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South Africa wildlife IV

This post is part of my occasional series of photoblog posts about the wildlife and nature I see while living in South Africa.

For various reasons, it’s been far too long since I’ve been able to get outside and enjoy nature, but this weekend changed all that – we had beautiful summer-in-winter weekend weather and it was too nice to be inside. I took my camera with me to see what I could see, and ease me back into my wildlife photoblogging. So, there’s no real theme to this post, it’s just ‘what I saw this weekend’ :)

In my garden:

…a white butterfly finally stopped moving for long enough for me to photograph it:

white butterfly

…a giant grasshopper found the perfect lighting to pose for me:

locust

…and I spotted a new (to me) sight with my favourite Garden Acraeas: egg-laying!

garden acraea butterflies laying eggs
The female hangs from the edge of a leaf and raises her abdomen to lay her eggs against the underside of the leaf (see the butterfly on the right). I have no idea why a male (top left) kept flying over the other female’s leaf (bottom left) and interrupting her while she tried to do the same.

At a local nature reserve:

…flower season is most definitely beginning:

flowers

…the waterbirds were enjoying the sunshine:

flowers
Back: white-breasted cormorants; front: red-knobbed coots.

…some kind of shield bug (I’m no bug expert!) sunned itself on a succulent:

flowers

…and the red bishops looked spectacular as always:

flowers

And, by the river:

…these tiny flowers look like normal lawn daisies, except the petals are extra-short:

daisies

…we spotted a Cape weaver starting to weave a new nest between two tree branches:

cape weaver nest

…carefully weaving each blade of grass into the ring he’d already constructed:

cape weaver nest

…3 hours later, the ring of grass had become a ball and a female came to check it out:

cape weaver nest
If she liked his work, she’d line the nest and they’d lay their eggs inside.

…she inspected his handiwork thoroughly, but wasn’t impressed:

cape weaver nest

…maybe he needs to do a little more weaving and he’ll have more luck tomorrow! I’ll have to check back – if a female moves in, we should be able to see her flying into the nest with soft lining materials. If not, he’ll abandon the nest in a couple of days and try his luck with a new one…


A bit of a random return for my wildlife posts, but these little signs of spring make me very happy! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them too. Please leave me a comment if so – I do love to hear from you…

17 Comments »

  1. Heather said

    Lovely blog post and stunning photos :) I am an Irish nature lover and it’s really lovely to see flora and fauna from the other side of the world! Great work, keep it up :)

    • June said

      Thank you, Heather – I’ll try to get back into doing these posts more regularly. There’s just so much to see here; I’ll never run out of natural beauty to photograph :D

  2. Jennifer B said

    Wonderful photos and info!

  3. Judy Carlson said

    I love your nature posts! The grasshopper actually looks cute in that picture!

    • June said

      I know, it’s those big black eyes, isn’t it? He’s a PlanetJune-style grasshopper! ;)

  4. Meg in L.A. said

    Thanks for sharing the amazing beauty of South Africa with all of us. Good to see you back taking pics.

  5. .: petrOlly :. said

    Oh, I already missed your wildlife photos. I love them; it is always interesting to look for similarities in the fauna and flora here (Europe) and in South Africa. I’m wondering how far you’d need to drive to see giraffes, zebras, and lions in their natural habitat.

    • June said

      There are some zebras very close to me, and many more (and all sorts of antelope) in a national park that’s an easy day-trip from me – I’ll be trying to get some good photos of them later this year when their area is open to the public. As for giraffes and lions, I think that’ll take a proper safari holiday – something to aim for within the next year or two, I hope…

  6. Dianne said

    I haven’t been with you long enough to know about your wildlife photos, but wow! are they amazing! It lifts my heart to see what lives in other places of the world and you are nested in beauty that I’ve never seen before – and that thrills me! The bugs are even gorgeous with their unusual patterns & colors. I think the nester birds (I have seen them on TV wildlife shows) are incredible with their skills at weaving but the cardinal bird has to be my fave. How regal he looks standing there. You have managed to capture these creatures in all their glory like a professional, and I applaud your photography skills. Looking forward to more in the future, and I thank you for giving me a wonderful lift today! What a nice gift! Many blessings to you!

    • June said

      Thanks, Dianne! You can catch up on my previous wildlife photos by clicking the ‘Filed under South Africa’ at the top of this post, under the post name – just skip past the previous 2 posts related to the burglary to get back to the other pretty photos :)

  7. Miriam said

    Such wonderful photos!! My husband and I are quite envious of you. We need to get out into our local nature more often!

    Here in northern New Jersey, USA, I’ve been thrilled to see the return of herons, quail, and wild turkeys. I don’t remember seeing them since I was a child around 40 years ago.

    When I arrived home tonight, the superintendent and doorman of my building were cutting the dead heads off of the sunflowers out front and lamenting that the birds had eaten every last seed so there were none for planting next year. And a co-worker who has llama and geese was telling me about the birth of three goslings recently. A bit late in the year for it.

    I love all of it!

    • June said

      Yay for local wildlife! I hope I’m encouraging more people to get out and notice the nature around them – even in cities and less ‘interesting’ locations than Africa, there’s always plenty to see if you just look for it…

  8. Rebecca D said

    Those photos are gorgeous – the grasshopper particularly! – and it’s so amazing you got to watch the whole nest-building procedure through to rejection by the female. Is a red bishop pattern on the to-design list? ;-)

    • June said

      Could be ;) I certainly do plan to make more bird patterns, but I haven’t decided which to try first (too many choices!)

  9. Jeanne Schane said

    Thanks for all the great photos, June! I love flowers and birds. I have bird feeders all over my yard. That bird nest building was awesome. Thank you for sharing all this with us. I know I’ll never get to South Africa, so it ‘s great to have the pics to look at.
    You are a good photographer as well as everything else you do. I’m enjoying your new book. Very informative. And it isn’t just for beginners. I’ve been crocheting for over fifty years now, and I find you learn new things all the time, whether it be a shortcut or a new way to do something. Thanks again for all you do. Jeanne

  10. alicia said

    Lovely photos. I hope you enjoyed your time in nature.

  11. Else said

    Simply beautiful, especially the bower birds series. what a fabulous basket they made! Thanks so much for always sharing the nature you see, June. What a blessing.

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    June Gilbank
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