Crested Barbet.. a visitor to the Pretoria fruit salad tree.

Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)

You can’t miss this bird with its very colourful plumage the Crested Barbet is unmistakable. This small bird has a speckled yellow and red face with a small black crest. The belly is yellow with red speckles, wings are black with white specks and it has a broad black band on its neck. Yellow head and body with black and white feathers, with red markings on the head of the body, its colour blends in so well in the bush. A coat of many colours.

But this one I’ve been trying to capture at the right time of the day.. but had to put up with bad light and all the wrong conditions that all the experts say you should not bother shooting in and captured him today at midday..

and now for the fashion show showing this years trends….

TaaDaaaaaaaa ….. Now for our first shot we show the black back with white flecks, very in fashion this season….


Notice the orange hues of the neck and darkening of the ears.. all make up should concentrate in this area for the season….


Red around the backside is very in this season so do concentrate on that and ensure your trailing tail is black with white dots….


Chew fruit this year rather than gum…. and dye the front of your hair red…


Note the red dye in the front of the head… (Red hair is in Blonde out) wear a black and white bib..


This gives one a better perspective of the black and white bib.. always wear yellow dress with red flecks or dots… very in this year Ladies…

please send full size photos of your like fashion to this site for critique from the fashion Guru…the Bulldog…


And that Ladies and Gentlemen concludes our fashion show for the day…

White-throated Swallow

White-throated Swallow (Hirundo albigularis)

Common to South Africa which has benefited from the increased nesting opportunities presented by the construction of bridges and dams.

The swallow breeds in southern Africa from Angola and Zambia southwards to the Cape in South Africa. Winters in Angola, Zambia and southern Zaire. This is a bird of open country and grassland, with a preference for highlands and nearby water. It is often found around man-made structures.

It builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a soft lining of grass or hair. Usually near or over water.  The nest is often reused for next years brood.

The three eggs of a clutch are white with brown and blue blotches, and are hatched by the female alone for 15–16 days. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 20–21 days

The young can swim a short distance to safety if they fall from the nest into water, now that could be a photo op.

It feeds mainly on flying insects, which it pursues with a fast twisting flight


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T.B.Markinsons Second Book “Marionette”

This is the second book of T.B.Markinson the first “A woman Lost” was self published not so long ago, and now she introduces “Marionette” and with this book I wish her as much success as she wishes herself. To publish a book is an achievement in itself, to publish two, magnificent. TBM has self published, not an easy task and for this she should be applauded.


Title: Marionette

Author: T. B. Markinson

Cover Designer: Derek Murphy

Publication Date: December 2013


Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?

After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.

During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.

To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?

About the Author:

T B Markinson

T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. Marionette is her second novel. A Woman Lost was her debut novel.

Sign up to TB’s New Release Mailing List here. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.

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If the links don’t copy and paste, here they are. If it’s too much trouble to manually insert them, I completely understand. I want to make this as easy as possible for everyone and I appreciate all of the help. Thanks!

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Greater Striped Swallow.. unafraid of humans, so they say.

Greater Striped Swallow (Cecropis cucullata)

This swallow breeds in South Africa and in winter moves North to Angola, Tanzania and southern Zaire. I wonder if it needs a passport.??

This bird loves open grassland and mountainous areas, avoids more wooded areas. It is a common bird and they say it’s unafraid of humans… now I know why they tend to sit and pose for me.

The bird builds a bowl-shaped mud nest, with a tubular entrance on the underside. It’s softly lined and is reused quite often. Caves or overhangs of rocks even fallen trees are used for nesting sites, however they benefited from using buildings, bridges, culverts and similar man-made structures.

Glossy white eggs with a few brown spots 3 being a normal clutch. Incubation by the female for 17–20 days to hatch. Both parents feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 23–30 days.

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African Spurred Tortoise.. or so they tell me..

African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata)

The African spurred tortoise  is the largest tortoise of the African mainland, and is surpassed in size only by the giant island species from Aldabra and Galápagos.

Adults are usually 24 to 36 in long (60–90 cm) and can weigh 100-200 lb. (45 – 91 kg). They grow from hatchling size (2-3 in) very quickly, reaching 6-10 in (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. The lifespan of an African spurred tortoise is about 50-150 years, though they can live much longer.

I just loved the look of this reptiles head, with the scales or markings…