Fandango’s one word challenge – Highway
I don’t really have a favourite time of year – all seasons have their beauty and appeal – but one of the things I love most about August is the smells.
In our back yard we have 33 citrus trees and at the moment the oranges are in flower. As evening approaches the intensity seems to increase until all I am aware of is the exquisite, sweet, heady orange blossom aroma – you can almost taste it.
In this week’s Share Your World, Cee has asked three questions, with a bonus fourth added on.
First she asks if I prefer eating food with nuts or without nuts.
We are peanut farmers, so I get more than my fair share of nut-eating at harvest time but I wouldn’t say I would choose to eat peanuts if there was something else on offer. When our Spanish partner visits he always brings a bag of almonds, which he roasts with salt in the evenings for tapas and those are always yummy. However, if I was to choose a favourite nut it would be the pistachio; there’s so much work involved cleaning and de-shelling them that I never feel that I have eaten too many.
The next thing Cee asked is if I sleep with the closet door open or closed.
As I child I was convinced monsters lurked in the cupboard in my bedroom at night and the door HAD to be firmly shut. It was part of our night time ritual that after story-reading I would always ask my Mum to check that the door was closed tight, and if there was a key she would have to lock the door. I could not and would not go to sleep if I could see even the tiniest open gap.
Although I no longer believe there are monsters in my cupboard this habit of closing bedroom cupboard doors before bed time still persists to this day, although luckily now our walk-in cupboard is not in the bedroom, so I can’t see the door. It is actually more like a small room anyway so the door being open doesn’t bother me at all, and it mostly stays open.
The next question is am I usually early, late or on time and that’s a loaded question in this house.
Piet complains that I have no sense of time and he usually starts chivvying me up hours before it is time to leave for any function in the hopes that we might, one day, be early. This seldom works. However, around here there’s seldom an occasion where we have to be anywhere at a specific time so it’s not really a serious problem.
Finally, what did I appreciate or what made me smile this week?
This cute boy.
And this little family.
Sensuously succumbing then sleeping so soundly
When I first decided to take part in the Daily Post Shadow photo challenge I thought any pictures I used would have to be limited to those taken either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when shadows are long and dramatic.
Then I came across this picture I took of these little guys, soaking up the mid-day sun on Boulders Beach in Cape Town.
Last year I was invited to write a small story about Walking With Rhinos in a local publication.
Although the walk I was on sets off early in the morning, I was lucky it was mid winter – by 07.00am it was already pretty hot.
Now back to Cape Town, where wedding guests play a genteel game of croquet while waiting for the bride and groom to appear after family photographs
Walking back to the car one evening, after an extended Sunday lunch at The Brass Bell, we came across a micro pig playing with a dog in a children’s play ground.
Happy, hot dogs take respite from the glaring sun.
Our shadows briefly rest on the Zimbabwe bank of the Zambezi River, a fleeting reminder that this used to be home.
After the rains last night the fairies came out to play.
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I’ve been offline for a while and am kick-starting my return today with this gem. Who could resist?
If you are afraid of spiders, you might want to skip this one. However, knowledge is power and learning a little more about these fascinating creatures may help you to overcome your fear.
Winter, such that it was, ended overnight. We woke up one morning with the electric blanket on and went to bed that night with the air conditioner set to its coldest.
The heat is debilitating (it does not lend itself to any form of work!) and on top of that it is very dusty and dry – the bush looks like it will never recover and seems to get browner by the minute.
Out walking yesterday morning I noticed an encouraging sign; one lone green tree, an interloper peering out through the grey. The rains can’t be far off now and I’m really looking forward to that.
When I got home and looked closer at the picture I had taken and noticed something else.
So, despite the sweltering heat and in the name of science I called the reluctant dogs and we all traipsed out again to get a closer look.
What lives in these messy nests? Looks like it could be a spider so, much to Piet’s disgust (he’s quite happy to face down a charging buffalo but the sight of a tiny spider will have him cowering and yelling for me to save him), I decided to take one home to open up and have a look.
I put the nest inside a plastic dish and the first thing that happened was a whole bunch of tiny spiders rushed out, waving their legs at me in indignation. It was like a spider village in there! They were mostly jumping spiders (Salticidae) but there were also a couple of other species, too small for my aging eyes to recognise.
On opening up the nest the first thing I saw was a wasp nest. I find this interesting as often wasps predate on spiders, usually using them as a food source for their larvae, and I wonder what the relationship is in this case. It must be quite disconcerting for the spiders to live together with an animal which may be eyeing them out as a meal for its offspring!
Next I found a nest-within-a-nest.
And inside this nest was Shelob — the true boss of the place! She curled herself up and pretended to be dead, which made closer inspection a lot easier than if she was scurrying about trying to escape.
I asked for help with identifying this spider from the Spider Club of Southern Africa Facebook page and was informed that ‘Shelob’ belongs to a family of spiders known as Araneinae , or orb spiders, and that she has a delightful common name — Hairy Field Spider.
Hairy Field Spiders are not harmful to humans, but Piet was not sure that releasing Shelob into the rose-bush which grows under the light outside the lounge was a good idea. I know she will do good, helping the geckos and frogs to catch the mosquitoes that will come when the rains finally begin.
Sadly Cee’s Which Way Challenge comes to an end next week, so this will be my last entry for this challenge. Cee will be hosting a brand new Compose Yourself Photo Challenge starting next week and I look forward to taking part in that.
I will continue to enter her other challenges and will also try to continue with my own WTF Friday theme.
After what feels like a record long dry season we are finally heading towards the rains. The dust will settle and the cooler temperatures will be a relief.
I took the next three photos while driving through the Mashonaland Province of Zimbabwe a few years ago.
It was during the rainy season.
Everyone Has Something To Teach Us
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