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Insects, Nature, Wildlife

Julia Skimmer (Orthetrum julia)

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The Julia Skimmer (Orthetrum julia) is common and widespread over much of Africa.

A huge Thank You to the clever folks at S.A. Butterflies, Bugs, Bees and other small things Facebook group for identifying this cutie. :D

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Its preferred habitats are moist lowland forests and near rivers.

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Male and female Julia Skimmer have different colourations. The body of the male is predominantly a bluish gray colour while the female is more a brownish yellow.

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The skimmers or perchers and their relatives form the Libellulidae, the largest dragonfly family in the world. It is sometimes considered to contain the Corduliidae as the subfamily Corduliinae and the Macromiidae as the subfamily Macromiinae. Even if these are excluded (as Silsby does), there still remains a family of over 1000 species. With nearly worldwide distribution, these are almost certainly the most often seen of all dragonflies.

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The genus Libellula is mostly New World, but also has one of the few endangered odonates from Japan: Libellula angelina. Many of the members of this genus are brightly colored or have banded wings. The related genus Plathemis includes the whitetails.

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Etymology

The order name may have been derived from the Latin libella which means booklet.

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Youngest son and I were walking in the garden and he was helping me look for Spiders to photograph, when we saw this cutie on the Aloe.

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I was so excited when I saw it and we stood still and watched it fly around, and luckily for me it kept coming back to the Aloe.

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We noticed it had something in its mouth and I moved closer and zoomed in ….

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It had a little bug in its mouth and was munching away …

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It was so interesting to see it enjoying its meal and wasn’t bothered at all by the big eye and 2 excited humans watching him. :D

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After its tasty meal, it sat there posing for a while, before it flew away.  What a grateful and special moment this was. :D

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 For those interested :  I edited the photos in Lightroom 5.6 and added an HDR effect to bring out the colours and texture more. The header was edited in Corel PaintShop Pro with the plugin filter Topaz Clean 3, where I also added the quote. The frames and watermark was done with Photoscape – a Free, Fun and Easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos.

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Nature, Spiders, Wildlife

Our little friends …

 

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The long-jawed orb weavers or long jawed spiders (family Tetragnathidae, genus tetragnatha).

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As you can see, just like the little Jumping Spider (Thyene Ogdeni), this cutie also had no desire to bite me.

It’s a fact – Spiders do not seek humans out to attack them.  We really have nothing to be afraid of.  There are worse things in this world that are way more scarier than these little cuties.

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The only times a spider might bite you, would be when it feels threatened.  If you have a fear of Spiders and you leave it alone, it won’t bother you.

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While Spiders are quite scary looking, what with all of those legs and eyes, many of them actually feast on household pests that can transmit disease to humans –mosquitoes, fleas, flies, cockroaches and a host of other disease-carrying critters.

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Learning about them and understanding them can go a long way to reducing the fear. The next time a Spider is near you, observe it for a bit and walk away.  If it’s inside your home and you don’t want it there, take a glass and piece of paper and relocate it outside.  Believe me, they are more scared of you than you are of them.

Most of the stories spread about Spiders being so ‘dangerous’, are stupid lies.  Yes, there are venomous Spiders out there, but they are not definitely not going out of their way to look you up, just to bite you.

If you have a fear of Spiders, do yourself a favour and google them on the internet … observe them and learn more about them.  For the South Africans – There’s a great group on Facebook where the clever Spider experts can tell you everything want you want to know:  The Spider Club of Southern Africa.

Stop believing what others believe.  Believe what you know for a fact – not just because everyone else believes it.  Spiders are our friends. :D

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Nature, Wildlife

Squinty, the male Vervet monkey

 Some of you will remember my first post on the Vervets since I’ve started blogging again :

Vervet Monkeys Visiting our Garden

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We named this little darling ‘Squinty’.  Look at that adorable little face.  Here he was just a little baby and I took this photo of him on 26 May 2012.

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Here he is today, keeping a watchful eye over Gizmo. DSCF8579He’s grown so much and is as adorable as always.

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Hubby also noticed one day that Squinty doesn’t have any canines.  I kept watching him and finally got this shot when he was yawning.
We have no idea why his teeth did not fully develop.  They look sharp enough though and I think those little teeth can cause a lot of damage.

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I am forever grateful for being able to observe and interact with these wild, intelligent beauties, and it’s wonderful to see how many people do their best to protect them.   They deserve to be cherished and protected. :D

Vervet Monkeys and their Conservation

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