A blog about what I love….photography and bicycles!


An egg, some interesting portraits and a beautiful butterfly

I have, for a while now, been photographing butterfly eggs with my MPE 65. The most recent egg that I have done is that of the Banana nightfighter, Moltena fiara. This egg was found on the leaf of the host plant, Striletzia nicholai, here in my Wembley garden. It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully structural these eggs are with the ribbing to add support and allow a thinner wall.

M fiara

These next two portraits of a fly and an antlion were great fund to do, just battled with the DOF.



Finally, a while back I noticed this mint Colotes annae annae (Scarlet Tip) male in the garden. I never thought that I would see one here as this is a bushveld bug but here it is feeding on my Pentis!




The Kiln at the Howick Agricultural Hall

Hello All

Again it has been a mad week with exams, work and getting the new gallery ready for opening.  That asside Fran and I are nearly there and ready to have the gallery open next Saturday (the 12th).  We will be sharing a room with Senqu at the Agric Hall in Howick.

To date the people exhibiting will be : Author and photographer Steve Woodhall, well known nature photographer and author Roger de la Harpe, Aritsts Denise Beuck and Andre de la Rosa, photographers Toni le Roux, Fran Simmons and myself.  We are hoping that sculpture Allen Hallett will confirm as will Peter Wickham, Doug and Deryck Morton and Cheryl Logan.

Tony Thomson, local Amber valley resident and artist, will man the gallery and paint during the week. 

This gallery, like the one at the Farmers Market, has been established as a showpiece for local artists and photographers.  You will not find a selection of Midlands material as diverse and unique as this anywhere else so stop off and have a coffee, say “Hi” to Tony and have a look.  I am sure that you will like what is to be seen.

And now some photos of material that will be on display (apologies for those who follow my blog as a few of these will be repeats).

The first photograph is Toni le Roux’s.  Toni entered this into the “Natural History” category of the N3TC competition this year and won the category!!


Nhlozane Dusk

and another of Toni’s that was runner up in the Landscape category in the same competition.
Kenmo Lake in Autumn
Next we have a very well known and popular Howick and Kiln artist Andre de la Rosa….

Fence Post



 Next we have Steve Woodhall.  Steve is the president of the Lepidopterists Society of Africa and author of a number if books on butterflies (all of which will be available at the Kiln)

The Oxe Eyed Pansy


The Coastal Tip (one of my favourite butterflies!!)

Thats it for now.  I shall post some of Fran, Denise and other folks material later this week.  We all hope to see you at the Gallery and please spread the WORD about the Kiln Gallery!!

Pietermaritzburg, City of Choice (Part 1 : Pietermaritzburg Station)


The title “City of Choice” above is the marketing slogan for the City.  Pietermartizburg has, over the last few years experienced a slow decline resulting in the municipality going into administration.  We all await the changes the new administration promises.

I was born in Pietermaritzburg, have moved away a number of times and always returned. It is a great place, great weather, in the country and is the capital city of the province.  Nothing is permanent and things have changed in the last couple of years.  Areas of the city, once slick and efficient have become run down and soiled. What seemed important to people 10 years ago is less so to others now.  Pride in the city has been replaced by turning your head to what you don’t like and missing the potholes.  A while ago Doug Morton (www.douglasimages.co.za) posted some photographs taken at the old Pietermaritzburg railway station. This is one beautiful building. Built with the well known Pietermaritzburg red brick in beautiful Victorian style this is where Mahatma Ghandi was thrown off the train in 1893. I saw Dougs photographs and said that we had to go back. He agreed and this Sunday we visited the station very early.

The detail on the building is incredible. The signage is from another era, the clock, stuck on 12h00 is huge and suspended from the roof in a teak box, the brickwork and glasswork is wonderful to see. Then there are the areas of decay, not 500m away. Here rubbish and sewage are seen everywhere, old damaged containers overgrown with weeds litter the place. Old brick buildings no longer have roofs and the infrastructure has been vandalised. In the station building the lovely building has been brought into the modern era with the introduction of razer while on the stairs and palisade fencing to guide people around. This first post shall be of the old abandoned area that we visited first. The filth was incredible, sewage running down the road and millions of rand worth of infrastructure vandalised, abandoned or abused. We arrived very early to a very harsh sky. I noted to Doug that the land and the sky were about 3 stops apart. That said we got stuck in. 

While walking down among the old sheds I noticed a wooden wall burned black. There was all sorts of old ironwork on or near it but what tickled me was the sign advising people not to smoke in the shed!!!

And now a few shots of the damaged and vandalised infrastructure, the first is what greeted us, a large very well lived in (???) shed.  Rubbish and other matter was everywhere and the smell of sewage hung in the air.

Directly behind us was the old toilets, roof broken, toilets ripped out.  There was a very good looking Aloe bainsii to cheer the shot up.

And then there was the local Villa, I nearly stood on a rather grubby lad in this building, As I walked by a pile of carpets one lifted up and a head popped out to see what was going on.  By the colour of his eyes the last thing in the world he wanted to see was someone with a camera so he pulled his head back in and remained there for the rest of our stay.  The place had been badly vandalised and I have no idea where the all important control valve has gone……….

People live here, enough said.  The fluid in the front is raw sewage.

Another view of the “home”

The next post shall be of the inside of the station, not nearly as depressing as this one so watch this spot in a few days. I also suspect that Doug will have pics up later and he got some good stuff so visit www.douglasimages.co.za .