In the cool of the evening …

when everything is feeling rather groovy. I sit at my desk,  office door open – I am brave like that – and   listen to the splash of the koi in the pond, the chirp of the  cicada and  the  occasional scream of a mugging victim. Just kidding.

Anyhow, I am quite often visited by ground dwelling creepy crawlies that venture in from the garden and and sometimes bombarded by night flying visitors.

Such as these two.

new butterfly 4

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new butterfly 1

moth on Pratchet

Here’s the Stones.

Nite nite.

How to court controversy

Originally posted on nobodysreadingme:

I am definitely going to upset a few people here, so if you’re of a religious bent, you may want to stop reading now. I’ll give you a minute or so. Dum dee dum dee dum dee dee…

Right, here we go. I’m an atheist, but have no problem at all with religion. I do have a problem with actions that are carried out in the name of the religion, and are clearly at variance with teachings. I also object to blind stupidity.

A small minority of religious people appears to have had a logic bypass. You may not have noticed that there was a tornado in Oklahoma this week. One person died, there was a swathe of destruction. Then the nutters came out of their storm shelters and started posting photographs. There was one of a broken power pylon, dangling from the wrecked power lines. It bore a passing…

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Leading you up the Garden Path. Flower Power!

My early morning constitutional takes me along a  quiet part of the suburb called Ridge Road, where I have been surreptitiously ”nicking” a cutting or two from the fuchsias that grow on the garden outside one of the properties.

I have managed to get one species to grow and once a few ‘took’ I moved them from my shed to the garden under the bottle brush tree. When they were stronger I planted them out and  took further cuttings  from these.

But the species with the white inner flower I have struggled with and none of the cuttings over the past year or so ‘took’ – until now!

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It might seem nuts to get excited over a flower, but there you go.  That’s me. Nuts.

I will be planting this out soon and with a bit of luck we’ll have a decent, healthy plant within a few months.

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Once I had photographed this beauty I thought I’d take a couple of shots of the fuchsia with the purple inner flower to show a comparison.

As I knelt on the grass and focused, this delightful little hover fly buzzed into shot. I snapped off half a dozen photos and this one turned out a smasher!

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Finally;I took the shot below yesterday. It is a Garden Commodore  and this is the most handsome specimen  I have managed to photograph to date. It’s colouring is superb.

commodor 80March 27th 2015

 

How about some rain?

”Peace Out”, as  Sheldon Cooper says.

Ark.

Cake over the Fence. If the shoes fits ….

I thought these rather novel and  artistically exquisite; and as they were so impressive, after the order was collected, Ems decided to make a few more – just for the family.

Every part of the shoe was edible, including the cupcake paper.

I can report they tasted superb!

Want more? Click on the Emily’s cakes link on the side.

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And what do a nice pair of stilettos require to show them off?

Why, legs, of course! And ZZ Top have the perfect song. Legs.

However …. in  light that the video looks just a bit too sexyist you’ll have to suffer this … My Heads in Mississippi. Er … whoops this one had lottsa wimmin too. Dammit …

Let’s try this one … Fool For Your Stockings.

Oh for God’s Sake! Goddidit. The dishonesty of Theists.

Or, lying for Jesus.

One of the great things about trying to be scrupulously honest is when it comes to the question of the Origin of Life, I have no qualms about saying: ”I don’t know.”
It is marvelous because I know I stand with the rest of humanity in this and although some claim that goddidit – a real phrase I was surprised to learn – there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support this erroneous claim.

Things begin to get even murkier when theists not only assert it was their god that is responsible but worse, it walked among us in human form under the guise of someone called Jesus of Nazareth, of whom there is also no verifiable evidence whatsoever.

Whereas I am perfectly happy to say: ”I don’t know” and leave it at that until such time as verifiable evidence demonstrates otherwise, the theist has been intent on introducing their god to all and sundry and as history shows, often whether they want it or not.

In fact, refusal or simple denial has often resulted in severe punishment including at one point the death sentence for such innocuous acts as reading their supposedly divinely inspired book in any language other than Latin. Ironic as the book – numerous ”books” actually – were never written in this language in the first place and in many instances the text is not even an honest reflection of the original languages, notably Hebrew and Greek, having been so badly redacted in some cases and also replete with spurious text up to and including, wholesale forgery; which sounds a far cry from divinely inspired in anyone’s language, I’d say.

So while preaching that the entirety of humanity – past and present is not only in a perpetual state of sin ( whatever this means) inherited from the supposed first man called Adam for eating an apple at the behest of his partner, Eve, after she was goaded by a talking snake, everyone is now condemned to eternal exile and torture in a place called Hell. A place which does not even exist and was simply made up by the Church. The only option available to avoid this heinous place of make-believe is to admit being a sinner and swear allegiance to a deity for which there is no evidence, and acknowledge he loves you.

I cannot find a shred of honesty in this approach at all.

I believe therefore, that for the meantime, when it comes to the Origin of Life, it is a lot more honest to simply stick with ”I don’t know.”

Leading you up the Garden Path. Bee Prepared

It rained a bit this morning and we generally keep the dogs in during a downpour but when the sun comes out we let them stretch their legs and they invariably indulge in what has become known as a mad half hour.

This usually entails one or the other of the boxers hiding while the other hares around the garden like a  mad thing until the other jumps out on her. Meanwhile, Kishka, our small white Heinz 57, stands in the middle of the lawn and barks her blinking head off.

Anyway, when they had let off steam they  both climbed the steps onto the patio and made a bee line for the front door.

Bobbi stills has a ball in her mouth and Bella has her mouth on the ball.

If you can picture this?

As they got to the door I  noticed a bee clinging to Bobbi’s chest.

Worried that she might get/have been stung I quickly flicked the bee off and  called for assistance to check if the bee had managed to sting her. I couldn’t see anything but then I am not so  good at close up stuff.

No problem.

I went back out to the patio and the bee was still on the floor and looked done in, doing little pirouettes like an organic toy whose Duracell was about to run flat.

I managed to encourage the poor thing onto a leaf and then onto my hand in the hope that it would revive itself.

But she didn’t seem too happy.387

Then I thought: Water?

Done this before so why not? Worth a shot, right? Went in the house and called for Ems who  took  a small bowl and dripped sugar- water onto my wrist so the bee could have a chance to bee 75drink if she wanted.

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Here you can see Ems about to remove a tiny  hair attached to the bee’s back leg – not one of mine, I hasten to add. It came pre- attached. Probably one of Bobbi’s.

”What if it stings you?” asks the Missus.

I shrug. It never crossed my mind to be honest.

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Lo and behold, two minutes or so later she walked to the ball of my hand  and buzzed off!

Watch the birdy

It’s fantastic get to visits from the more exotic or rarely seen species of birds, such as the Sunbirds, the Eagle Owl or the Heron, and their infrequent sightings and visits add a bit of spice and excitement.

But the regular visitors are also great fun and a delight to have around. They are a constant reminder how fortunate I am that so many feel comfortable enough to  visit on a daily basis.

So far, I have noted fifty two species of bird at The Ark’s spot and have photographed twenty nine.

Here are a couple of shots of one species that we can say has acquired ”permanent residence”.

The Laughing Dove

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laughing dove

Touch of the Blues -

There are around twenty-five species of butterfly known as Blue in South Africa and  a few visit our spot. They are small; some are tiny, and once spotted it’s best you keep your eye on them as they flit across the lawn or surrounding ”undergrowth” as they easily disappear among the plants, grass and especially the weeds.

As we let parts of the garden go wild, we regularly get outbreaks of  bidens pilosa. That’s the blackjack to most people.

For me, not being a lepidopterist person, individual species are sometimes a bit difficult to positively identify, as many are very similar and especially as the only way to positively ID at least one species is to dissect the creature’s genitals. Er … no thanks!

I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant rather than indulge in that level of (in my opinion, needless) entomology.

So, I will simply watch them flutter around the garden and set off in hot pursuit, camera in hand and  the almost certain likelihood that once I have ‘snapped’ my prize I shall be pulling blackjacks from my clothes and shoes and even my bare skin for the better part of the rest of the day.

But I think it’s worth it and my portfolio of photographs of the fauna that is so abundant at our spot increases.

Species here include; Little Grass Blue, African Grass Blue, Rayed Blue Babault’s Blue and the Common Zebra Blue.

butterfly on blackjack

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More Blues …

Watch the Birdy! Back … again.

I went for an early morning stroll and as I came round the side of the house … there she was,  bold as brass. She spied me immediately but as she was probably thinking I might go away she seemed reluctant to leave, and as I was not feeling  hostile I let her sit for a while as I cautiously approached, camera in hand. The sun was up so these photos are clearer than those taken yesterday.

We are going to move several large pots from up at Ems house and place them around the perimeter of the pool. It won’t be perfect, but it will seriously inhibit the Heron’s access to the edge. They like to fish in peace and if we can make it as awkward as possible maybe she will find somewhere else to ”eat out”?

I sincerely hope so.

Meantime, I will try to enjoy her visits as best as I can, even though my heart races every time I catch a glimpse of this shadow flying overhead, then have to rush to the pool and check the fish..

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Leading you up the Garden Path. With a sting in the tail …

Wasps generally get a bad rap, especially compared to the average bee. Yet I believe they have their place like all creatures and so I usually leave them alone – leave them be? – to do their thing.

Although if I see one of them having a go at a Rain Spider I have avowed to intervene if I can.Here are a few that I have been fortunate to snap at our spot.

Yellow legged wasp

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yellow black wasp 4

yellow bodies wasp 3

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wasp d

Gazania: Ark

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