Monday, January 28, 2013

Speaking of Lions

Did you know that the number of lion in Africa has halved in the passed 20 years? I had no idea. 10 years ago, there were 200,000 lion in the wild - today, less than 25 000. And when you compare that to the number of rhino, which is an endangered species, there are fewer lion as there are over 26 000 rhino.

I read this startling fact on a great website, Getaway. It covers all angles on travel and wildlife in South Africa, so if you're interested, click here.   

I've come across some other interesting online reading focusing on Africa, if you're interested in more.

Here's a great news/ opinion/ magazine of sorts - Afritorial. They always have interesting stuff from all over the continent. My current favourite article is about the female mayor of Marrakech. Gosh, give me a couple years and a couple kids and I could be her.

Last but not least is Ranger Diaries - written by game rangers (you know, the guys who take you out on game drives), which is endlessly fascinating if you're in any way interesting in African wildlife. The joy of the website is that you get to enjoy the thrill of an African safari without leaving your desk (check out the latest report from the bush!)... although I doubt you could continually read it and not eventually simply get on a plane and get yourself out there to experience itself!

A special mention is the current featured game ranger - a friend of my brother's, Gavin. Looking good! Gavin operates a superb operation called Mammoth Safaris. I would give me eye teeth for a chance to go birding with Gavin - his experience is unparalleled. So if anyone reading this is looking for one of the best safari experiences in Africa, be sure to click here.

I'm going to add these links to my blogroll - they continue to update their websites with really interesting reads, so check them out!

Friday, January 25, 2013


 You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions. Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

Giraffe Neck by wwarby on flickr

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beach Simplicity

Thinking of friends in far off places, down under, today, so to celebrate - a bach (beach house) in New Zealand.

Pic from Dwell.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out in The Cold

I feel like a bit of a weather service right now, but things are busy and the most exciting thing I have to share with you is the insanity of the weather in Boston. This morning, where we live a bit west of the city, it was a balmy 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is -12 Celsius. Plus with the wind chill it was 6F, or -14C.

I try not to think in Celsius anymore.

So here's something interesting - when I first moved to the States we stayed with my husband's grandparents out in beautiful Wisconsin, near Lake Superior. The awesome thing about that is in the winter it get so cold that condensation forms above the water (maybe because the water is warmer than the air? Hmm, need to look that up!) and it is magical. Here's a couple of pics of what that looks like from a blogger out there. It's called sea smoke.

Have a great day - hope it's a warm one!

Friday, January 18, 2013

South End Garden Tour 2012

Let's leave the snow behind! With my busy end-of-year family visits, moving and so on and so forth, I haven't had a chance to share my pics (from June!) with you.

Why do I love the South End Garden Tour and do it each year? Well, one reason is that I get to do the tour each year with a wonderful friend. Reason enough. But also because I live outside of Boston I don't really get an opportunity to wander around the neighbourhood streets and check things out as much as I'd like.

Here are more reasons from last year's tour:

I finally got to walk inside of the Union Park park (it's privately owned by the people who live on the street).

 I got to see the beauty in the South End buildings

Including witnessing how old buildings have evolved over time, showing their growing pains as scars on their walls.

I got to go places in those buildings I would never ordinarily get access to... like walking through this tunnel to get to a garden, and seeing some gas lights down a side alley that has been in Boston since forever (really!)

Of course, like everyone else, I got to see all the lovely plants and things that made each garden unique.

Including some gorgeous hydrangeas that happened to match my manicure!

One special moment was in a (otherwise unremarkable) quiet garden, where there was a welcome bench to sit on for five minutes. It was great to take a breath, and sit. And look up...

A restaurant we stopped at for another break had the cleverest rainwater gathering system - a simple design where the rain ran down through plants on an angled roof, then down a gutter, and to the plants below via a metal chain. Smart! And pretty.

And then, somewhere along the way we got to see Boston from the skyline, which I very seldom get to do. Bliss. I love my adopted city.

Even though I do enjoy the snow, I can't wait for summer to roll around once again. Every year the Garden Tour is a different and more beautiful route...

Thursday, January 17, 2013


What do I love about New England winters? The sun will come out tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow Day

I woke up to a beautiful world of white this morning... although Boston winters can be a long (especially for an African girl like me!) the snow definitely makes it worth while. Here's some shots taken on my way to work, and around work's parking lot (my workplace is out in the suburbs, with some woods surrounding the building. Just in case you were wondering where in Boston this is!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seven Swans Studio

Part of my job (as a graphic designer, not a blogger!) is to design wedding stationery. I love it. So I was so pumped to see some lovely wedding stationery by Cape Town Annelle Mostert, the creative force behind Seven Swans studio. She says "In design I often look towards the fresh, modern, fun, quirky, engaging, nostalgic and beautiful – making sure every design is both memorable and unique."

So true!

I think my favourite of her designs is the protea.

You can see more on Annelle's  beautiful and inspiring blog.