Tag Archives: nature

Plethora

Roses 1

Roses 1

Plethora – Definition: A large or excessive amount of something.

Roses 2

Roses 2

I give you my daughter Pix’s Floribunda rose bush –

Roses 3

Roses 3

That is excelling itself this year, with a plethora of beautiful blooms.

Roses 4

Roses 4

Apparently, heavily pruning the syringa tree in my garden has made a world of difference to the amount of life-giving sun now reaching this hardy rose bush.

And it has amply rewarded me.

 

Skinks Alive!

Skink 1

Skink 1

The fattest skink you will ever see!

I have to wonder if this is a pregnant female? I shall be on the lookout for lots of tiny little baby skinks in the weeks to come.

Skink 2

Skink 2

Turning on a sixpence, she scurried away from my prying eyes!

A skink has graced my blog before in Snakes Alive. They are quite unperturbed by my dogs and only scuttle out of their way at the last moment. They love sunbathing on my stoep, as seen here, or any sunny spot, often hanging around the plant pots on the slasto.

 

The Lake House

Lake House 1

Boathouse 1, Newmillerdam

Actually, it’s not a Lake House, but an old, preserved Boat House; however, that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

You can try here for more information on Newmillerdam, Yorkshire.

I have shown photos from Newmillerdam before, of various water birds and the enchanted forest. It’s a lovely, peaceful place to walk around.

Lake House

Boathouse 2, Newmillerdam

The Boathouse itself was built in 1820 and is a Grade II listed building. so should stay around for a while yet.

This is the last of my photos from the English part of my European trip last June. Next stop, Berlin, Germany.

 

Guinea Fowl Logic

Guinea Fowl 3

Guinea Fowl

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few ¬† –¬†Spock.

Picture the scene:-

You are driving quietly through the empty streets of suburbia. The sun is shining and all is peaceful.

Up ahead you notice a flock* of Guinea Fowl. There is one lone one on one side of the road, and about twenty on the other.

Now, you just know this one lone bird is going to wait till the last moment as your car approaches, then suddenly dart across the road, right under your car tyres. So you slow down accordingly and creep forwards carefully, keeping your eyes glued on this lone bird.

Nearer and nearer you approach. The birds have all seen you and are getting a bit edgy. You inch a little closer. Nearly upon them now. Watch that one lone bird.

At the last second, all twenty birds dart across the road right under your tyres, to join the one lone one on the other side of the road.

Clearly, in Guinea Fowl logic –

The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the few!

 

post script: No wonder the collective noun for a flock* of Guinea Fowl is – Confusion!

 

Blackbird

Beady-Eyed Blackbird

Beady-Eyed Blackbird

 

Haiku 14

I see you see me

Blackbird with your yellow beak

Give the Evil Eye!

 

Here is a well-known visitor to British gardens, strutting round my brother’s lawn in the UK last June.

I see you!

I see you!

I was sitting in the lounge having a cuppa and doing a crossword, when I noticed this little chap. Continuing my unique bird capturing techniques, (see Pass By) I have taken the shot from way back inside the house and through a window.

It was only afterwards, when I enlarged the photo, that I noticed that I was also being watched!

 

My First

Rose 1

Rose 1

I love the first rose of summer. This is my daughter Pix’s climbing rose.

Rose 2

Rose 2

And this is her floribunda.

The rose is such a happy romantic flower.

 

And since you are all singing it now anyway, (OK not all of you, but you there – yes you. I know you are!) here is a link to Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything”. Enjoy!

 

Sky Lark or Nightingale?

Sky Lark?

Sky Lark?

Actually neither!

As you can see from the jaunty tail –

Nightingale?

Nightingale?

It is my old nemesis, the Olive Thrush; Larking about in the Sky at Night!

Olive Thrush 1

Olive Thrush 1

He is the first to sing in the pitch black long before dawn. and the last to sing as the shadows lengthen and night falls. He makes the most of the day – and night!

Olive Thrush 2

Olive Thrush 2

This is about the only time he is quiet: when he has his mouth stuffed full of food!

Singing, “I’m too cheeky for this post!”

 

Nature’s Sun Protection

Red Roses - Leaves 1

Red Roses – Leaves 1

Have you ever wondered why new rose leaves first appear a bright red?

Red Roses - Leaves 2

Red Roses – Leaves 2

It is nature’s sun protection! Instead of slapping on SPF 50, as you need to do here in Cape Town in summer, clever roses simply sprout red leaves. This protects the delicate new growth until it is robust enough to withstand the searing sun, turn green and produce chlorophyll.

 

post script: The red colour in the leaves and stems is caused by the presence of anthocyanins, which protect the delicate new growth from harmful UV rays. As the plant matures the anthocyanins disperse leaving the leaves green.

 

Reverse Engineering

Bloom 1

Bloom 1

I found this gorgeous bulb blooming outside someone’s house on one of my dog walks. There was such a sharp contrast between the petals in full sunlight and those in shade that it added a great deal of colour to the flower.

Bloom 1

Bloom 2

It also reminded me of being taught in art class at school that no colours in nature are ever pure black.

I really like the contrasts between the stamens just catching the sun and their shadows formed on the petals.

Bloom 3

Bloom 3

Nature truly is stunning.

 

post script: Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. This practice, taken from older industries, is now often used on computer hardware and software, as in the Ben Affleck movie, Paycheck.