For interesting information on flowers, trees and plants please click on this link:

For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.
Videos: YouTube

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting rid of memories

12th October, 2012.

It is with some trepidation and anxiety plus a whole lot of excitement that I make my plans to head into the unknown. Where will I end up? What will I do? What will become of me? What does life have in store for me? All these questions and more go through my mind as I pack and I wonder if Burton and Livingston felt the same when they set off to explore?

The hardest things for me is getting rid of over 50 years of memories....... The one thing I am pleased about is that I have managed to capture most of my records on the computer. No matter what has happened in my life, I have always dragged my boxes of vinyl’s with me and having them stored for over 25 years, hearing them after so long brought back many things to my mind. If there is one thing I am sorry I have to let go of, it is this collection. They have been with me through all the ups and downs in my life and each song has a powerful memory of its own.

But I get ahead of myself, let me go back to the beginning.....

I spend over 23 years living and working in the African bush as a tour guide and loved every single minute. Contrary to belief, it is not the glamorous job everyone thinks it is. I worked an average of 12 to 18 hours every day, 365 days a year and there are tremendous pressures on you to see that each client has a wonderful trip, that they are taken care of and time limits are adhered to etc. Along the way, I met some of the most fascinating and wonderful people from all walks of life and from almost every country and culture in the world.

When the powers that be decided that my old face was not the image of a tour guide anymore, I came back to the city which I hate and started work in an office which I hated even more. You can imagine that this was like a cultural shock after so many years of open air, animals and freedom and I found it extremely difficult to settle down. Because of my lifestyle, all the friends I knew were gone, all my family passed away and I was completely alone for the first time in 55 years.

I had been doing slide photography of animals for years and joined a photographic forum to share my pictures, stories and experiences with the people on it. One man there started posting pictures of insects and I became hooked on macro photography but I was still back in the stoneage with my 35mm camera. It took me a year to save up for a digital camera and to start taking pictures of my own and I fell hook, line and sinker in love with this new and totally fascinating world I found myself in. Before, insects were a buzzing and annoying bane, something to be shoo’d away and ignored, now the colours, differences and variety became a source of wonder and excitement.

So began my journey. The more I saw the more I wanted to know and learn. I bought all the books I could find and started studying. I started pestering expert entomologists to tell me what I had found when I could not find them in my books and slowly but surely built up my knowledge. I met many interesting people in my quest for more knowledge, people willing to share their knowledge and expertise with me.

My dream began then..... the one which would enable me to go back to the bush I loved, the only place I belonged and called home.....