The start of 2011

So once again I am overdue in my attempt to update my blog on a monthly basis.

January started with a bang – working three weekends out of six (self-inflicted – I need to earn credits in the work department as I am due to take leave in March and April).

In a little under one months time I will be heading back to Alaska to work on the Iditarod ( followed by five days of Skiing in BC, Canada. One month after I return to SA will be the beginning of my fitness challenge for the year: (900km of mountain biking in nine days). My mountain bike is up to the challenge, I am not there yet.

My extra -curricular activities (when not working, planning trips, photographing obscure subjects) are managing to entertain me and stop me from becoming bored. In the kitesurfing department – had to ease off the regular lessons in order to do some training on my mountain bike. Hope to correct that this month.

Enough of my ramblings – enjoy the photos.

Have yet to identify this flower – if memory serves me correctly it is a carnivorous plant. Photographed at Border Cave on the Swazi border. The fossil remains being excavated at the cave date back 20 000years when hominids started exhibiting behaviour such as collecting and painting shells.

“…In 1942 the body of an infant was found in the Border Cave, dating back 100 000 years. On the slopes of the Lebombo Mountains, is the cave that has provided us with evidence of the oldest modern humans, and 69 000 Stone Age implements. …<snip>… An inscription found at the Border Cave Museum reads ‘The first scientist to visit Border Cave was famous physical anthropologist, Prof Raymond Dart… ” (

Ilda, Sandy, Margo, Zara & Aurelie at the supposed geocache site ( The cache was nowhere to be found, even with two different GPS’s to triangulate the position. (

Swazi (sugar) cane fields as viewed from Border Cave (Ingwavuma)

Inside Border Cave. “Anatomically modern Homo sapiens skeletons as well as stone tools and chipping debris were found at Border Cave. Scholarly debate continues about the age of the human skeletal materials, some of which were recovered from the Howiesons Poort levels. The most recent electronic spin resonance dating puts at least one of the elements at 74,000 ± 5000 years before the present, which is very early for an anatomically modern Homo sapiens.” (

Back to one of my passions. Macro Photography.

An exoskeleton of a small scorpion. This was on the balcony of the chalet I stayed in at Nibela Lake Lodge (Greater St Lucia Wetland Park – World Heritage site). The entire scoprion was about 2cm head to tail.

This was the spider who had caught the scorpion (body was less than 0.5cm).

Muzi Pans with Yellow Fever trees on the opposite bank. After work last week we drove there to go paddling and try and see hippos (relatively) close up. We heard them in the reeds. We did not venture into the reeds to see them close up… (

Yes, Holly refused to stay on the bank and watch us paddle – so ended up in my canoe (reminiscent of white water rafting on the Ash River two years ago – Andrew: you still have the DVD)

What I get up to while on my balcony after a rough days work – photographing the full moon rising. Will get it right one of these days.

What ended up being a 5hour ride (rode over the Ubombo mountains, twice). Enough said.
Stopped at the bottom of the mountain to “top up” my back tyre – 64km/h down a steep and rocky road, while being incredibly fun and a definitely to be repeated experience – does increase “on-the-fly” bike maintenance.

A colourful abode up in the mountains (Ubombo).

Josini Dam ((this was taken when heading back over the mountain via another route). Needless to say I didn’t stop for long to photograph the full extent of the dam. Will leave that for another time.

While camping in Mabibi (campsite one hours drive from the hospital, 2h45m cycling – yes, I did it sand and all). This is a Leather back turtle returning to the ocean after laying her eggs high up on the beach. And yes, she is that big.

Coral awaiting the pending storm (Mabibi_ probably the best snorkeling I have done to date)

More macro. While this was my camera, I cannot claim the credit. This was taken while driving through a particularly fun section of a 4×4 trail on the south banks of Lake Sibhaya.
(Copyright: Dr A Nelson)

Even the insects attend our weekly doctors meeting… An as yet unidentified moth.

Until next month.


One thought on “The start of 2011

  1. Fantastic pictures Dbj- love the macro’s, is great start to the year – sure will have lots more with all your upcoming plans.

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