Our House …. in the middle of our street.

Our House.

When we first bought this property we had a bazillion plans to knock it down, clear the site and build a brand spanking new double-storey home.

This was initially tempered somewhat by the costs involved so we put aside our grandiose plans for the time being and concentrated on the business.

At that time we went to the council to obtained plans for the property and oddly enough we were given the originals. This was when we first noted the house was built in 1924. Although we were still intent on building something new there was this odd twinge that  made us wonder if reducing to rubble something that was almost a hundred years old was such a good idea after all.

But we rationalized that the property had received one or two additions that were a bit hodge-podge therefore we didn’t feel so bad. Yet still we did nothing so now, a number of years down the line, the house is considered a heritage property and we can’t just knock it down as and when we feel like it. Which is good in a way as we have come to like and appreciate it as it is and maybe it would be better served by renovating?  And the more we think about renovation rather than knock down and start again the more appeal this idea has.

The part of the ridge where our house is situated was once owned by the Marist Brothers.

Sacred Heart College traces its origins to the arrival of two Marist Brothers in the mining town of Johannesburg in 1889. Although they started teaching five pupils, within ten years the school was 800 strong. Initially situated in Koch Street in the centre of Johannesburg, the school moved to the outskirts of town in Observatory in 1924. The school remains on those premises.


When our house was built, for the grand sum of 2000 Pounds, there were no immediate neighbours and the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. PJ Van der Linde,  had an unobstructed view for miles.

The house was built facing due east so the owners could watch the sunrise and I can imagine them sitting on the stoep at 5.00 am, coffees  in hand, dog by their feet and not  a tree or building to mar the view. Glorious.

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So, with the house now 91 years young it might be nice to try to bring it back to its former glory.

Our house has become more than plans.

Our house has a shed


Our house has a gate


Our house has birds and the bees …  ;)

glossy starling 2


bee on gazania 1

and spiders …

Jumping Spider 2 on Wild Iris

and butterflies …

Common Zebra Bluea


And dogs and cats

Bella licking bobbidjango pond

and lizards


And blues skies and airplanes


And Ladybirds and fish

ladybird flyakoi 2


and cakescupcakesBw cupcakes 2

Alysumand flowers

And kidsems & bella2AD & Bobbi


And myriad other things.But most of all, our house is home.


Fancy some cake and a coffee?


Cat Nap



I close my eyes and clear my mind

I look within and there I find

Cats have been part of our life since before we got married. I cannot remember a time when we didn’t have a cat. And we’ve had a few, I can tell you! At one time, not so long ago our family numbered 21 felines.

Today, we have four and Meeka is still going strong at 14. Although these days forty winks in the sunshine has a lot more appeal than tearing up the garden looking for mice.

I’ve got wind.

So has the rest of Johannesburg.

August sees the arrival of wind up here on the Highveld and it arrived a day early – dammit! Yesterday afternoon the temperature reached around 23c and everything looked Hunky Dory.

However, there were hints of things to come – wispy cloud on high and by early evening the temperature had plummeted. The South Wester was here.

It is the type of wind that causes chickens to lay the same egg twice, trees creak and groan and occasionally fall over – branches break regularly. One expects to see the fish skating on the pond and the wind chimes sound as if they are being played by a Tibetan monk on acid.

But the sky!  Talk about blue.




Leading you up the garden path. Look who I found!

crab 4  crab 6

crab 3  crab 7

crab 1

Just popped out and found Mrs. Crab spider had returned and at a suggestion from Arch to see how she reacted to different colour flowers I gently moved her from the all-yellow gazania and carefully deposited her in a few others.

She was not impressed and quickly tried to climb out of each one but eventually after doing a few turns she seemed okay with this one. ( which, I admit, is similar to the all-yellow one)

Maybe she will stay?

This post is rubbish.

I have wanted to have a crack at Street Photography for a while, especially after admiring the photography of Bill Jones jr. and Roving Bess but haven’t worked up enough  courage to venture out with my camera among the seething masses of Johannesburg humanity. So I have decided to start small and shoot ‘Street’ from my property.

These shots are rubbish. But it’s a beginning.

The bloke in the picture yelled up at me twice to ask what was wrong.

(no doubt thinking I was going to send photographic evidence to his employer of him doing something wrong.


dustbin lorry


bin man 1

bin man 2



Calling All Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

In my view one of the most misleading and, quite frankly, disingenuous arguments Christian apologists put forward is the claim that their god is responsible for everything.

First, when they argue, as a rule, they seldom use their god’s name and a couple of thousand years of cultural indoctrination has made all those who either follow or are merely aware of the Middle Eastern deity, initially found among Canaanites and later adopted by Jews, acknowledge that by merely capitalizing the letter g, like so ‘G’ any other designated title is unnecessary. Thus, every Jew, Christian and Muslim can relate to ‘God’, and there is no need to call ‘him’ Yahweh.

Of course, we all know that this triumvirate of religions each has very different perspective on what and who ‘God’ is.

But my focus is on the Christian version of this deity, the character Jesus of Nazareth.

It is part of the Christian religion that Jesus of Nazareth is acknowledged as ‘God’ in human form, and is considered to be the Creator of All Things.

Now, every Christian I have encountered swears blind there is not only positive, irrefutable evidence for the character, Jesus of Nazareth but also evidence that plainly demonstrates his divinity and that in his Yahweh form Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of All Things. Surely, as only a blithering idiot would accept this without at least conducting some sort of investigation of these claims it follows that something, other than indoctrination of one sort or another must have convinced the average apologist.

So, here is my challenge:

I want a Christian apologist to present verifiable evidence that demonstrates that Jesus of Nazareth is Yahweh (‘God’).

A few words of caution:

  1. If you are simply going to cut and paste scripture, I will delete the comment immediately. I don’t want this post cluttered up with reams and reams of biblical or religious diatribe that noone will read. Are you paying attention, Bruce?  
  2. If you wish to use the bible as a source and quote phrases or a few words of dialogue you must be able to fully explain the meaning of what you quote or reference. Do not simply post links to scripture. These also will be deleted immediately.
  3. If you wish to quote anything from the Pentateuch you must present evidence that thoroughly refutes modern archaeology and the current scholarly view that it is historical fiction.
  4. I am not arguing the historicity of a first century eschatological prophet who may have been called Yeshua. But if you wish to cite consensus regarding the historicity of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth you must provide contemporary evidence to back these claims.

This is vitally important as we are discussing evidence for claims of a divine being.

And please do not use the, Who-would-die-for-a-lie argument. It will be summarily ignored.

So, to recap.

I want a Christian apologist to present verifiable evidence that demonstrates that Jesus of Nazareth is Yahweh ( ‘God’).

Leading you up the garden path. In your face!

Since I set out to photo record as much of the fauna as possible that visits our spot I have probably been amazed at least once a day. Either by finding something new or finding out something new.

Nature never ceases to blow me away. And this is just from my little patch of earth in Jo’burg.

I have literally hundreds of photo records of hundreds of subjects. I have become fairly familiar with favorite hang outs and favorite foods and when the fauna are most likely to come out to work or  ”play”.

I am learning all the different names as well. It’s great to know the names of the different butterflies or what a particular bird is simply by its call.

When I go for a wander I am cautious where I tread – especially if I have forgotten to do dog-poo-patrol.

I look at everything, as you never know what might be lurking or sitting right in front of your nose.

Many insects and spiders learn to sit quite still and if you blink you might miss something.

From a photographic point of view I am slowly getting the hang of the digital camera and this is paying dividends too.

I have been wanting to take a decent photograph of a particular Drone Fly called Eristalis.

It come around at more or less the same time as the bees and feeds on a particular yellow succulent that is outside the bedroom windows. Oddly enough, the same plant is also at the front of  the property but I have never seen this fly visit there.

It is a solitary visitor and buzzes among the honeybees quite unperturbed, drinking its fill of nectar then eventually flying off.

I sat on the lawn and waited. Nothing appeared. The bees eventually came but no Drone Fly.

I had things to do and couldn’t sit in the sunshine all morning. Much as I’d like to!

I was about to call it quits when this fluttered into view. An Acraea butterfly. It seems late in the season but I wasn’t complaining. It is a beauty. Because I was sitting down my field of view was  different than normal and thus I was able to take a shot like this …

aracea 65

I have taken a number of shots of this species but never seen the yellow  feelers. What a treat! One for my favorites folder for sure.

After five minutes I was climbing to my feet when Eristalis arrived. Quietly sitting back down again I waited. Eventually the fly landed on the flower right in front of me and ‘click’, I had the shot I have been trying to get for months.

Time for work!


drone fly (erostalis)

The height of cool.

The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

Bye Spidey …

Our Yellow Crab spider – ne White, finally abandoned the Yellow Gazania this afternoon. I popped out to check on her and she had gone. But a slight flash of movement made me move the gazania flower to one side and there she was, gradually making her way to ground level. Likely she had  got fed up with nothing venturing to her temp residence since the 22nd and was a tad hungry.

But I managed to coax her onto my hand for a farewell photograph before returning her to  the undergrowth to go in search of ”greener pastures”.


The way she was.

white crab and fly 2

white crab spider on hand 2


Maybe she will revert to her original white?

Crab Spider Update.

For those of you who haven’t followed along with our little Incy Wincy tale, here’s a brief recap.

Certain Crab Spiders change colour chameleonesque. The Banded White Crab Spider has the ability to go from White to Yellow by mobilizing sequestered pigments or synthesizing new pigments. It takes about 3 days to change colour and is an excellent means of camouflage especially when lying in wait.

This crab spider – a female – took up residence in a Yellow Gazania on the 22nd July. When it  arrived it was white as driven snow ( poetic!) but over the past week its pigment has  gradually changed. Today, the sixth day, it has finally achieved the yellow pigment  that more or less matches its current abode.

Female crab spiders are sedentary hunters. They make no webs preferring to ”stake out” a territory and then wait for a hapless butterfly, fly or bee to come along. Ironically, in its White State and sticking out like a sore thumb ,  it took two flies on its first day within an hour of each one. Since then, it has caught nothing.

If it hangs around and catches something else I will surely post photographs. Meanwhile … All Change.

22nd July

white crab and fly Wedensday 22nd July 2015

24th July

white crab spider 1100hrs friday 24 july 2015

25th July

White crab spider Saturday 25th July 2105

26th July

White crab spider1 Sunday26th July 2015

27th July

white crab spider 27 july 2015


”They call me Mellow Yellow ….quite right.”

Leading you up the garden Path. New Species!

Well, new to The Ark’s spot at any rate. Wandered out to the Aloes outside my office this morning and something caught my eye. At first, because of the play of light, I thought is was part of the plant – and almost ignored it. But I have taught myself not to ignore anything I see in the garden these days and bent down for a closer look. And I am glad I did!

ps. I’ll do an update on the colour changing Crab Spider soon.



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