Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thyme in bloom, one of my favourites

The Israeli thyme ( Coridothymus capitatus) is now starting to bloom, their cushion like clumps starred with these lilac blooms all over the hillsides.

These are now blooming again, we found many of them between north valley watercourse and hidden watercourse but interestingly distinctly more yellow than last years blooms which seemed whitish green. Above is a zoom of a pic we took last year. Today unfortunately our camera was out of commission but should be up and running again tomorrow to get some comparative pics. I had taken them for a kind of Marrubium last year but now am revising that opinion, seeing the flower structure is more simple and other details don't fit. Avremi photographed a Marrubium earlier this season but this is different. Must continue to look!

While searching I think I I.D.d another plant in retrospect. Those blue/purple four petalled flowers we'd found in many places amongst the rocks earlier in spring match Malcolmia chia, related to the Malcolmia crenulata (white with yellow centres) that grew in profusion all over gazelle field.

I don't know what these are below, I just snapped the pic because I liked the form.

A grasshopper I photographed a few days ago near north valley watercourse.

Two gazelle today. We headed straight down to north watercourse dirt road, but just before we'd crossed the watercourse husband spotted adult buck gazelle ahead of us under the pines. It moved away, stood and gazed at us, walked a little more, wiggling its tail, flashing its white rump, and turned back to stare again.. then headed off with a few more tail wiggles till out of sight. A little later he spotted a female up on the ridge north of the hidden watercourse.

For a change I was the one who spotted a fox about three quarters the way up that hill, one of the dark patchy ones.

More brown butterflies about. From the glimpse I got when one settled I think it's another Maniola telmessia. (Middle Eastern Meadow Brown)

House: house sparrows, white spectacled bulbul in the garden from dawn followed by sunbird calls and later laughing dove coos. Mid afternoon heard repeated whistles of a Tristram's grackle somewhere nearby. Sometimes they will perch on television aerials or tall poles.

Hobby call off from direction of look-out corner, orchard area. Collared doves coos and flight calls. Brief turtle dove coo. Graceful warblers, blackbirds, bee-eater calls.

Weather: Time of walk ~6.45 p.m. ~24 degrees. (today's range ~20-28.5 degrees C. ~), humidity: ~40%, wind NW/W, 7-12 knots.

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