#amazingnature photo competition entry - nature gives and also takes away

Hey there nature lovers, being surrounded by nature all year long, I am a fervent lover of the verdant surroundings, so I write this post as an entry to the #amazingnature contest. Since it’s more about the photograph than the text or thoughts in this post, I’m going to focus on my photos of nature here. 20200204_175804.jpg

It’s not easy to choose which of the nature photos to enter in the competition as a winner, since there can be so many diverse angles at which one can view our beloved Mother Nature that supports and sustains us all. Landscapes, and especially sunsets are typically very attractive, though I like the idea of having a primary focal subject matter that is living. Plants and flowers are also beautiful by nature, pun intended, but I have chosen today a photo that I took this week on my travels along the cliff edges of the south Cape coast of Africa. This region is called the Garden Route because it is the most fertile and rich in vegetation for this entire southern coast of Africa.

However, two years ago a vast swathe of the region was devastated by a fire, the worst in 150 years, which destroyed over 1000 houses, including my own, with all contents. It burned for four days and damaged two towns right in what is called the heart of the Garden Route. It was fueled by cataclysmic gale force winds and in the photo that I’ve entered here today, you can see in the background the burned remains of the trees that were torched.

It is a stark reminder that although nature sustains us, she is also “red in tooth and claw” as Tennyson wrote, in the sense that the power of nature can also take away life just as easily. There was nothing one could do to curtail the sheer force and power of nature during this destructive time of the “perfect storm”, an ironic turn of phrase for the combination of hectic winds and overpowering fire.

In the foreground of today’s photo is one of the herd of free-range horses that roam around this rugged cliff top landscape that overlooks the Indian Ocean, which is just behind the horse and off in the distance a few hundred yards away. The pack of horses are an interesting and friendly bunch, and the coloration and markings on this particular one appeared very unusual to me. The color seemed to match the surroundings in its monochrome or two-tone appearance.

With the horse seemingly lowering his head, he appears to be bowing down, nicely revealing his contrasting mane, which matched his black socks, so to speak. The contrast with the tan body is actually very rare and so I thought it made for a curious image overall. The horse bowing, as if in submission to the power of nature in the form of the fire, as well as adding a more serious or somber mood, also appears to suggest a hint of sadness, and shows how all living entities are forced to submit to the whims and dictates of nature.

Having grown up and lived my life surrounded by nature, even in my childhood home of Cape Town, with its sea and mountains, I would find it impossible to live in an urban city environment. It is simply not conducive to ideal health conditions, and so I have taken even more shelter of nature by moving out of the Mother City, as Cape Town is known, and into a more rural area further along the African south coast. 20200204_175944.jpg

No-one could have imagined that such a devastating fire would sweep through and take so much from so many. We are all at the mercy of nature, and if she wants to then she can give life and take it away. I have bounced back resiliently as has the indigenous “fynbos” vegetation endemic to the Cape floral kingdom here. Yet the reminders of the devastating fire still remain to haunt the landscape two years on in the form of the charred spires of the dead alien trees that pierce the skyline all along the coast in the background.

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  • @julianhorack

    Hey there @runicar thanks so much for your kind support, inspiring to see that particular account being used well still. @tribesteemup you rock Kenny, roll on to the moon.

  • @adalger

    So sad to hear about the huge fire back the days. Nature for sure is and strong untamed mind. It has its beautifuls sides, but also can be very destructive too.. We too often forget that we are only a small part in it, not able to fully control it, and have to bow to its power too, no matter how hard we try to control it .. I am glad that you found the contest. You seem to be an enthusiastic writer which has a hand for pointing out great, nearly philosophical touched, thoughtful aspects of the nature around you, which I really like .. I hope to see you around far more often ^^ .. It really looks like the horse is bowing to you. It is a beautiful one and you captured it really nicely ;)

  • @porters

    So sorry to hear about the devastation of the fire and that you lost your house and all your belongings! I'm happy that you were resilient and like the phoenix rose from the flames!

    Love the subject of your photos - the wild horses - how fortunate you are to have them so close!

    The coloring of the horse in your main photo is a buckskin horse - one of my favorite coloring for a horse!

    We've had a few fires close to our area and the stark remaining charred trunks are very eerie looking!

    Wonderful photos - good luck in the contest! Thanks for sharing your #amazingnature!

  • @joanstewart

    Stunning horse, most unusual colour.

    Bouncing back like nature is positive, most probably the best attitude to have when fires sweep through claiming everything.

    Look forward to seeing the fynbos when in flower, one of the most fascinating parts in the land sadly trees are going to take longer a reminder of damage done.