Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gazelle fields, more reds

Here's another scenic view for you, this time of the north valley watercourse looking west. The course itself only flows during and right after heavy rain

A common salmon coloured vetch in bloom in many places now. I particularly liked the violet centre. Looks like Lathyrus blepharicarpus , Ciliate vetchling

Gardens and street today: blackbirds, house sparrows, laughing dove, feral pigeons. Our Bauhinia tree is starting to bloom so I'm sure the sunbird will frequent it more and more now for nectar.

Nice views today of Great spotted cuckoos flying across gazelle field and landing in the eucalyptuses, two of them, some interaction.. a pair? Both very vocal.

Happy to hear greenfinches chawwing and twittering away near look out corner and elsewhere, graceful warblers, jackdaw caws and I forgot to mention we saw a falcon over the hill to the north yesterday but couldn't make out much detail in silhouette. I suspect though, it was a common kestrel from its flight and general jizz.

Just when you think you've got things botanically sorted out, (and I'm sure I never will), nature throws in a little more variety! I had found a few more poppies blooming right by the bunker rubble but was starting to 'dismiss' all the other reds as anemones when I looked again and realized that there were several clumps of yet a third large red flower that did not seem 'right'. There were several differences: 5 petals rather than 6, the shiny red sepals, definite clumps of a dozen or so rather than a few at a time, lobed but not filamentous basal leaves and each with a slightly less lush, flamboyant 'jizz' , the latter not scientific I know, but nonetheless real. I had the suspicion I knew what they were but needed to check my sources at home to be sure.

Persian or Turban buttercup, Ranunculus asiaticus, called Nurit in Hebrew. (Anemone is calanit, poppy is pereg)
Crickets chirping up a storm from the banks this evening, little owl calls somewhere in the direction of the bat cave but stone curlews quiet tonight.

Weather: Almost 6 p.m. ST temp just over 19 degrees C, humidity just 26%, winds easterly and very light. As you notice, when winds switch to the east the humidity plummets and the temps go up, quite welcome after the last few cool damp days! Peaked at 21 degrees C today. Last night's minimum was 10 degrees. It's nearly 10 p.m. and still above 18 so we shall see.

Lesley was yesterday's winner, (wolf spider from last 29th July) pinning the pic as a spider - so for all you spider fans I've included this jumping spider pic above, which I found about half an hour ago while spring cleaning, in the same room as that wolf spider as it happens but this one was tiny! They do indeed have different faces, arrangement of eyes can vary a lot. One way to ID brown recluse spiders is that they have three pairs of eyes arranged in a big triangle across the thorax. We have those here! Today's mystery pic is below- what do you make of this?

No comments: