Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Nesting Spotted Dove

The Spotted Doves (Spilopelia chinensis) often nest in my garden. They are quite bold and are not too shy of human presence. 

I took a ladder and clambered to the top to take this photo. This one sat serenely atop its nest and simply ignored my intrusion. 


I was actually very close to it. The bird was merely inches away from my lens.


These were her two precious eggs - pristine white.

This is how the Spotted Dove accessed its nest, its tail a tell-tale sign of its domestic activities.


This is the Juniperus chinensis where the nest was lodged.


Bauhenia kockiana vine tends to be invasive. I kept it under control with constant pruning and shaping.


Nearby is this elegant casuarina tree is around twenty years old. Birds of all varieties love to perch on its branches.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rapeseed Fields and Meadows of Cork

On a visit to Cork last autumn, we decided to make a day trip to a nearby town, Kerry. Along the way from Kerry to Dingle, I captured the following images.

 A meadow with rapeseed field in the background.

   A sea of yellow 

Farmhouses punctuate the landscape.

Farm houses dot the checkered fields.

Livestock of grazing cattle and sheep.

 
A crow is part of the scene.

My daughter, Lorraine was busy with getting the best angles of the meadows. Incidentally she has hair to match the ripe wild raspberries borne on thorny branches.

Fushcia bushes used as hedges.

Quaint houses.

Autumn is coming.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pink and White Lantana Featuring Amorous Flies and Butterflies

To add vibrancy to the garden, it is always a strategic move to have some butterfly attractants to the garden.  One of this is Lantana Camara. 


Lantana camara has small tubular shaped flowers arranged in terminal clusters. Each tiny flower has four petals. The flowers on the outer ring of the cluster open first, followed by the next inner row. The buds appeared as little bows.

I like this combination of sweet pastel colours. The mix of baby pink and light cream flowers is almost perfect.

A female Jacintha Egg Fly (Hypolimnas bolina jacintha) frolicked on this shrub.

This Jacintha Egg Fly can be seen extending its long proboscis deep into the tubular part of the tiny flowers. 

Another had its wings slightly open revealing its gender - a male.

A tiny yellow butterfly took refuge from the heat on the underside of a leaf.


"Flies in the family Sarcophagidae (from the Greek sarco- = flesh,  phage = eating; the same roots as the word "sarcophagus") are commonly known as flesh flies. They differ from most flies in that they are ovoviviparous, opportunistically depositing hatched or hatching maggots instead of eggs on carrion, dung, decaying material, or open wounds of mammals, hence their common name." ~extracted from Wikipedia


CAUTION: The following three photos are X-rated. Self-censorship is strongly advised.


One day while looking for bugs, my lens zoom in on an amorous pair of flesh flies (Sarcophaga carnaria).

This pair were caught in flagrante delicto right on the leaf of my L. camara.

"Flesh flies are often mistaken for houseflies due to their coloration and markings. However, their gray-checkered abdomens are distinctively larger than those of the housefly. Typically, flesh flies exhibit three dark stripes along the prothorax and four distinct bristles atop the thorax. An extra row of bristles is found beneath the flesh flies’ wings and yet another can be found at each side of the thorax. Flesh flies measure approximately 10 to 13 mm from end to end. Larvae are yellow in color, with pointed heads. Along with bottle and blowflies, flesh flies prove useful to forensic entomologists. These fly larvae may assist in pinpointing time of death. ~ extracted from Wikipedia

Flesh flies reproduce on decaying vegetable items, animal flesh, carcasses, garbage and excrement. Although flesh flies do not bite and are not carriers of disease, their feeding habits can become a nuisance. However, larvae can also prove beneficial to humans, as they are parasitic on the eggs and immatures of other pests such as grasshoppers, blowflies, houseflies, spiders and snails." ~extracted from http://www.orkin.com

A container of Lantanas in assorted colours.


A "Painted Lady" butterfly winging colours to compete with these striking orange-yellow Lantana flowers.



The following two images on my pet guinea pig was added on 3.8.14

I presented some Lantana flowers to Nikolai ...


... but he sniffed at them disdainfully. I like his pink lips and two front teeth on both upper and lower jaws :)

A few heads of the pastel Pink and white Lantana camara in a white vase.




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Busy As A Bee

Its no wonder the phrase "busy as a bee" was coined. Whenever the flowers in my garden are in bloom, honey bees (Apis mellifera)  jet in, making a beeline for their favourites.

To get at the sweet nectar of these portulaca grandiflora blooms, they can curve, contort and assume all sorts of posture.





 


The pristine white flowers of Echinodorus palaefolius (mexican sword plant) provide numerous opportunities for them to imbibe.

Double-petaled Quisqualis indica (Rangoon creeper) exude a delicate fragrance to ensure their visitation.

The flowers of Cuphea hyssopifolia (Mexican Heather) are tiny, but they made up for it in numbers. 

They scramble over the filaments of Calliandra emarginata (Dwarf Red Powder Puff) to get at the nectar located at their bases.

This is a smart cookie as it go through the "back door" to have the goodies without having to return the favour of spreading the pollens.


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