Sparrow tweets

Sitting at my desk this morning, I heard an insistent tweeting right outside the window. A male Cape sparrow was sitting on the now barren branches of the unknown tree* next to our office. The little fella was making quite a racket, so I grabbed my camera and tried to get a few shots. He…

The Analogy of the Bird Feeder

I found the following insightful analogy on the Facebook site of Helen Zille, our new Premier of the Western Cape. One of her fans had posted this comment. I thought it was quite clever, so I’m borrowing it to post on my blog: “I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch…

The KAT containers and an inquisitive cat

This morning, the high-tech containers for the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT) project arrived at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Observatory. Shipped over from The Netherlands, these four RFI-shielded containers were especially designed and outfitted to accommodate all the complicated equipment that the KAT team needs to control and operate the brand new radio…

Our alarm clock

These chaps are our highly effective alarm clock. Every morning, between 6 and 7, what sounds like a massive crowd of them comes swooping down low above our house, shouting out their distinctive and ear-splitting haa-haa-haa-de-dah call. Some land on our neighbour’s roof, some on ours, and the rest flap over to the huge tree…

We’re back from the Garden Route

We (Richard, his sister Tanya, and yours truly) returned late on Saturday night from an exciting, adventure-filled, glorious-weather-blessed week on the Garden Route. We stayed at the Homtini Guest Farm just outside the little village of Rheenendal in the mountains above Knysna; toured an abandoned gold mine in the mountains of Millwood; hiked along Jubilee…