You don't like crowds and all those loud holiday entertainments? The answer to avoiding all that is to drive North all along the unspoiled West Coast. As my blog is now stretching to distant places we need to stay overnight at our destinations. So off we went to spend a weekend at my favourite place, Lambert's Bay. As we arrived, the whole area spelt out the theme of quiet restfulness. A leasurely meal of one big crayfish with lovely Cape wine dealt with Friday evening.
With what excitement I crossed the foot bridge to Bird Island the next morning! There is a very modern but tastefully built hide at the end of the pathway. "We have 24,000 gannets here" a friendly lady told us. Apparently these precious birds are counted continuously. I spent hours observing them from the hide and will have much to tell (and paint) over the next few posts.
There is a strange story playing out in this painting! The island is also the home of Cape fur seals, introduced to the area in 1985. These fur seals, as we know, have had a hard time in the past and are now furiously protected. And in Lambert's Bay it is not the cats and dogs fighting but the gannet lovers and the seal lovers. Seals greedily devour gannet eggs and chicks, and this may lead to dwindling numbers of gannets.
But the seals have a right of living space too. The solution at the moment is but a simple plan. The seals are carefully watched and chased away by shouting at them if they go near eggs or chicks, and here you see it: a man keeps watch from a boat rowed by his team-mate, and the gannets can breed in peace. Can you see the seals in my third image? I wonder what one calls this man? Not a "horse whisperer", but a seal shouter maybe?
The painting ended up being bought by a customer in faraway America!