Annette Greiff, Hennops River
This exquisite Glasswinged butterfly is found in Central America - from Mexico to Panama. The transparent wings are a natural camouflage mechanism. The presence of this butterfly is apparently used by rain forest ecologists as an indication of high habitat quality and its demise alerts them of ecological change.
I found these spider webs in the early morning dew next to the road. It looked like fairy tracks!
Murray Horn, Randburg
This frog was comfortably tucked into a hole, low down on a palm tree next to the swimming pool. He did not seem bothered by the human traffic past his hidey-hole.
Mercia Komen, Doornrandje
I met this Marsh Owl on the road near a wetland on my way home. He/she sat very quietly when I took the pic. It's often on the road and very reluctant to move.
Emmanuel, Hills and Dales
Every now and then we find these worms clustered on the trunk of a plane tree. They appear suddenly and disappear after a day or so. Can any VeldTalk reader tell me what they are?
Wayne Skews, Doornrandje
Every day we check our pool for bullfrogs, otherwise they die. Here is a fine fellow from Doornrandje.
Stella Angus, Bonathaba, Hills and Dales
We found this little nest in the veld, made entirely from horse hairs!
Helga Eshelby, Riverside Estates
The Jukskei River level rose about six metres at our place in January. Our pump was under water and drying it out took a long time. The most upsetting thing was the rubbish along the river banks! We try to clean it up ourselves but there is still a lot stuck in the top of the trees on the other side of the river.
This is one tiny portion of the Jukskei. Try and calculate the amount of rubbish, stuck six metres high along many kilometres of this burdened river. Depressing. Ed
Hendrik Swart, Roodekrans
This cosy little nest was built by a sunbird. He (she?) kept darting to a pile of rocks and all I could find there were spider webs. Were the sticky threads part of holding the nest together?
Annelize de Klerk, Doornrandje
We were quite pleased to have spotted this handsome bullfrog on the side of a road in Doornrandje, whilst driving home one night. We all need to be careful as bullfrogs seem to sit on or to cross roads frequently at night during the rainy season.
Elaine, Hills and Dales
One morning we found eight baby bats clinging to the wall of our house. They seem to have come from under a verandah roof but the reason was a mystery. We took this pic and emailed it to our local bat expert, Nigel Fernsby, who said they were Cape Serotin bats. He thought they may have tried to escape from a snake and suggested we leave them on the wall until after sunset, to see if the parents would come to the rescue. By that time some had died but we hope the rest made their way to Mom and home.
Nick Dale, Rhenosterspruit
The tumbleweeds (Boophane disticha) are rapidly disappearing as they are harvested for muti. I thought it worthwhile capturing its flowering and drying before it tumbles in the breeze. As you can see from the size of this bulb the plant is many decades old.
Corlette Wessels, Vlakfontein
I arrived home to a terrible racket and found a dead boomslang at the garden gate. Our dogs had killed it. I checked them for snake bite but they were all fine. It must have been a spectacular fight!
Meryl Horn, Lukasrand, Pretoria
Our namesake came visiting – a grey Hornbill!
Lynette Loosen, Roodekrans
Our female warthog got cosy with an ostrich, sitting on her 10 eggs! Quite an amazing sight.
Hennie Swarts, Gemstones Road
Look what popped in for a visit! My daughter Megan provided it with a crisp take-away.
Wessel Wessels, Vlakfontein
We got a real surprise when we downloaded pictures of the animals moving at night through the valley at the bottom of our farm - a brown hyena! There were also porcupine and kudu.
Ons het hierdie twee ystervarke ontdek in een van die grotte in die Bewarea, tydens navorsing oor vlermuise.
Niko Knigge, Doornrandje
A metre-long boomslang lives in a crack in a wall in our house. My friend Ozi was brave enough to take a pic of this handsome creature.
Are you quite sure you want to share accommodation with a boomslang?! Editor
Nick Dale, Rhenosterspruit
This exquisite photo of a praying mantis was taken by Dennis Weinand. His photos of a mantis on a basil plant that appeared in VeldTalk (No 50: May 2010) were screened on 50/50's VeldFocus recently.
Pieter Tolmay, Monaghan Farm
Monaghan teems with wildlife, like this little hedgehog. I have tried to photograph the fish eagles over the Jukskei River but no success so far. I'll keep at it!
Jill Watson, Elandsvlei Conservancy, East Rand
Recently our Conservancy received a call from the local Kaleidoscope School principal, Carol Gardner, about a very large lizard in the school's garden. She was concerned that dogs would harm the lizard. On arrival, we found a metre-long Rock Monitor - frightened, dehydrated and very thin.
With the aid of several of our Youth Rangers, children from the school and parents, the Rock Monitor was gently caught and released in a nearby rocky outcrop. After resting for 10 minutes he made his way into the rocks and to freedom.
Jaco Etsebeth, Hills and Dales
While driving home recently I was confronted by a magnificent snouted cobra. It stood swaying in the middle of the track, seeming to challenge me as I stopped to grab my camera. Then it suddenly shot off into the long grass and to my surprise, another cobra slithered over the road after it.
Andrew Kock, Kyalami
I regularly cycle through the Schurveberg area and found these clear tracks in a patch of dried clay. After asking verious experts, they concur that these are brown hyena tracks “due to the difference in size of the front and back spoor”. My cell gives an indication of size. What is really amazing is that the location of these tracks is within 700m of the first house in a suburb of Erasmia.
Editor's note: The brown hyena spotted by Lee Dormer in Doornrandje (VeldTalk 51) was found dead next to the R511 on 23 July. It must have been hit by a vehicle.
Eileen, Hills and Dales
I found this fascinating pattern on the trunk of a Karee tree severely burnt in a veld fire. Karees are hardy and this one will probably survive but the damage done by fires every year is heart-breaking.
Annelize de Klerk, Crystal Mist, Doornrandje
Hierdie yslike groot skilpad het naby ons huis oor die pad geloop. Nog ’n bewys van die wonderlike natuur en die verskeidenheid van diere en inseklewe om ons. Gelukkig is daar min verkeer op ons pad maar watter kans het sulke skilpaaie wanneer ons velde so brand in die winter?
Editor's note: The winter veld fires hit the Conservancy hard this year. While some fires got out of hand when fire-breaking was attempted during the day, others were deliberately set alight at night. Those residents who regularly respond to fight fires report a considerable cost in cut tyres, damaged vehicles and firegreens.
Martin Williams of Hills and Dales found an injured hedgehog in the road. Fearing it would be run over he took it home and cared for it until it was ready to be released into the veld.
MmaRitha, Hennops River
We discovered brown hyena droppings in two places on the slope of the Schurveberg recently. We checked it with Pretoria University's Mammal Institute and they confirmed that it was a brown hyena.
Audrey Smith, Hills and Dales
I watched a programme on TV about the dangers threatening bees. My sister Maureen took this photo to let me know that the bees are still humming in Hills&Dales. It would be interesting to know whether there are any bee hives and industries in our area. After all, who doesn't love honey!
Editor's Note: While the bees benefit, take note that various Prickly Pear species are Category 1 Invaders. Category 1 includes Pom pom, Lantana, Queen of the Night, Yellow Bells, and Bugweed, and all have to be removed. Landowners face fines if Category 1 weeds are not dealt with. Read more and see photographs in www.rnc.za.net.
Malcolm Pitman, Ferndale
During December I was in the Kruger Park and came across a Giant Bullfrog with his mouth over the head of a Boomslang. The snake was over a metre long and the frog had his mouth fully over the head. There was a lot of jumping by the frog or thrashing by the snake – I couldn't figure out which! Suddenly they parted and the snake shot across the road. The frog sat for about half a minute and then hopped of into the bush, looking rather dazed!
"This should not take long...There's more to this morsel than I thought...I've changed my mind..."
The best description for this behavious comes from Afrikaans: “Sy oë was groter as sy maag” Ed.
Nick Dale, Rhenosterspruit
My friend Dennis Weinand took this pic of a Flower Mantis on a Wild Basil plant near White River. It is the most exquisite camouflage I've ever seen!
Nature's exquisite art - a Mantis copying a flower.
Close-up of the Mantis's head.
VeldTalk welcomes photos of the creatures you spot on your place. Send it to Helen Duigan
Jeannied du Plessis, Moreleta Park, Pretoria
I visit the reserve at Moreleta Kloof two or three times a week and took pictures of these lovely flowers – nature at its best. So few people take time to look at the small things!
Mma-Ritha, Hennops River
A room with a view! I took this pic from my bedroom window of a whopper of a water monitor casually striding over our lawn.
Tom van Niekerk of Buffelsdrif Conservancy wins R100. He was the first to identify the plant in the photo (March VeldTalk) as a broken aloe leaf. Congratulations, Tom. It won't cover your Eskom charges but at least buy a few beers!
Spider Hunter, Randburg sent in this photo after the Spider Walk. Guess what it is and you can win R100! Send your answer before 9 April.
Eileen, Hills and Dales
I found two chameleons trying to cross a road in Hills and Dales and speeded up their progress by carrying them over the road. This one could not decide whether it was help or interference. I wonder how many get killed on roads – accidentally or deliberately. There seem to be far fewer chameleons around nowadays.
Alpha Greeff, Hennops River, sent these beautiful pics
We found this exquisite little flower on the Buenzli's land near our place. According to my Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Highveld, it is an Anomatheca grandiflora and is fairly rare, growing in moist, shady places. We have been here for 11 years and this is the first time I've seen this lovely plant flowering. I derive such pleasure in the plants and animals found in our veld! May this area be protected forever.
Mma-Ritha, Hennops River
I discovered this Eyed Pansy, Junonia orithya madagascariensis, in the garden. It is found year-round throughout the north-eastern parts of South Africa but although these butterflies appear over a wide area, they are not easy to find. Its numbers peak from August to November and again from February to May. The males are said to be highly territorial. If you look in the right spots you should be able to find some during those times - although they don't always cooperate as nicely for photos as this one! Look in marshy areas or along streams.