Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

24 July 2012

Red-Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) Basking in the Sun

Like all reptiles turtles need to warm themselves up.
The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is a semiaquatic turtle from the family Emydidae and is a subspecies of pond slider.
Red-eared sliders (from the distinctive red patch of skin around their ears) slide off rocks and logs into the water quickly when approached, hence the "slider" part of the name.
Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but leave the water to bask in the sun and lay eggs, are aware of predators and people, and generally shy away from them. They are deceptively fast and are also good swimmers. These turtles are omnivorous and hunt for prey.

Contrary to the popular misconception, red-eared sliders do not have saliva. They, like most aquatic turtles, have fixed tongues, so they must eat their food in water.

Red-eared slider (Trachymes scripta elegans) basking in the sun
Red-eared slider (Trachymes scripta elegans) basking in the sun
 (© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

20 July 2012

Summer Colours — Flowering Trees.
The Blue Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

Summer is all about the baking hot sun, bright light, busy insects and the beauty and fragrance of flowering trees.
The Blue Jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia, or simply the "Jacaranda", is a sub-tropical tree native to South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers. It is also known as the Black Poui, or as the fern tree. The curious thing about this tree is that when its leaves wither, the tree gives off a pleasant vinegar-like smell.

Jacaranda tree in full blossom
Jacaranda tree in full blossom. (© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

10 July 2012

Cotyledon orbiculata (Pigs ear) in flower

A few years ago I found in the street a thick succulent leaf of this plant and stuck it into a free flower pot, although I didn't know at the time what it was. It grew into a beautiful small bush that rewards us with dainty flowers every year.

Cotyledon orbiculata, commonly known as Pig's Ear or Round-leafed Navel-wort, is a succulent plant belonging to the Cotyledon genus. It grows to approximately 1.3 m (4.3 ft) in height. Its gray-green leaves have a white powdery substance on them that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water. The shape of the leaves looks like a pig's ear, hence the common name. Cotyledon orbiculata is native to South Africa; in the wild, it grows naturally in rocky outcrops in grassy shrubland and the Karoo region.

Cotyledon orbiculata (Pigs ear) plant
Cotyledon orbiculata (Pigs ear) plant
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)
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