Incy Wincy … for the spider lovers.

Crab 2

mauve crab 2

Mauve crab 3

Rose Crab Spider

Crab Spider -Thomisus_onustus

Found this beautiful crab spider this afternoon which popped out from among the petals of a yellow rose as I bent to have a closer look.

These arachnids are able to change the pigment of their skin to aid camouflage.

This particular handsome lady might currently look the Standout Model in the Garden but as this rose wilts, the petals fade and take on a pink/mauve hue that will hide her very well indeed.

I shall keep an eye open over the next couple of days. I wonder if she’ll catch anything?

She will sit quite motionless for long periods waiting for some unfortunate insect to pop by and then – bang! -lightening fast, she will pounce.


Crab Spiders


Night, night.


How To Hire a Killer and it won’t cost you a Red Cent.

The recent mass shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs will, as usual, bring forth the usual semi-hysterical tirade from certain right-wing quarters about   renewed fears of gun-control and no doubt with Barack Obama’s parting words: ‘’Enough is enough!’’, the outcry is almost guaranteed to become much louder, incorporating all the usual hate-filled rhetoric so typical when tragedies of this nature occur. And while most normal, sane people should and will feel remorse over the deaths of innocent people  dollars to donuts there will be a certain amount of vengeful, if not outright gleeful thoughts along the lines of:  ‘’I told you so/they deserve it’’, because the shooting occurred at a PP clinic. Some will even say this out loud. Or write.

Abortion is the key word here if you were missing something and scratching your head.

This would have been me a while back as I could not believe what I was reading when I first heard of the organised protests then later death threats, and eventually outright terrorism.

Over a Family Planning Clinic, I thought. No kidding? I was gobsmacked.

And it turns out no kidding is the perfect phrase here.

But why on earth is there such vile, extremist action against Family Planning Clinics?

Well, in a nutshell, criticism of Planed Parenthood Clinics using vile, extremist language will often lead to vile, extremist action.

You beat a drum long enough, and it doesn’t even have to be loud, someone will hear the message in the Tom-Toms and act upon it. And … eh voila! Lots of people shot to death.

And this leads us neatly to the subject of firearms.

Normal people do not go around shooting people and normal people are generally responsible when it comes to guns, right? Well, maybe.

The important point is that the person who would act upon the message in the Tom-Tom Drums and go and blow up a Family Planning Clinic or Shoot the Shit out of the place and murder people is not normal.

And, truth be told neither is the person banging the drum for all their worth.

No matter who that person is.

Because if they were, they would quickly realise how irresponsible this type of ‘’call to arms’’ will be interpreted by at least one person somewhere, sometime down the line who will act upon it. Result: Lots of people shot to death.

Of course, the issue of allowing free speech comes into play here, and to an extent I agree, and this might well be a slippery slope, but the issue of unstable people getting their hands on firearms can and should be severely dealt with, with legislation.

I shall now watch my inbox for a barrage of hate mail accusing me of being a liberal commie Obama-loving leftist faggot. Or something ….

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood Clinics across the USA will now no doubt enact full-on security measures in an attempt to prevent such tragedies. Maybe.

But wait, it won’t be long before the fundamentalist/extremist arse-hats think up a new, ‘Call to Arms’.

You can imagine a few of these calls already, can’t you? They will likely involve more rhetoric over numbers of abortions using terms like ”murder” and ”Against God’s will”.

Disgusting billboards, lots of placards, and lots of pictures and perhaps a few full page adverts of ‘Free’ gun-toting Americans … ye haw!

More people are going to be shot to death because of this, that I guarantee.

Shall we set out watches?

American Politics – Let’s Yank away the mask.

I am not a great follower of Political News; be it my own country or such News from abroad. It tends to be pretty much same old same old.

But of course, being on the internet and on a blogging platform one is bound to stumble across news.

Right now the airwaves are full of the Syrian war, the refugee crisis and the ensuing ‘’Who’s side are you on?’’ discussions that are currently filling megabytes of storage as the sides draw battle lines and hammer out their reasons for supporting the camp in which they have decided to pitch their tent.

Being the most diverse nation on the planet, and certainly the wealthiest, the biggest noise comes from those living in the USA.

Somewhat inevitably this manifests into a fight between Democrats and Republicans.

I have never really understood USA politics; to me, although there is a lot of noise made about it, the things American politicians rant on about … and like  most politicians, they do rant … it all seems fairly trite.

And in most instances, one politician seems the same as another.

Oh, they talk up a big game but if and when they are elected to office they all seem pretty much of a muchness.

Let’s be honest, what politician doesn’t want to get re -elected and will  apparently  do whatever it takes to ensure this happens?

So, when they all seem much the same, why are there such vitriolic wars – including the blogosphere over Democrats and Republicans?

Take Kennedy. He was a Democrat and to me, on the face of it and not being an historian, seemed all right.

He prevented the Cuban Missile Crisis, boosted the Apollo Program and was hell bent on calling it quits in Vietnam.

And what happened? He was assassinated and Vice President Lyndon Johnson took over. To my mind, Johnson seemed a pretty good President on the Home Front, but immediately he was sworn in he escalated the war in Vietnam.

Yet according to several articles and comments he was not a good President. Seems people got upset over the war – as anyone should.

Nixon, a Republican, helped end the Vietnam War, yet left the Whitehouse over the Watergate Scandal and will be forever remembered for this. I don’t know anything else about him and I’ll bet most non-Americans don’t either!

Reagan, unlike Clint and Arnie, managed to put his acting skills to good use after he was elected, and is generally regarded as a good President.

He was a Republican. He initially escalated the Cold War then, when Gorbachev took office sued for a more peaceful approach.

Yet he was still involved with a lot of wars, especially in Latin America. In Africa, where the USA seems to have little interest – no oil for them – up to a million people died in the Angola conflict and Reagan’s policy toward the Apartheid regime of South Africa was little more than a hand wave.

And of course George W … WMD, right? ‘Nuff said.

All about war. And it goes on and on …

Yet, to my mind the big issues in American politics are the ones blown out of proportion and centre on this illusion of Freedom and more to the point, restrictions that might or might not be imposed if one is stupid enough to elect a Democrat or a Republican. Independents don’t count, they are merely oddball flakes in the American Political Arena (Circus?).

This Freedom that supposedly magnifies the American Way of Life, which apparently never includes the genocide of a rather large number of Native Americans, oddly enough, does so often focus on Gridiron Football, Baseball, Burgers, Fried Chicken, Walmart, Coca Cola, and of course the car. Or to be more direct … oil.

And with this firmly fixed in the forefront of one’s mind it is easier to see which way the wind blows in American politics.

It seems Overseas Policy is all about preserving this American Dream and as long as American Troops are out there …. somewhere, getting slaughtered for no good reason defending this Freedom, those back at home seem quite content. As Bob Dylan sang: ‘’It ain’t me babe”.

Of course there will be the eventual howls of protest when many of said troops start arriving on American soil in Body Bags, and the statisticians begin licking their pencils and preparing their Internet Posts for dissection, but hell, y’all, that’s part of the price you have to pay to preserve this Freedom – which naturally, extends to the much of the human race; sometimes whether they ask for it or not. And it helps if you have lots of oil in your back garden …  sorry, back yard and are quite amenable to buying American weapons and burgers and fried chicken.

Yes, as you can see, I do have rather a cynical view of American Politics and especially the level of analysis proffered by the likes of Bill O’Reilly-types across the media spectrum.

To be fair, I am cynical about all politics, but the American version seems to strive for this highly altruistic model that, weirdly enough, includes Godliness, Football, the Hamburger, Guns, Blacks, the Abortion Issue, Israelis and Palestinians, and all things Gay, while pursuing a policy of Kicking the Shit Out Of Anyone Who We Don’t Like – Including Each Other.

I think the Democrats and the Republicans should all vote for the Opposing Team’s candidate, and I bet thousands will still die in a war somewhere, and you won’t even notice the difference.

God Bless Charlie Brown.

Oh For God’s Sake. Just a thought 3


An interesting read to close off the night. Something to consider, maybe.

Not a great fan of cut and paste but this is worthwhile. And there’s more if you follow the ink at the bottom.

T’ra ..

Night , night!


8 Joseph of Arimathaea

One who studies the so-called synopsis of the four gospels, quickly discovers that there are only a few events in Jesus’ life that are told by all four evangelists in about the same wording. These are in particular the story about the multiplication of bread, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the Judas treason and the denying of Peter, Jesus’ arrest in the olive garden, Jesus in front of the judgment seat of Pilate and the confrontation with Barabbas, and finally the flogging, crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

Except for the last happening, the crucifixion and everything concerning it, we actually do not need a biological Jesus to get to a convincing reconstruction of what has actually happened in a linear sense. But to ‘de-biologise’ the crucifixion story or, what others do, reject it as fictional does not seem sensible. That this is a matter of a truly happened, biological crucifixion one generally deems elevated beyond all doubt. It is the realistic portrayal of Jesus’ death and burial, that brought the most radical critic of the evangelic sources, Bultmann, ultimately to the proclamation:’ …to doubt if Jesus has really existed is unfounded and is not worth any word of refutation. That He is the founder of the historical movement is completely clear,’ And Dahl: ‘In the life of Jesus there is one single thing that is indisputably fixed: that is his death…’ And Wellhausen: ‘…without his death He wouldn’t have been historical altogether…’ And once again Dahl: ‘…the historical research must be started with the death of Jesus, if it not only will ask for the preaching, but also for the life of Jesus…’

As a starting-point for further research I have chosen the text of John 19:18 and following, because this makes the impression of being an eyewitness report. The Evangelist writes: ‘ There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between… Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit… So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who were crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe… After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds of weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.’ Mt 27-60 adds to this part that the garden and the new tomb were the possessions of Joseph of Arimathea.

Who was Joseph of Arimathea? Apparently he lived in or near Jerusalem and so ‘of Arimathea’ could indicate the place where he was born, as with Jesus of Nazareth or Mary Magdalena. With these examples we already saw that the geographic names are not used to refer to a real place of origin but since they offer the opportunity to make a wordplay or meaning-association. From now on we will come across many examples of that: Betlechem, Bethsaida, the lake of Gennesaret, Kerioth, Bethany. Why wouldn’t Arimathea also be chosen because of the possibility to make a wordplay? In the linear historiography it does not occur that someone is called after the place of birth; only with Jews who are in Palestine from the Diaspora, the land of origin is placed behind the name, as with Silas the Babylonian or, in Matthew’s or Mark’s gospel, Simon of Cyrene. A name-indication like Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus of Nazareth or Mary of Magdala never occurs in the entire oeuvre of Josephus. The normal name-indication is the first name, followed by ‘son of’ (ben) and the name of the biological father: Simon ben Gamaliel, or Joseph ben Matthias, like Flavius Josephus originally was called.

Joseph of Arimathea could be a wordplay of Joseph ben Matthias. We know now that similar wordplays occur more often in the gospels. But furthermore the evangelists had every reason to conceal the true identity of the one who took away Jesus from the cross and buried him. What the evangelists probably didn’t reckon was that Joseph ben Matthias, accordingly Flavius Josephus, would write an autobiography in which the shocking events about the cross-removal and the burial are mentioned. The story of Joseph ben Matthias is found in Vita 420-422 (edition Loeb). We are in the year 70, and to be precise in September. Jerusalem is captured by Titus, and during the months of siege Josephus has functioned as an interpreter and negotiator between Titus and the Jewish leaders of the city. Josephus writes: ‘And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealius, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.

This text actually really gets interesting because of what follows. To estimate the true value of that continuation one should know that the crucifixion in question must be localized along the way that Josephus went from Thecoa via Bethlechem to Jerusalem, and it was so on a field that was better known as the valley of Rephaim. Josephus continued: ‘But when Titus had composed the troubles in Judea, and conjectured that the lands which I had in Judea would bring me no profit, because a garrison to guard the country was afterward to pitch there, he gave me another country in the plain.’ With other words: Josephus possessed an estate near the place of the crucifixion that he obtained only a short while ago.

Why does Josephus tell the history with his estate in it, that chronologically happened at least a year sooner, directly after the story of the crucifixion? And why does the history with the estate in it textually connect even as bad to what follows? One is inclined to assume a psychological relation. When Josephus in the nineties, twenty years after the events, remembered the crucifixion, he was confronted by the ties he had with ‘his’ people. He used his friendship with the Roman commanders to help the ‘acquaintances’ among that people. One senses some kind of defense towards his ambivalent attitude in those days. But the fact that Josephus after the story of the crucifixion immediately switches to his new estate can then only be explained when that new estate had something to do with the crucifixion.

When the linear structure of the crucifixion stories is put together, one would get the following:

  1. Jesus is crucified with two other men.
  2. Joseph of Arimathea approaches and sees his (secret) friends hanging on the cross.
  3. He goes to the Roman commander and expresses his complaint.
  4. In the meanwhile the legs of two crucifiers are broken; the third seems to have died and, for more certainty, a lance stitch is given to him.
  5. The Roman commander gives Joseph of Arimathea the order to take away the bodies.
  6. Joseph of Arimathea has a newly acquired estate nearby.
  7. He takes the body from the cross and brings it to his estate.
  8. This Joseph of Arimathea is, as far as he is described in the gospels, completely identical to Joseph ben Matthias, but known as Flavius Josephus. Matthew describes him as following: A rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who had become a disciple of Jesus. (27:57)
    Mark writes: ‘…Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God…’(15:43) Luke: ‘And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man – he had not consented to their plan and action – a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate…’(23:51) For what John writes, see above. In short: Joseph was a rich man, member of the Council, a secret follower of ‘Jesus’; he owned a new estate in a plain outside Jerusalem; near that estate the crucifixion took place with which he got involved because it were his friend hanging from the cross
  9. Both Josephus and the evangelists mention the presence of a doctoe. With John he is called Nicodemus.
  10. In both cases one of the three survives the crucifixion.

One could call this all coincidental. Against coincident thinkers I have no defense. With the argument ‘by chance’ one can torpedo every evidence. For the matter-of-fact thinker the chance that Josephus and the four evangelists report two different events is as big as the chance that somewhere in the universe a second earth exists with the only difference that on that other earth the tower of Pisa stands upright. In history there are very striking examples of coincidence, but they emerged thanks to a multitude of information from all sides. That a case of crucifixion in the beginning of our era, a period about which we to our standards are little informed, is reported by four evangelists and one unmistakable historian, makes it chance-technically impossible to believe that this is a matter of two different events. Thus with almost mathematical certainty it is fixed that the only biological element of the evangelic life of Jesus of Nazareth, that up to now one deemed to maintain as a fact, is derived from an event from the year 70 after Christ. The important question, how it is possible that already long before the year 70 there is being talked about a crucified Jesus, is discussed in chapter 18.


Flavius Josephus: From my Life

The hallmark of Pierre Krijbolder

Oh for Gods’ sake. Just a thought 2

Well, it is Sunday after all, so why not …

One of the greatest success stories of human history from a certain point of view has been the acceptance by billions of the tale of Jesus of Nazareth: not only that he existed,  but is also believed to be God (Yahweh): the creator of the universe.

Stay with me a while …

Now, most of us know the biblical story, and we all know about Jesus. He was the prophesied Messiah, the savior of the human race. Born of a virgin on December 25th – Christmas Day, visited by three magi who had followed a moving star until it stopped directly over a cowshed in Bethlehem where Mary had recently given birth, without the apparent help of a midwife.

Full marks to Joseph!

And the story continues …

Now, I am going to assume that ( most of) my readers are intelligent and by now are smiling a bit. And we know why, yes? Because most of you do not believe all those miraculous things you were brought up with any more.

Of course not. People don’t walk on water or rise from the dead or cure dandruff or whatever he did.

So let me ask a question. If you do not believe in any of the supernatural nonsense, having reasoned that, whoever wrote the gospels simply made these things up, why do you (possibly ) believe the central character, Jesus, was an historical person at all?

Now, I am assuming most of you have at least dabbled in the Bible if not read it cover to cover like some of us – yes, I acknowledge I have, and this may be a certain form of madness. Maybe there is a medical term for it? Victoria, any ideas?

Therefore, I would you to consider: based on what evidence did you arrive at the conclusion that Jesus was real and not simply a character in a wholly fictitious story?

Let me know …



Here is Pink Floyd with Christianity’s theme song.




Watch the Birdy. Glossy Starling.

glossy starling

Glossy Starling 25

Not the most frequent visitor to our spot but always a welcome sight when it does arrive and a treat if I have the camera handy.

Never been able to encourage one to the feed table, but they love to hang around when there’s gardening on the go in case a juicy worm or bug they fancy gets turned over during digging. They also visit when the fruit is ripe.10d Glossy Starling on Rose

The Cape starling is found in the southern part of Africa. Its range encompasses the extreme south of Gabon, the west and south of Angola, the extreme south of Zambia, the southern half of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa. It is a vagrant to the Republic of the Congo but does not breed there. In the other countries in its range it is a resident (non-migratory) species and its total extent of occurrence is about 3,000,000 square kilometres (1,200,000 sq mi).[4] The Cape starling is found where trees in which it can roost and nest are found. It is not a bird of dense forest or of pasture and is not associated with any particular plant type. It does occur in open woodland, plantations, savannah, bushveld, rough grassland, parks and gardens and is quite numerous in the central Kalahari where isolated trees occur.[5]


The Cape starling is a gregarious bird and forms large flocks in the non-breeding season. It usually feeds on the ground often foraging alongside other species of starlings such as the pied starling, the common starling, the greater blue-eared starling, the lesser blue-eared starling, thewattled starling and Burchell’s starling.[5] It is habituated to humans and its diet includes fruit, insects and nectar. It sometimes feeds on ectoparasites that it picks off the backs of animals and it sometimes visits bird tables for scraps.[6]

Breeding mainly takes place between October and February but may continue into April in Namibia. It nests in crevices such as holes in trees and out-competes other birds seeking to use these holes. It is a host to the greater honeyguide, a brood parasite that lays its eggs in other birds’ nests.[5] In an observed nest in a thorn tree at the edge of the Kalahari, the chicks were fed predominantly on grasshoppers, locusts, ants and beetles, and were also given fruit, insect larvae and other small invertebrates.[6]


Oh, for Gods’ sake! Just a thought.

The problem with religious freedom is it only flourishes in a democratic secular state.

And one person’s religious freedom is another’s theocracy.

While  Christianity has remained the unchallenged, dominant religion, especially in the West,  it has waxed and waned depending on the religious fervor of its adherents, which varies from country to country.

In Europe it has tended more toward waning; Europe not having the level and variety of devotion (evangelism) that is evident in the USA, for example, where they tend toward whining.

The (sudden) rise of Islam in Western Society has, in many cases, been a somewhat rude awakening for Christians who have hardly been challenged on the religious front at all, and, quite frankly, it seems they are struggling to know how to deal with it.

With Islam being hell bent ( ‘scuse the pun)  on establishing its brand of god-belief as a/the (dominant) World Religion this has caused something of a minor panic, not least  because of the single-mindedness of its adherents which is nothing like the more  laissez faire attitude of its parent religions, Judaism and Christianity. Fanatical Evangelism notwithstanding, of course

So what to do?

One can hardly ban a religion, not if one wants to maintain a democratic face, and while religion continues per se, attempts to curtail the spread of Islam will prove no more effective than plugging a damn wall with a couple of spare fingers, while trying to keep at least one middle finger free to stubbornly wave at the Dam-busters.

In Europe, and to a slightly lessor extent the US, the religious situation appears to be fast approaching a Mexican Standoff between Western Culture/Christianity and Islam, and this has likely accelerated with the massive refugee crisis.

As Muslims traditionally out-breed their Christian and Jewish counterparts by a considerable margin it does not take a mathematical genius to know what lies Down the road apiece

Can you imagine a Muslim President of the United States of America or Muslim Prime Minister of the UK in 200 years?

I’ll bet someone has already done the math, and there may well be a Bookmaker already offering odds. Might be a good bet if you don’t mind the wait!

The answer to this apparent ‘’problem’’ is not more religion – Christians manically banding together and breeding like mad for example to ‘’fight the Islamic onslaught’’, but a concerted effort at dismantling religion across the board.

This won’t mean we all have to then like each other and get on like a house on fire but at least we won’t be arguing over who’s god is the right one. That’s one pissing contest we can easily do without.

I wonder if the Jews and Christians have the guts to stand up and tell the truth about their religions?

Just a thought.



Normal ( photographic) service will resume shortly. Thank you for your indulgence.




More Dragons.

dragon 80

drop wing

Female Orange-Winged Dropwing 

The dragonflies have been very active around the pond once more and I snapped this beauty yesterday morning perching on the Xmas tree we have on the patio by the pool.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Citrus Swallowtail

This was the final shot I took of this butterfly after it had walked off my hand and found secure purchase underneath this lemon tree leaf where it hung for a while, presumably thoroughly drying its wings,  before flying away to begin it’s new life.

lemon tree 1

Citrus Swallowtail.

Watch the Birdy. Woodpecker. Can’t you hear me knocking?

woodpecker 4.JPG

Cardinal Woodpecker

Not a great shot – she was very high up.

When I made the decision to record the flora and particularly the fauna found at Our Spot it was for no other reason than curiosity; curiosity that soon became somewhat of a minor passion that sees me do a quick tour of the  garden most days looking for something to add to the collection and boost the numbers on the ‘Fauna list’.

For example, the number of birds I have identified has been a real eye-opener. I would imagine most people would identify around a dozen garden birds on sight without  much difficulty but I wonder how many of us are actually aware just how many birds visit our gardens.

There’s no doubt location is important, but I’ll bet there are far more feathery garden visitors than we are aware of.

Before I began my ‘quest’, and with our suburb having largish stands, and some pretty big open areas including the golf course, I would have estimated maybe twenty. After all, we are still bang in the middle of suburbia.

But now, a couple of years later I have identified forty-eight separate bird species, including the most recent, the Thick Kneed Curlew, a nocturnal visitor we spotted quite by chance the other evening when we  opened  the curtains in the bedroom after hearing a strange call.

To date I have managed to photograph thirty-six.

I wholeheartedly recommend such a quest to everyone. Even if all you do is jot down the species you find.

We can share lists!

There really is so much life just outside your back door, you will be amazed.



And as we are featuring a woodpecker knocking then we need a knocking song.

Here’s the Stones.