Tag Archive: Port Elizabeth

2014 Super Moon

Here is another Super Perigee Moon for 12 July 2014. A moon that is more brighter than the average moon and also closer to earth. This moon was superimposed onto a stary background to liven it up a little. Another Super Moon will also occur on the 10 August and 9 September this year. This Super moon image was taken in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

2014 SuperMoon

Red Tide – Blue Bioluminescence

A few of us photogs heard that the red tide was causing a beautiful display of blue luminescence in the water along the Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape coast-line.  The opportunity was immediately snapped up to try out some long exposure shots of the water and surrounding area. Having not really done any long exposures before, I needed a little help from some fellow photogs and here are two of my favorites coming from this shoot.
The first picture is deliberately under-exposed in order to bring out the colours better.

Maitlands Red Tide Bioluminescence

This second photo was taken with a colder white balance to bring out the blues of the luminescence.

Maitlands Red Tide Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. In this case, the plankton.

A red tide is the common name for an algal bloom involving large concentrations of red or brown-coloured microorganisms, caused by a few species of dinoflagellates . Red tides are events in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column, resulting in coloration of the surface water.

These algae, known as phytoplankton, are single-celled protists, plant-like organisms that can form dense, visible patches near the water’s surface. Certain species of phytoplanktondinoflagellates, contain photosynthetic pigments that vary in color from green to brown to red. In this case, mainly blue

When the algae are present in high concentrations, the water appears to be discolored or murky, varying in color from purple to almost pink, normally being red or green. Not all algal blooms are dense enough to cause water discoloration, and not all discolored waters associated with algal blooms are red. Additionally, red tides are not typically associated with tidal movement of water, hence the term algal bloom.

Some red tides are associated with the production of natural toxins, depletion of dissolved oxygen or other harmful effects, and are generally described as harmful algal blooms. During Red Tides, it is often advisable NOT to eat various shellfish (filter feeders such as mussels and oysters) as these may contain toxins that might harm us.  Some of the symptoms of red tide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and pain. Other more severe problems may develop depending on the toxins, like difficulty swallowing, sense of throat constriction, speech incoherence or complete loss of speech and even paralysis.
Some of this information supplied by Wikipedia

Lady’s Slipper Sunset Photograpy Outing

Our photography club outing for this month was a trip to Lady Slipper to try and get a shot of the sunset. Unfortunately the weather did not play fair and was really cloudy and miserable! I only got one decent shot on this trip and I am really proud of it.

Lady Slipper Sunset

The second picture is a shot I took a year ago when the weather was a little better.

Lady Slipper Sunset

 

If you get the opportunity to visit Lady’s Slipper, don’t turn it down.  It is really an awesome place.
Both these photos were taken with a Canon 7D camera using 3 photos merged in LuminanceHDR software to give the dynamic effects.

Limestone Sugarbush – Protea obtusifolia

The Protea obtusifolia or the Limestone Sugarbush belongs to the Proteaceae family. Other names for this include the Bredasdorp protea, limestone protea and limestone sugarbush. This is the white form of this Protea and they vary from white to vivid shades of red. The leaves on the rest of the plant are dark green, elongated and leathery. They grow upwards of two to four meters in height and usually takes the form of a large, roundish shrub.

Protea obtusifolia

Protea obtusifolia is a vigorous, robust species forming a rounded shrub and is easily raised from seeds. It  is a relatively long-lived, large bushy evergreen shrub and does well as a screening or informal hedge plant. It produces beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers during the winter months, still looking good after 20 years. Unlike most proteas it thrives in clay and alkaline soils. It is equally at home in acidic ‘fynbos’ soils. It is also tolerant of coastal conditions and withstands salt-laden winds. It is drought tolerant and requires little supplementary watering when established. It requires protection from frost.

Photo taken at the van Stadens Flower Reserve near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

References: http://www.plantzafrica.com

 

 

Awesome Green Jumping Spider

Here is a beautiful green jumping spider. I believe it to be of the family Salticidae and of the Genus Thyenula. The species is probably juvenca. This male was found in my back yard in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and was quite a challenge to photograph as it was more interested in jumping onto my lens and leaving its silk strands all over it, that hunting for its next meal. These jumpers are supposed to be a  ground-dwelling species and  live in subtropical forests and savanna.
Thyenula juvenca male

Depicta Copper – Aloeides depicta

The Depicta CopperAloeides depicta is pretty small butterfly ranging from 26mm to 29mm in the males and 29mm to 35mm in the females. Depicta is a relatively variable butterfly, colour-wise. The upperside being a ground colour orange with a wide grey-black border.  The hind wing underside is sandy to buff-brown, occasionally reddish.
The distribution of  this Aloeides is fynbos, Nama Karoo along mountain chains from Matjiesfontein to Gydo Mountain and also Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth. It’s habitats include hillsides and rocky ledges. It’s flight period is in the warmer months of the year being September to June. The Depicta Copper’s larval food is  Aspalathus. Aspalathus is the genus to which the rooibos tea plant belongs, is the largest member of the pea family endemic to South Africa.
These pictures were taken in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Another Shot of a different Depicta copper:

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

The Pearl Emperor – Charaxes varanes varanes

From the Genus, Charaxes – Emperors, comes this absolutely stunning Pearl Emperor.  The Charaxes species are generally brightly colours in shades of orange and red or iridescent blue. They are aggressive and territorial and will chase or push other butterflies away from food sources. The larva are usually green. The pupae are also green, sometimes with white stripes or streaks, rounded with more or less pointed head.
The Pearl Emperor, however, has orange and pearly-white wings and very conspicuous against foliage. The underside colour us quite variable, often golden brown, but can look like the picture below with almost a greenish-brown-silver look to it. The wings’ veins are also green in colour. These are relatively big butterflys with males from around 65mm – 70mm and females from 70mm – 90mm.
The distribution of the Pearl Emperor is Eastern Cape from Mossel Bay to Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West provinces.
Their habitats include: forest edges, flatlands and the coast. They fly all year round in warmer areas with a week peak in September to November and a stronger peak from January to June.
Their larval foodplant consist of: Allophylus africanusAllophylus dregeanusAllophylus natalensis and also Cardiospermum halicacabum. This shot was taken at “The Island” reserve, near Seaview Lion Park, outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa“.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

A shot with the wings open of the same butterfly.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

African Clouded Yellow Butterfly

One of the rare opportunities I have had to snap one of these stunning butterflies. They are from the family Pieridae and subfamily Coliadinae. The genus is Colias, which contains the Clouded Yellows.  These two butterflies are African Clouded Yellows or Lucerne ButterfliesColias electo electo.
The distributions of Colias electo electo  are throughout South Africa in all biomes. African Clouded Yellows’ habitats included; fields, parks, gardens, coastal areas, forest edges, mountains and wetlands. Their flight is throughout the year, but will peak between April and August. The lava will eat Lucerne (Medicago Saltiva).

These two photos were taken in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

 

African Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Another Clouded Yellow, shot on a different day, but looks a little on the damaged side.

African Clouded Yellow Butterfly

van Stadens Gorge Frog

A frog is something that I do not often photograph, but and opportunity presented itself that I could not turn down.  This photo was snapped in the river underneath the old van Stadens River Bridge, outside Port Elizabeth.  The is a beautiful place less that a kilometer down the road from the van Stadens Flower Reserve, where I often go to take pictures. The frog, itself, I have absolutely no information on. I have looked through many books, but to no avail, but have posted the amphibian on the Virtual Museum of South Africa in hopes that someone will or can identify it. The picture is pretty sharp as it was made up of three picture, stacked in a program called CombineZP. An absolutely excellent program, and also free.

Frog