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Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: September 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

September has seen temperatures of over 30 C with hot dry berg winds and

01 Cover IMG_8713

dipping to -2 C when we had a snowfall on the 9 September. Although the grass has responded to the moisture and the hillsides have greened up, not many wildflowers have bloomed yet. Our well, our water supply, has virtually dried up, so hoping rains will come soon.

01 Cover IMG_8836

On the 28 September there was a particularly beautiful sunset.

 

I haven’t had much time to roam around our hillsides but have noticed that the orchid that showed signs of flowering,

02 Flora Eulophia parviflora 01 (short-spurred form) IMG_1474

Eulophia parviflora (short-spurred form) last month has had all the flowering stalks neatly nipped off, so we won’t see them this year;

 

02 Flora Grasses covered in snow IMG_1429

after the snowfall the grasses were blanketed in a light cover of snow;

 

02 Flora Helichrysum caespititium IMG_8818

02 Flora Helichrysum caespititium IMG_8820

02 Flora Helichrysum caespititium IMG_8822

the minute, dainty Helichrysum caespititium was covered in blossom;

 

02 Flora Raphionacme hirsuta IMG_1475

bright purple Raphionacme hirsuta glowed against the reddish soil and

 

02 Flora Tritonia lineata IMG_1465

02 Flora Tritonia lineata IMG_1468

delicately elegant Tritonia lineata fluttered in the breeze.

 

One morning I discovered a miniscule

03 Insect Soft-winged flower beetle Family Melyridae IMG_1400

Soft-winged flower beetle of the Family Melyridae on the edge of a cup.

 

A large moth,

03 Moth Fulvous Hawk Moth Coelonia fulvinotata IMG_1404

03 Moth Fulvous Hawk Moth Coelonia fulvinotata IMG_4584

a Fulvous Hawk Moth, Coelonia fulvinotata, rested on the backdoor mat.

 

While walking on the hillside I found a weathered snail shell, which I think is a

03 Snail shell Many-ridged shuffler Tropidophora plurilirata IMG_1471

Many-ridged shuffler Tropidophora plurilirata.

 

The Common Grey Duiker are regular visitors to the garden, and the Common Reedbuck are loving the new grass on the hillsides.

 

On the 25 September I heard the Piet-my-vrou, Red-chested Cuckoo, calling for the first time this spring. The Spotted Eagle-Owls have been calling at dawn and dusk, I hadn’t heard them for some time.

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Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: August 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

This August we have experienced contrasting weather, hot dry berg winds and very cold, misty and wet cold fronts passing through.

02 Cover IMG_1268

02 Cover IMG_1273

Snow fell on the berg and foothills on the night of 9th and morning of the 10th, then again on the 17th / 18th August. Although very cold, and a few fat, wet flakes fell on the morning of the 18th snow didn’t settle here, instead much needed light rain. We had the first proper frost of winter on the 4th of August and again on the 16th and 27th , these conditions have delayed the Spring flowers here compared with the last few years. However a general greening of the grass and a few flowers are starting to appear.

02 Cover IMG_1325

The hazy conditions after the warm berg winds

02 Cover IMG_4444

and then crystal clear air after the cold fronts passed through created beautiful light at sunset!

 

One of my favourite Spring flowers always makes an early appearance, though only just started flowering, so their petals are not yet ragged flags,

03 Flora Anemone fanninii IMG_1332

03 Flora Anemone fanninii IMG_1339

Anemone fanninii;

 

03 Flora Apodolirion buchananii IMG_1345

Apodolirion buchananii sparkle;

 

03 Flora Cyrtanthus tuckii IMG_1334

03 Flora Cyrtanthus tuckii IMG_4581

Cyrtanthus tuckii are bright red flames in new green grass growth;

 

03 Flora Eulophia parviflora (short-spurred form) IMG_1357

only one orchid shows signs of flowering, Eulophia parviflora (short-spurred form);

 

03 Flora Gazania krebsiana IMG_1330

Gazania krebsiana flowers create spots of cheerful yellow;

 

03 Flora Ledebouria ovatifolia IMG_4564

03 Flora Ledebouria ovatifolia IMG_4567

the stunning, delicate purple Ledebouria ovatifolia are prolific this year;

 

03 Flora Nemesia caerulea IMG_1368

the occasional Nemesia caerulea is in bloom;

 

03 Flora Ouhout Leucosidea sericea IMG_1379

03 Flora Ouhout Leucosidea sericea IMG_1381

masses of Ouhout, Leucosidea sericea, blossom cover the small trees;

 

03 Flora Senecio sp IMG_1372

a very unassuming Senecio sp was almost overlooked;

 

03 Flora Urginea capitata IMG_4546

03 Flora Urginea capitata IMG_1349

then this season there are many small clumps of the tiny, stunning Urginea capitata

 

03 Flora Ursinia tenuiloba IMG_1370

and the clumps of Ursinia tenuiloba have expanded creating mini insect hot-spots!

 

The birdsong at dawn is beautifully varied, birds in general are very active at the moment, busy courting and no doubt starting nest building.

 

A few of the insects I have spotted are:

04 Insects Bee IMG_1395

Bees busy foraging in the available flowers;

 

04 Insects Ladybird IMG_1319

a Ladybird beetle on the kitchen sink, I haven’t seen the usual large hibernation groups in sheltered corners this year

 

04 Insects Milkweed Bug Spilostethus sp IMG_4548

and a wonderful Milkweed Bug, Spilostethus sp..

 

Two Vervet Monkeys range over the rocky hillside regularly in search of food, they also raid the unripe Granadillas from the veggie garden, several times there have been ‘calling card, territory markers’ on the verandah.

05 Fauna Common Reedbuck IMG_1301

Most evenings Common Reedbuck have been seen grazing on the new grass on the hillside, on one evening they were there together with the Grey Duiker and the Vervet Monkeys.

05 Fauna Common Reedbuck IMG_1343

I also came across a group of three on the hillside late one afternoon.

 

05 Fauna Grey Duiker IMG_4526

The Grey Duiker was feeding close to the house during the day, when the weather cleared after the last cold front passed through.

 

 

Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: July 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

02 Moon Eclipse 27 IMG_4359

The total moon eclipse on the 27 July was a highlight, for once the skies were clear, littered with myriads of stars, and I watched entranced.

02 Moon Eclipse 28 IMG_1225

The following morning as dawn crept in the orb was a faint pink glow through the smoky air. There were only two mornings when there was a real chill of winter, the 4 and 16 July. A quiet, dry, hibernating month, but still nature persists and there were some magic moments.

 

The first was the delightful

03a African Humming Bird Moth Macroglossum trochilus ssp trochilus IMG_1155

African Humming Bird Moth, Macroglossum trochilus ssp. trochilus

03a African Humming Bird Moth Macroglossum trochilus ssp trochilus IMG_1158

African Humming Bird Moth, Macroglossum trochilus ssp. trochilus

flitting over and amongst the Rosemary flowers. It moved really quickly, a quick sip here and there, so felt happy to capture these images.

Towards the end of July I came across this

03a Painted Lady Vanessa cardui IMG_1212

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui, sunning on Buddleja salviifolia.

 

03b Spider web IMG_1246

In a burnt firebreak I found a beautiful Spider web.

 

Then one evening as I was going to bed I saw what I thought were tiny specks of dust about 2mm long, near the bedside lamp. On closer inspection I realised they were

03b Spiderlings IMG_4424

newly hatched Spiderlings! Already they had constructed fine lines of spider web from the lamp to the bedstead and were moving busily up and down.

 

Also in a burnt area

03c Ant Nest IMG_4394

03c Ant IMG_4395

an Ants nest was revealed,

 

03c possibly a Wasp nest IMG_1248

as was what I think is a Wasp nest.

 

04 Black-headed Oriole IMG_1228

Black-headed Orioles are back visiting the verandah as they do every July.

 

04 Cape White-eye IMG_1165

Cape White-eyes flit frenetically in bare branches.

Many birds love using the small birdbath on the verandah including the

04 Dark-capped Bulbul IMG_1179

Dark-capped Bulbul

04 Dark-capped Bulbul IMG_1181

Dark-capped Bulbuls.

 

04 possibly a Southern Boubou nest IMG_1199

About a meter from the ground, well concealed in the thick foliage of a Tree Fuschia, Halleria lucida, I found a nest, which I think was made and used by Southern Boubous.

 

04 Yellow-fronted Canary 04 IMG_4005

On the really chilly morning of 4 July I found a dead Yellow-fronted Canary lying on the ground.

 

05 Common Reedbuck male IMG_4379

On an early evening walk I spotted a young male Common Reedbuck, lying very still, watching me, very camouflaged in the dry grass.

 

05 Grey Duiker IMG_1195

In early predawn light a Grey Duiker stood quietly surveying the stillness.

 

July is a month when there are very few flowers out, however

06 Buddleja salviifolia IMG_1205

Buddleja salviifolia have finally started to blossom, a heady sweet scent fills the air and they are a magnet for many insects. We have two colour varieties,

06 Buddleja salviifolia IMG_1214

a cream Buddleja salviifolia and

 

06 Buddleja salviifolia IMG_4387

a lilac Buddleja salviifolia.

 

06 Euryops laxus IMG_1143

Euryops laxus sparkle in cool sunshine.

 

06 Gazania krebsiana IMG_4377

Gazania krebsiana have also started to appear.

 

06 possibly Pachycarpus natalensis IMG_1233

What I think are Pachycarpus natalensis seeds have burst from seedpods and drift over the dry landscape.

06 possibly Pachycarpus natalensis IMG_1242

 

 

06 Ursinia tenuiloba IMG_4378

There were a few clumps of the delicate Ursinia tenuiloba.

06 Ursinia tenuiloba IMG_4381

 

Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: June 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

June has been a mild weather month, no really cold spells and very little frost.

01 Cover a IMG_8479

There have been some soft misty evenings and mornings,

 

01 Cover b IMG_4002

but mostly deep cobalt blue, cloudless skies with the sun low at midday. On several occasions water bombing planes have flown over on their way to put out veld fires.

 

The flower of June has to be

02 01 Aloe maculata IMG_3938

Aloe maculata!

 

Their bright colour glows on the hillside. On closer inspection the flower buds in various stages are simply amazing.

02 02 Aloe maculata IMG_3940

Aloe maculata

 

02 03 Aloe maculata IMG_1101

Aloe maculata

 

02 04 Aloe maculata IMG_1137

Aloe maculata

 

02 05 Aloe maculata IMG_1104

Aloe maculata

 

02 06 Aloe maculata IMG_1106

Aloe maculata

We have two colour variants, deep orange and golden yellow.

 

Other flowers out are 02 Aster bakerianus IMG_1130

Aster bakerianus;

 

one of my favourite winter flowers,

02 Buddleja dysophylla a IMG_3917

Buddleja dysophylla

 

02 Buddleja dysophylla b IMG_1114

Buddleja dysophylla

 

02 Buddleja dysophylla IMG_1122

Buddleja dysophylla

 

lacy white snowdrifts of blossom sparkle against the subdued colours of winter;

on burnt tracer lines for fire breaks

02 Gerbera amigua IMG_1131

Gerbera ambigua

 

02 Gerbera amigua IMG_1134

Gerbera ambigua

 

have responded to the winter sun;

 

02 Halleria lucida a IMG_3954

the Tree Fuchsia, Halleria lucida flowers glow red against the green foliage

 

02 Halleria lucida b IMG_3933

Tree Fuchsia, Halleria lucida

 

02 Halleria lucida c

Tree Fuchsia, Halleria lucida

 

02 Nemesia caerulea IMG_1128

Nemesia caerulea;

 

02 Otholobuim polystictum IMG_1136

Otholobuim polystictum;

 

02 Plectranthus calycina seed IMG_1112

Plectranthus calycina seeds and

 

02 Watsonia confusa seed IMG_1107

Watsonia confusa seed, with dried flowers still attached to the inflorescence.

 

As the leaves dry and fall

03 Ant nest IMG_4003

an Ants nest was exposed.

 

A treat was to see

03 Common Hottentot female Gegenes niso subsp niso IMG_3823

Common Hottentot, Gegenes niso subsp. niso butterflies, female

 

03 Common Hottentot male Gegenes niso subsp niso IMG_3827

Common Hottentot, Gegenes niso subsp. niso butterflies, male, last observed in 2013.

 

One morning I heard a buzzing and realised that

03 Honey Bees Apis mellifera IMG_3913

Honey Bees, Apis mellifera,

were intent on making the chimney the site for their next hive.

03 Honey Bees Apis mellifera IMG_3927

Honey Bees, Apis mellifera,

I lit a fire, and they soon swarmed away to the north end of the house. They settled there for two and a half days before flying off, to hopefully a better new site.

03 Honey Bees Apis mellifera IMG_3929

Left behind was a small comb of wax.

Perhaps if they hadn’t found another site they would have continued building vertical parallel combs and settled, though it wouldn’t have been an ideal, protected site for the hive.

 

03 Potter Wasp pos Synagris analis IMG_3998

A beautifully made clay nest on wooden slats, I think, was built by a Potter Wasp possibly Synagris analis, as I have seen them flying around, black wasps with a distinctive yellow tip to the abdomen.

 

The Bush Pig crashed through the fence, breaking the wire strands, proving how strong they are! There were several occasions when I saw the Common Reedbuck grazing near the house, and Grey Duiker wander through the garden early in the morning and at dusk. Quite frequently the Black-backed Jackal called in the early mornings and evenings.

 

There are many birds around, Cape White-eyes, Bulbuls and the Cape Robin-Chats flock to the birdbath on the verandah, Southern Boubous and Black-headed Orioles call melodiously. A pair of Red-winged Starlings have decided that the top of the pantry cupboard would make a good roosting place in the evening, so we have to keep the backdoor closed in the late afternoon!

 

Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: May 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

May has been a quiet month, settling into winter.

02 Cover IMG_3343

The grasses are particularly lovely. The first snow on the Drakensberg fell on the 12 May, however we didn’t see the mountains for several days as they were shrouded by low clouds.

 

One morning I watched entranced, as a False House Button spider, Theridion species, tried to carry a moth to a safe place to feast on it. The tiny spider, only ±4mm body length, eventually gave up and fed where it had caught it!

02 False House Button Theridion sp ±4mm IMG_3160

02 False House Button Theridion sp ±4mm IMG_3163

02 False House Button Theridion sp ±4mm IMG_3169

02 False House Button Theridion sp ±4mm IMG_3179

02 False House Button Theridion sp ±4mm IMG_3184

False House Button spider, Theridion species

 

02 Spider web IMG_1057

A bejeweled dew spangled spider web glistened in the morning sun.

 

02 Insect Leaf Katydid pos Eurycorypha sp pos nymph IMG_3323

A Leaf Katydid possibly a Eurycorypha species, and possibly a nymph flew inside the house, Philip found it in his office and called me to come and see it!

 

02 Insect Wingless Meadow Katydid pos Megalotheca sp IMG_3176

A curious shrimp like insect, which I think might be a Wingless Meadow Katydid, possibly a Megalotheca species, rested on the kitchen blind.

 

02 Insects Museum beetle IMG_1048

One of my favourite, minute beetles, the Museum Beetle, was out in masses feeding on Helichrysum cooperi.

 

Very few flowers to be seen this month,

03 Berkheya setifera IMG_1049

this Berkheya setifera had lost all the bright yellow bracts leaving the tiny flowers massed in the center behind.

 

03 Helichrysum cooperi IMG_1036

There were still a few Helichrysum cooperi flowering.

03 Helichrysum cooperi IMG_3338

Helichrysum cooperi

 

03 Ouhout Leucosidea sericea IMG_3341

Some of the leaves of the Ouhout, Leucosidea sericea have turned yellow.

 

03 Schistostephium crataegifolium IMG_1051

A small bright spot was created by a Schistostephium crataegifolium.

 

03 Searsea discolor IMG_1042

Searsea discolor leaves are vibrant orange.

 

03 Senecio polyanththemoides IMG_1039

There are also still several Senecio polyanththemoides plants flowering,

03 Senecio polyanththemoides IMG_3339

Senecio polyanththemoides

 

03 Sutera floribunda IMG_3335

as well as Sutera floribunda.

 

As the grasses brown the vibrant green

04 Fern ally Lycopodium clavatum IMG_1044

of the Fern Ally, Lycopodium clavatum

 

04 Fern Cheilanthes hirta IMG_1046

and the Cheilanthes hirta fern stand out.

 

There were several occasions when I saw the Common Reedbuck,

05 Mammal Common Reedbuck female IMG_1034

a female bounded off one early evening,

 

they are often seen grazing near the house, as well as Grey Duiker. Quite frequently the Black-backed Jackal called in the early mornings and evenings. A special sighting was a large, very dark coloured Bush Pig making his way to feed on fallen acorns on the driveway.

05 Mammal Porcupine Quill IMG_1056

Also wonderful to find a Porcupine quill on the grass.

 

The evocative call of the Fish Eagle floated up from the valley on a few occasions. I was thrilled to hear the Spotted Eagle Owl calling, haven’t heard them for several months.

Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: April 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

April has been an unusually wet month, good for the water table going into winter.

02 Cover IMG_2622

The cloud effects at dawn and dusk, when the clouds cleared were stunning.

02 Cover IMG_2809

The warmth of colour in the grasses cheer up the chilly mornings and evenings.

 

On a short walk I discovered what initially I thought was a ladybird beetle, on closer inspection it turned out to be

03 01a juvenile Picasso Bug, Family Scutelleridae, Sphaerocoris annulus IMG_0908

Sphaerocoris testudogrisea!

A first for me here! An ammended identifcation through iNaturalist.

 

Two different Antlion species flew inside, staying long enough to photograph them, their delicate lacy wings are stuff of fairy tales,

03 02 Grassland Antlion Neuroleon IMG_8247

a Grassland Antlion, Neuroleon

 

03 02 Mottled Antlion Palpares caffer IMG_2620

and a Mottled Antlion, Palpares caffer.

 

Other insects seen were:

03 03 Highland Dropwing male Trithemis dorsalis IMG_0905

a Highland Dropwing male, Trithemis dorsalis;

 

03 03 Two-striped Skimmer female Orthetrum caffrum IMG_0903

a Two-striped Skimmer female, Orthetrum caffrum;

 

beautiful butterflies,

03 04 African Migrant (male) Catopsilia florella IMG_0937

African Migrant (male), Catopsilia florella;

 

03 04 Gaudy Commodore (winter form) Precis octavia sesamus IMG_0941

Gaudy Commodore (winter form), Precis octavia sesamus;

 

03 04 Painted Lady Vanessa cardui IMG_0879

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui on Plectranthus calycina;

 

03 05 Plume moth sp Family Pterophoridae IMG_2545

a Plume moth sp. Family Pterophoridae

 

03 06 Fly Philoliche sp IMG_0883

and a Fly of the Philoliche species.

 

One dewy morning spiders webs sparkled with jeweled waterdrops,

04 Black and white hammock-web spider, Microlinyphia sterilis, family Linyphiidae a IMG_2542

Black and white hammock-web spider, Family Linyphiidae Microlinyphia sterilis;

 

04 Black and white hammock-web spider, Microlinyphia sterilis, family Linyphiidae b IMG_0931b

Black and white hammock-web spider, Family Linyphiidae Microlinyphia sterilis;

 

04 Masked vlei spider, Leucauge decorata, family Tetragnathidae IMG_0916b

a stunning Masked vlei spider, Family Tetragnathidae Leucauge decorata;

 

04 Tropical tent-web spider, Cyrtophora citricola a IMG_0869

Tropical tent-web spider, Cyrtophora citricola

 

04 Tropical tent-web spider, Cyrtophora citricola b IMG_0923

Tropical tent-web spider, Cyrtophora citricola

 

04 Rain spider Family Heteropodidae Genus Palystes IMG_2530

and a wise Rain spider, Family Heteropodidae Genus Palystes kept dry inside!

 

As a result of the rainy, damp conditions fungi popped up everywhere, some of them were:

05 Amanita rubescens IMG_2550

Amanita rubescens;

 

05 Amanita rubescens IMG_2551

Amanita rubescens;

 

05 Deceptive mushroom Lepista caffrorum IMG_0912

Deceptive mushroom Lepista caffrorum, that make fairy rings in the lawn;

 

05 Small Pine Cap Gymnopilus penetrans IMG_0865

Small Pine Cap Gymnopilus penetrans

 

05 Sulfur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare IMG_0867

and Sulfur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare.

 

There are still some flowers out, this

06 Bush-tick Berry Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp canescens IMG_0897

Bush-tick Berry Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. canescens shows just how it earned its common name;

 

06 Schisstostephium heptalobum IMG_0890

a scraggly plant I hadn’t noticed before Schisstostephium heptalobum;

 

06 Schisstostephium heptalobum IMG_0893

Schisstostephium heptalobum;

 

06 Senecio polyanththemoides IMG_2811

Senecio polyanththemoides

 

06 Senecio polyanththemoides IMG_2812

Senecio polyanththemoides with showy yellow flowers;

 

06 Stachys aethiopica IMG_0859

the resilient Stachys aethiopica;

 

06 Sutera floribunda IMG_0896

delicate Sutera floribunda

 

06 Wild Dagga Leonotis leonurus IMG_0887

and The Flower of Autumn, Wild Dagga Leonotis leonurus.

 

There were several occasions when I saw the Common Reedbuck and Grey Duiker, quite frequently the Black-backed Jackal called in the early mornings and evenings.

 

The evocative call of the Fish Eagle floated up from the valley on a few occasions, I was lucky to see an African Hoopoe foraging in the grass and briefly an African Harrier-Hawk flying awkwardly between trees, a yellow face so no longer in breeding colour when the face is pink or reddish.

Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: March 2018 Sitamani Country Diary

02 Cover 03 IMG_0747

Autumn is here, cooler mornings and evenings. Yellow and gold are the predominant colours this month,

02 Cover 01 IMG_2360

reflected in this stunning sunset. Despite a few very hot days, we had heavy rain, about 150mm and many misty days.

02 Cover 02 IMG_2253

This beautiful rainbow appeared when the rain ceased one evening.

 

Many of the autumn flowers have appeared; just one orchid,

03 Flora 01 Habenaria lithophila IMG_0750

Habenaria lithophila;

 

03 Flora Alectra sessiliflora IMG_0795

Alectra sessiliflora, parasitic on grass;

 

03 Flora Berkheya rhapontica IMG_0742

Berkheya rhapontica;

there are still a few

03 Flora Berkheya setifera IMG_0772

Berkheya setifera flowers,

much enjoyed by a variety of small beetles, but most are over for the season;

03 Flora Berkheya setifera IMG_0786

Berkheya setifera

 

03 Flora Crassula vaginata IMG_0759

Crassula vaginata;

 

many different grasses have seeded including

03 Flora Cymbopogon excavatus Broad-leaved Turpentine Grass IMG_0765

Cymbopogon excavatus, Broad-leaved Turpentine Grass;

 

03 Flora Dicoma anomala IMG_0766

Dicoma anomala;

 

03 Flora Gladiolus sericevillous IMG_0768

salmon coloured spears of Gladiolus sericevillous;

03 Flora Gladiolus sericevillous IMG_0769

Gladiolus sericevillous;

 

swathes of bright yellow

03 Flora Helichrysum cooperi 01 IMG_0796

Helichrysum cooperi;

03 Flora Helichrysum cooperi 02 IMG_0763

Helichrysum cooperi;

03 Flora Helichrysum cooperi 03 IMG_2345

Helichrysum cooperi;

 

03 Flora Leonotis intermedia IMG_0752

Leonotis intermedia;

 

03 Flora Nidorella auriculata IMG_0804

Nidorella auriculata;

 

03 Flora Plectranthus calycina IMG_0745

Plectranthus calycina;

 

03 Flora Polygala hottentotta IMG_0756

Polygala hottentotta and

 

03 Flora Zaluzianskya microsiphon IMG_0746

Zaluzianskya microsiphon.

 

As a result of the wonderful rain many fungi appeared;

04 Fungi Amanita phalloides IMG_0781

Amanita phalloides;

 

04 Fungi Clavulina cristata Crested Coral Fungus IMG_0791

Clavulina cristata, Crested Coral Fungus,

which according to my field guide is uncommon;

 

04 Fungi False Earth Star IMG_8142

False Earth Star;

 

04 Fungi IMG_8138

a delightful smaller fungi which I have yet to identify;

 

04 Fungi pos Termitomyces species IMG_8109

possibly one of the Termitomyces species and

 

04 Fungi Scleroderma cepa Smooth Earth-ball IMG_0806

Scleroderma cepa, Smooth Earth-ball.

 

Suddenly we have multitudes of insects!

05 Invertebrates 01 Papilio ophidicephalus Emperor Swallowtail IMG_2244

This Papilio ophidicephalus, Emperor Swallowtail

really didn’t want to be photographed and I wasn’t able to take a photo of the stunning Papilio nireus lyaeus, Green-banded Swallowtail;

 

05 Invertebrates 01 Paralethe dendrophilus Bush or Forest Beauty 01 IMG_0801

although rather weather beaten this Paralethe dendrophilus, Bush Beauty / Forest Beauty was flying strongly;

 

05 Invertebrates 02 and Phyllalia patens Clay Monkey IMG_2256

an unidentified moth rested with a Phyllalia patens, Clay Monkey on the backdoor;

 

05 Invertebrates 02 Handmaiden moth of the Family Ctenuchidae IMG_0789

one of my favourite daytime flying moths is this Handmaiden moth of the Family Ctenuchidae;

 

05 Invertebrates 02 Heterorachis devocata Red-lined Emerald IMG_2245

Heterorachis devocata, Red-lined Emerald;

 

05 Invertebrates 02 IMG_8151

another unidentified moth;

 

05 Invertebrates Grasshopper IMG_0777

many grasshopper flick, tick in the grass;

 

05 Invertebrates Mantid IMG_2335

this elegant Mantid graced our kitchen for a few days;

 

05 Invertebrates Net-winged Beetle IMG_0758

Net-winged Beetle;

 

05 Invertebrates Robber Fly IMG_0780

Robber Fly and

 

05 Invertebrates Twig Wilter IMG_2336

a Twig Wilter.

 

06 Birds Wailing Cisticola IMG_0741

An early morning delight was this Wailing Cisticola on greying leaves of Vernonia.

 

There were several occasions when I saw the Common Reedbuck and Grey Duiker, quite frequently the Black-backed Jackal called in the early mornings and evenings.