Labour of Love – nudge wink

Crispin Hemson was concerned. The locquat wasn’t getting any action. It happened since the streetlights murdered the hawk moths. He himself is a man of action, so he sprung into same.

Every fetish has its paraphenalia. This case it was stepladders and camel hair brushes. Handlangers were rustled up and we went a-fertilising. I was a keen volunteer as I hadn’t had much to do with sexual parts and sperm and ova myself for some time; and even if this was actually pollen and stamens, hey, you take what you can get.

Crispin knew where our targets lived. We crept up to and up them, tickled their upright stigma and style delicately with the soft camel hair brush and bang! pregnant! one shot! The candle flower, Oxyanthus pyriformis, natal locquat didn’t know what hit it. For all it knew it may even have been a hawk moth fondling it with its moustache.

Other new life elsewhere in Pigeon Valley

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handlangers – nogschleppers; hangers-on;

flower parts – check if I got them right;

Sanity Break

Kids – six of them! – driving me crazy so I pack a flask of coffee, some buttermilk rusks, grab my binocs and waai. Three minutes away to the Palmiet Nature Reserve on my doorstep.

Palmiet Picnic.jpg

Two hours later off to Pigeon Valley in town for another two hours. Palmiet is only 90ha in size and Pigeon Valley a tiny 10ha, but they’re rich in plant and birdlife. These collages are just some of the birds I saw and heard today in the two reserves:

Bird Pics internet

I spotted an old landsnail shell in a tree hollow. New life sprouting out of it.

I pinched the pics from all over the internet, and some from Friends of Pigeon Valley‘s Crispin Hemson and Sheryl Halstead. Thank you!

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waai – bugger off

Bufftail Bogey Bust – at last

On 2014/06/23 Crispin Hemson – Pigeon Valley Patriarch – wrote:
Conditions in Pigeon Valley are very dry, giving great visibility into the undergrowth.  We are suddenly seeing Buff-spotted Flufftails on the main track, or just next to it. Yesterday I saw two adults and a sub-adult.  These are very unobtrusive birds, so do not expect rustling.  I suspect that while in summer the undergrowth is dim and the main track bright, the Flufftails stay under cover. In winter the undergrowth is as bright as the area just outside it, so the pressure to stay there is less. Spotted Ground-Thrushes are also very visible, often just on the edge of the main track, digging into leaf litter that accumulates there.  There are more than I originally thought – I saw them in four places up the track yesterday.

I wrote:

Great stuff! I went on Sunday and saw a thrush at the entrance, and then – halleluja! – a flufftail up at the fence line along King George V Avenue! A male. It ducked into low dense thicket just outside the fence.

Crispin’s pic

I have heard a thousand bufftails, particularly at Hella Hella where we weekended monthly for ten years, and on the Mkombaan River in Westville where we lived fifteen years, and although I searched and stalked and lay in wait at night, and saw two dead ones – cat in Westville and flew-into-plate-glass at Hella Hella – a sighting has evaded me till now.

This was a big bogey bird for me and this was a wonderful, long-anticipated sighting!

Can a pitta be far behind?
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Sheryl’s pic of the Spotted Groundthrush