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Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: September 2020 Sitamani Country Diary

September 30, 2020

September marks the official start to Spring, by the Vernal Equinox on the 23 September most of the exotic trees had a raiment of new leaves and the hillsides were clad in grass with wildflowers appearing. However between light rainfalls there were many days of strong, hot, dry berg winds. During the month we had a total of 21,5mm of rain, very welcome.

The coldest mornings were on the 27 and 28 September, at 4C, the hottest day was the 20 September, reaching 27C. On the morning of the 7 September a light dusting of snow was revealed on the top of the Drakensberg, but a relatively warm 9C here!

Wednesday 2 September:

A glorious atmospheric dawn!

Thursday 3 September:

The moon a day off full in predawn light tinged cloud wisps

Friday 4 September:

The flock of Cape White-eyes were a delight to watch in the Wisteria branches

Monday 7 September:

A snow dusting was revealed on the Southern Drakensberg
A snow dusting was revealed on the Southern Drakensberg

Tuesday 8 September:

Light mist filled the valley below with hill ‘islands’ rising proud
Light mist filled the valley below with hill ‘islands’ rising proud

A Speckled Pigeon gathering fresh twigs for her nest

Wednesday 9 September:

While preparing the vegetable garden for planting Siphmandla discovered a rather large, sleepy Puff Adder in a nest of leaves beneath a fern, in a warm protected spot. It was probably in semi-hibernation, taking it’s time to move sluggishly to the Jasmine hedge. A day later it had moved on.

Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder
Puff Adder

Thursday 10 September:

While wandering over the hillside I came across

An Antlion larvae funnel in sandy soil

A delightful Asclepias stellifera

Chrysanthemoides monifera subsp. canescens, Bush-tick berry

Dimorphotheca jucunda

Drimia elata

Eulophia parviflora (short-spurred form), half open
And quite a few Eulophia parviflora (short-spurred form) where the buds had been eaten

Fresh pink Graderia scabra

A Spotted Eagle-Owl feather

Tritonia lineata
Tritonia lineata and

Watsonia socium
Watsonia socium

Friday 11 September:

One of the first moths this season

Saturday 12 September:

A gorgeous sunrise ‘path’ over the mist at dawn

Monday 14 September:

We watched a Common Duiker grazing as we drank early morning coffee

Tuesday 22 September:

Dramatic grey clouds hovered over an apricot predawn sky

Wednesday 23 September:

On the Vernal Equinox I heard the Piet-my-Vrou, Red-chested Cuckoo call for the first time.

We had an unusual visitor come to sample our lemons.

Chacma Baboon
Chacma Baboon
Chacma Baboon
Chacma Baboon

The birdbath on the verandah is the social spot for birds.

The common endemic Cape Weaver and his wife have been around for a while, though I haven’t yet seen any sign of nest building.

An Olive Thrush dried off in the sunshine, then took another dip!

Olive Thrush
Olive Thrush
Olive Thrush
Olive Thrush
Olive Thrush

Southern Boubou

Wednesday 30 September:

Each year I wait for the small patch of minute flowers to appear in the lawn.

Helichrysum caespititium
5 Comments
  1. thank you for sharing your life wondering 🙂

  2. Another interesting collection. Some gorgeous skies there and lovely spring flowers. That puff adder is impressive – good that it moved on though! How interesting that the visiting baboon actually ate some lemons. The duiker looks particularly cute in your photo.

    • Thank you Carol! I love the duiker’s quiff, such a cheeky look. A friend made an observation that sources of Vitamin C are in short supply at the moment, so the baboon has found a plentiful supply…

      • Yes the duikers do have definite quiffs!
        Interesting observation about Vitamin C – I guess other primates need it as much as we do. However, here I have not observed vervets eating lemons, but perhaps they have access to alternative sources.

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