"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Super lunar

Thanks to everyone who has purchased my "Free from the Sun" solar recipes, I was in a position to buy myself a present.

My little Kodak point and shoot basic camera, being over 6 years old, was giving up the ghost.  The focus was jumping all over the place as I tried to shoot a pic, and the battery would last for about 8 photo's before complaining that the battery was low and it needed recharging.
Canon SX510HS

So it was time to replace it.  RMan and I researched what was available on-line here and I (finally) made a decision.  I bought a Canon SX510HS.  What a stunning camera :)  It will enable me to take r-e-a-l-l-y close close-ups [even of plants :) ] - which the old Kodak couldn't manage - as well as zoom 30 times closer to the dam next time we have any feathered visitors :)

The initial impression of the camera is "what took me so long"?  Wow!  The pics it takes are crystal clear - and when it comes to taking bird life (and I've never been a birder or twitcher or whatever you call it) the clarity and detail is fantastic :)  So much so that I think I may start a "Birdlife seen in our valley" page on this blog :) (I just need to identify them with the help of "Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa" book before I post them though...)

It arrived just in time for my birthday - and the timing was absolutely perfect, because, not only could I snap some shots of the day, but also because on Sunday evening we experienced a supermoon in Southern Africa.

To quote from http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/special-moon-to-light-up-sa-1.1733140

"If you take a look at the moon tonight it will be at its fullest, brightest and closest to Earth this year.
 This phenomenon is known as a “supermoon”, when the moon appears to be 10 percent to 15 percent larger than usual.
The moon’s proximity to the Earth tonight will be a distance of 356 896km at perigee, the closest point, which will therefore make it the brightest and largest full moon of the year.

I took this pic of the supermoon
at 6.27 p.m. on Sunday evening using
an ISO-400 setting.  Just as well I didn't

wait for 8.08p.m. - the mist suddenly
rolled in and the moon was barely visible.
Also, the moon will be at its fullest at the same moment that it is closest to the Earth – something that will not happen again until 2034.
Nicola Loaring, outreach astronomer at the SA Astronomical Observatory, said that the average distance between the Earth and the moon was 384 400km.
However, because of the moon’s oval path of travel, the distance varied depending on where it was in orbit around the Earth.
At perigee, the moon was about 50 000km closer to the Earth than it was at its most distant point, she said.
“Full moons that occur when the moon is close to or at perigee are called supermoons and appear slightly larger or brighter than usual,” said Loaring.
“There has been one supermoon so far, in July, with another one expected in September. The supermoon will be visible from all over South Africa… and everyone should have a look at about 8.08pm local time because the moon will be at its closest point for the year.”
Logan Govender, a spokesman for the Durban centre of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, said that although supermoons occurred regularly this one was special.
August 2014 super moon

“There are full moons every month but this supermoon is special because it will be at its fullest at the exact moment it is closest to the Earth,” he said.
“This is very important and what makes this occurrence different. Sometimes there is a full moon before it rises. You can call this a super supermoon.”
He said this would affect the tides but that it had no superstitious bearing."

Now that made my birthday, which was already outstanding, even more special :)

Again - a very sincere thank you to everyone who made the camera purchase possible :)


  1. Congrats, Dani! On both your birthday and your new camera! I look forward to many lovely images, though I must say your banners are consistently amazing already :)

    1. Quinn - Thanks :)

      Taking pics will certainly be easier with the Canon - the Kodak was ery limited in it's capabilities ;)

  2. Dani - happy belated birthday and what an awesome gift!!!! my camera is a digital something, pink - which i love - but i have never read the instructions, use factory settings...and here's the kicker - i point it and then click - bahahahahah! i am no photographer but i expect with your fang-dangled camera that you will take amazing photos and i expect nothing less, missy - bahahahahah!

    oh ya. the super moon. i detest those things. the full moon always screws with my "monthlies" but these super moons make me absolutely nutty!!! i can't even remember the last 3 days!!! and i have been having absolutely crazy dreams for the last 3 nights!

    anyhoo - i have got to be getting the menopause soon so hopefully these beautiful moons will stop interfering with my ability to not be absolutely batty!

    gorgeous pics, tho, and like i said - i expect many more! much love to you Dani! your friend,

    1. kymber - Thanks :)

      If RSon had not been here to show me the ISO thingymebob I would just have continued clicking in auto mode LOL

      Full moon means I don't sleep - but they are soooo pretty when they happen, and even more so when they're super moons :)

  3. That's the exact same camera I recently bought! Congratulations! And Happy Birthday!

    1. Leigh - Thanks :)

      Great minds think alike ;)

  4. Happy Birthday!!! I had an old camera as well for years, and 2nd Man bought me the fancy new one for Christmas and I LOVE it. It still does so much I haven't figure it all out. I find myself using the 'auto' mode most of the time but I need to try out the others too, ha. You'll have fun figuring yours out as well.

    Beautiful moon pic I wished now I had gone out and done that here.

    Side note, isn't it so neat that I can look up and see the same moon you do and Kymber and Leigh and everyone else on the planet can? So neat that it unites us all in a way doesn't it?

    Happy birthday again!

    1. 1st Man - I, too, was stuck in Auto mode, until RSon showed me the error of my ways ;)

      Yup - between the skies above and the (technological) waves between, we are all connected in a way that mankind has never been connected before. Blows my mind too :)

    2. i just have to add that what 1st Man said is something that i think of often. i am always amazed at the different things on his and 2nd Man's land, and the length of growing seasons and whatnot and Dani - it always amazes me that you are exactly on the other side of the earth from me. and yet, when any of us gaze at the sky - we know that we are sharing with people who are thousands of miles away. it blows my mind too! xoxo

  5. Happy birthday! I foresee lots of beautiful pictures and lots of fun taking them - and it is always good to have help to graduate from a point-and-click!

    1. Thanks TS. Yes, the younger generation certainly know their way round these modern, fandangled appliances - thank goodness :)

  6. I desperately need a new camera. That sounds like one I would like. I'll see what they want for it on Amazon.

    1. Harry - It is not top of the range, nor can it take landscape / panoramic shots, but for the value it is stunning :)

  7. a little late - but happy birthday - your current header is already stunning!

    1. Thank you Diana :) The old Kodak was good for scenery shots like the ehader, but not good for close ups or zoom. Hopefully now I have the best of both ;)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.