🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

I'm missing my Nature Journal...

I'm really missing "my" Nature ... I'm missing my old garden and "my" birds and all the little mammals and insects I used to interact with. I miss my wildlife pond, I miss my potting shed and I miss digging and getting my hands dirty in the soil. I miss my early-morning walks in "my" bluegum bush and I miss identifying the various weeds I used to see coming up among the rolling fields of Eragrostis (Weeping love grass). I miss Mollie ("my" resident Mole Snake in my garden) and I miss the flocks of Guinea fowl and unexpectedly coming upon Hedgehogs and tortoises passing through our property.

I miss my various "useless" collections like feathers, terracotta pots, my succulent and cactus collection, twigs and leaves, seeds, fallen birds' nests, various droppings from little buck passing by (yes, I used to collect their droppings!), stones, pebbles and rocks, small rodent and reptile skeletons I used to find on my walks and I dearly miss my Chooks - Snoodles, Kiep, Chi-Chi, Kentucky, Micky, Missy and Mr. Brown. The only chickens I have seen in 18 months are those when we had coffee at Burnedale Farm and Restaurant here in Ballito when we went there for breakfast.

And I hear you you asking, so why don't you collect and dig in the soil and discover new things on your early-morning walks? The answer is simple - I have not had a garden for the past 18 months (luckily that is soon to change) and I've spent my time exploring vistas like the ones above and below.

I'm slowly starting to identify with the trees and plants of the coast, like the beautiful Fever Trees (Vallechia xanthaphloe, above, one of the beloved thorn Trees I never managed to get growing in my previous garden because it was too cold, this is decidedly a coastal and hot climate tree.

I have also managed to establish a new little succulent collection and some of them will find a home in the ground in our new place we are moving to. And in the pipeline is a whole new collection of terracotta pots!


Saturday, 12 January 2019

Adieu, Not Goodbye

People may enter our lives through many different doors -
Some stay forever, while others only pause.
Did they happen here by chance? Or was it really fate?
Their impact is not always known until a later date.

Some accept the loss, while others continue to feel pain -
We need to reflect on the positive, in order to see the gain.
Our children leave eventually and go their separate way;
After having explored a bit they might come back some day.

 Often we will connect with that special love or friend -
It could last forever or have an unjust end.
A sudden departure may signal a change has just occurred;
It may trigger sadness and leave our vision blurred.

Understand that sometimes separations might be for the best -
True love and friendship can endure emotion's greatest test.
Just say Adieu for today, there is no need for blame -
special people will remember more than just your name ...

Should they not return, understand they still may care -
Remember, life is always changing, not everything is fair.
~ Robert Beau


Saying goodbye to the old year is actually saying hello to the new year. And in this year ahead of us, we will meet new people, we will experience triumph and failure and we will love and hate. But most of all, we will live our daily lives as before, maybe better, if we can remember to tread softly on this earth, respect all living creatures and most of all, teach our children to respect all living creatures.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year 2019

You may have had some really good memories about the past one, but you never know what’s the new one is bringing for you. Its time to be hopeful, have new dreams and connect with each other and make new year wishes. Its time to move on and embrace what’s new.

New year means a lot of new dreams and new achievements. People throughout the world anticipate eagerly for this time of year to celebrate the memories they made in the past year and to welcome the new one. Hope you are excited about the new year that’s soon to be taking place, and here's wishing you JOY, LOVE and INSPIRATION for 2019!

Monday, 24 December 2018

Christmas in Africa 2018

A bit of festive fun with one of my sketches - The CAPE GLOSSY STARLING (Lamprotornis nitens) having a wonderful festive season with his friend Tweetie in my garden!

Starling to Tweetie : Have you heard Tweetie? Maree has already bought all our presents! Suet, peanuts, minced meat, mealworms, wild birdseed, mixed birdseed, apples, bananas, paw paw and peanut butter!
  • A Merry African Christmas and a stunning 2018 to all my blogging friends!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Listen to the whispers of the wind this Christmas

Listen to the whispers of the wind this Christmas. They carry a message of love, peace, hope and happiness for you.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Spotted in my garden

A few things spotted in my garden in the months preceding the sale of our smallholding.


Black Headed Heron 

Black Headed Heron taking flight

Red Toad (Schismaderma carens) at my wildlife pond (Rooiskurwepadda)

Speckled Pigeon (RockDove)

White Browed Sparrow Weaver

A fitting farewell to my Gauteng garden, which I am sorely missing, but new explorations are beckoning here in KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

Saturday, 8 December 2018

My Kiepersol died!

My Kiepersol (Cabbage tree - Cussonia paniculata) is dead. Yea, dead.

The first signs were leaves drying out and then all the leaves dropping to the ground every day - and large gouges in the trunk of the tree. Like some animal has been eating the bark. But there are no large animals in my garden. So that was not the problem.

Then, a couple of weeks later, I discovered that I had a Ground Squirrel living in my garden.

(I did not manage to get a photo of him, this one is from Google)

Ground squirrels are primarily herbivorous, and their diet changes with the season. After emerging from hibernation, they feed almost exclusively on green grasses and herbaceous plants. When annual plants begin to dry and produce seed, squirrels switch to seeds, grains, nuts and roots, and begin to store food. They are a bit bigger than a large rat with a fluffy tail and are regarded as troublesome rodent pests for many home gardeners.
Although ground squirrels look similar to tree squirrels and can climb trees, when frightened they generally will retreat to their burrow, and I did find his burrow under all the ferns surrounding my Kiepersol.

So I concluded that he was the culprit causing the early demise of my lovely Cabbage Tree...

My Kiepersol in better days...

A beautiful, large Kiepersol which I photographed at the Randfontein Private Hospital (Gauteng, South Africa) in 2017.


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