For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Winter walk

We are now almost in the middle of winter, so there is nothing very spectacular to take photographs of.

There were still two little Barberton Daisies in the front garden all the rest have died off already.

On one of the plants I found this. These bugs are smaller than a pins head, about 1mm, and you can hardly see it with the naked eye. I had to put it on the computer to enlarge it before I could make out anything, and still cannot tell what kind they are.
Around the side of the house, this tree is only now getting its autumn colors.
This is a very unusual looking plant and I do not know what it is called. It has the big tuber for a body out of which the few leaves and flowers shoot. The tuber part is about 6” in height.
While a little bit further on, this confused one is starting to get new leaves. LOL!!
This pretty little Iris was hiding away in the shelter of some grass.
I don’t know if you know these plants at all – they are called air-plants and do not need soil in which to grow. You can take a piece of it and hang it up somewhere by a piece of string and it will grow. The leaves are always pointing upwards in order for it to collect rain or moisture, or you can take a piece and place it in the crook of a tree like this one and it will grow there too. I have never seen any flowers on these although there are a few species about. I don’t know what they are called, where they come from, or if they are indigenous to SA but they are quite interesting plants.
On another tree, I found this tiny little orchid starting to shoot out. How it got there I do not know, but it must be fairly new as the leaves are each about 1” in length.
It does not matter where you go, which season it is, you can always depend on the geraniums to make a splash of color.

Yellow-throated Lizard

This lizard is about 16 inches long. When it is breeding, the throat goes very red in order to attract females.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fungi

We have some interesting looking fungi here and they are anywhere between very small and dinner-plate size.




Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Giraffe

This cheeky fellow was begging for food from everyone. I am glad I do not have a tongue like that!! LOL!!
Many people do not know that giraffes can sit down like this.
They have the second longest gestation period, 18 months after which a single calf is born.
Great caution is taken before bending down to drink if they are in an area where predators are around.
There are 7 bones in their necks. The same as humans and sparrows.
Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, Impala and Zebra are mostly found in mixed herds. Each species eats a different kind of food so are not competition for one another.
The pigmentation of their skin is the same as our, some have lighter skins than others.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A trip to the Eastern Transvaal

The Panorama, which abounds with breathtaking views from natural wonders along the eastern slopes of the escarpment. There is God's Window and the world's third largest canyon and biggest green canyon, the Blyde River Canyon. There are also the astonishing Bourke's Luck Potholes and three rondawels. The towns of Lydenburg and White River are gateways to the route, which takes visitors through the quaint towns of Pilgrim's Rest, a living museum dating back to the hey days of the gold rush, as well as Sabie, Graskop, Ohrigstad and Hazyview. Nature enthusiasts will discover cascading water falls while adrenaline junkies can get their next rush by bungee jumping, white water rafting or going on rigorous 4x4 trails. More gentler pursuits include hot air ballooning, walking trails and gold panning. Much of the pine forests which abound in the area between Sabie and Graskop was destroyed by fires in early August. Four weeks later, some fires are still burning and the sky is hazy with smoke. This area is a hikers paradise.

Starting off the trip from Pretoria, it is very flat farming country which we call the Highveld.
After 5 hours drive this gives way to slightly more hilly sections and the mountains can be seen in the distance.
Once in the mountains, the scenery is breathtaking. This was taken at a place called God's Window and on a clear day, one can see as far as Mozambique.
Ninety percent of the area is covered in pine forests.
The mountain tops are nature reserves and are vast sub-tropical forests with many streams and waterfalls in the area.
Logging roads can be seen below, but the company is careful to hide most of the logging by leaving the front few rows of tree standing.
Way down below, there is a small stream wandering through and if you have the energy, you can hike down to it.
This is Pinnicle Rock but the tip of it fell down about 14-15 years ago.

A lazy Sunday afternoon

There is nothing like being different!! I am almost positive that no one on these blog pages has ever posted pictures on this subject before. LOL!!

We have a small airfield not far from where I live and if there is nothing else to do, it is fun to take a drive there and watch the parachutes for an hour.
I was amazed at how fast they come wizzing past and found it difficult to take the photographs because of it. I eventually found that by focusing the camera on a certain point and then waiting for the jumper to come into that point, was the only way to do it.
Two for the price of one!! LOL!!
Almost! Almost! Nearly there! Just a few more steps! Whoa now!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A close up of a caterpillar

After the cold week we have had, I am surprised to find anything still around. This caterpillar was crawling around on the stairs so I put him on the grass in order to get some shots of him.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Here is a funny!!

I was out at the local airport and saw these doves building their nest on this car. I wonder how long it had been parked there? It was a nice Landrover too!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Garden Fruit Chafer Beetle

(Pachnoda sinuata) They are about 1 1/2 inches in length when fully grown and feed on fruit and flowers. This one was trying to hide away in the wall.

Then he fell down and gave me a good shot of what he looks like at the bottom. LOL!! Talk about a different view!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cacti

We have some wonderful miniture cacti here. The problem is that so many of these species are now found around the world due to them being imported and exported so easily. At the same time, a lot of those we have are actually native to Mexico and other places. But they are wonderful when they bloom and we do have perfect weather for them. These are all planted in 4" pots to give you some idea of their size.




Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A few butterflies

A lot of the bugs have disappeared but there are still some beautiful butterflies around.
Common Dotted Border (Mylothris agathina)
Natal Spotted Blue (Azanus natalensis)
Blotched Leopard (Lachnoptera ayresii)
Common Meadow Blue (Cupidopsis cissus) This is as small as a 1 cent piece.
Broad-bordered Grass Yellow (Eurema brigitta)
Female Meadow White (Pontia helice)
Male Meadow White (Pontia helice)