Category Archives: Galaxy

In the Moment

Hibiscus

Haiku 256

Stop and take a breath

When everything falls apart

Be in the moment

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No matter how busy I am, I always stop to admire these beautiful hibiscus blooms, lit up by the late afternoon sun.

With everything going on at the moment, I’ll take my peace when I can.

 

The White Squirrel

White Squirrel 1

I was sitting out in my garden one morning, when I heard a splash. I looked up and saw a white thing dragging itself out of the pool. I thought at first it was a cat, then realised it was a young squirrel.

He was being chased by the resident fully grown, and much larger, grey squirrel.

White Squirrel 2

This is why the white kid had fallen in the pool on the first place – and why he looks so bedraggled in the photos, with a stringy wet tail!

I have never seen a White Squirrel before, so this was very exciting!

You probably can’t tell from these photos, but he didn’t look like an albino (no red eye), just a grey squirrel with a white coat.

White Squirrel 3

The grey squirrel continued to harry the white teenager, chasing it all over.

The white one tried to escape up the fence, but couldn’t make it and fell back down again.

I had my phone in my hand, so approached them and tried to take a photo, but they were dashing about far too quickly. So I took a few short videos. Some of the photos here are stills taken from video, which explains the poor quality.

White Squirrel 4

As I got nearer to the pair, they both suddenly stopped. (First photo) The youngster wasn’t sure what to make of me and for a moment, I seemed to be a bigger threat than the grey squirrel.

But they quickly resumed their mad chasing.

Eventually the white one managed to escape through the fence and the grey one left it.

White Squirrel 5

The grey squirrel is in the photos above, but harder to spot, which is why they aren’t usually white in the first place!

I haven’t seen the white one since and can only hope he is still alive. He wasn’t a tiny baby, so had at least survived to be a teenager.

It just goes to show, that if you sit somewhere long enough, even your own garden, all sorts of amazing things will come your way!

 

post script: I can’t find a wiki article on white squirrels: Shocker! But I found this informative site about White Squirrels in the USA. 

 

Sunbird in my Window

Sunbird 1

Haiku 254

Morning visitor

The smallest of wild creatures

Come to say hello

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Early one morning I heard a very high-pitched twittering coming from outside the window.

Although I couldn’t see him from my position in the room, I knew he was a male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird proclaiming his territory.

He was in the honeysuckle planted right underneath the window, but if I stepped closer to try to see him, he would instantly fly away.

Sunbird 2

So I grabbed camera phone and keeping well back out of sight, I very carefully sneaked my hand past the curtains. Shooting blind, I clicked.

This is what I got.

A beautiful Sunbird drinking nectar from the honeysuckle.

What a treat.

 

Raindrops On Freesias

Purple Freesia 1

Haiku 223

Tiny crystal balls

Microscopic universe

Raindrops on Freesias

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Purple Freesia 2

I love finding great big fat raindrops on my plants.

Purple Freesia 3

Not just because it means that rain has fallen, but because it is so beautiful; nature enhanced.

Purple Freesia 4

Of course, with or without raindrops, I do like my purple freesias;

Purple Freesia 5

And their subtle, heavenly scent.

 

Still Looking for Mr Right!

Toffee 1

Chapter Four

I went looking for a rescue dog in March this year, to no avail, just before our Level 5 Lockdown. As most of you know, we have had a very severe Lockdown here in South Africa.

My plan was to have volunteered at the rescue organisation, spending time with the dogs and getting to know them. Maybe I would spot my Mr Right when he arrived, but our Lockdown just went on and on and on.

Toffee 2

As we have just downgraded to Level 1 Lockdown, I went looking again last week. Even on Level 1, there are still many restrictions and no volunteers at the shelter. I had to book an appointment and when I arrived I was stopped at the entrance to check I was on their list. My contact details and temperature were taken before I was allowed in, with a bright red sticker attached to my T-Shirt, saying, Screened! Everyone wore a mask and social distanced, and I sanitised my hands repeatedly.

I look on the shelter’s website beforehand and choose a few likely candidates, but you have to actually go and see the dogs in person to find if they are a good fit for you.

The dog above, Toffee, was estimated to be about 4 years old and described as having low energy levels; (2 out of 5); the kind of dog you take for a slow amble and then he sleeps at your feet all day.

Toffee 3

Well, he came out of his kennel full of bounce, kept jumping up on me, pulled hard on the lead and was very young and strong! Much too boisterous for me these days and with a great deal of training required. I worked very hard to get these calm-looking sits you see in the photos!

I really thought, on paper at least, that Toffee would be the right dog for me.

Smart Boy 1

I also wanted to look at Smart Boy, age about 7 years, even though I suspected he might be too big. Sadly, at 26 kg he was far too big and strong for me to manage; these days! Little Monkey weighed 23kgs and I need to go smaller.

Smart Boy 2

Apart from the size, he is just the kind of dog I like. Street savvy and very mixed breed; just like my old Jack. We liked each other at once and he was more responsive to training, sitting nicely for a treat.

But I cannot adopt a dog that is capable of dragging me down the street, if he so chooses!

Smart Boy 3

It’s not obvious from the photo above, but I am scratching his rump, which dogs like, not trying to get him to sit.

I walked round the rest of the kennels and came across Fluffy, who I thought had been adopted. I asked if I could see her too. She was estimated to be 8 years old and calm.

Fluffy 1

Now, she appeared to be fine, but I have been fooled before, by my collie cross Madam, so I was understandably a little hesitant. Madam was the most likely out of all my dogs, to bite!

Fluffy 2

I ask the kennel guy showing me around to take photos, so I can kook afterwards and see things I might not have picked up on at the time. Studying the photos afterwards, I could clearly see visions of Madam! My goodness!

So sadly, not this one either!

Fluffy 3

All the dogs I looked at coped well with people covering their faces with masks. I also wore sunglasses and a cap, so was even more disguised, but they dealt with it.

So no luck this time, but I’ll just keep looking.

TJ

My perfect guy, Mr Right, is out there – somewhere!

 

Spring is in the Air

Red Freesia 1

Haiku 218

A little treasure

Hidden in a winter pot

Surprise! Spring Freesia

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Red Freesia 2

Most of my few surviving freesias are yellow, so it was lovely to find this solitary red one popping up in an abandoned flower pot; providing a welcome warm colour in our most changeable season.

Red Freesia 3

One day the sun bakes down ferociously, then the next temperatures drop rapidly, with driving rains and howling winds.

Red Freesia 4

Throughout it all, this brave little freesia just keeps on blooming.

 

Stolen

Variegated Plant 1

Haiku 215

If you grow my side

Technically you are now mine!

Law of the jungle

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Variegated Plant 2

So how did I steal these plants?

There used to be a broken down wooden fence between my property and the neighbours. This old fence became overgrown with their creeping ivy, bulging out on both sides, till nothing remained of the fence.

Underneath the ivy, in a few places, some of the neighbour’s plants grew through on my side.

Variegated Plant 3

Two and a half years ago we replaced the mass of overgrown ivy with a vibracrete wall on the property line. I planted four honeysuckle bushes along my side and carefully tended them. I noticed a few straggly bits of plant had survived from the neighbour’s side, even after the wall was built. Well, as Nature knows no boundaries, it’s Finders Keepers and all the more for me!

Variegated Plant 4

I also carefully tended these stolen plants; weeding and watering along with the honeysuckle. The plants have variegated leaves of green and white and are pretty to look at, even without any flowers. In fact, I didn’t know they were supposed to bloom.

However, they have finally rewarded all my gardening by producing a few purple flowers. Now they are even prettier.

How lovely. Stolen plants and free flowers!

 

Renewal

Erica 1

Haiku 214

Delicate as lace

Tiny tinkling flower bells

Spring is in the air

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Erica 2

Mr Spaghetti legs’ plant returns each Spring.

Although it isn’t really Spring till next month, I am certainly not complaining. I’m always happy to see the plant is surviving and even growing a little each year. You can see just how small it is by the bricks.

Erica 3

This plant with the tiny delicate flowers is a fynbos, Erica Quadrangularis.

Mr Spaghetti Legs.

Mr SL is all ears

 

Golden Flower

Yellow Freesia 1

Haiku 212

Like a Buttercup

A tiny drop of sunshine

Cradled in petals

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Yellow Freesia 2

Early morning sunlight is caught by my solitary freesia in a pot on the stoep. Such a cheerful bright spectacle.

I’ve mentioned recently that the garden centres were shut due to Lockdown earlier in the year, when I wanted to replenish my dwindling supply of bulbs. For once I had remembered at the right time of year! Coming from England I still think Spring is in April and you plant your bulbs in September.

Yellow Freesia 3

But of course, that is topsy-turvy down here, like everything else. You have to plant in April for your Spring bulbs to pop up in September. Year after year I only remember in September, that I should have planted them in April. Oops!

What can I say? I have found my formative years to have a huge impact on my life.

Oh well, this, along with so many other things, will have to wait until 2021 – which is going to be the Best Year Ever!

Photos taken with my new Galaxy A50.