#1197. Sands Of Time

By Ian Varkevisser | Art & Creativity

May 04

It was a warm sunny autumn morning – not a cloud in the sky – late in the season but the Cape doctor (that’s our local southeaster ) was howling and sea sand was blasting across the shore.

It was time to take the grumpy mutt - the spaniel - for a walk on the beach. With a trusty compact ( ugh ) in hand we set out for the beach.  Under these conditions the beach is always almost deserted , something grumpy loves and runs around like a mad woman.

The only drawback though is without any other company to keep her busy on the beach she is always inquisitive to see whats up.

Every time I carefully framed up the perfect composition along she bounded 'Whatsup ! Whatcha doing ! Here these paw prints will improve your shot. Go on take a close up shot of my beautiful nose!'

After a session with my editor and a meh - a below par day at the office I'm afraid.

All the good shots got away and were ruined by grumpy - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Trees of life

Editors Choice

Lumpy Bumpy

Highly Commended

hanging chads

Pic of The Day


lets face it

inversion layer

fading away

doggy doo

pancake ridge

feather dusted

Bonus Ball

And finally so I can scrape this blog through the strict approval process of a demanding admin. A high key shot of "people" yes 'people' - the right way up - and perfectly composed on the thirds with a straight horizon to boot.

It can be mildly annoying stepping over and around the mass of seaweed after a stormy high tide.

Not so with ingenuity and nature supplying the equipment FREE and for gratis.

The memories, daring, excitement and squeals of delight at being slingshot across the low water mark - PRICELESS


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    What I like best, Ian, is the changes in writing style – from one chapter to the next. Very fewwriters manage that, well.

    No sign of grumpy though – OR bicycles – don’t you have them in SA?

    Hmm – a “Cape doctor” – from the south east? We rely on the “Fremantle Doctor” – who comes in from the sou’west – practically every single day of the year! I wonder who named which first, and whether one plagiarised from the other. I’m staying out of that one – it’s someone else’s argument, not mine – I didn’t come here till I was nearly 30.

    After spending the past 20 years wallowing in colour, to balance up the scales after the previous half century in B&W, it’s fascinating “going backwards” and seeing all these B&W photos that you and Pascal produce for our amusement.

    I think I like the first one best – I might have chosen the one you labelled “dog poo”, if I hadn’t just walked back from the local back, adroitly avoiding stepping on the multiplicity of dog poos that some asshole has just left on the sidewalk in my street that, and the “tag”, kind of redirected my vote!

    • pascaljappy says:

      No such wind in California (Cupertino, at least). An Apple a day keeps the Doctor away.

      Sorry … 😉

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Hi Pete, bicycles are not seen on public beaches in SA , although they are the scourge of motorists with their poor road manners and exceptional foul mouths in general. Strange how those who pay zero road tax feel the most entitled to the road isn’t it ?

      Grumpy did not wish to be publicly identified for fear of the woke backlash on social media and hate speech which said behavior might have invoked or the accusations of who left dog poo where 😉

  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Gentlemen , I take the intro and your comments above about writing style as a job well done by my demanding editor who has instilled in me, nay beaten into me, such a high standard of versatility. Cheers I will drink from a bottle of the finest to my editor.

  • Lad Sessions says:

    Ian, You have a knack for making lemonade out of lemons: less than optimal beach conditions, ditto camera, canine intrusions, Lord knows what else, and you produce very captivating images! I think I like the tree of life best; it would be my choice as well as the editor’s.

  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Hi Lad, more like capable of spinning an entertaining yarn at times 😉 I will settle for that. Editors choice ,,, mmm as i recall the advice i was given was that perhaps such a meager haul was not fit for light of day, if not i sincerely apologise to my editor, I would hate to have to go under the whip again. As pleasurable as that may sound 🙂 😉

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    I really enjoyed perusing your dramatic images of the results of a storm ravaged beach, Ian! It’s amazing what bizarre shapes can be formed by the right combination of sand, wind, and water. Stormy weather is my favorite time to visit the beaches of Oregon, when there are few, if any, people braving the tempest. It’s by far the best time for photography, as you have aptly demonstrated.

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Hi Nancee , a mere customary blustery south easter probably nowhere near the storm ravaged you would experience over there. But yes strong winds, some salt air and tidal moisture can turn up a few interesting shapes every now and then.

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    “Trees of life” is my fave… the kind of patterns I cherish 🙂
    And the last one… the joy of a child is priceless…

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Hi Pascal, it is quite a joy to see children enjoying unbridled pleasure at the expense of nature and not having their thumbs or faces stuck in an electronic device. It does the soul good to hear the happy laughter

  • Pascal O. says:

    Dear Ian,
    your special post brings up my great memories of your spectacular country. In particular, that beach not far away from Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town, completely empty, and reputedly not swimmable because of sharks, but of incredible beauty. Just one long, long strip of sand, unforgettable.
    Thank you for yet another special post, these “Ian Specials” make a strong impression every time.

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Hi Pascal, thank you for the compliment and taking time to comment. Perhaps I should do a blog on the shark spotters ?

  • philberphoto says:

    Ian, your left-overs are my feast! Maybe I have been -or will be- a grumpy mutt in another life, so that I can nudge you in this direction! Congrats!

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