The circle of life

Nature as we imagine for children is this sweet place with fluffy bunnies with chequered hankies, and when we grow up we still call it “Mother Nature” as if it were some nurturing, benevolent entity. Actual nature doesn’t care for that shit. It’s a cruel and violent place where 90% of baby bunnies don’t get to see a second summer. But in nature, death is never wasteful. One animals tragic death is another’s lucky find. So here’s an unlucky shrew and a been grass snake, and some very happy insects and ant.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Holidays: Friday Feathers

Two marvellous birds from the Zoo

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

 

And as an unrelated bonus:

A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.

What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.

Holiday: Cute overload

Sorry for basically disappearing on you. Apparently I caught a “summer flu”, a viral infection that is similar in symptoms though less severe than a real flu. If anything it has reinforced my determination to get every single flu shot every single year. It completely knocked me out, I’ve been in bed since Saturday and today is the first day I’m up for more than half an hour apart from doctor’s visit and school run.

Here’s some cuteness to make up for it:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Cute? Right? That’s just to ease you into it because nothing says cute like a baby mongoose:

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

Friday Feathers: Hornbill and Friends

As promised, there will be pictures. Lots, though I noticed that I took less pictures this year because after all, I went there before. Let’s start with some from the zoo. A great southern hornbill. I also add some others as to not spam my “own” blog with many different posts.

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved
Probably a breeding female. Or a napping one…

Now for some frogs…

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©Giliell, all rights reserved There was a lot of plants around acting as some sort of natural filter

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And finally a water lily. There be fairies.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Off focus but too pretty

©Giliell, all rights reserved No, absolutely no post production on this one.

Just for PZ (and assorted arachnophiles)

Lasz week I came up the stairs from the cellar and look what I found!

I have no clue what species this is, apart from “fucking big”, as it is about two inches across. I took some pics and then carefully relocated it to where it was less likely to lead to demands of “immediate violent death” from other people.

In case you’re wondering the strange surface, the previous owners glued carpet scraps to the stairs. If there’s a hell for bad DIY, the dude is going to spend eternity scraping glue off things. Pics below the fold.

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June Light

It’s that wonderful time of the month when Nightjar shares her portraits of light.

In the month of the Summer Solstice sunlight is brighter than ever and nature is bracing for the dry season. Many wildflowers have gone to seed and are drying out already (some are doing weird stuff like the wild chive in the last photo… perhaps confused by the unstable weather?) and bugs are very busy. Backlighting is trickier this time of the year but I tried to play with June Light from all angles and I think it was worth it.

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Flowers and Aliens

First, remember the not black tulips? Seems like the package contained two varieties, with the pink ones being earlier and the almost black ones being later. Here they finally are:

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Next one is true kingcups that grow along our little creek. I wanted to get closer but then chose dry feet…

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Dungbeetles are no aliens, Sorry to disappoint you. But I quite like them.

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This, OTOH, is aliens. I guess at some point they are replaced every year by ordinary fern plants, but this is  not something that just grows, it’s the result of extraterrestrial mingling.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Wednesday Wings: It’s a Hoot!

There have been multiple exasperated conversations here about how wildlife, especially birds, refuse to cooperate with our attempts to get pictures. I swear that there is a memo going around when I leave the house as to whether I carry a camera or not. Last week was no exception. On Monday, when we had our friends over, I took my camera for the walk. I also took many pics the days before, the ones posted on Saturday, so I left the camera at home on Tuesday. When we arrived at our fountain we took a small break and sat down. I looked up at the old willow tree and was like “This branch looks strange. It is fluffy. It also wasn’t there yesterday and trees don’t grow thick, short, fluffy branches over night.” I took a closer look and it turned out to be a young owl, drowsing there in the branches of the willow.

I was so fucking angry. This was the first time in my life that I saw a wild owl. Oh I hear them almost every night, no problem, but seeing them? Only at the zoo. And no camera but the crappy phones.I told Mr “I’m going back and I’m going to get the camera and heaven help this owl if it is no longer there!”

So that’s what I did. 1 km back home, 1 km  back to the fountain, so about half an hour later I was there again and of course the owl had moved! But only a few metres and it was actually two owls. Back home I tried to identify them and my most likely guess is a tawny owl, since they’re also the ones I keep hearing, but honestly the pics I found all look very much alike.

To cut a long story short, I saw owls and here’s the evidence:

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Spring Comes to the Woods

From my regular walks. Some flowers are in my garden, but the delicate clover blossoms are in the woods, where they’re grabbing the sunlight now before the trees grow their leaves.

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I planted these last autumn, and the package promised almost black flowers. Well, never trust a package, but they ARE lovely.

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Will I ever get people who use poison against dandelion? I hope not.

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

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