Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Donn Ingle from South Africa has sent photos before (see here), but here’s a new batch. Donn specializes in his local flora, and sends the following information:

I live in Betty’s Bay on (not quite) the southern tip of Africa. I’ve been taking arty pics of my surrounds for a couple of years. I’m not trained in any science, so the nouns (see file names) of things may well be off. I am more than fortunate to be here among the fynbos and I hope you enjoy the photos. [JAC: The captions are Donn’s file names]:

Agathosma piculata (“buchu”) with blue fly:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Baboon mother looking out:

Bee in Protea repens palace:

 Brunia albiflora inflorescence:

Chrysanthemoides monilifera (“bietou”) with bee:

Fresh colours of an unknown Protea:

Finally, Stephen Barnard sent a closeup of a desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) with the caption:

Sometimes you have the wrong lens so you make do.

Desert cottontain

11 Comments

  1. John
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Are those “nibbled” ears in the last photo?

  2. Jim Knight
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Donn, beautiful photos! The Brunia inflorescence is remarkable.

    Stephen, most of us can’t take photos that good with the CORRECT lens…! Nice job.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 10, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Yeah I really liked the Brunia albiflora too!

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted May 10, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I took that photo from my truck. If you zoom in you can see the silhouette of the truck in the rabbit’s eye.

      • Diane G.
        Posted May 11, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Wonderful! I don’t even have to zoom to see the truck.

  3. d
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks all — I love the Brunia too; it simply looks edible.

  4. Posted May 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    That Brunia really is cool. I looked it up. Photos made me wonder if it was in Asteraceae or Apiaceae, but the answer turned out to be neither; it’s in its own family, Bruniaceae.

    The source of information on plantzafrica.com said, among other things “Only about a quarter of the species in this family are locally frequent where they occur, the rest are rare, often confined to the upper slopes and in isolated patches of a few individuals. Many of the members of this family show a lack of reproductive vigour, and are difficult to propagate from seed and keep alive in cultivation. Research has shown that more than 20% of the pollen grains of the worst offenders show irregular appendages and distortions in shape or a reduction in size, which suggests that they are not viable. It appears that this family is slowly heading towards extinction, not, for once, because of mankind, but because it has reached the end of its natural lifespan and is in a state of senescence.”

    I don’t think plant families have a natural lifespan. What’s likely to cause those defective pollen grains? Hybridization? Inbreeding? Other?

    • d
      Posted May 11, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I don’t know. What horrible news. A lot of the Fynbos is in peril.

      I took that photo of the Brunia in Harold Porter Botanic Gardens, just down the road.

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 11, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      sedgequeen, that’s fascinating, thanks for looking it up and sharing.

      I agree, that “natural lifespan” business sounds very strange. One wonders if these species are instead moving toward more emphasis on vegetative reproduction…but I imagine if scientists have been monitoring the situation they’d have taken that into account. At any rate, it makes one want to know more! (And nice excuse to do research in South Africa!)

  5. Mark Joseph
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Very nice pictures!

  6. Posted May 11, 2015 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous flowers and a hilarious comment by Stephen: Mr. Barnard “making do” with the “wrong lens” compared to most of my photos with the “right one” is rather like if I played tennis with a top of the line racket against Nadal wielding a skillet (in that the outcome of the match would be pretty much the same).


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