Tag Archives: plants

The Cover-Up!

Syringa Tree

Haiku 237

Denuded branches

Quickly mask the exposure

With a Cover-Up

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The giant syringa tree that was heavily pruned a few months ago is making a game recovery. See Exposure 

Syringa Tree 2 – Pruned

It took a while to get going, but now is in full swing. By this time next year you won’t be able to tell it was ever cut back.

A successful cover-up indeed.

 

Undecided

Hydrangea 1

Haiku 236

When undecided

Pink or blue, which should I choose?

Try a blend of both!

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Hydrangea 2

My ancient hydrangea, though small, continues to produce these beautiful flowers year after year.

Sometimes the whole plant is blue, sometimes a mixture of blue and pink. This year it is about as pink as it ever gets.

 

Gleefully

Giant Dandelion 1

Haiku 233

Gleefully golden

Spreading your seeds everywhere

Welcome to the bees

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Giant Dandelion 2

These giant dandelions have suddenly sprung up all over the lawn.

Pretty to look at, indeed, and the bees certainly favour them. – see photo below

Giant Dandelion and Bee 3

But in the end, they’re just big weeds, which are successfully overwhelming the struggling grass, so they have to go!

 

What a Whopper!

Red Rose 1

Haiku 231

Can’t believe my eyes

Hiding in the flower bed

Oh What a Whopper!

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Red Rose 2

The second photo with the ruler shows the rose is about 14 cm across.

However, the most wonderful thing about this giant rose, apart from its size, is the gorgeous scent, detected from far away.

 

Pomegranate

Pomegranate 1

Haiku 229

Oh Pomegranate

Used to eat you with a pin!

Full of seeds art thou

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Pomegranate 2

Hooray! I found a flower on my newly planted pomegranate tree. This was completely unexpected, as the tree is tiny.

Pomegranate 3

Now when I was a kid my Mum sometimes bought one of these exotic fruits and cut it open for my brother and me to eat. I remember very clearly, she gave us a sewing pin each and that was how we were told to eat it.

Pomegranate 4

As the flower began turning into a ‘fruit’, I regularly checked on it to monitor its progress. I couldn’t wait for it to grow into a large round fruit.

Pomegranate 5

Then sadly one morning I found it on the ground!

Something had chewed it off! You can see how tiny it was here in my fingers.

Pomegranate 6

So no fruit this year!

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Side Story – Pomegranates in Kuruman

When the girls were young, we stayed for a year in the middle of the country, in the middle of nowhere. We were 100 kilometres from Kuruman.

We’d drive there many weekends, mostly for something to do, but it was a wonderful place. Kuruman has the best pizzas we have ever eaten. I remember it being very hot. About an hour north of Kuruman is a place called Hotazel; so you understand!

In Kuruman there is a natural spring of fresh water welling up out of the ground, called “Die Oog” – “The Eye”. It was always a lovely cool shady place to visit for respite from the sun.

There was also the Moffat Mission; where Mary Moffat had lived. She married David Livingstone.

We visited the Moffat Mission and the first thing that struck me were the enormous Pomegranate Trees, growing in a long avenue. I’d seldom even seen a pomegranate before then, and those were always bought from a shop.

Here were so many trees, all laden down with fruit. The ground underneath them was covered with fallen over-ripe fruit and you squished it as you walked.

Apart from the awesome pomegranate trees, I can highly recommend a visit to the Moffat Mission – if you ever happen to find yourself in the middle of nowhere. If nothing else, it will be a totally unique experience; you can walk where Livingstone walked!

 

The Squirrel and the Loquat

Squirrel and Loquat 1

One morning as I was sitting under the apple tree having my cuppa, Sparky the squirrel came scampering by.

Having eaten all the seed I’d put out for her, she came looking for more food.

Squirrel 2

Hopping across the lawn she ventured ever closer to me, sitting up on her hind legs to double check I really was the Food Lady.

Yes, of course I speak back to her!

“You’ve eaten it all. That was it for today. Don’t be greedy!”

Squirrel 3

Realising nothing more was forthcoming, she scooted behind me and climbed up the ancient loquat tree. Here she looks rather rat-like, as she pauses in the lower branches, planning her route to the top.

Squirrel and Loquat 4

Our loquat tree may be over 50 years old. It’s certainly been in better health; many of the branches died so I had to cut them off. It seems to be a fungus that rings the bark, so the bark falls off and the branch dies. There were hardly any loquats this year.

Squirrel and Loquat 5

Still, right at the very top of one surviving limb, a small bunch of loquats bask in the sunshine.

Here, Sparky can eat the delicious ripe fruit to her heart’s content, thinking, “Mine, all mine!”

 

Sunbird Defender

Male Sunbird 1

Haiku 227

Valiant Sunbird

Defender of the tiny

Mighty nonetheless

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Female and Male Sunbird 2

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!