Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of June 2011, and all's well!

It's been raining hard for the past seven weeks. This week we've had huge thunderstorms and downpours every night.  The days are sunny and warm. The river is up, the world is green and man and  nature is thriving.

Last night's downpour

Walking down the lane on Tuesday morning to meet Sue at the security gate (we were off the to the market and to do some birding afterwards), I heard a grating sound. I looked up and spotted a Double-toothed barbet. It's not my first sighting of this magnificent bird, but I've only seen it since living here in Kenya and I still get excited when one crosses my path. The Double-toothed Barbet is a large, red-breasted bird with a large yellow bill.
Double-toothed barbet - This is one of a pair I spotted in the lane leading into my garden

Earlier this week I posted that the company carpenters would come and fit my screen doors. They arrived on Tuesday afternoon and by Wednesday midday, they'd completed one of the three doors. Today they will finish fitting one at the kitchen entrance. Finally, the lounge door will also have a screen door.
Jonathan and Philip fitting my first screen door

With the abundant rains, my new, wild garden (which covers almost my entire garden now) is thriving.  Soon I'll post about how Stanley and I have changed from the garden from exotic to about 80% indigenous. For now I've posted just two of my favourites...
Dietes grandiflora - large wild iris - a perennial, evergreen plant which produces these magnificent blooms

The "discovery" of this plant in my garden, is one my two best finds while changing from an exotic garden to a primarily indigenous garden: Bulbine bulbosa.Bulbine is named for the bulb-shaped tuber shown by many of the species. Bulbine is found chiefly in Southern Africa, with few species extending into tropical Africa and a few species in Australia 

In between writing articles and sending out queries to magazines, I've also been watching Wimbledon. Today I watched the Australian youngster, Bernard Tomic vs  Novak Djokovic on court 1. Meanwhile Federer was playing Tsonga on Centre Court which didn't show on my sport channel so it was only this evening that I heard about the major upset of Tsonga beating Federer in five sets.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week and an even better year!


  1. Birding, growing flowers, and nature in Africa is all so unique. And I chuckled as I thought ... and so is having screens on the windows and doors! Looks like your carpenters have made you a very nice door. Of course in Nairobi it is much cooler (which means less insects). At 5,500 feet elevation we needed a heater more than we needed air conditioning. I'm sure it's much warmer in Kimwarer valley.

  2. Your downpour photo is impressive. Love the red-breasted bird. You've become a great birder. Your indigenous plants are lovely, Jo.

  3. Birds with teeth? What next? You really have an eye for spotting birds.

  4. Dear Jo, I had a long comment and lost it as blogger is acting up this night (where I am). I just wanted to say I love your photos and the wild iris is very lovely. The top photo really captures the heavy rain. It reminds me of my recent sojourn in Nakuru where it rained every night also. Hugs. xx

  5. Jo please send some of your rain this way, we still have had nothing since March, it is very serious. As we have had temperatures of 37.5 in the shade the garden is struggling.
    The serrated edge to the bill of the barbet is interesting, I would love to see one.
    I have to admit to cheering on Tsonga as he is French, but his next match will not be easy! Diane

  6. Your garden is looking so lush, Jo. I'm eagerly following all you've been doing :)

  7. Oh what I would Give for one of those rains!!! I can almost smell it from here!Hahaa
    Happy weekend sweet friend!

  8. You live in a beautiful country. Seven weeks of rain, oh my goodness, that would drive me crazy but then your garden is thriving. What a beautiful bird you spotted and I love the photo's of your flowers.

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