SILKY PREDATOR

<<Scream!!!>>

Chances are someone spotted a spider! Surely one of the most hated creatures in the world (top 10), spiders are almost always misunderstood. There is no shortage of scary stories about these interesting creatures.

The largest part of the Arachnid family, spiders are ‘those’ eight-legged creatures that spin silky webs used to capture prey. The silk from which their webs are made is said to be the strongest material in the world. According to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Spider silk has a tensile strength that’s five times more than that of steel! Imagine that!

The photo of a garden orbweaver in its web, captured in summer
A Spider (A Garden Orbweaver perharps) in its web

ENVIRONMENTALISTS

– Spiders help the environment by eliminating volumes of insects that would otherwise be around in your garden and other locations.

– When a Spider is going to make a new web, they roll the old one up first into a ball. Many species will eat it. They extract juices from their body onto it so that it will be liquefied.

ADDITIONAL FUN FACTS

– Spiders do not have muscles in their limbs. They move around by hydraulic power. When a Spider is moving there are always 4 legs on the surface and 4 off of it.

– The blood of the spider is light blue in color

– The venom spiders produce is to enable them liquefy their food (prey), as they are only able to take food in liquid form.

Very few people die or become seriously ill from Spider bites. There is just usually so much media coverage when these occur that creates the frenzy that exists. Although spiders are widely feared, only a few species are dangerous to people. Spiders will only bite humans in self-defense, and few produce worse effects than a mosquito bite or bee-sting. Spiders would rather flee when they encounter humans and probably only bite when trapped (in self defense ;-) )

So you don’t really have to scream and run out of a room/look for salvation the next time you see a spider “hanging” around. It’s just minding its “business”.

The photo of a spider with its housefly prey in a web
A Spider with a housefly prey

REFERENCES:

http://naturalsciences.org/nature-research-center/how-do-we-know/spider-silk

http://www.spidersworlds.com/facts-about-spiders/

http://www.livescience.com/22122-types-of-spiders.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider

Photo: © Gideon Davis 2014. Remshalden, Germany

Rose Rouge

Nothing is allowed to blemish its beauty, nothing can rob it of its joy; not a “death in the family”, not an “attack around its person”. She is The Red Rose, La Rose Rouge.

A photo of red roses
Red Roses

Photos were taken on a visit to Kirchberg an der Jagst, a small beautiful old town located on the river Jagst, in the district of Schwäbisch Hall in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

red rose
Red Rose

Almost every house I encountered had a flower garden mostly in front, many with rose plants featured in these gardens. Beautiful historical town it turned out to be, and I happened to have just the right company in my parents-in-law. Not even clutches could rain on my parade.

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER

Several weeks ago, my wife and I drove to the Legon Botanical Gardens. Now that’s a trip we’ve procrastinated on for many months, albeit it being only about 45mins away from where we live. Faithful day, we drove up there and my did nature turn up for me. Among the many was this White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) my wife spotted and pointed out to me.

A white-throated Bee-eater spotted at the Legon Botanical Gardens
A white-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air from an open perch. However, this species probably takes mainly flying ants and beetles. White-throated bee-eaters, like other bee-eaters rely on helpers (usually relatives) to help rear the chicks. They also are gregarious and highly social and often touch each other whilst roosting. They are considered migratory, wintering in a completely different habitat in the equatorial rainforests of Africa from southern Senegal to Uganda.

A flock of White-throated Bee-eaters at the Legon Botanical Gardens
A flock of White-throated Bee-eaters

Photographing this made my day and I hope viewing the end product makes yours! Credit to mein Schatz for spotting for me on the regular.

Info. Source:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/grrlscientist/2012/may/22/10
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-throated_bee-eater

AFRICAN DAISY

full bloom african daisy
The African Daisy in full Bloom

Also referred to as Goddess Of The Sun, The African daisy flowers reflect the beauty and the burning color of the sun. They are herbaceous annuals which close at night, in the shade, and during cloud cover, and Bloom between April and August.

Photo: Remshalden, Germany. June, 2014
Flower Facts: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/wildflowers/african-daisy

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH

Binomial Name: Lagonosticta senegala
Common Names: Red-Billed Firefinch, Senegal Firefinch

The Red-billed Firefinch belongs to a group of small Passerine birds of the Family Estrildidae. They are characteristically gregarious (social animals, existing in communities) and often colonial seed eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They all build large, domed nests and lay five to ten white eggs. They are typically tropical birds.

The red-billed firefinch captured on a manicured lawn
A Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)

Did you know:
– The nest of this species is parasitised by the village indigobird.
– Like most birds, color is the quickest identification for sex. Male fire finches are varying shades of red accented with black, gray or brown. Some species have tiny white- or ivory-colored spots on the breast or flanks. Female birds are mainly earthy brown in color and some have a pinkish wash to the face or breast

A Red-billed Firefinch captured pecking through the grass of a lawn
A pecking Red-billed Firefinch. Note white spots on flanks.

Word of the day: Dimorphic (meaning that males are easily distinguished from females)

Coat of Many Colours

Scarlet Chested Sunbird
The Scarlet-chested Sunbird

The aptly named Scarlet-Chested Sunbird, Chalcomitra senegalensis, is a strikingly colored Sunbird belonging to the bird family Nectariniidae. They feed mainly on arthropods and nectar, and can often be seen hovering around flowering plants or hawking prey aerially or plucking insects from the ground.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird sucking nectar from an aloe plant
The Scarlet-chested Sunbird feeding from the flower of an Aloe plant

The fellow in the shot is a regular of an Aloe Vera plant in my house. On one of such visits, my camera was ready

Bird

The bright colors on this bird adds to the beauty of nature and the validity of it’s intelligent design.

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