Monday, December 28, 2009

geraniums etc

These beautiful tiny geraniums I found growing at the edge of the street this afternoon. (monday) I.D.d as Geranium rotundifolium - I'd been noticing the leaves all over the place but these are the first blooms I've seen this season, and a minute from the house.

This interesting insect was right next to me on the wall when I went to the bathroom first thing today! One of my kids killed it later, I think he was concerned about that sharp point at the end of the abdomen! I have never had one of these attack me but it's possible one of my other boys was stung by one years ago.. such he described but we never found the evidence. Unfortunately didn't measure it but it's about 4 or 5 cm long. Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma) on my bedroom wall this evening.

(below) later found, here, on the window blinds.

Below.. growing by our street on a patch of rough ground. Looks like one of the catchflies (Silene) but did not find a definite match and none this early. Earliest blooms in february! I also don't remember seeing them or the geranium this early last year, and neither of us remember as many winter crocuses last year, many places by gazelle field, by north watercourse. Could we have just walked past them last year?

Eager earthworks of the park authorities. They have been busy in many open places, turning over the earth for development, tree planting.. we shall see! I hope we won't lose out on any flora but the way vegetation is coming up there should not be much to worry about. The eucalyptus grove area by the north watercourse has also been ploughed so I shall be watching later to see if the Carmel orchids there can grow this year.

Mon 28 Dec : House sparrow chirps, Sunbird squeaks and laughing dove soft coos in the garden much of the daylight hours. Bulbuls and blackbirds settling to roost in the forest by valley road. Continous hyrax alarm barks over by the Shadiker colony today, perhaps cat or fox upsetting them. No hyrax activity by valley road noticed.

Tues 29 Dec: sunbird active in garden again today, (cape honeysuckle is in bloom), laughing doves soft coos. Jackdaws and Hooded crows swarming over windsurfer hill.. apparently collective nouns for jackdaws include a 'clattering' and a 'train' but I still prefer a 'snickering'! 'Jack' is also not an allusion to the call it makes but is a diminutive- means 'little daw' , 'daw' I assume simply meaning 'crow'. In Hebrew they are called simply 'kaak' קאק which is an allusion to the call.

Husband heard Tristram's starling as he was coming down the hill midday, (from bus stop to house),

Fox seen just as it was getting dark.. we took ramp path from valley road to the back of the buildings and as we reached the top fox cut just a few feet in front of us from back of a garden and down the bank with a large piece of what looked like bread in his mouth. It stopped on the slope briefly, crunched the bread but did not feel at ease eating there so continued across valley road and into the cover of the pines.

Wed 30th December: great tits scolding in the pines just down from valley road. Collared doves about. Jackdaws and hooded crows as usual. Sunbird squeaking in the garden. Call like that of european robin up the hill just west of the east valley watercourse dirt road. Black redstart at the bunker rubble.. good to see it has not been put off from its usual haunts!

Stone curlew heard from east field as it became dark.

9 gazelle, just east of the bat cave, lower slopes of hill to north.. one adult male buck following but a little apart from a group of females and quite well grown young.

Found the Silene depicted above and photographed the silver Y in my room.

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