For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A few dragonflies

They come in such pretty colors but we do not have a green least not that I have seen sofar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A place like paradise - our Serengeti - Part 2

I thought I would share some of the scenery which I was riding through.I managed to capture a rainbow early the morning....
.....and thought I would show you the type of terrain I hike through and climb about in when I go bug hunting.
The next few are shots taken as I was driving around....
In the middle of this valley is the dam with the plains around it where I took the elephant shots in Part 1.

This is a good place to look out for leopard.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Millipedes 3

We have the most colorful millipedes here......... Centipedes and millipedes are distant relatives of lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. Unlike their marine cousins, centipedes and millipedes are land dwellers, but they do prefer moist habitats or areas of high humidity.
They have two pairs of legs attached to each body segment. Some kinds may have over 200 pairs, and there are about 1300 kinds known over the world, ranging in length from a twelfth of an inch to 8 inches.
Millipedes eat plant material, especially soft, decomposing plant tissue. Their defense consists of secreting stinking juice from pores along its sides.
Their fossils, some over a foot long, are found among the swamp plants that went into the formation of coal. When touched, they curl up and "play dead".

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scottish Bagpipes and Dancing - Part 3

After taking a break for lunch, it was the girls turn to shine and show what they could do.

Scottish sword dancing are ritualistic and combative dances that imitated epic deeds and martial skills and are a familiar feature in Scottish tradition and folklore.
In 1573 Scottish mercenaries are said to have performed a Scottish Sword dance before the Swedish King, John III who was Monarch of Sweden at a banquet held in Stockholm Castle. The dance, "a natural feature of the festivities" was used as part of a plot to assassinate the King, where the conspirators were able to bare their weapons without arising suspicion. Fortunately for the King at the decisive moment the agreed signal was never given.
"Sword dance and Hieland Danses" were included at a reception for Anne of Denmark Anne of Denmark in 1617 and again for Charles I Charles in 1633, by the Incorporation of Skinners and Glovers of Perth.
Many of the Highland dances now lost were once performed with traditional weapons that included the Lochaber, the broadsword, a combination of targe and dirk (dagger) and the Flail (a type of mace) The old Skye dancing song, Bualidh mi u an sa chean ("I will break your head"), was the winning blow in cudgelling matches throughout Britain, "for the moment that blood runs an inch anywhere above the eyebrow, the old gamester to whom it belongs is beaten, and has to stop."
A combative sword dance called the Highland Dirk Dance still exists and is often linked to the sword dance or dances called "Macinorsair," the "Broad Sword Exercise" or the Bruicheath" (Battle Dance). These dances are mentioned in a number of sources, and may have been performed in a variety of different forms, by two performers in a duelling form and as a solo routine.
Setting the sword at the correct angle before starting.
Scottish Sword dancing is compared to Geommu (also transliterated Gummu, Kommu) a traditional sword dance practiced in Korea. Geommu is performed with special costume, dance motions, and music. The dance is known for its grace in performance. Extra emphasis is placed on the movement of the costuming, notably the sleeves, in harmony with the movements of the dancer. The symbolic use of a Kal, a replica sword, keeps to the militaristic origins of this dance.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A visit to the zoo - Part 8 Final

Leopard have very long hairs over their eyebrows and long whiskers sticking out at the side of their faces. As they are nocturnal, these enable them to walk through the bush at night and warn them if there is an obstacle in their path.

This one was have a lazy Sunday afternoon snooze. :)

The garden of the zoo are very nice and all over the show little waterfalls like this can be seen.

Along the banks of the small stream which runs through it there are picnic tables and chair set up for people to use. It is far nicer to put a blanket on the grass and enjoy your meal there.

During the last century, the Black Rhino has suffered the most drastic decline in total numbers of all the rhino species. In 1970, there were about 65,000 Black Rhino in Africa. In 1993, only 2,300 survived. Since then their numbers have been increasing slowly due to intensive anti-poaching and other conservation measures.

This old fellow has been at the zoo for many years. He has a partner and together they have provided the park with many off-spring.

What is better to do on a day like this than to spend ithaving a mud bath? Excellent for the complexion and takes all the wrinkles out. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A place like paradise - our Serengeti - Part 1

Over the weekend I went to Pilansberg again and the plains were teaming with widlife. This included a breeding herd with three baby elephants, zebra by the hundreds, blue wildebeest, impala, giraffe and kudu to name a few species.

This young male was in musth and was chasing all the animlas around. I had a good laugh at him as he thought he was big stuff!! LOL!!
Aren't they just the cutest?? I wanted to bring one home.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why are new leaves red - photosynthesys

I copied this simple explination from another website as I thought it explains it rarther well.

Not all of the light from the Sun makes it to the surface of the Earth. Even the light that does make it here is reflected and spread out. The little light that does make it here is enough for the plants of the world to survive and go through the process of photosynthesis. Light is actually energy, electromagnetic energy to be exact. When that energy gets to a green plant, all sorts of reactions can take place to store energy in the form of sugar molecules.
Remember we said that not all the energy from the Sun makes it to plants? Even when light gets to a plant, the plant doesn't use all of it. It actually uses only certain colors to make photosynthesis happen. Plants mostly absorb red and blue wavelengths. When you see a color, it is actually a color that the object does NOT absorb. In the case of green plants, they do not absorb light from the green range.
We already spoke about the structure of chloroplasts in the cells tutorials. We want to reinforce that photosynthesis happens in the chloroplast. Within this cell organelle is the chlorophyll that captures the light from the Sun. We'll talk about it in a bit, but the chloroplasts are working night and day with different jobs. The molecules are moved and converted in the area called the stroma.
Chlorophyll is the magic compound that can grab that sunlight and start the whole process. Chlorophyll is actually quite a varied compound. There are four (4) types: a, b, c, and d. Chlorophyll can also be found in many microorganisms and even some prokaryotic cells. However, as far as plants are concerned, the chlorophyll is found in the chloroplasts. The other big molecules are water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2) and glucose (C6H12O6). Carbon dioxide and water combine with light to create oxygen and glucose. That glucose is used in various forms by every creature on the planet. Animal cells require oxygen to survive. Animal cells need an aerobic environment (one with oxygen).
The whole process doesn't happen all at one time. The process of photosynthesis is divided into two main parts. The first part is called the light dependent reaction. This reaction happens when the light energy is captured and pushed into a chemical called ATP. The second part of the process happens when the ATP is used to make glucose (the Calvin Cycle). That second part is called the light independent reaction.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Assassin bug and beetle

These Assassin bugs are scared of nothing and will go after prey many times their size such as this Fruit Chafer.

Beetle Heart Beetle (Pedinorrhina trivittata) Scarabaeidae

For all you intrepid travelers out there, Jose has posted the most wonderful pictures of his trip to Igauzu Falls in Argentina.

Two perfect hearts. It is a small beetle, about half an inch in length.
  I have heard about people wearing their hearts on their sleeves but never on their backs. :)


Determination of the sex in the embryo is influenced by outside temperature. Warmer weather is conducive to more female than male young being hatched.
Adult crocodiles do not have any natural enemies except man, but when born, they are preyed upon by Marabou stork, mongoose and eagles.
Body temperature is controlled through a membrane in the mouth. If they are seen lying with their mouths open, they are cooling themselves by allowing mucus fluids to evaporate.
They have seventy to seventy-five teeth, and their eyes are a yellow- green in color.
Crocodile can only mate in the water, the male positioning himself over the female, then curling his body under hers. The sexual act itself lasts only about a minute.
One of their purposes in nature is to control the amount of catfish in the rivers and streams. Without this control, rivers would soon be stripped of all vegetation without which, smaller fish, turtles etc. would not be able to survive.
A distance of up to twenty kilometers will be walked by them at night in search of another water hole or stream if their current one dries up.
Their favorite food is medium sized antelope which they kill by holding it underwater until it drowns and then they will break off large portions by shaking it about then swallow it hooves and all. One impala, for example, will keep them satisfied for about 4 weeks and so they will not hunt for anything else during that time.