🐾 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, 24 April 2011

Now see what you've done!

We received a notification from Eskom (our electricity supply commission) that they were doing maintenance on the sub-station in our area (Tarlton, South Africa), and that the electricity would be off from 9am to 5pm (it only came back on at 8pm!), so I had a day of no "RedBubble" ahead of me! OK, I did have a wonderful day painting, and in between I decided to give the garden a bit of water.

I used the hosepipe, as I love the feel of the water as I compress it to reach plants far into the bed and, besides which, it's almost like meditating, gives me lots of time to think and just enjoy the sunshine.

After I'd done quite a good soaking in one of my beds, out crawled this little Striped Field Mouse, soaking wet and looking quite bedraggled! He looked me straight in the eye as if to say, "Now see what you've done!" and promptly started cleaning and drying himself. I gingerly put the hosepipe down and rushed inside for my camera, hoping that he would stay put, and I was lucky. Upon my return, he was still in the same spot, slightly drier, but very intent on getting back to normal! He didn't seem at all perturbed by my presence and didn't move away until he was thoroughly dry again.

Camera : FujiFinepix 2800Zoom Digital - normal settings

Now this is disgusting!

It's still wet behind my ears...

Aaah, that's a bit better!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Struthio camelus

“An ostrich with its head in the sand is just as blind to opportunity as to disaster.”

The Ostrich (struthio camelus) is a member of a group of birds known as ratites, that is they are flightless birds without a keel to their breastbone, and are native to Africa. Of the 8,600 bird species which exist today, the ostrich is the largest. Standing tall on long, bare legs, the Ostrich has a long, curving, predominantly white neck. The humped body of the male is covered in black patches and the wings and tail are tipped with white. The female is brown and white. These huge birds, which sometimes reach a height of 2.6 m and a weight of 135 kg, cannot fly, but are very fast runners.

Here in South Africa, Ostriches were almost wiped out in the 18th century due to hunting for feathers. By the middle of the 19th century, due to the extensive practice of ostrich farming, the ostrich population increased. The movement changed to domesticating and plucking ostriches, instead of hunting. Ostriches have been successfully domesticated and are now farmed throughout the world, particularly in South Africa, for meat, feathers and leather. The leather goes through a tanning process and is then manufactured into fashion accessories such as boots and bags.

I don't have any nice pics of Ostriches myself, so I decided to do this sketch for this post. Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©


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