On the wing. For Argus.

”Hah! That’s a great shot—let’s see you do it again …”

… said blog pal, Argus after a look at the photo of the Thyreus bee.

Oh yeah? says I. Watch me!  I had half hour so I wandered up the garden to try my luck once more. I have noticed that this bee only seems to visit the lavender bushes in its pursuit of pollen. In fact, I have yet to encounter this bee anywhere else in the garden. One for the entomologists perhaps?

Anyway, back to the challenge. Could I snap another (decent) shot of Thyreus on the wing?

Well, guess what ? The answer was …. no. Argus was spot on. Not least because the bees did not want to play along. Oh, there were a couple buzzing hither and thither, but could I get a decent photograph? No sir.

My free time was almost  up  and the bees weren’t playing ball. As I moved away from the lavender bushes I hear this loud growl overhead. Now, I’m no aircraft aficionado but I know ‘Vintage’ when I hear it.

I strain my eyes upward and then I see it. But it’s too high up for a decent shot and the sky is that awful late afternoon white-grey which makes every shot look like a wash out.

Anyhow I managed two photographs before it disappeared and I went inside to upload.

Almost no details were visible. But with a bit of mucking about I  was able to resolve the image enough to make out the ID number under the wing. Then it was a matter of typing it into Google.

And this is what I found.

plane 1

It’s a 1949 North American T-28 Trojan. You can read all about it here.

This particular model – No. 655  ZU-FWH is owned ( I think) by the South African Air Force.

So, that made up for the disappointment of not photographing the Thyreus bee. It’s not often one gets to see a plane built in 1949 actually flying. And right over our spot to boot! How cool is that?

So off I saunter down the garden path with a smile on my face. I pause by the rockery and there are a few bees buzzing around the plectranthus.

I move closer and there is an Amegilla Bee.

Hope this will do as an On The Wing substitute, Argus? ;)



Amagillis bee 1


Something fishy


The weather is warming up nicely and so is the water in the pond. Already the conditions are encouraging the fish to become frisky and with the door of my office open I can hear the fish splashing in the shallows; generally a sign that one or more are spawning.


In previous years, very few of the new-born koi (fry) survived, mainly because soon after koi lay eggs   they swim around and eat them! No, they are not very good parents at all.


Around two years ago, I sunk an old plastic dustbin on the second step in the shallow end, and planted yellow water-iris and some sort of pond grass in the bin. Within the first season these were thriving.

water lilies and grasskoi3

I also filled the shallow area with numerous other pots, with a variety of water loving plants, including lilies, not only creating a much larger spawning area but also a safer environment for the baby koi.


Water lily

Koi 4

koi 5

Subsequently, over the past couple of seasons considerably more  fish have made it past the egg and fry stage – if you’ll excuse the term!

baby koi

The pond also provides a haven for other visitors as well.

bee on pickeral

Carpenter Bee on Pickeral plant,          

MIgrant hover fly 4

    Migrant Hover Fly

Cópia de mating flys

Damsel flies mating

wasp                          waterboatman on lily

             Paper wasp on lily pad                                                                         Mosquito on lily pad

bee water iris1

Honey bee inspects a water iris

weaver with grass

Building Material for some

Tetragnatha sp. (Tetragnathidae)

A place to hang out  – Tetragantha pond spider

heron 1

And maybe the chance of a meal for others! 

And those who keep koi will know they are probably one of the easiest fish to tame.

feeding Oberonn

Hand feeding Oberonn

Although many varieties of  koi change colour as they grow into maturity the bulk of last seasons’ new-borns have remained dark grey/black, suggesting that one of their parents is Titan, ( yes, all our fish are named once they reach maturity) as he is the only black koi we have, and now, at 16, the oldest.



Sunday Afternoon/Evening

Heron 47

The heron came for a visit – and nabbed a fish!

Heron 46

coral blossom

Blooms of the Coral Tree


Amegilla Bee on Lavender

weaver 1

Female Weaver looking for nectar in a strelizia – these plants are a firm favorite of birds and insects alike!

Ladybird on water Iris 270915

Ladybird investigating a yellow Water iris.


potter wasp

Potter Wasp Afreumenes aethiopicus  after nectar on strelizia.


Tiny Beetle on  Banana Plant leaf


moon 2

Leading you up the Garden Path

First Bella and then the kitten brought one of these caterpillars into the house. They tend to congregate in numbers but we have yet to find where the pets discovered them. Anyway, each furry thing was gently picked up and returned to the garden.

I think they are rather attractive.

This is the larval stage of the Cape Lapett Moth.

Cape Lapett Moth2

Cape Lapett moth

Cape Lapett moth 3

Lappet 1