Each of these patterns tells a story – allow your imagination to flow free.

Water: a precious resource


Sudden death

Rough bark

Seeds of life

Nutrients returned



On this beautifully bright, sunny day let me share some of the things which bring me cheer:

A lingering bright nasturtium.

Sunshine highlighting a leaf.

The excitement of seeing a lion drinking early in the morning.

Scarlet blooms of an Erythrina lysistemon.

Seeing an African Spoonbill.

A view of the Winterberg.


I have said that dirt roads often lead towards an adventure of sorts. Open spaces also provide similar opportunities for finding interesting things to look at or experience. I will start with the clanking noise heard across the road from my home, where I spent a while watching the ineffectual ‘clearing’ of invasive prickly pears growing in-between indigenous Cape honeysuckle and Plumbago bushes.

Just up the hill from where I live I occasionally see horses drinking from a seasonal pond.

Looking down from the top of Mountain Drive one can see an aerial view of our town.

Driving through the countryside, one might come across a scene like this: open veld with an antelope staring quizzically at one.

Blooming purple bougainvillea is the only sign of a former farm dwelling in this section of the Addo Elephant National Park as it has expanded. Note the sand dunes and the Indian Ocean in the background.

Sometimes open spaces seem just that: open – apparently with nothing of interest to attract attention. When these are in a game park many impatient tourists rev their engines and move on in the hope of spotting game further on. Patience can be rewarded though – as it was this time for us when a pair of lions appeared out of nowhere and walked along the edge of Ghwarrie Dam in the Addo Elephant National Park.


Every time we visit one of our national parks I am reminded of how fortunate we are to enjoy seeing a wide variety of wildlife. The poaching of white rhino is an ongoing concern in South Africa – even in our protected areas – and so I always feel privileged to see one of these creatures in the wild.

We are used to seeing black wildebeest in the Mountain Zebra National Park and so it is fun to see blue wildebeest in places such as the Kruger National Park (where all of these photographs were taken).

Cape buffalo occur in the Addo Elephant National Park too, but this one is covered with Red-billed Oxpeckers.

Of course it is always a pleasure to see elegant giraffe.

Impala have been brought into several private game reserves all over the country.

No trip to the Kruger National Park feels complete unless one comes across a lion or two.


As we are experiencing the heat of summer, it seems fitting to draw attention to the attraction of water for birds and animals. I start in my garden then travel through my archives to a wonderful time spent – oh so long ago – in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

An Olive Thrush chooses a quiet moment to step into the shallow bird bath tucked into a shady section of the garden, where there is plenty of cover nearby to duck into should the need arise. It glances around whilst standing stock-still, as if it is assessing what dangers might be lurking around before it takes a few sips of water then splashes itself liberally in the bird bath.

Five Cape White-eyes gather for a communal drink and bathe at a different bird bath in a sunnier spot – still with plenty of cover to dive into if necessary.

This Speckled Pigeon casts a wary eye upwards before settling into the same bird bath for a drink.

Further afield, a lioness slakes her thirst at a water trough in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

So does a Gemsbok, accompanied by a trio of Cape Turtle Doves.

Lastly, a Yellow Mongoose ignores a swarm of thirsty bees to drink at a bird bath set underneath a communal tap in one of the rest camps in the Kgalagadi.