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

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Bliss of Pets and Animals

Some of my pets, current and past, as well as some garden residents ...

Jacko and I, our Fox terrier x - he's just turned 3 in September '09. Rescued him from a road-side vendor trying to sell him. Selling animals next to the road is illegal in South Africa and should also not be supported, as it creates a market for poachers to catch wild animals to sell at the road-side.

Danny and I - he's still young -about 5 - considering they live to the ripe old age of about 50 or over!

Mai, the Mynah, as a youngster - found her after she had fallen out of her nest. Spent 6 wonderful months with us before she mysteriously disappeared.

Mai, after having a bath

Mai roosting on my MAC speaker

Pippin, my Bush baby. Rescued his as a baby from people throwing stones at him and trying to kill him. Was released back into the wild after he recuperated.

Hedgie, the Hedgehog - spent 8 blissful years with us.

Flutterby, my Laughing Dove, keeping an eye on me whilst in the garden. Saved her from certain death when I rescued her from the Fiscal Shrike who had ideas of spiking her in his pantry.

Duffy, my pigeon, investigating the new nest box. Reared him from a baby straight out of the egg after being abandoned by his parents.

Pappa Goose, with his hobble foot caused by fishing gut cutting off the tendons and nerves - he was found at Florida Lake and brought to me for care and safe-keeping.

Mamma Goose taking a stroll around the garden

My pair of Carolina Ducks (American Wood Duck) investigating their new next box. They're not impressed, because it's supposed to be raised off the ground and they actually turned up their noses and wandered off to inspect one of the other boxes.

Malistic, my Mongolian Ringnek Pheasant saved from certain death when I confiscated him from someone hawking him in the shopping mall as Christmas lunch.

Wynona, Malistic's wife

Black Shouldered kite juvenile with 2 broken wings and a broken coccyx being nursed back to health. Unfortunately he would never fly again.

Kiki and Tweeti, the two Cockatiels, each one with a very different character. Kiki, the grey one, is gentle and soft-hearted, Tweeti very cocky and sure of himself.

Mr. Silky Rooster and his wife - the most gentle chickens ever with the softest, silkiest feathers and unable to fly.

A Mountain tortoise rescued from the pot and released in the Game Reserve.

Chester, our Rottweiler, whose looks belied a totally gentle nature, but who was a fully trained guard dog and followed every command. Unfortunately Chester succumbed after a Puff Adder bit him.

A resident striped field mouse in my garden, recovering from an accidental dosing with the hosepipe!

Two striped field mice snacking on some bird seed in my garden.

The Finches enjoying the bird table.

Mai again, eyeing out the bird bath...

and then deciding to take the plunge.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Cosmos in South Africa

Cosmos in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Every March and November respectively our countryside explodes with colour when pretty pink and white cosmos flowers bloom in late summer. They grow easily in the soil at the side of the roads disturbed by the road scrapers widening the verges.

Cosmos is a genus of about 20-26 species of annual and perennial plants in the family Asteraceae, native to scrub and meadow areas in Mexico (where the bulk of the species occur), the southern United States (Arizona, Florida), Central America, South America south to Paraguay and South Africa

They are herbaceous perennial plants growing 0.3-2 m tall. The leaves are simple, pinnate, or bipinnate, and arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are produced in a capitulum with a ring of broad ray florets and a center of disc florets; flower color is very variable between the different species.

Cosmos next to a stream

Cosmos, along with many of our succulent and aloe species, have become regarded as indigenous in South Africa and bloom in various colours - white, pink, cerise and red - no yellow in South Africa.

It's against the law to pick the flowers next to the side of the road, but Cosmos seeds are now packaged and available at most nurseries. Growing them in the garden is easy and they make a wonderful country-style cut-flower arrangement.

"Cosmos" - watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree

Cosmos flowers is a favourite subject of, and has inspired, artists throughout the years and have been depicted on many a canvass.

Cosmos growing wild in the country-side (photo by Jo-Ann Kruger)

White Cosmos

Cosmos growing wild next to a stream



Thursday, 17 September 2009

Pappa Goose Condolences

(Click on image to enlarge to read it)

A note of condolence I received from the Vet where I had Pappa Goose euthanized on the 5th September 2009.

"Remember me
When I was at my best
Please do not mourn
For I am at rest
Where I feel No pain"

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

South Africa's Flowers

'Namaqualand Daisies' watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©
(Click on image to enlarge)

In nature there are many phenomenon's but very few as spectacular as the Namaqualand daisies.

Namaqualand! 100% Big sky country. Extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the west of South Africa to the small town of Pofadder in the east, north from the great Orange River and south beyond Garies, Namaqualand is indeed a vast and varied region.

During the arid summer months it is difficult for the tourist to imagine the phenomenon of the yearly wild flower appearance.

After the winter rainfall, Namaqualand dons her coat of many colours and for a brief moment, the wildflowers invade the countryside. Countless poems, novels, paintings and prose have been dedicated to this annual shower of God's colour.

Before the flowers appear

At the end of winter (Click on image to enlarge)

Monday, 14 September 2009

Let's Live the Life of an Eagle

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, Not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.

A positive attitude causes a chain - reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.

It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.
Let's change to make a change!!!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

"If you focus on results, you will never change.
If you focus on change, you will get results."

Saturday, 5 September 2009

FARM TALK - Pappa Goose - In Memoriam

I look at life as a gift of God. Now that he wants it back I have no right to complain.
---Joyce Cary

My sketch for today - in memoriam of Pappa Goose - 1991 - 2009.

"Pappa Goose" watercolour on Visual 140gsm - 05/09/09 Maree©

Pappa Goose, an Egyptian Goose, was brought to me to take care of him in 1991 - don't know how old he was - he had one gammy foot as a result of fishing gut being entangled around his leg and severing the tendons and nerves, causing his foot to pull backwards. I was lucky to have the pleasure of his presence in my life for 18 years when, finally today, I had to have him euthanized because his legs were riddled with arthritis and he could hardly stand up anymore. If there is a Goose Heaven, I'm sure that's where he is now.



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