Welcome to my 2010 photo blog.

During this year I am taking up a challenge to post a photo a day on this blog. I am a beginner photographer hoping to learn much about my camera and how to take photos.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moggy about cats

My picture today is of two of my sister's cats. These gorgeous little guys were rescued from some kids who were playing with them when they were only two weeks old. Sue had to hand feed them every three hours until they were big enough to feed themselves. They are really gorgeous now and very friendly. Their names are Matt and Luke.

Incidentally, Sue has a heart for kitties in trouble and she has collected rather a lot of them. They're all in such beautiful condition and obviously enjoy life.

Great little people.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


My photo today is of my Dad. He'll be 85 in a couple of weeks time and he's living in a facility called Heartfelt. The past few years have been very difficult for him as his blindness has increased but he seems to have found a measure of peace within himself. I visited him this morning and he was quite cheerful and we had some meaningful conversation. He even smiled for the camera. Bless you Dad.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Meet me by Moonlight

Long ago and far away this was the name of a musical my Dad produced in the amateur theatre days in Durban. The title came to mind when I saw the moon tonight.

I need to read up some more about ISO and the like but I'm quite please about how this one came out. I love the way some of the leaves on the bush sparkle with the reflected light and the roof of the house creates a great silhouette. You can even see two stars in the picture.  Not too shabby after all. Anyone with tips please post in comments.

Shortly after I took this shot I went out again and took some shots with the ISO set at 200. By that time some wispy clouds had blown across the moon and the reflection was too much. I preferred this shot. I'm afraid I can't remember the settings for this shot because I played around so much that I forget what I used for each one.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Promises and Blessings

During the night we had a shower of rain and when I went outside early this morning I saw this rainbow. It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss for a photo.

Rainbows signify blessings and promises for me. Last night our grandson, Nicholas was born at 10pm and I thought of his new little life and all the potential he has. He is our latest blessing and his parents Gareth and Linda are very aware of how the Lord has blessed them.

The flip side of this rainbow is that the showers were over for now. Within 20 minutes I was hanging the washing in bright sunshine. But there's the promise of good things to come. So here's to Nicholas and his Mum and Dad. My they be truly blessed as they grow together.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Glass Butterfly

The famous Port Elizabeth wind is howling through here today. I went out to find something to photograph in the garden but every shot I took turned out to be a blur.

As I walked back inside I saw this lovely stained glass butterfly that sits in one of my indoor plants. My sister-in-law, Jill made it and I just love it. See how healthy my "spath" is looking - it loves the butterfly too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tea for Two

Ok, so my photo today is a bit of desperation. I've run out of time. This afternoon I baked a cake for a group of people I was meeting with this evening. Before I went to the meeting I took this photo of the cake. It was delicious.

The photo is not one I'm excited about but in a few months time I'll look at it and remember that I baked a delicious light and fluffy cake.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Short, sharp shower.

I just love this shot. I managed to capture some rain drops on a beautiful pansy outside our front door. We had a short shower this afternoon and I really enjoyed going outside with the camera and trying out the macro feature with the camera.

I am so enjoying this project because I find myself looking at a situation as a photo opportunity. There's a new kind of awareness of my surroundings and although a lot of my attention is focused on the effects of the drought I appreciate and enjoy my garden so much as I search for opportunities like this.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Lunch

This was lunch today. Shan and Tim came to join us and we had this delicous light chicken basil and lemon salad. It was all the more delicious because of the lovely company. :-)

It's so good to connect with people over a meal. So often we rush through life doing the busy things and saying, "We must do lunch sometime". Well today we made a start with connecting and it was great.

I'm not a great fan of cooking and I find daily meals a chore - mainly because I first have to decide what to cook and then make sure I have ingredients. Occasionally I find a lovely easy dish like this which is a pleasure to make and is healthy to eat. Bon apetite!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Making Music

This is my lovely guitar. I've had it for almost twenty years. It was a present from my lovely husband. I've used it mostly as a member of a worship group on and off over the years. It's great being part of a group and we certainly inspire one another to keep going.

The guitar has a beautiful tone and it's a pleasure to play - when I practice regularly. Like all things playing an instrument takes practice and stick-ability. It's a bit like this blog. It takes commitment and effort to post regularly. But it's the friends like Jill and Maggie who are also keeping  a blog that help keep me going. Isn't community a wonderful thing?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Passing clouds.

It's Friday! Always a great feeling. This afternoon I came home and thought about what I could photograph for my daily photo. At first I thought I would take a photo of our elderly male staffie, Mutt. He was having none of it - even when I sat down under the tree and waited for him to relax. Every time I lifted the camera he slunk off looking as if he was about to be attacked.

I then decided that since I was already outside I'd look for a bug and try Maggie's skill with macro. No bugs today. It's been hot and the wind was howling so everything is parched and dry. I even got down on my hands and knees to see if I could spot something. No joy.

Then I decided that since I was already so far down I'd just lie down on my back on the grass and enjoy the shade of the tree. It was such a great feeling to be lying there looking up into the sky. I watched the clouds racing by, driven by the wind. I then took a few photos and decided to select this one as my daily shot. The joy was just lying on the grass relaxing in the shade.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

21 January - Thursday is veg day.

Today the topic is vegetables. One of my favourite foods. This selection was delivered at school today. As a staff we place a weekly order with an out-of-town wholesaler who delivers on a Thursday. The produce is really fresh and the fact that you can buy it processed (peeled and chopped) makes cooking a breeze.

A friend and my sister-in-law are using Facebook to post their daily challenge photos. It's become such a joy to view one another's photos and watch as we all find photo opportunities in places we never would have before. I have already learnt a lot and look forward to more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20 January - The day's end

Sunset. Such a glorious part of the day. I love to see the colours change. I'm always so aware that as the sun sets where I am it's rising somewhere else on this planet of ours.

I took this photo from near our back door. It was just one of those moments when everything came together to make up the composition. The birds on the wire, the leaves top left and the roofs creating the silhouette. I also love the lone little chimney sticking up near the centre.

Sunset - a time to reflect, to hope, to enjoy the peace. I feel blessed.

19 January - The PE Mushroom

My internet was non functional last night so this is actually the photo for 19 January. I had trouble finding inspiration for my photo today. Then I hit on the idea of taking a photo of our new stadium from a view site near our home. It was taken late afternoon and the clouds and the sea formed such a lovely background. I also like the tree on the right and the way it adds depth to the photo.

This is 2010, the year of the Fifa World Cup to be hosted in South Africa. There is an enormous amount of excitement building as well as lots of negative comments doubting our country's ability to host such an event. Port Elizabeth is a small city with a smallish airport so it's going to be a challenge but what a priviledge! God bless South Africa and her people in 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dry and dying....

This is a picture of one corner of my garden that is not going to survive the drought. There's only so much one can do to keep plants alive. This poor little pink daisy bush (?) is low on the list of priorities for the precious water we can spare for the garden. Sad but true.

This is a particularly dry corner - even the grass is dying. I've just watched the weather report for tomorrow and we're promised some showers. Maybe my daisy bush will make it. Watch this space....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The elephant chase.

We spent the day in Addo Elephant Park. It's about an hours drive from home and a lovely escape from the daily rush. We came across buck, elephants, buffalo as well as smaller creatures such as tortoises and jackals.

On our drive we saw a family group including mothers, a few very young elephants and a few adolescents. We spent some time watching the group until this youngster decided he didn't like our Jeep hanging around. He started shaking his head and ran towards us so we had to take off. As we drove away he kept on running and shaking his head. Cheeky brat! I took this photo in the side mirror as Mark drove away.

Unlike the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi area in KZN the elephants in Addo are a lot more placid and don't mind cars full of people peering at them and taking photos. I think this little guy was having some fun while learning about elephant charge behaviour. However, one can never be sure that they won't actually start knocking dents in one's vehicle. Best we left ......

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Today was a garden day. It was good to work outside without too much wind and the thunderstorm we had on Thursday meant the ground wasn't too hard. I enjoyed doing some digging over and composting and transplanting.

I took a number of pictures but the one I've chosen to upload is this picture of a hibiscus. I love the colour and the way the stamens stand out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

15 January - Technology old and new

technology (science of) practical or industrial arts.....
What do you think of when you hear the word, "technology"? According to the definition in the Concise Oxford Dictionary knitting is technology too.
My photo today includes different kinds of technology - old and not so old. We are about to welcome a new grandchild into the family and I am knitting him/her a toy clown. What kind of world will the baby grow into? Can we keep a balance between electronic toys and the old fashioned sort? Here's to a wonderful future for our grandson/ granddaughter in this crazy new world as a member of the X generation (or have we already moved on?)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

After the Rain

We had a beautiful rain storm this afternoon. When I came home from school I noticed that our Swiss chard was drooping and some of the roses were looking seriously sad. We've had a hot and windy day here in PE today. Then I heard the rumble of thunder and we had a good storm. We measured 5mm in the rain gauge. What a great relief and it has replenished the water in our rain tank.

After the rain I went out into the garden and took some photos. This is my favourite. It's a bloom on a bush called Beach Girl. I love the blend of colours and the fresh look it has.

Beautiful bloom, refreshing rain. So good for the soul. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New school year - big day!

This cheerful group of learners were happy to get back to school after the long holiday. I had the privilege of being on duty in the playground before school so I was able to greet them and welcome them back for 2010.

Our school classes are "full". All classes have between 26 and 32 children which is a lot in the foundation phase. Most of the children are learning in English as a second language. These little girls and boys all speak isiXhosa at home so it's quite an adjustment to have all their lessons in English. They cope remarkably well and we're very proud of the level of literacy and numeracy by the time they leave at the end of Grade 3.

So, here's to 2010. A great year in our history as a country and hopefully a successful year for the learners.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Childless School

The past two days staff have been at school preparing for the children's first day of school tomorrow. I took this photo of one of the main school corridors today. As I took it I thought of the noise and bustle that would fill these corridors from tomorrow when the school year begins.

On days when the pressure is getting to me and school is overwhelming I joke that I'd like to work in a school without children because it would be so much more peaceful. These days at the beginning of each year are always filled with hope that we're going to have a really great year.

So, here's to the start of a new academic year. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the little people tomorrow. May it be a great year!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vulture Pigeons

These pigeons "hang around" the back door of our house and that of our neighbours every afternoon at dog feeding time. They become very bold as they fly down and steal from the dogs' bowls.

Occasionally our little black female Staffie manages to catch one and she makes a real meal of it leaving feathers scattered all over the lawn as a warning to other "dog food thieves".

Sadly the storm clouds of yesterday didn't produce any significant rain apart from a few drops this morning. I even hung the washing out hoping to bring the rain on but it was not to be. Ah well, tomorrow's another day. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 January - Storm Clouds Gathering

Today I spent some time mulching plants with leaf mould. The drought is biting hard making it necessary to try and preserve as much moisture as possible.

I later went around to the front garden and looked up to see these clouds. Hopefully we'll get some rain tonight which will top up the rain tanks. It's been hot and humid all day so perhaps we'll have a storm - if the famous PE wind doesn't blow all the clouds away.

I usually take a precious commodity like water for granted - until the supply is threatened and then it becomes the focus of attention. May it rain!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friendly Frog

Isn't he gorgeous? Such a handsome chap.
I woke up very early - of course it's a Saturday. I spent some time out in the garden feeding and spraying the roses and generally pottering around.
This pot is near the front door and it had a geranium growing in it. They're supposed to be hardy and drought resistant but sadly it didn't survive. Once I'd pulled the dead plant out I saw this rough "thing" in the corner. I thought it might be a bulb or something and put my hand in to pick it up - only to discover Freddy here.

I don't like touching frogs but I have to admire this beauty. I'm leaving him to live in peace here because the pot is near our bedroom window. Perhaps he'll keep the mosquitoes away. Or maybe he'll croak..... oh no, then he's going to be exported to the bush.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Earth Colours

I left the photo taking until very late tonight. It was already dark so I decided to take a photo of something inside.

This is a photo of our entrance hall/ dining room. When we bought the house I wanted to use lots of colour. The house is 90 years old and from the outside it's a square box. I love the door with lead light panels and stained glass. The ochre colour contrasts well with the white door and the two pillars and archway visible from the door itself.

The floors of the house are beautiful shiny oregon pine strips. It gives a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 January - Workspace

I have spent a beautiful sunny day indoors at my worktable participating in an Intel Elements facilitation course on Project Based Learning. It's been stimulating and at the same time I've formulated my project plan for Grade 3's unit in this term. The topic I chose was bullying.

The photo shows my reasonably tidy workspace. Note two laptops. I'm spoilt. One is my Toshiba bought early 2009 and the Macbook is the one I won in ThinkQuest Narritive Competition. I'm not really greedy it's just easier using two.

Note that today the sewing machine is relegated to the floor below. This is serious stuff!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

6 January - White Froth

A friend asked me to sew tape onto some curtains for her. If there's one thing I hate working with it's curtains! I always manage to get them to hang crooked. However I couldn't think of a kind way to refuse so I agreed to do the job. It's been hanging over me for the past three days and I keep putting it off.

Today I decided I would get it behind me. The job wasn't so difficult, just awkward. Here is a photo of the work in progress. Then as I sewed, the white frothy material reminded me of my daughter's wedding three years ago today. They are about to become parents for the first time and I was thinking of lovely white baby clothes and blankets. Before I knew it the job was done. Thank you friend for the privilege of sewing your curtains and for the memories and expectations they brought to my day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 January - Papaya for Breakfast

I continue with fruit today. This is what was left of the delicious papaya I had for breakfast. The colour is beautiful but I realise now I should have put it on a blue plate to make a contrast. I was thinking of photographing the delicious lunch I cooked with rich coloured vegetables - but I forgot and ate it all before I took the photo! :-)

According to the list of themes I have the theme for the first week in January is "transition". This doesn't really fit I guess unless one thinks of its "transition to tummy". So much for themes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

4 January - Summer Fruits

Today I chose to photograph a bowl of fruit that was sitting on the dresser in my kitchen. I guess it doesn't have much to do with transition but it looked so delicious and I was afraid that by tomorrow they'd either be eaten or overripe.

The best thing about this time of year is the variety of fruit we have - all grown in South Africa.

I used the striped background as an experiment. I've been reading some tutorials which I found on the Digital Tutorials site. It's such a useful site for beginners. I used iPhoto to straighten the lines with the edge of the photo (such an easy and useful tool) and then I clicked the Enhance tool and my fruit suddenly looked even more inviting. I'm certainly having fun with this challenge.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Night transforms into day.

This morning I woke very early. It was hot and still so I got up and went into the garden with my camera and a cup of tea. As I sat outside I watched the sky change from night into day and decided that would fit in well with the theme, transitions. New year/ new day.... I took two shots and it was only when I downloaded them later I saw that the bird had flown into the frame from the left. It conveniently fitted in with the "thirds rule".

This is becoming a growing experience for me. I have never had much time for photography apart from point and shoot. Our new camera is opening up a new world for me. I can still only point and shoot but I'm learning something new every day. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2 January 2010 - Life and Death

The photo I posted for yesterday was more a spur of the moment fun photo that I had taken before I decided to take up the challenge. I liked it because it tells a story of what could happen.... However there is no artistic value in it.

Today we bought a new camera. A Canon Power Shot SX20 IS. It's really a big step up for us and yet still simple enough for a beginner such as myself to operate. I anticipate a steep learning curve ahead.

My photo today is from my small vegetable patch. We are in the grip of a drought and the fact that anything survives is amazing. These little tomatoes seeded themselves from our compost pit. They're really delicious.

I've called my posting "Life and Death" because the photo shows dead leaves, green leaves, ripe tomatoes and green tomatoes. There are contrasts here which I enjoy. Now I'm off to make a salad......

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 January 2010

Well here we are in 2010. I intend to use this blog as a daily photo journal. The idea came from Langwitches I will be attempting to document my year ahead in photos. The great thing is that Mark and I have recently decided to buy a new camera so I look forward to learning about photography through this project. The photo in this post was taken with my Samsung i780 phone.