Monday, January 20, 2020

20/01/2020 Back home in the Charente.

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 7C, minimum 0C. Dry today, but 31mm of rain so far this month.  26km/h North-Easterly wind, with very icy gusts up to 57 km/h.

I still have many South African photos to work my way through but I have been feeling very down this week and have got far behind with everything.  Think I caught a bug at a meeting Saturday before last.  The meeting was held by the mayor and over 200 people attended, many of who were coughing!!!  I am now feeling a bit better but the cough is back as usual when I pick these bugs up.  I will get back to RSA photos very soon.

New Year's Day.  Moss.

04 Jan.  Raspberries - not very big, but what are they doing bearing fruit in January?  The weather has been pretty mild but......

08 Jan, Orchids at the local supermarket.

14 Jan. Another January surprise - Roses still in bloom.

13 Jan.  Pampas grass.

14 Jan.  Lawn daisies, I suspect we do not generally have them in January but I am not sure. 

14 Jan.  A sunset that looked much like a firework display.  Much quieter though!!

16 Jan.  A macro of the Pampas grass.

18 Jan. Catkins on the hazelnut tree.

18 Jan.  Still we have roses!!!

18 Jan, Christmas poinsettia still doing well in the house.

Today's visitor on the window sill. Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) .



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Monday, January 13, 2020

A few more photos from our visit to South Africa last year.

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 10C, minimum 4C. 2mm of rain measured this morning but we had a dry day. 23km/h south-westerly winds with gusts up to 45 km/h.

African elephant (Loxodonta africana).
Again, I will not state exactly where animals were seen because of poaching risks.

Note those long eyelashes!!

African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) out of the water grazing. Usually, grazing occurs during the evening or the night, but looking at the amount of grass around I guess they need more feeding hours.  Recent rains have fallen in many places in South Africa but some are still drought-stricken.

Greater kudu, female (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). Note the Red-billed oxpeckers (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) on her back

As above; see she has an oxpecker on her head.  The birds do a fabulous job of keeping the animals free from ticks and parasites.

Kudu male.  The female does not have horns.

Lion (Panthera leo)...

and lioness.

Common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus).

Waterbuck  (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)...

As above

African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)

Sometimes one has to just relax, hook your trunk over a tusk and close your eyes for a snooze

Last but not least this couple totally ignored us. Females are receptive to mating for three or four days within a widely variable reproductive cycle. During this time a pair generally mates every 20–30 minutes, with up to 50 copulations per 24 hours.



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Monday, January 6, 2020

06/01/2020 Returning to our trip to Africa last October..

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 10C, minimum 1C. Dry so far today, with frost here this morning. 13km/h south-westerly winds with gusts up to 30 km/h.

These animals were top of my 'to see' list. As before, I will not state exactly where animals were seen because of poaching risks. The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is often nicknamed the Painted Dog. Incredibly, each individual dog has unique markings, which makes it easier for identification. They are sadly another of the world's endangered species.  A number of them have died from disease carried by domestic dogs, brought by their owners into game reserves. Rabies is one of the problems, and many others have died a horrible death as a result of being snared.  

 Wild dogs chasing away a hyena which has got too close to the pack.  The hyenas hang around them, hoping to steal a kill that the dogs may have made.

Here they are gathering ready to go hunting. When a pack member becomes ill, injured or elderly, restricting or even incapacitating their effectiveness as a hunter, the rest of the pack cares for and feeds them. 
 Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in the background.

African elephant (Loxodonta africana) enjoy a water hole.

Here are others with a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) and zebra (Equus quagga).

Blue-headed tree agama, (Acanthocercus atricollis). There seem to be several subspecies, not very clearly defined!

Lion (Panthera leo). This was one of three old males that we watched walking near to the road.  You can see how thin this one was. We suspected that the three (all in similar condition) were supporting each other to find food.

Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), also known as the laughing hyena.

Two young hyenas...

If you look closely you can see three cubs here with their mother. Females provide only for their own cubs rather than assist each other, and males display no paternal care at all!

The only proof I have that we saw a leopard ! (Panthera pardus pardus).



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Monday, December 30, 2019

30/12/2019 December in France and the last post this year. Happy New Year everyone.

Maximum temperature in the Charente today 12C, minimum 0C. Dry but a frost this morning. 10km/h South-Easterly winds with gusts up to 17 km/h.

01 December - the last of the cosmos.

07 December - cotoneaster berries which are still going strong.

17 December - caterpillars of the Large White butterfly (Pieris brassicae).  Our winter veg was under threat!!

17 December - Le Gendarme beetle or the firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). There were a few hundred of them on the hibiscus shrub which is covered in moss.

18 December - Our local supermarket, animated polar bears playing musical instruments.

19 December - Pointsettia in the dining room.

26 December - a surprise; roses still in the garden...

As above.

28 December - early sunset....

and about 30 minutes later.

I will be returning to our 2019 South African trip with blogs and photos next year - not that far away now.


See also my Bird blog I have many photos of birds and I will put most of them on this blog.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

2019 as we saw it, month by month through the year. Happy Christmas.

January 30th  Driving through France in the snow on our way back from the UK

February 7th - Early lambs.

March 20th - Sunset.

April 13th - A visit from a Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus).

May 22nd -  Butterfly (Coenonympha arcania).

June 17th - Common Wall Lizard, (Podarcis muralis).

July 19th - Little owl on the barn roof,  (Athene noctua).

August 18th - Michael and Mary arrived at Angouleme Station from the USA.

September 30th - Cosmos in the garden.

October 18th - Red-fronted tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus) on holiday in South Africa.

November 4th - Elephants having fun  Holiday South Africa.

December 18th - Christmas at our local supermarket back in France.

Wishing all my followers Happy Holidays and all the very best for 2020