Thursday, July 21, 2011

Short and Sweet

This pink drink is really addictive!

For once, I'm trying out a new keep this post short and sweet! My last one was sooooooooo lengthy even I was wondering if it was ever going to end. You may recall that I'd mentioned the squirrels also enjoy the sugar water we ostensibly put out for our nectar feeding, feathered friends. This morning, my husband managed to get a couple of hastily snapped pictures of this sweet-tooth, little culprit dominating the nectar bottle outside our bathroom window...

I just have to go back for more!
That's it from me for today, folks, but I really would like to encourage you to click on the link below... read a heartwarming tale that is bound to put a smile on your faces!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer in Winter

Strelitzia captured in the garden today [17/07/2011]

Lately, we have been enjoying day after day of picture-perfect weather.  Balmy temperatures in the mid-20's (that's degrees Celsius, of course!) during the middle part of the day, with cool nights perfect for snuggling under our duvet. This is not usual for this time of the year. This is mid-winter in South Africa and, where I live in the Western Cape, it is meant to be our rainy season. We are meant to have crisp, cold days with plenty of rain. It has not rained for well over a week now and there has hardly been any wind, with most days not only clear and sunny, but perfectly calm as well.

Could it be that we are having Summer in Winter? Does this mean we'll have Winter in Summer?

Cape White-eye enjoying a juicy orange

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mixed Bag of Offerings

Pastoral Perfection!

I have had a busy few days which left very limited time for blogging of any description. I have tried to visit as many of my favourites as possible, but due to time constraints am not always able to leave a comment.

Apart from the usual busyness I had a wonderful day out with a very good friend of mine on Monday. We drove out into the countryside and ventured somewhat off the beaten track in search of eye-catching scenes and a good place to enjoy a leisurely lunch. On Tuesday, my husband took our three older dogs with him when he went to do a short site inspection. Despite having taken precautions (spraying the dogs with tick spray) they all returned home covered with ticks! That entailed much hasty bathing of all five dogs, as we decided to play it safe and do the two pups as well. Following this, all of their beds and bedding, and the bedding that is used in the bakkie, had to be washed and dried. The dogs were all fitted with new tick collars in addition to their monthly tick and flea spot treatment. That took the best part of the rest of Tuesday! At present, we also have a couple of birds building their nests in the garden and have been eagerly keeping tabs on the Sunbird pair. We have yet to discover the whereabouts of the Robins' nest, but watch them flying hither and thither with beaks full of building material. We have also been following the movements of a pair of owls that move between us and our neighbours. I heard quite a commotion while out in the garden this morning and saw lots of birds agitatedly twittering and tweeting. Upon careful investigation, I saw one of the owls perched in our neighbour's Oak tree with little birds darting and flitting excitedly in the branches around the owl. I called my husband to please take a few pictures using his zoom lens. I walked around the garden myself as well and snapped a few of the things that are currently blooming...hence, my mixed bag of offerings to share here this evening. 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Great Escape!

Endless views as seen on a day trip we enjoyed yesterday (7/7/2011)
Regular visitors to Driftwood Ramblings will know how much I enjoy any occasion when I'm able to accompany my husband on his field trips. Yesterday was one of those occasions, made possible through the kindness of our daughter, who came home to puppysit so I was able to escape for the day.

We left bright and early on what dawned as a perfectly clear and crisp winter's day. Our destination was Lambert's Bay, a little fishing village up the West Coast of South Africa and a 4.5 hour trip from home. We always avoid the nasty direct routes and choose the byways. If possible, we also return home via an alternative route, to make the trip that much more interesting and pleasurable. Yesterday was no exception although it did mean that we only arrived back home well after dark and we prefer not to have to travel after nightfall.  No matter, we had a most enjoyable day and succeeded in squeezing in a few spontaneous photo opportunities. Between us, we took in excess of 150 pictures, although quite a few of those were directly related to the site visit and so I'll not be including those here.

I, of course, invariably manage to sneak off on my own a bit to do my own investigations whilst my husband is busy with his own plotting, planning and sample collection where required, but yesterday I was numero uno driver once we reached our designated site.  There were 19 individual points to be investigated and it made more sense for me to remain in the driver's seat so we were able to move to the next point of reference on completion of each of the preceding ones. This ensured ease of operation and greater efficiency of time usage and, if I may say so myself, worked well and in our favour allowing for a bit of dawdling on the homeward run.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Sightings

10 year old Bonny says, "As long as I have a ball, I'm never bored!"
Whoever says they're bored, hasn't learnt to really open their eyes and see all the incredible beauty around them.  You don't need lots of money to make your life interesting. All you require is a good pair of eyes, spectacles or a magnifying glass and you need step no further, from your own threshold, than into your own garden, regardless of how small that may be. You see, size does not matter if your intention is to "See a world in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a flower" (William Blake) There is so much infinite beauty all around us, yet we fail to see and appreciate it.

Come and step into my garden with me, while I show you the many beautiful things my husband and I discovered this afternoon (all photographs were taken by my husband). 

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Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm Back!

Driving over the Swartberg Pass (June 2011)

I last posted on 22 June.  I tried to upload a new post I'd prepared on the 29th.  Unfortunately, Blogger was having a bad day and all but annihilated my efforts, which, despite my best intentions, I was unable to retrieve.  Needless to say, I was not in a good mood having spent quite some time putting it together.  It was to have been in honour of Carol Wyer @ Facing 50 With Humour and Lavinia Boja @ The relativity of a corroded mind.  They have both recently had their first books published and I wanted to surprise them by dedicating a post to their wonderful achievement. 

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