For interesting information on flowers, trees and plants please click on this link:

For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.
Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A few days at the sea - St Lucia, South Africa

It is a seven hour drive to St Lucia, but it started off great with this wonderful sunrise. It is not yet very hot here, so some places are still a bit misty.
St Lucia is a VERY small town (if you can call it that). It has a couple of shops and a few places to overnight. It is situated on an estuary and is mostly visited for fishing.
There are a lot of crocodiles and hippo around as it is the heart of a game area. St Lucia was proclaimed a world heritage site in 1999. Cyclone Demoina closed the estuary mouth in 1982, and although they have tried to dredge the sand for years, cannot get it open again.
Street vendors sell these beautful hand carved side tables.
Looking South.......
Looking North.......The weather was very overcast and cloudy so the seas were a bit rough, but I managed to get onto the beach to pick up a few seashells:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Retirement / hailstorm

Good grief!! Do All people have so many problems when they want to retire??

Officially I retired at the end of February but for one reason or another, my boss has been very reluctant to let me go and in the end, I stayed on a bit to help him out. At the beginning of August, I went to him again and said that I definitely wanted to finish up at the end of the month and that he should get someone else. Another round of discussions and instead of stopping work completely, I am still helping out three days a week. Okay, that is better than five days a week but still, there is a lot I want to be doing and this restricts my areas of travels.

I have decided to continue like this for a month or two as it gives me the chance to go up to the area where I want to work from and look for a place to set up a base camp. There is not much in the line of insects for these next few weeks anyway so maybe the situation is for the best. But by December, I need to stop ALL work!! Maybe I am just too much of a softy and when someone like my boss asks for help, I cave in and give it. Dumb!! Really dumb of me!! But that is who I am and I guess it is hard to change ones personality.

This past winter has been very normal and I looked forward to our spring rain when it came. Little did I know that it would start off last Thursday with one of the worst hail storms I have ever seen in my life!! Within the space of a few minutes, the ground was covered with a two inch layer of hail and it looked as if we had a snow storm instead. My driveway id covered with thorns and branches which were knocked off and as it continued raining the whole of Friday, I am hoping that it will dry out today as they predict sunshine so I can sweep it all up.
 I had spent the morning going through the beetle collection at ARC trying to put names to some of the photographs I have and about lunch time, had finished. They also have a huge bug and grasshopper collection which I need to go through but decided I would take it easy for the rest of the day and go back next week. Just as well!! If my car had still been parked there instead of the shelter at home, it would have been badly damaged. I have also been invited to spend some time with another collection which includes a lot of moths and butterflies where I am hoping to be able to identify some of the caterpillars. This will be an enormous help.
One piece of good news is that I bought a video camera and hope to be able to put it to good use capturing some of the action I see. I am looking forward to trying it out.

 All in all, maybe things are not so bad with working a few days a week for the next few months.........