African Sacred Ibis 1

Haiku 179

Exotic Ibis

Images in black and white

Nature’s monochrome


African Sacred Ibis 2

These are African Scared Ibis, spotted recently at a local vineyard.

Apparently they are called Sacred because of their role in the religion of the Ancient Egyptians, where they were linked to the god Thoth.

Apart from the dramatic black and white colouring and being a little larger, the Sacred Ibis are very similar to the Hadeda Ibis that are frequently to be found eating insects on my own lawn.

African Sacred Ibis 3

This African Sacred Ibis on the grass at the vineyard looks like a youngster, as his plumage is not yet fully black.

There’s a saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

I wonder if “A bird on the lawn is worth two on the fence?”



Duolingo 1000

Duolingo 1000.

I have just completed 1000 consecutive days learning languages on Duolingo. Hooray!

It’s amazing how it all adds up when you spend a few minutes a day on a task and make it a habit.

So far I have completed the language trees in French, Italian, Spanish and German. I’ve recently started Portuguese, Latin and Navajo, for fun!

Not that I can speak any of these properly, but I do understand a lot more than I did, especially in languages I had never learnt before, obviously.

Now, I have the even harder task of making myself miss a day to re-set the counter back to zero.


Well, I don’t want to feel that I have to study each day. I do it for fun after all. And to keep the little grey cells going!

Also, despite all this learning, I still only speak two languages fluently: English and Dog!


Little Green Monster

Praying Mantis 1

Haiku 178

Little green monster

Just want to live like us all

We each have a place


Praying Mantis 2

I first saw this tiny praying mantis inside on the window ledge in our bedroom. I carefully shooed him out of the window so he could be free.

A few days later I was sitting out in the garden under the trees having a cuppa, when I noticed him on the chair with my coffee cup.

Praying Mantis 3

This was a marathon effort for such a teeny fellow; to climb down the wall and across an open expanse of 10 metres of grass. Then he had climbed up a wooden garden bench to settle on the upturned plastic garden chair that sits there when not in use!

Praying Mantis 4

He had then clung on when I took down the chair and placed it beside me as a table.

I guess he really wanted his picture taken again!


Social Butterfly


Haiku 177

Flitting here and there

Never settling anywhere

Social Butterfly



I’ve been trying to capture a shot of this large butterfly for a while now, but it is so fast and flies so erratically, that it’s been very difficult! Finally, I managed this one shot as it flitted over the roof.

When you see this butterfly in real life you think it’s got to be a bird; it’s so large! Indeed, it is nearly as big as the Sunbirds that visit my honeysuckle. I estimate its wingspan at around 10 cm (4 inches).

It looks like a King Swallowtail, Papilio Thoas, even though Wiki does not say it is found in SA. Or a Constantine Swallowtail, Papilio Constantinus, or Forest Swallowtail, Papilio Euphranor, which are found in SA. They all look the same to me!


Oi! You! Where’s me Nuts?

Sparky the Squirrel

Haiku 176

Sparky the squirrel

Demanding little fellow

Oi! You! Where’s me nuts?



This cheeky chops squirrel came right up to me while I was sitting in my garden under the trees. He got up on his hind legs the better to stare at me. He wanted his nuts!



Little Monkey

Haiku 175

Stretch out and relax

Bask in the warmth of the rays

Festive sunbathing



Many of my friends in the north may not have had a White Christmas, but I doubt you were sunbathing either!

Butterfly sunbathing

As you know, it is mid-summer here in Cape Town, at the other end of the world. So how do the locals spend the festive season?

Dragonfly sunbathing

Whether they are bird, insect or animal, you will find them stretched out and soaking up those glorious warm rays. (Though I do think the pigeon chose a rather odd place, just on the steps of our stoep!)

Pigeon sunbathing

But the past master of them all for basking in the summer heat was our very own Little Monkey.

Little Monkey Sunbathing

LM Sundog 2

Little Monkey Flat Out 1

Little Monkey stretching 1

What better way to relax?


Happy New Year 2020


As the sun sets on 2019 and rises on 2020, I’d like to wish my WP friends all the very best for the coming year.

Thank you for your friendship during this last year and here’s hoping the coming year will be a good one for you all, with health and happiness.

Here’s to a great 2020.

Cheers from Scifi.

Happy New Year!