….Callistemon  (probably C.viminalis) 

This is the photo of an emerging flower I cropped …


…and this is the flower fully open.

Elephant’s Child was so close with her guess! And I know Carol is going to do an acrobatic trick and kick herself in the pants!

These photos were taken in my friend’s garden in Spain.


The Man has been out of town for a week. He asked me to put the covers on the Mustang last Sunday when it had cooled down from its drive home from the Marina. “Yes, dear.” He didn’t actually say I was not to drive it….

But he’s home again. Damn!


I think someone must have been feeding a butcherbird as one came and sat on the deck rail when we were having lunch and made it quite clear he expected  a hand-out! I don’t want to encourage him as the cats’ ancient instincts would kick-in  in a second.And I don’t like feeding wildlife, as I’ve said before.* When Sporran came out to ask for her own hand-out, the bird skraarked and flew to a tree. They eye-balled each other from a safe distance for a while then the cat wandered off to have a snooze and the bird, with no free meal forthcoming, also left. But it was lovely to see and hear him.(Or maybe her; they look the same.)

The Man often brings me gifts  when he returns from his work trips. Yesterday, it was a dead butterfly. Be honest now, guys, how many of you would give your ladylove  such a precious gift? I identified it  from a web picture this morning.It is, or was, a Tailed Emperor,Polyura sempronius.


...and back.

Well…this is a pathetic little offering, isn’t it? It’s actually taken several hours to write this, ducking in and writing a few lines, ducking out again to deal with other things, in and out like a fiddler’s elbow.

Perhaps I should leave you with a tasty morsel…some of you will have seen this, but it might be new to others. Guess what Dinah wants to try next!

*Edited to add a few facts. Feeding wild critters. I know it’s a buzz to have a bird sit on your hand and accept food or to feed cute animals like possums or kangaroos, or have deer so tame the fawns will graze on your lawn. But we shouldn’t do it.

It encourages (in some cases) dependency, fearlessness and often illness from being fed inappropriate foods. And it can lead to spread of disease. Case in point? People  here often feed honey to birds. It is not a natural food for them and can lead to a range of problems.And putting out honey attracts honey bees.If the honey is infected with a bee larval disease this is then transported back to the hive, where it wipes out larval-stage bees. Harmless to adult bees and animals, including human, it’s devastating to apiarists.

But my greatest irritation is the taming of wild creatures. This is not domestication, which takes place over generations of selective breeding, it’s just plain damn’ silly. The animals become bold enough to stick around for their hand-outs and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how quickly bigger animals come for their “hand-outs” of easy meat.

By all means, put out fresh water for birds, but make sure the dish is cleaned regularly and please, don’t put it where predators can have easy access.

Plant  the sort of garden that includes natural food species, provide clean water (hook your garden hose into a tree, pour yourself a cool beverage and sit back and enjoy the variety of entertainment.) An occasional scattering of appropriate seed or a chopped-up apple core or melon rind wont hurt. But remember the key word should be occasional.



18 thoughts on “AND THE ANSWER IS….

  1. Never mind Carol kicking herself, I am too. We have callistemons – including one that looks rather like that.
    I loved your dead butterfly. One of my favourite presents from the skinny portion was a worm farm and a thousand worms. My middle brother couldn’t comprehend how it could make me happy – his wife could though…
    Do you not feed the wild life for fear of encouraging dependency on either the one food source or on unnatural food types? I know you said that you had explained it before but I missed it.


    • Don’t be too hard on yourself-I had chopped that photo ‘way down.
      I love worms! I did have a dedicated “farm”:but something got to them. Now, I have thousands, in the gardens and in the compost bins. Also in some pots, which is the one place we do not want them!
      And feeding wildlife…a thorny issue! I’ll go back and edit the post with a short explanation as it would apply anywhere.


  2. Oh, how I want to see your native birds up close. One day! And did you see the flyboarding photo I posted on FB (wall photos) in the summer? We were canoeing on a local lake and came across a guy doing this. Had NO idea what it was but fun to see up close! And as a woman who decorates her house with rocks and driftwood, all who know me well know that such a beautiful treasure as that butterfly would be a perfect gift. The Man is a keeper. Especially since he has such a great car! 🙂


  3. Okay, I’ve finished kicking myself! Well done on cropping that pic so beautifully, Di. Always good to see the Mustang.
    I try not to feed the birds though the magpies did get used to stealing from Luther. Now that Luther is the late and very lamented Luther (sigh…) the magpies will have to find another cat to steal from.
    Great butterfly! The Man is to be commended on his choice of gift. Keep The Man, Di.


  4. Over here we’re told to feed the birds, but safely out of reach of most predators. But that’s because so many are under threat from loss of habitat and chemical pollution.
    The butterfly is gorgeous, what a lovely idea for a present.


  5. I just had to throw in that “calli” is a root meaning beautiful, as in Callicarpa (I think that’s beauty-berry, and I’m too lazy to look it up) and “callipygean” (which means beautiful buttocks). You’re welcome. (“Steatopygian” means fat-butted. Don’t think you won’t have cause to use that some day.)


  6. Hi Dinah, Loved visiting your blog, which I haven’t done in weeks….in fact I haven’t visited ANY blogs in weeks…my new system doesn’t support RSS feeds in my email program anymore. GRRRRR :^Q. Thanks for coming by and visiting me this week. It’s always so nice to know someone is out there! It’s always such a trip to imagine the seasons (from my perspective) being backwards. Love to get the natural news. At least it’s spring somewhere.


    • Very glad you popped in. And thanks for the trip to Nantes!
      Well, right now, still mid-spring for us, the temperatures are unseasonably high.And little rain, although, to be fair, spring is not our rainy season. Still, it does not look good for the summer ahead.
      I, of course, am revelling in autumnal tones on all the blogs of you northerners!


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