Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Reserved among nature

Living where I do, there are at least three nature reserves within a 10 minute drive from my house. These are "nature" and not "game" reserves, which means nothing larger than a dassie or small duiker will be seen, and they are rather a place for spotting birds and plants. But they are rather beautiful none-the-less. 

We used to frequent New Germany Nature Reserve more often when we were children. It was down the road from my grandparents house and was a favourite spot for parties. I think of the three, this has the most beautiful walks. Not being in a valley, the open grassland views are rather splendid. 

Paradise Valley, is even closer to home, and I have been there numerous times with friends and school groups. One of the pleasures there is taking the short walk to the waterfall. It is unfortunate that this reserve is spoiled by the two massive bridges which serve as on-ramps to the N3, but they are so insanely high above where you are walking, their presence creates a splendour if their own.

The third reserve is the Palmiet Reserve in Westville. As far as I can remember I had never been there (despite frequenting the shopping centre just up the road) until last Sunday. On Sunday we went to Palmiet for a Church braai lunch. (For my non-South African friends, a braai is kind of like a barbecue - but better). Despite threats of rain and miserable cold, and the braai almost being cancelled, the day turned out to be quite pleasant. Not many people came, put off by the weather and semi-long weekend, but for those who did, we had a rather nice time of fellowship.

The Braai

There was a river right next to where we had our braai, and so, inspired by Hudson (from Define Weird), I tried my hand at a few river shots. The red flower, unfortunately belonging to a canna (which I've been taught to consider a nuisance of a weed), was the only flower in sight. Alas, for it being winter and not spring!

The River

The Cliff

I've probably mentioned before that I am not a writer (i.e. a fiction writer). That distinction belongs to some of my more talented friends: Jenny, Abigail, Lilly, Wilf and Will (amongst others - forgive me for not including you all - there are too many). Similarly, I am not a photographer. I have three extrememly talented photographer friends: Nicola, Roswen and Hudson (I suggest you visit their blogs, which I've linked here, should you want to see real photography). But since last Sunday was one of the last times I'd be with my Church family before leaving for Oxford, I took along my camera. I am still rather proud of my new camera, and simple as it is and use every excuse I can to "practice" taking pictures before I leave :-p

p.s. If you click on the photos, you can see them enlarged - that gives you a slightly better feel of the river


Hudson said...

Aweome! The braai sounds cool! That river looks nice, but particularly hard to photograph; it's probably just be the plainness of winter that makes the lighting and colors seem bland. What kind of camera do you have?

Ajnos said...

Yes, there wasn't much in terms of colour between it being winter and and the shadow of the cliffs. Oh, I hope you didn't mind me mentioning you.

It's a Canon Powershot A800. Nothing fancy, which I like, cause it's light and easy to carry. I tried using the "foliage" setting for a bit, but that seemed to over-emphasise the fact that there were only leaves and no other colour. For the most part I had it on "kids and pets" because I was taking pics of the kids in the water (I only included the one where you can't see the guy's face). It seemed to help prevent blurriness from wind and the flowing river, but it probably wasn't the best setting to go by.