For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Flamboyant Tree

(Delonix regia) The Flamboyant or Flame Tree originally came from Madagascar and many of our streets are lined with them. It grows to a height of 8m (25 feet) and is only found in sub-tropical climates where there is good summer rainfall. A popular tree covered with masses of orange- and scarlet flowers in summer, and followed by 7cm long, woody seedpods. The pinnate leaves are attractive too. They make excellent bonsai's.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Proteas

The Proteaceae family is more than 140 million years old, already existing during the time of Gondwana land when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Southern Africa is home to 360 species of protea in 14 genera (groups). The word "protea" is used commonly to refer to any member of the Proteaceae family, while "Protea" with a capital "P" is used specifically for the genus Protea which are the flowers like the sugarbush and the king protea. Genus "Leucospermum" are the pincushions, and genus "Leucadendron" the cone bushes, grown for their colourful foliage as well as their cones. Genus "Serruria" is famous for the Blushing Brides.
Proteas do not grow in excessively damp areas (over 3 m of rain per year) nor in hot humid areas (greater than 80% humidity with temperatures over 30°C for several days).
This is one of the pincushion variety. Some species are small like this and others grow into 15 foot trees.
One of the protea's are our national flower....not this one though.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another nursery stroll

Ah!! My second favorite pasttime!! Today there were Begonia's of all shades....
beautiful daisies....

and of course, wonderful bonsai.

Succulent plants by the dozen.....
and these stunning orchids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On top of a hill

A while back I found myself on top of this hill on a late winter’s afternoon. It was hazy and typical for this time of year but it was quite scenic. This man-made dam is about 45 minutes drive from my home.
There are a lot of very new and expensive housing developments going on around the shores…..
….including this exclusive golfing estate.
There is an old tower situated on the hill, about 20 feet high and overlooking the valley and dam. The story goes that it was built at the beginning of the 1900’s by a Frenchman who owned the property at the time. He would bring all his young ladies up there and coax them into making love to him with the champagne and flowers he gave them.
Beside the tower, this interesting tree presented itself against the watery sky.
An aloe had just started to get it’s flowers but they were not going to open for another couple of days.
There are many colorful rocks laying around……
…and on the otherside, you could see the hill continuing and I was wonder how long it would take before this beautiful view would be covered with houses too.
The end of winter marks the end of the Protea’s. They are our national flower an come in many different varieties which all bloom in the colder weather.
The sun was setting fast as it always does at this time of year……
…and with one final shot of the reflection of it on the water, it was time to head for home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lonely petunia in an onion patch

Well not quite, but close enough. These flowers are like weeds and come up all over the show. They do not have seeds so I am not sure how they propagate themselves, but I do know the ants love them. They have pink and white flowers and grow to a height of about 3 foot. Very often they are found in places like this:
There is not a scrap of soil in this rock so it is putting out roots on the side.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Frogs - Isn't he a cutie?

Amphibians are the most primitive class of land-living vertebrates being the first vertebrate animals to inhabit the land. Nevertheless, despite adopting a life on land, amphibians remain dependant on moist or aquatic habitats, particularly for breeding. They are also the only vertebrates which go through metamorphosis, with their gill-breathing and mostly aquatic young developing into adults with lungs, thus enabling them to survive out of water. The class Amphibia, which comprises more than 4700 species, is represented in South Africa by the order Anura, a group of tailless amphibians commonly referred to as frogs. One of the interesting characteristics of frogs is their call. Each species has its own distinctive mating call which the males use to attract females to breeding sites, and as frogs are generally more often heard than seen, this is a useful means of identifying species.
Owing to the semi-aquatic life-cycle of most species, and their semi-permeable skins, amphibians are especially vulnerable to pollutants and other environmental stresses. Consequently they can be regarded as useful environmental bio-monitors, and may serve as an early-warning alarm system indicating changes in the environment and potential threats to other organisms, including Homo sapiens. Frogs form the prey of various birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and even other frogs, and contribute to the control of insect pests and other invertebrates which they consume in large numbers.

I wonder if you kiss him if he turns into a prince? LOL!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful nursery

As you have probably noticed already, I love stolling through the nurseries to see what they have on display. They sometimes give one such great ideas for the garden and this place has very beautiful ones. I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves.








Monday, September 15, 2008

Roses 4

Today is officially the 1st of spring for us so I thought some beautiful roses would be the ideal thing to start off the season.





Friday, September 5, 2008

Roses 5

We have a rose farm nearby and I go there at least once a month to smell the beautiful fragrances in the air and to wonder at the perfectness of the rose.