Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good fences, good dog

Earlier this week,  when the dogs and I returned from our early morning walk on the golf course, I stopped to take photos of flowers along the pavement. Skabenga's obedience training is a WIP (work in progress) and he is doing exceptionally well! 
Although we stopped near a fence with a dog behind it, Skabenga merely looked on with interest!

The handsome lad behind the fence looked back at us with equal interest 

Two dogs eyenball each other over the distance

I'm linking to Good Fences hosted by TexWisGirl here


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Farm braai

On Sunday we were invited to a braai/ BBQ on our friends' farm. Julius and Carin live around the corner from us here in town but Julius farms on several acres of land in the district. 

As Grant and I don't own a pick-up truck anymore, Carin collected us in their Toyota Fortuner (4 wheel drive vehicle) Next she picked up her 85 yo mum, Anna from the retirement center and met up with Julius at their home. He had their 20 yo daughter, Anje and our neighbor's two teenage boys with him. Finally all the picnic hampers and people were distributed into the two vehicles and we were off. 
Grant and Julius rode ahead in his Toyota Hilux. Camping chairs, tables, portable BBQ and the two dachshunds were on the back of this vehicle 

With Anje driving her mum's Fortuner, Carin sitting beside her; Nicholas, Anna and I on the back seat and Jade in the dicky seat behind us, we drove through the most beautiful farmlands; the roads lined with cosmos.
The convoy stopped so that Carin and I could photograph the cosmos backed by lush sunflower fields 
Swathes and swathes of cosmos 
The only close-up I took of a single bloom and I cut off the edge! 

Cosmos is a genus, with the same common name of cosmos, consisting of flowering plants in the sunflower family. Cosmos is native to scrub and medowland in Mexico as well as the United States, Central America and South America as far south as Paragauy. It's widespread over the high Eastern plains of South Africa where it was introduced via contaminated horsefeed imported from Argentina during the Anglo- Boer war.  
Entering Julius' land, it was Nicolas who jumped out and opened and closed the wire gates
The cattle and their offspring are looking glossy and fat after the recent summer rains
An idyllic spot for a picnic! 
Adjacent to the picnic spot were Julius' sunflower fields; Carin and I took many photos of these golden beauties

Sunflowers as far as the eye could see

The silence was almost audible! 
Carin and I walked through the bush. Of course, I spotted a broken down fence and snapped away! 
We stopped regularly to photograph the tiny wildflowers and grasses
Some wildflowers I recognized; others like the ones above and the next two blooms below, I had no idea what it is
This flower was attached to a plant which looked like a weed. But oh so pretty! 

Another unknown, but beautiful enough to photograph
These delicate blooms were ever so tiny
Statice is also common in the Eastern Free State growing prolifically along the roads and in fields. It's used regularly in flower arrangements and known as the everlasting flower
Tantalizing smells drew us back to the picnic spot where Julius was expertly braaiing boerewors (sausages) for lunch
The two dogs are Oscar (above) who belongs to Anna but spends every day at Carin's home as pets are not [actually] permitted in the retirement center...
...and Stewart, Carin and Julius' baby!  
A long deserted weaver's nest in the pyracantha shrub

After a delicious lunch and a relaxing time with friends, at around 3.30pm we packed up loaded the vehicles and set off for home. 
I loved this white-faced cow
Stewart and Oscar on the back of Julius' pick-up. In a farming society where farmers generally have large German Shepherds, Boerboels and Sheep dogs on the back of their vehicles, Julius sports two dachshunds! 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here

Monday, March 28, 2016

Moon phases March 2016

Last quarter; visibility 55%; age 22 days (1 March 2016) 
Waning crescent visibility 4%; age 28 days (7 March 2016)
Waxing crescent. Visibility 17%; age 5 days, (13 March 2016)
First quarter visibility 37%; age 6 days (14 March 2016 - 5:48 am)
First quarter, visibility 37%; age 6 days (14 March 2016 8.18 pm)

Waxing gibbous. Visibility 69%; age 9 days (17 March 2016)
Waxing gibbous. Visibility 97%; age 13 days (22 March 2016)
Full moon. Visibility 100%; age 14 days (23 March 2016) 
Full moon. visibility 100%; age 15 days. (24 March 2016 5.47 am)


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kitty photos and a video

Hi Bozo and Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose and this week I'm posting photos of me FIRST. It's a little cold nowadays and I found out that Mum's desk was the warmest place. Of course, I look so cute, she took lots of pictures! 
I, Ambrose, enjoying the sunshine on Mum's desk

I like playing with the sheets of paper on Mum's desk
It's tiring being a desk jockey
Unca Shadow loves to sleep in the basket with dried catnip 
Mum also caught him sitting on her dining chair before dinner!

Later that night, Mum videoed Unca Shadow playing in a box. We kitties LOVE a box and will always jump in and play around inside.

 For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A special critter sighting

Last weekend while visiting with John and family in the Drakensberg, I had the pleasure of photographing a very special critter.  Eryn and Bethany called me to look at several hawk-moth caterpillar in the quinine trees (Ruavolfia caffra) along the driveway. 
At first I struggled to see the critter, so well camouflaged it was in the leaves

We spotted another one along the branch 
Picking it up gently, Eryn placed it on the ground for me to photograph
The large oriental markings on its head, are mock eyes. The real eyes are small and situated lower down on the face 
Isn't it beautiful?

Once I'd downloaded the photos onto my computer, I looked for a positive ID on the critter. Eventually I came across a website of Dr Krishna Mohan. It had several images which matched my find.  I sent him photos for confirmation; he replied yesterday in the affirmative. 
Oleander Hawk-moth caterpillar - see here

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here