Golden Raindrops

Raindrops on Honeysuckle 1

Haiku 119

Tiny priceless gems

Glinting in the morning sun

How welcome you are

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Raindrops on Honeysuckle 2

Yes, we had more rain!

Raindrops on Honeysuckle 3

Marvellous!

Raindrops on Honeysuckle 4

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Strelitzia Strelitzia

Strelitzia Flower 1

Strelitzia Strelitzia.

Haiku 118

Oh Strelitzia

i just love saying that word

Bird of paradise

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Strelitzia seen above pea-cocking in front of the mountains and below bordered by lavender.

Strelitzia Flower 2

This is Strelitzia Reginae, indigenous to South Africa and also known as the Bird of Paradise Flower, or Crane Lily.

Such a striking flower to see when out and about.

 

I Just Want to Find the Dead Body!

Comfort Flowers 1

Haiku 117

Scuttlings in the night

An unwelcome visitor

Scare me half to death

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I just want to find the dead body!

Yes, I said these very words the other day. Taken out of context, they might seem a little strange!

This is the story.

I was fast asleep one night when I heard the deep drone of a heavy flying insect; the kind that are too big to fly, but do so anyway. It flew right past my ear at 12.30 am; crash landed in some boxes in the corner of the room and proceeded to dig its way inside.

This totally freaked me out!

Now no-one else hears these tiny noises when fast asleep in the middle of the night. But I do. I think it is compensation for not seeing too well, though I could do without this “gift”.

I know, without seeing it, that it is a giant cockroach. Shudder!! Even typing the word creeps me out! How did it get in the house? It must have crawled or flown in through the bathroom window before I closed it for the night.

These bugs are massive, easily 4 cm. It is an American cockroach, which, despite the name, is native to Africa and the Middle East. If you are very brave, you can click on the link here and be scared half to death along with me!

So here I am: The Last of the Great Hunters; bug hunting in boxes.

I have sprayed everywhere till the floor is sopping wet (maybe I can drown it!) and the fumes are suffocating.

Take That!

And Die Already!!!

 

post script: To date I still haven’t found the dead body, but I can no longer hear the scuttlings. I am hoping for the best!

Due to the nature of this post the accompanying photo is not of the bug, but a gratuitous one of pretty flowers. You’re welcome!

 

Winter Landscape: A Study

Winter Tree 1 – Gold

Haiku 116

Sunlit and golden

Stark in early morning mist

A murmuration

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I have mentioned before that it never really looks like winter here in Cape Town, as most of the trees and plants are Evergreen and many bloom beautifully throughout winter.

Winter Tree 2 – Blue

However, my neighbour’s tree is always a good indication of the seasons as it is deciduous. It stands out in its starkness in the surrounding winter vegetation.

One night it was lit up by the setting evening sunshine and a lovely golden colour, as you can see in the first photo.

Early one morning the light was completely different, bathing the tree in cold blues and turning the branches black, as shown in the second photo.

Winter Tree 3 – White

I love to see the tree swathed in a rare early morning mist. It was difficult to capture this shot as, even though it was misty, I was shooting directly into the sun. This third photo shows the tree in winter white.

Finally, one day the tree was overwhelmed with Red-winged Starlings, all whistling away to each other. I tried to capture them perched on the top most branches. Again it was difficult to get the shot as the light was dim and I was shooting directly into what little sun there was. The fourth and final photo shows the starlings.

Winter Tree 4 – Starlings

Absolutely marvellous to see them all, and even better to hear them.

 

post script: A flock of starlings is called a murmuration; which is also the name for when they swoop about the sky in large co-ordinated groups.

You can listen to their beautiful whistling here. This is a good audio recording of hundreds of the starlings chattering away to each other, but not a good video. You can also hear the solitary haunting whistle of one bird here. This is what mystified me in my earlier post, The Mysterious Evening Whistler!

 

Raindrops on Petals

Plumbago Raindrops 1

Haiku 115

Raindrops on petals

And brightly coloured flowers

My favourite things

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Plumbago Raindrops 2

With more than a nod to the Sound of Music and Maria’s Favourite Things, I present a mini study in raindrops on petals.

Plumbago Raindrops 3

 

post script: No we didn’t get more rain; this is from the other week. It only rained twice here in May. But it should rain tomorrow. Fingers crossed!