Silent Sunday Sunset (I)


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Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day Two): Clouds


Slow internet aside, I am having a lot of fun with this challenge and also getting to know many new bloggers in the process. Thank you to Cee from Cee’s Photography Blog for inviting me to join in. If you haven’t already, do give her blog a visit – she posts some wonderful photos and her challenges provide constant inspiration.

“The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo (It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph) and then nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command.”

Today I am inviting Aletta from nowathome to play along. Aletta is lucky to live in the ‘Mother City’ of Cape Town and her photos are always a treat to see.

Today I am going to combine my post with two other challenges – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Clouds and Jude’s Bench series, Bench with a View.

You can see my first post in the challenge here.


Clouds

I love clouds!

When I was at university my meteorology lecturer was passionate about clouds. He asked us students to give him copies of any cloud pictures we took and he would pin them on the notice board for everyone to admire. Even though I never got to submit a photo, I think that is where my interest in photographing clouds began.

One of the first photos I ever took was of a cloud on a National Bird Count exercise I took part in in the Gona re Zhou National Park in Zimbabwe, probably in 1988.  I have since lost that picture but I clearly remember that it had uncannily taken on the shape of a dove, flying high above us while we scurried about below looking for birds.

Since then I have taken thousands of cloud pictures and I have found it quite a challenge today to select only quite a few for this post. (I can see I am going to have to do more than one ‘cloud’ post!)

This first photo was taken on the grounds of the Royal Livingstone Hotel.

A bench with a view

A bench with a view

This is the view from the bench – the spray from Victoria Falls.

The Smoke that Thunders

The Smoke that Thunders

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Salamander, Zephyr, Dusketha and Breama


Song of Four Fairies – John Keats

Salamander
Happy, happy glowing fire!
Dazzling bowers of soft retire,
Ever let my nourish’d wing,
Like a bat’s, still wandering,
Faintly fan your fiery spaces,
Spirit sole in deadly places.
In unhaunted roar and blaze,
Open eyes that never daze,
Let me see the myriad shapes
Of men, and beasts, and fish, and apes,
Portray’d in many a fiery den,
And wrought by spumy bitumen.
On the deep intenser roof,
Arched every way aloof,
Let me breathe upon their skies,
And anger their live tapestries;
Free from cold, and every care,
Of chilly rain, and shivering air.

Let me see the myriad shapes Of men, and beasts, and fish, and apes

Zephyr
Spirit of Fire! away! away!
Or your very roundelay
Will sear my plumage newly budded
From its quilled sheath, all studded
With the self-same news that fell
On the May-grown Asphodel.
Spirit of Fire — away! away!

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Breama
Spirit of Fire — away! away!
Zephyr, blue-ey’d Faery turn,
And see my cool sedge-bury’d urn,
Where it rests its mossy brim
‘Mid water-mint and cresses dim;
And the flowers, in sweet troubles,
Lift their eyes above the bubbles,
Like our Queen, when she would please
To sleep, and Oberon will teaze.
Love me, blue-ey’d Faery, true!
Soothly I am sick for you.

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Zephyr
Gentle Breama! by the first
Violet young nature nurst,
I will bathe myself with thee,
So you sometimes follow me
To my home, far, far, in west,
Beyond the nimble-wheeled quest
Of the golden-browed sun:

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Come with me, o’er tops of trees,
To my fragrant palaces,
Where they ever floating are
Beneath the cherish of a star
Call’d Vesper, who with silver veil
Ever hides his brilliance pale,
Ever gently-drows’d doth keep
Twilight for the Fayes to sleep.

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Fear not that your watery hair
Will thirst in drouthy ringlets there;
Clouds of stored summer rains
Thou shalt taste, before the stains
Of the mountain soil they take,
And too unlucent for thee make.
I love thee, crystal Faery, true!
Sooth I am as sick for you!

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Salamander
Out, ye aguish Faeries, out!
Chilly lovers, what a rout
Keep ye with your frozen breath,
Colder than the mortal death.
Adder-eye’d Dusketha, speak,
Shall we leave these, and go seek
In the earth’s wide entrails old
Couches warm as their’s are cold?
O for a fiery gloom and thee,
Dusketha, so enchantingly
Freckle-wing’d and lizard-sided!

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Dusketha
By thee, Sprite, will I be guided!
I care not for cold or heat;
Frost and flame, or sparks, or sleet,
To my essence are the same;–
But I honour more the flame.
Spirit of Fire, I follow thee
Wheresoever it may be,
To the torrid spouts and fountains,
Underneath earth-quaked mountains;
Or, at thy supreme desire,
Touch the very pulse of fire
With my bare unlidded eyes.

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Salamander
Sweet Dusketha! paradise!
Off, ye icy Spirits, fly!
Frosty creatures of the sky!

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Dusketha
Breathe upon them, fiery sprite!

Zephyr and Breama
Away! away to our delight!

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Salamander
Go, feed on icicles, while we
Bedded in tongue-flames will be.

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Dusketha
Lead me to those feverous glooms,
Sprite of Fire!

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Breama
Me to the blooms,
Blue-ey’d Zephyr, of those flowers
Far in the west where the May-cloud lowers;
And the beams of still Vesper, when winds are all wist,
Are shed thro’ the rain and the milder mist,
And twilight your floating bowers.

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Photo a Week Challenge: Flare!


I love taking pictures of sunsets.  Every evening here is breathtaking and I have hundreds (possibly thousands?) of sunset pictures filed away in my not-so-organised filing system. So when I saw this week’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Flare I knew I would be able find something suitable. The problem was choosing just one photo!

I took this photo of a flock of African Open-billed Storks (Anastomus lamelligerous) a few years ago, while bobbing about in a boat on the Zambezi River – just above the Victoria Falls.

African Open-billed Storks

African Open-billed Storks