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Life Wonderings of a Nature Lover: April 2021 Sitamani Country Diary

May 1, 2021

April has been much drier than the last few months, only 37mm of precipitation by the 28 April. Then the first cold winter weather and rain started on the 29 April. It seemed as if overnight we had changed seasons.

I haven’t been able to wander the hillside as often as I would have liked, but we have had some stunning weather effects and iconic Autumn flowers.

The maximum temperature 27C 14 April

The minimum temperature 6,5C 30 April

Rainfall 73,3mm

Thursday 1

No April Fool, but this gem, a Baboon spider, probably Theraphosidae, Harpactira species

Monday 5

Responding to the small amount of moisture these Earth Stars, Astraeus species appeared in leaf litter

Wednesday 7

The morning view from my window looking west

Thursday 8

Glorious cloud effects in the late afternoon

Monday 12

Another stunning sunset

Wednesday 14

Then a completely different, soft mood

Monday 19

Looking down on the path I spotted caterpillar droppings beneath a Tree Fuchsia, Halleria lucida
Looking up amongst the leaves I spotted a Wahlberg’s Emperor Moth caterpillar, Imbrasia wahlbergi, then many more
Sadly this one has been parasitized by a wasp, the cocoons clearly evident on the wasted caterpillar

Three juvenile Southern Rock Agamas soaked up the warmth from the wooden slats

Thursday 22

A brief walk revealed some delightful sightings

A Fork-tailed Drongo on the chimney

Lobelia erinus

For me the glowing orange stands of Leonotis leonurus are the flagship of Autumn in the KZN Midlands. Vibrant colour splashed amongst the golden grasses and turning leaves, a joyful burst of sunlight before winter hibernation.

Sutera floribunda

Plectranthus calycina

Helichrysum cooperi

Berkheya rhapontica

Friday 23

Autumn colour landscape

A dainty Turreted awl snail, Euconyma turriformis, the first time I’ve seen a living one!

Tuesday 27

A partial Sunbow in cirrus clouds

Later a vibrant sunset

Friday 30

Wind during the night dislodged a Southern Double-collared Sunbird nest. The carefully smoothed inside, felt-like, hours of patient cobweb gathering to create the cosy interior.

Monkeys and Common Grey Duiker are relishing the acorns from the Pin Oak trees. Black-backed Jackal call almost every evening and twice I’ve heard Spotted Eagle-Owls hooting at dawn.

  1. Dalena Mostert permalink

    Beautifully penned and captured, Christeen!

    • Thank you dear lady! Slightly different to the Berg, my ‘other’ home. Very chilly here now. xxx

  2. What a delightful overview of the month. Where I am in the Eastern Cape we had 14mm rain for April.I too love the Leonotis leonuris – I have enjoyed looking at your photographs.

    • Thank you Ann! The rain over the last few days has been an absolute blessing. Do hope you will have some as the cold fronts start moving in over winter.

  3. Fabulous skies and I really like the grasslands and autumn flowers. Some interesting sightings and I particularly like the earth flowers and the beautiful snail. Keep warm!

    • Thank you Carol! A bit chilly this morning, but love the change in season. Big hugs, xxx

      • Big drop in temps from 30 earlier in the week is a bit of a shock, but the change is refreshing! Thanks for the hugs 🙂 Hugs to you too xxx

  4. bewilderbeast permalink

    Lovely! Love the dark brown baboon spider and then the bright orange baboon spiders (the Leonotis always makes me think that). The awl snail is a first for me – I mean even knowing about it (turns out that was just slackness, as there it is in my snail book – Herbert & Kilburn Snails of eastern SA). Thanks as always.

    • So pleased you enjoyed the wanderings! I too had to look up the awl snail in Herbert & Kilburn Snails and Slugs of eastern SA! 😉 A pleasure to share.

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