29 September, 2009

Zigzag Stabilimentum

When we first started gardening in Camps Bay, and everything was new, I was delighted to see a yellow spider web, with this zigzag. I was working in the Engineering and Science Library at the University of Cape Town. Synchronicity brought me that week’s Nature magazine with a cover article about cutting edge research.

Zigzag stabilimentum
The zigzag stitch is called a stabilimentum.

25 September, 2009

Rest and Be Thankful

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity

EDITED January 2014

Rest and Be Thankful, near Loch Lomond in Scotland

In the early nineties we travelled through Scotland. In a large figure eight, through the Highlands, all the way up to John O’ Groats. I had no idea Scotland was so large it would take days to travel through.

08 September, 2009

Young dragonfly, going to fly!

Dragonflies like to be around water because the kids are submariners. They can spend more than a year living in the mud at the bottom of your pond. They have voracious appetites, and will devour almost all the mosquito larvae. The larger nymphs will even eat tadpoles and (small) fish!

When he graduates, from the water to the air, to Flying School, he will climb up some convenient (you did plant some?) reeds. About a handspan up, into his place in the sun. There he will pop out of his baby clothes. His newly issued wings are folded up like a parachute. Now the terror of the skies is at his most vulnerable. Those fragile new wings must have body fluid pumped through the veins to unfold them. And when his wings are strong and able, he ... will ... fly!

02 September, 2009

(Very) young ladybird

Ladybirds are the good guys/girls in the garden. They eat aphids – up to 400 in a day.
If you don’t see ladybirds in your garden –remember, young and old, they are picky eaters. Like your child (was)? I only eat aphids. Aphids is all I eat. (Suspiciously) Is that an aphid? If it isn’t, I WON’T eat it! If you poison all the aphids, then the ladybirds will either starve to death, or go next door to your neighbour’s wildlife friendly garden. (Benign neglect will suit them too. A few aphid covered weeds?) Contain your soul in patience and put up with aphids, perhaps for a few weeks. They will only be on the roses while the stems are new and tender. As they harden up, the aphids will no longer be able to pierce them.

Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.