Category Archives: Nature

Lady Sunbird

Female Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird 1

Lately we have had many visits from the lovely Lesser Double-Collared Sunbirds, since planting more honeysuckle around the garden.

The other day my husband told me there was a sunbird on the plants on the stoep. I grabbed my trusty Canon and took a few shots before it flew off.

Female Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird 2

I apologise for the poor quality of the photos. It was very much a point and click exercise in the hope I caught something; as you can see from the last photo below.

Yes, the little bird is in there!

Female Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird 3

Looking at my photos later I realised it was a female sunbird.

The funny thing is, both my husband and I were sure it was the male sunbird that we saw, with his bright green iridescent plumage, not the female, with her drab grey-brown.

I scanned my photos carefully, but there was no sign of a male anywhere; only the female.

Just shows how the eye and the mind can play tricks on you!

 

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Buried Treasure

Sparky the Squirrel 1

Ahoy there, me Hearties! Cap’n Sparky here.

I’m just burying me Treasure in this ‘ere pot.

Sparky the Squirrel 2

I’ll bury it nice and deep so it’ll be safe under this spiky plant until I’ll be needing it again. 

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I’m sure Sparky’s treasure will be safe there in my pot. I’m just worried about my poor Asparagus fern; since Sparky was really digging down deep into the roots!

 

Milky Way Galaxy

Milky Way Galaxy Clouds 1

Haiku 111

A myriad stars

Spilt across the sky like milk

Our own Galaxy

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I saw this weird cloud array the other day.

It looks like the Milky Way Galaxy, up there in the daytime sky.

Milky Way Galaxy Clouds 2

Wistful clouds for wistful thoughts.

I love sky-watching; day or night.

I have witnessed numerous lunar and solar eclipses. I have stood outside on my stoep at 4 am and watched Halley’s Comet pass by. It’s unlikely I’ll see it again, in 2061!

But I particularly love gazing into the deep space of a starry night sky, when the air is cool and the bustling daytime sounds quieten down.

And I wonder what is really out there?

I always have.

 

post script: Here’s some info on the Milky Way Galaxy. And this is a cool scientific animation Travelling from Earth out to the Milky Way and beyond to the edges of the Universe.

post post script: For my American readers; spilt is your spilled. I know you don’t use spilt, because auto-correct keeps highlighting it in red in my text!

 

All That Glitters

Raindrops 1

Haiku 110

Nature’s reminder

All that glitters is not gold

Sometimes it’s better!

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Raindrops 2

We had a little rain recently. My plants rejoiced.

Raindrops 3

Cape Town still has harsh water restrictions, even though the dams are 46% full, which is a huge improvement on last year’s 20%.

However, it has hardly rained so far this year. This is our rainy season and will be over in a few more months.

Raindrops 4

Let’s hope we get some good downpours of this precious substance, which in the photo above looks like quicksilver.

 

The Colour of the Season

Blue Plumbago

I took a walk round my garden the other day, taking photos of my plants with my Nikon camera.

Red Honeysuckle

With all the colourful flowers in bloom, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was Spring here in Cape Town.

Gold Honeysuckle

It certainly looks like spring, doesn’t it?

Mauve Bougainvillea

And while there is a chill to the air at night or early in the morning, mostly the sun still shines during the day and the weather is pleasant.

Lemon Frangipani

The roses are still blooming, as is pretty much everything else.

Pink Rose

Apart from a few indications, such as the golden vine leaves:

Golden Vines

The only real way to tell the season – is to look at the date on the calendar!

The start of May; therefore it must be Autumn.

 

Hello Baby!

Baby Squirrel 1

Two baby squirrels have been frolicking around my garden lately. They used to have a parent in tow, but now they appear solo.

Baby Squirrel 2

When I went outside and saw the little family on the grass, the parent would immediately run away to safety, while the kids just stared at me!

They still have a lot to learn about the ways of the world.

Baby Squirrel 3

My most recent encounter was when I walked round the side of the house to check on my honeysuckle. I turned the corner and spotted the two baby squirrels scratching around the bushes. We all instantly froze!

Baby Squirrel 4

Very slowly, I turned my back on them and took a step away then stood still. Next second one of the squirrels darted right in front of me, past my foot, headed for the relative safety of the bird bath. A moment later the second squirrel passed by me on my right, leaping along the grass in little bounds.

It wasn’t the safest escape route, but I guess they will learn in time.

 

post script: You can see from the last photo just how far away the tiny squirrel was. Also, he was sitting in the bright sunlight. Both these factors made it very hard for my little Canon camera to capture a clear shot, but hopefully you can see well enough.