as I mentioned in my other blog today. Have a great weekend. leo

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Today started off very well we managed to get several shrubs for the garden again at the farmers market. We then went to the Wolf Sanctuary to see Alice. Alice has now got a young friend in with her and they get on very well. I am so glad the boar, Boris, has been put back with Molly as they get on very well together. Alice and her friend can  now get to the house and shelter which is a much better situation for all. I am still a bit sad because Alice lost her last litter of six but she is very happy now and shares her food with the piglet. Alice was so busy eating all the acorns I took, that the piglet got stuck into the main meal, until she saw me coming. After she had eaten the chicken leg she soon moved back to the trough for more. The only thing that did not go to plan was my collecting seeds. I got all the seeds from the chilli plant and put them in an envelope, all was well until my eye itched and I wiped my eye. Then I felt such a terrible burning sensation in my eye that I thought it would jump out. Luckily I found an egg cup and used it to flush my eye out. It took nearly an hour before it cleared up enough to read.


Alice loves Acorns, I think they will be her last until the next season. ;-(


She is still a bit nervous of me but she is OK with Alice.


The Sunrise was a little dark today but I did get a Rainbow when passing the police Station, which has been having some renovation done.

pol rainbow

My last blog was maybe a bit weird with the seal skull. 🙂

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On the Beach

This skull and many more were found on Robberg beach whilst on a photographic walk. As it is very close to the Fir Seal colony I assume that it is a seal`s skull. There were some smaller ones that were slightly different and looked like Otter skulls, or maybe baby seals. Has anyone come across them before, if so please let me know as I have found very few bones and no lower jaw.


Animations for Fun.

This animated sunrise was just another experiment to see how the auto on my camera worked with the light. Digital cameras play tricks because when the light gets brighter it darkens the photo. Maybe it`s just the camera settings. The animation is a bit jumpy which has several factors causing this, the number of frames, the time interval and how steady was the camera when taking the shots. I will have to use a tripod and a different setting on the camera tomorrow. 😉


All you need is a few stills like this.

animated sunrise18

Have a great weekend. all the best Leo.          plett.radio@gmail.com


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