Saturday, November 14, 2015

Drought and summer critters

Hi everyone, finally I'm here to add my post to Eileen's Saturday Critters meme. 

After I'd photographed the beautiful sunrise and skies which I shared on Skywatch Friday yesterday, the wind came up and brought this...

Thick dust storms over our part of the Free State

Hot, dusty and depressing weather which dried up the earth even more

We're waiting anxiously for rain to cool down the earth and also to bring relief to the farmers in the area. 

That evening the weather had calmed down and the sun returned. We watched as the birds came to refresh themselves at several of our natural water troughs and the nectar of the flowering aloes. 
A Cape Sparrow enjoying a refreshing drink at a rock pool in my garden

A Malachite Sunbird (male) sips the nectar from a flowering aloe

Two sparrows enjoy the overflow of water where I'd watered the vegetables from the garden tap

Indoors we've had a problem with ants - obviously looking for water. They swarm around the kettle and Chappie's water bowl. On Wednesday night Rina noticed a trail of large ants on the outside wall - but that it disappeared into the house. 

A swarm of ants which have somehow entered the house in my office

They march down the wall, onto the floor, and to Chappie's water

There are two schools of thought in South Africa concerning insects. Two types of people. Those who use sprays to kill insects and those who don't. I don't use sprays. 
Rina does! She brought out the Doom and aimed at the army of ants invading our house 

Fortunately, the next day she found a chalk stick at our local supermarket. Knowing my abhorrence to sprays and hers to creepy crawlies, she brought this chalk home. You draw a circle around the area where the ants congregate (or around the kettle, cat's water, bathroom taps, anything) and the ants GO AWAY of their own accord! Absolutely harmless to children and pets! 

I'm linking my post to Eileen Saturday Critters here


  1. Hello Jo, your birds are beautiful. I especially love the sunbird, it is a gorgeous colorful bird. I do not like using pesticides either, the chalk stick sounds like a great idea. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  2. Hello!:) The male sunbird is so beautiful. I was interested to know about the chalk ring. I wonder if it is just a regular stick of chalk or has it added deterants! As I also don't like using sprays, I'll try it out when we are invaded by the pesky ants who don't know their place sometimes.

  3. That malachite sunbird is gorgeous!

  4. The weather is so depressing at the moment. Beautiful sunbird! I also hate those toxic sprays.

  5. Hate ants in the house although we do not seem to get them here in Northern Ireland. In England I used to pour biling water on them, hat sure got ride of them!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Sunbird is so pretty!

    Good that you found a non-toxic solution to the ant invasion.

  7. We're in the same boat. Summer not even here but the earth is dry as dust to a great depth with trees and deep-rooted shrubs wilt and stressed. I have the same aloes in mu garden as well but my birds are not as spectacular as your sunbird. Thanks for the chalk tip Jo.

  8. Baking powder does the Job.

  9. Baking powder does the job. I hope it rains soon. Regards from Austria.


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