Tag Archives: Photos

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!

 

Bemused Visitor

Racing Pigeon 1

Haiku 109

Looking for water

A pit-stop in my garden

Somebody’s fancy

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I don’t know who was more surprised when I opened my front door the other day; me or the pigeon.

Clearly a cut above the laughing doves I usually see in my garden, the tag on this racing pigeon’s leg proclaimed his ownership.

Mr Fancy Pants was a fine muscular fellow, but looked rather bemused to see me.

Racing Pigeon 2

I have been visited before by a tagged racing pigeon, which also hung around in the front garden. When it was still there the next day I was worried a cat would get it, so I drove it all the way to the World of Birds sanctuary.

I didn’t want to have to do that again, so very slowly, I closed the front door and crept away.

Luckily for me, when I checked later, the racing pigeon had flown on his way.

 

post script: Yes, I know the water in the bowl looks disgusting, but this bowl is the preferred bird bath used by pigeons in my garden. The ‘dirt’ is all brought there by them. In the back garden there is a perfectly decent proper bird bath, that the Cape Bulbuls prefer, and many bowls on the stoep, that the Olive Thrushes prefer.

Still, once Mr Fancy Pants had left I did fill up the bowl with fresh water again.

 

Almond Slice

Almond Slice 1

It was great having my visitor recently, so I could have fun baking again. Here’s another recipe from my Mum-in-law, that’s quick and easy to make.

ALMOND SLICE

Ingredients Base

2 cups cake flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 egg
125g butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
Apricot jam

Almond Slice 2

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and flour. Knead together into a dough. Press into two baking tins. (See photo 2 above) Spread with apricot jam. Or any jam. I used strawberry here, as I didn’t have any apricot.

Almond Slice 3

Ingredients Filling

125g melted butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oats
1 well beaten egg
1 tspn almond essence

Method

Just add all the ingredients to the melted butter and mix well. Pour on top of the dough base. (See photo 3 above)

Tip: I use less sugar and it turns out fine.

Bake

Bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes, till the top is golden brown.

Almond Slice 4

Enjoy!

My mother had a delicious almond slice recipe, but it uses ground almonds, which are expensive and hard to find here, so I just make this recipe instead.

Many people seem to be allergic to almonds, or almond essence. My one friend is. But no worries. All the more for me!

 

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.