Monday, August 27, 2012

Pelicans on the Berg River

Guest Artist #1 Karen van Niekerk.

(Please click on the images to see large size photos)

Over the last four years, I have often had posts about Velddrif and its famous Bokkom Lane. I have however, shown very few birds. And the Berg River is after all an estuary harbouring many species of the most amazing water birds! So today, I have invited Karen van Niekerk, a talented photographer who lives in Velddrif to show her photos of pelicans. According to Karen, the early morning is the right time to catch them on the Bokkom Lane side of the river. 

The first photo gave me so much joy, and should be in line for a prize! How neatly these pelicans march with the sergeant-major egging them on!!

In the second photo, two pelicans encourage a shy bird to befriend the heron. A super composition! The birds fit in so well with the river scene and jetty and boat!

The third photo shows once again the amazing synchronized movements of these birds. A lovely shot and beautiful reflections! I love the colour of pelicans, they have just that little whisper of pink in them!

Karen took this last photo after sunset. I usually see the pelicans here on the far side of the river, and this photo shows the tranquility to perfection. All the elements of our calm clean river are there: the soft grass on the banks and the thatching reeds. This wonderful capture tells it all!

Thank you to Karen for these amazing photos!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Real Butter in Darling

We can still buy homemade butter in Darling! One of the places where it is kept is in a fridge at the Darling Museum. It is a lovely pale cream butter, not as salty or as yellow as commercial butter, and it is wrapped in thick waxy paper. That is why I love these country museums, they truly keep traditions alive!

Museum Day is an annual function, where the creamery section of the museum truly comes alive. The antiques and lovingly protected utensils of the creamery trade comes off the shelves. Butter is made using the objects of long ago. We can hear about the function of shallow dishes where fresh cream were left to rise to the top. We can touch the seperators which automated the process of dividing milk and "modern" the farmers felt when they obtained this implement! Butter was then churned, rocked, beaten, I remember that each of my aunts had a different style of doing this. Lastly the butter was sifted and salt worked through with a patterned wooden ladle. The butter was ready to be eaten on warm thick slices of farm bread!

Today's images: My third cow painting.....the first two have not been sold, so I am careful about buying such a nice frame for this painting. I painted only a few cows, not in great detail, so as not to detract from the peace of the scene and the clump of trees on top of the hill.

The sketch appeared a few years ago with my story of the creamery corner in the museum.

The photos show a real demo at the Darling Museum, the buttermilk being poured into bottles. Also some lovely antique objects from the dairy trade.