The female Sunbird has dull grey plumage and is difficult to spot. Above, she is feeding from the yellow honeysuckle in the bottom left of the photo, while the male flies off, in the top right.
Male Sunbird 3 – Dark
The male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird perches above the female on the newly-awakened grape vines, keeping a lookout while she is feeding. He appears dark grey in this photo, as it is only the bright sunlight reflecting off his feathers that makes them iridesce, and the angle is wrong here.
Male Sunbird 4 – Hidden
They are tiny birds, with a very high pitched twitter. I constantly hear the male defending his territory, and his female, from other males.
The male can also be hard to spot, especially when he hides behind the leaves as above!
Male Sunbird 5
But how magnificent he is when perched in full sunlight!
Catching the setting sun in its bare branches, both the syringa tree and the photo are over-exposed!
Syringa Tree 2
Every six or so years we have the large trees in our garden heavily pruned. It just keeps them in check. We’d gone round the garden several times with the tree guy, making sure he knew exactly what we wanted pruning and by how much.
The boss got his guys set up and then left. There were about five men all round the garden hacking back various trees and bushes, armed with ladders and chainsaws.
We also left them to it – did not want to be anywhere near all those chainsaws! – which is how the syringa got more of a close shave than we intended.
Syringa Tree 3 – Pruned
After only two weeks I spotted this new growth sprouting from a smaller branch. After another two weeks I noticed even the thick branches were beginning to push out a few budding leaves.
In no time at all the syringa will be growing new small branches covered in leaves.
Hopefully, it won’t need pruning for another six years!
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.
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.