🐾 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, 8 November 2014

A week of pleasure

After an extremely cold and harsh winter, we seemed to skip spring and headed straight into above 30°C temperatures. My garden was absolutely devastated by the extreme frost we experienced and then suffered from heat exhaustion no matter how much I watered. Then, to top it, I sat without internet for ages, unable to get to my blogs except for some viewing via my phone or tablet.

But at last we've had our first rains of the season, my internet is back on, things are back to normal and my garden is smiling! So am I, with the rain came the relief of cooler temperatures and at last it's a joy to spend time in the garden again, chatting to the plants and my little garden friends. My lizards (African skinks, actually) just LOVED the heat and were to be seen all over - on the patio, on the walls, on the pot plants, sunning themselves on the rocks. They've gotten to be very tame, not moving even as I approach, but still keeping a weary eye on me, just in case.

I had some Guinea fowl visiting the garden, we don't see many of them these days, the area is getting very built up.

This African Masked Weaver was not perturbed by my presence at all, he was too busy singing and calling females to come and look at his masterpiece of a nest - he had quite a few visitors, but none of the females lingered longer than a few seconds. I wonder why, I thought his nest was beautiful!

Snoodles and Peeps spend a lot of time together, mostly getting up to mischief, choosing to uproot plants and looking under them for a snack in stead of finding stuff above-ground. Weird!

It seems the Hydrangeas were just waiting for the first few drops of rain because the very next day the first blooms started appearing. I might have a bumper crop this year...

Most of my garden has recuperated after the heavy frosts - after being cut down and with the first rains, the sword ferns came back with a vengeance, the Geraniums burst into bloom and I'm thrilled that the Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers) started flowering already, that means the Amethyst Sun birds (Black Sun bird - Chalcomitra amethystina) will be here soon! They just love the nectar these flowers carry.

Last summer I managed to get a few pics of the female while the male refused to pose for a photographic session. The male is a stunning metallic black with a bright iridescent amethyst throat and the female, in stark contrast, is a dull grey and brown with spots under her throat and abdomen. Hopefully, this summer, I might manage to get some pictures of the male.

Female Amethyst Sun bird on a Kniphofia flower

Female Amethyst Sun bird on a Kniphofia flower

 Female Amethyst Sun bird on a Kniphofia flower

 Male Amethyst Sun bird



  1. Wow! So much has happened in the past two weeks. Plants blooming, birds nesting ... all so alive. I like the masked weaver's nest, too! Maree, it's good to see you back, with everything around you burgeoning!!!

    1. Thanks ever so much for the warm welcome Kathryn! Smile! Yep, baby birds and baby chicks everywhere, it's been a busy beginning to the summer season!



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