28 June, 2011

From fynbos fairies to mud

There are no fairies at the bottom of our garden. Perhaps a solitary fynbos fairy? 

A weaver with the sparrows

Sparrows bathing

Very WET sparrows

The garden is filled with the hustle and bustle of living creatures. Sparrows, Cape and house, weavers, Cape and masked, pin-tailed whydahs, laughing doves and pigeons in a great chattering swarm festooning the ash trees for four o’clock. Marching across the verandah and banging on the window – OY Din-ner! Mousebirds, Cape robins, fiscal shrikes, white-eyes and sunbirds serve themselves from the garden buffet.

Birds busy at lunch

A little whimsy in the kingfisher. Well, it’s a bird with a fish. The next round of tadpoles are growing little legs. The kingfisher, the feathered one, stops off to check for lunch.

Our resident kingfisher

A moth, not in my insect book

There is tiny life. Moths, bees, ants, spiders, crickets and beetles.

Garden lizard on
cotton lavender Santolina

And scaly life. Lizards, geckos and snakes. Striped mice and, below ground, mole-rats.

Hippo-pot-a-miss on Ungardening Pond

When we first lived in this house we 'ad MUD!

'Some people think the title of this song is irrelevant
But it’s not a-relephant
It’s a hippopotamus!'

If you know Flanders and Swann sing along, if not, enjoy. Now a little white hippo-pot-a-miss dozes peacefully on the shore of Ungardening pond. And Uncle George smiles in the sun.

Pictures by Jurg and Diana
words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink.
Those are my links)


  1. Your cats are cute! This was a very enjoyable post...it is how I feel from time to time.

  2. Ohh, gorgeous pictures of the sparrows and the weaver.
    And the cats are irresistable, too!
    Have a nice day

  3. "Marching across the verandah and banging on the window – OY Din-ner! Mousebirds" ...When I was in our bathroom the other day, I heard this knocking at the window. What was going on?

    It turns out that a bird had spotted a bee buzzing against the (inside)frosted glass, and was trying to catch its' dinner :-)

    Sorry birdie (it flew away before I could find out what it was) I NEED all the winter bees there are in my garden, not your tummy...

  4. After a very stressful two days your lovely cats and birds, wildlife and wise words brought back a smile to my scowly face :)

  5. Oi Vey, socially that weaver is on the defensive. So are we all, when we feel either underwelcomed or overwhelmed...

  6. Gorgeous photos , as usual.
    Jane x
    McD? I call them murder burgers.

  7. Who needs fairies? (Especially when they might be eaten by sparrows!)

    As for Blotanical . . . It's a great way to find other blogs but, once you've found them, you don't need to go through Blotanical to access them - especially if it involves all this hanging around.

    Love the lizard.

    Have to restrain myself when it comes to posts. Never run out of ideas - just time!



  8. Jack/sequoia - I think the lady weaver is just ticked off by the paparazzi, when she's bedraggled!

  9. McD apple pies are my guilty pleasure!
    Blogging & gardening are my escape from the real world. I used to worry about running out of subjects to blog about, but I find reading blogs, commenting and replying to comments bring new ideas.

  10. b_a_g - gather up the threads and weave them together. Fascinates me to see how differently we can each view the same thing. My threatened, your invasive, my wildflower, your weed.

  11. With a garden like that you must always have birds and other little critters about. The hard work pays off when you look at that.

    Looking at your sidebar it seems that you also had a lot of rain this month. PE is wet and soaked and it seems the drought is broken.

  12. I do blotanical part of the time, the rest of the time visit bloggie-friends directly, as Lucy said. I've got santolina, wish I had a lizard on it like yours ...

  13. I envy you your birds, Diana. My wife is an ornithophobe so I have to choose between her and the birds, eh?

  14. While I have yet to run out of things to say it's the time I don't have to say them. I liked Kirsti @ Kikolani's post. Readers sometimes don't realize all that is involved (I sure didn't before I started blogging) so it's good to talk about that other 'real' life. Lady Aragon is very beautiful, I can never resist a tabby.

  15. I don't know which I enjoyed more -- the sight of those birds looking like they're sitting around having a good gossip at the public bath or of Chocolat resting in the sensiveria. Both very funny!

    Regarding Blotanical: for almost two years now (maybe longer?), Stuart has been promising that all problems will be resolved and the site will be a wonder in some mythical future that never arrives. IMHO he needs to stop fiddling and allow a period of stability. (This is a common programmer's problem; they are always more interested in developing the next nifty idea than in making sure that the old boring idea is actually functioning properly!) My 2 cents. -Jean

  16. So many critters to enjoy there on your property, even a hippo! Now that's amazing.

  17. Jean - Blotanical? He said 4 to 6 weeks. We've had 4!

    When the new version is eventually up, it will be a whole different group of bloggers. So many blogs I recognise, once were at Blotanical, still listed there. I wonder what it will be like??

    I follow your lead, and read the posts via Google Reader, then just go to Blotanical to pick, and skim.

  18. Oooh! That most beautiful photos of the birds washing in the water and the kittens, I love kittens, there has always been at home. Insects and reptiles, this entry is full of diversity.

  19. Just realized my name didn't print right. I'm the b above. *sheepish*

  20. Thanks Bom, wasn't sure whether it was spam to delete. Sorry your wife doesn't like birds.

  21. Diana - "pick and skim" is a great way to phrase a visit to Blotanical; I'll log in there but only for a bit of my online time. It's a good place to find new garden blogs or recognize an enjoyable post with a "pick", but as often I'll use my RSS feed to see what's up on the blogs I 'follow'.


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.