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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Egg-eater Snake

This friendly little fellow belongs to a friend of mine who collects strange pets.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hartebeesport Dam - Part 2

Going past the dam and over the wall, this lovely sight caught my eye. We have had a lot of rain this past season and they have opened the sluice gates which slip over these lovely falls.
A little way down the road, there is a craft stall at the side of the road where our local people make things to sell. These mats are woven out of grass which they collect at the end of every summer. It is made from what we call “elephant grass” which grows about 6 feet high.
These bowls are very hardy and are woven out of grass as well or sometimes rushes which are gathered by the rivers.
Soap stone is the most popular medium for carving statues and this is which the light colored animals here are made of. The dark ones at the back are mad from wood.

I liked this wooden one. It is about 6 inches in height.
These giraffe are also soap stone.
Bowl always attract my attention. Everything you have seen here is handmade as these people are quite talented.
I like wooden things like these small dishes…..

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hartebeesport Dam - Part 1

I decided to head out towards the dam but used a different road this time. Coming over the hill, I saw the start of it in the distance.
The day was a bit overcast and quite cold with the wisps of cloud hanging about the mountains in a few places.
It was still early so I decided to stop for breakfast first and while I was eating, this little snail cam sailing by. He was all of 1 inch long and did not mind me taking his picture.
Then the sun came out a little and it was off to look for spiders and whatever else I might find.
I could not help but take some pictures of the Bougainville again as it is so pretty.
There were some pretty flowers growing on a vine….they have obviously not heard that it has turned to winter yet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Poppies

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of their (commonly) blood-red color. In Greco-Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies are used as emblems on tombstones to symbolize eternal sleep. This aspect was used, fictionally, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to create magical poppy fields, dangerous because they caused those who passed through them to sleep forever.

A second meaning for the depiction and use of poppies in Greco-Roman myths is the symbolism of the bright scarlet colour as signifying the promise of resurrection after death.
Plastic Remembrance Day poppies The poppy of wartime remembrance is the red corn poppy, Papaver rhoeas. This poppy is a common weed in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders Fields. This is because the corn poppy was one of the only plants that grew on the battlefield. It thrives in disturbed soil, which was abundant on the battlefield due to intensive shelling. During the few weeks the plant blossomed, the battlefield was coloured blood red, not just from the red flower that grew in great numbers but also from the actual blood of the dead soldiers that lay scattered and untended to on the otherwise barren battlegrounds. Thus the plant became a symbol for the dead World War I soldiers. In many Commonwealth countries and in the United States, artificial, paper or plastic versions of this poppy are worn to commemorate the sacrifice of veterans and civilians in World War I and other wars, during the weeks preceding Remembrance Day on November 11. It has been adopted as a symbol by The Royal British Legion in their Poppy Appeal.

In North America, poppies are known as Clown Shoes by the Royal Canadian Legion, who sell them each fall prior to Remembrance Day. The design of the Canadian poppy has changed recently. Formerly the poppy was red plastic with a felt lining with a green centre held on by a pin. The green was to represent the green fields of France. In 2002 the design was changed with some small controversy to a black centre. This is to reflect the actual colour of the French poppy.
In New Zealand and Australia, paper poppies are widely distributed by the Returned Services Association leading up to ANZAC day (April 25th).
The golden poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wild Date Palm

This is a Wild Date Palm and in early spring, starts getting new shoots.
Soon these turn into hundreds of berries which, although not edible for humans, are very much enjoyed by the birds.
In areas where there is wildlife, the baboons and elephants feast themselves on the fruit too.
There are many varieties here and even in the colder areas, these hardy trees always show a bit of greenery.