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Please click on THIS LINK to see more pics which I posted in Sept 2007 also taken in this park! and… on THIS LINK HERE you can also see the most beautiful pics taken in this park…even some cattle! These pics were taken during August 2007.
This park – Osterley Park -is about 10 min – on your bike – from where we live. These pictures were all taken today….many people were out there to enjoy the lovely weather. The park is really big and you can see on most pictures that there is lots of space for you to enjoy the park without crowds of people all around you. The pictures are in order from the entrance to the park. On the second last picture you will notice a very busy highway –if you look closely you will notice the cars! — bordering the southern end of the park.

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 I think this is great! Chess is a game not seen as a “sport” in some countries…sad hey? but hey…what’s Chess doing for Mother Earth? more than most other sports that I know of! Let’s all do our bit!

What’s one unique, creative way to draw attention to global warming and the issues surrounding it? Well, the folks at Global Inheritance recently came up with the idea of an ultimate chess match played on a life-sized board between the forces of good and evil. Yep, that means hummers vs. bikes, coal vs. solar, factories vs. trees… It all played out this weekend during the Virgin Festival in Toronto as a fun, great way to get people thinking about the better choices they can make to help slow the process of climate change that promises to “checkmate” all of us if we don’t get our act together.
Click HERE for the original article…

This SITE is really a great site about global warming for kids! Check it out!

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I think this pic is really great…the thorns….I like the focus here…just what I wanted….
And of course….the leaves and the colours were the focus here…I love Autumn, for all the changes during Autumn…
If any South African can leave me the name of this plant…I would appreciate it…I don’t know what it is called, I only know that it got seeds on the end of the branches….they make a lovely scence, though the colour looks a bit dull…
Waterfall sign post alongside the road from Swadini Forever Resort on your way to the Blyde River dam. This waterfall is about 20minutes’ walk into the forest…stunning!

And…as you can see…ET! When you arrive at the waterfall, ET meets you there…look at that eye!
I know these pics are not that great…if you are in a hurry, this is what you get! That’s the only pic I have with this rock tied-up in the tree…
And this little mini-beast!!! He wouldn’t let me photograph him properly, I tried everything to enhance the pic for you to see what I tried to capture…this little naughty spider, was a bit curious and even played dead! on the last pic…he suddenly turned over and aish! he thinks I’m dumb! He must have known that I know he plays dead…silly little creature…but I love them, I can watch them for hours! I wish it was my job to go out in nature to photograph these creatures or just to do research on them….I would love it…

Next pictures to blog…a Tufa waterfall…the third longest in the world, called the Crying Tufa…in the Blyde River Canyon and I’ve got some very good pictures on it! A tufa waterfall is formed when water running over dolomite rock absorbs calcium. Mosses which grow on the rocks in the stream extract carbon dioxide during photosynthesis which precipitates the calcium from the water to deposit it as layers of tufa on the surface of the waterfall – a process that takes millions of years. The waterfall continue to flow underneath this rock-hard outer shell. There are only a few active tufa waterfalls in the world – one of which is at the Blyderivierspoort Dam.

Here is a fantastic link to keep your mind busy while I’m sorting my pictures…

Here are two links to spider websites, South African spiders and I’ve sent an email to Norman on the one site to identify the spider on this pic for me!

This one is Science magabout spiders

Bio Museums about spiders with Norman.

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This post is only about a very few things in life that I LIKE and LOVE…there are zillions more, but today I’m posting just a few…later more…

I love open places, gardens, parks, fields. This picture was taken in a park nearby. In places like these, you are definitely closer to your Creator and can spend time to appreciate all the beauty created by Him. People saying “I don’t believe”…should look at nature and ask themselves….”where does it come from!” ..well, surely not a human who created it!

This pic was also taken in the park…beautiful….

Since I grew up on a farm, I really do love farm animals. These cows are in the same park, nearby. During my childhood years on the farm, I’ve never seen white cows! We had one tame cow…her name was Makkie…well, all of them was really tame, but Makkie was special. You would climb in a lemon tree and she would come to you, knowing that you’re going to pick those lemons and she used to love them! Then, she sticks out her tongue, waiting for you to put the lemon on her tongue!! She was lovely and you could anytime get on her back, as kids we loved that of course…I also had a pet chicken….called Chirrey….if you call him, he would come and in the afternoons, when we came back from school, I went outside with my lunch, sitting on the lawn, just for him to join in! Of course I didn’t eat much when he joined in….he loved it…and I thought it was fun!
I do love chess…not only like it…so take note. Chess is a game that really makes you think…in life you have to make certain choices….as in chess…making the wrong choice…can lead to disaster! So, priorities!! You have different moves to make…as in life..different choices…options….and you have to decide which one is the best for that particular moment….in real life, you have to think with your head…as in chess…you have to plan for the future…think ahead…in chess the same…some people in some countries live only for that day…that’s when you mess up in chess…or in life…choices are really important in life. You can choose to drink/smoke/take drugs/to hate/to love/work/teach/play/inform…the list is endless….as long as your choice is the right choice!

I like Seurat’s style…it is called Pointilism….you paint in dots basically….fine dots to make up the picture…..you can even use Paint on your PC to do it! Easy…and I LOVE the sea! The waves…I can remember a poem I learnt in primary…it is called Waves…”there are big waves and little waves, ….waves you can jump over”…but, I love the sound!! I can sit for hours listening to the waves, they have stories to tell!

I love trees!! Trees are special….they have something mysterious they hide…many things to tell….they live for years…so they have observed many things! If you work with children with learning disabilities, you can sometimes tell emotional problems they experience by just looking at the tree’s shape if you ask them to draw a tree…very interesting!
Here is a quote about trees:

Being thus prepared for us in all ways, and made beautiful, and good for food, and for building, and for instruments of our hands, this race of plants, deserving boundless affection and admiration from us, becomes, in proportion to their obtaining it, a nearly perfect test of our being in right temper of mind and way of life; so that no one can be far wrong in either who loves trees enough, and everyone is assuredly wrong in both who does not love them, if his life has brought them in his way.- John Ruskin, 1819-1900, Modern Painters VI

Trees play a prominent role in the origin myths of many cultures. In Virgil’s Aeneid Evander tells Aenas that the city of Rome was founded by the God Saturn, together with “a race of men that came from tree trunks, from hard oak…” In Greek legend various gods are frequently getting transformed into a tree, which then sometimes gives birth to another god. Adonis was born in this way. The Egyptian god Osiris also sprang from a tree.

The Tree of Life appears again in the very last chapter of the Bible, in Revelations, chapter 22:1-2.
Read more interesting facts HERE on this page.

I love lightning!! It is the power of nature!! I really do miss it in the UK….you don’t get it that much here…
And…of course…Autumn!! All the different colours you get!! I LOVE it….A fantastic time ….the best season, to see all the changes…wonderful!!
But, let me not forget Spring….new life, new flowers, new fruit…everything new…clean, fresh….and beautiful….
I love reflections…(I took this pic in a park nearby) …..that’s when you look and start reflecting about your own life too….if the day is gone, are you asking yourself…what GOOD have I done today…was it a smile…something I said…a hug…a book…a suggestion…..a picture….a friendly word…?

I like African art…isn’t this just wonderful….it reflects earth! Mother nature…


I like to be curious….not nosey….curious! There is a difference…I like to KNOW…I want to find out if I don’t know….I want to experience ….I want to test… I want to see for myself too…..I want to look what happens if….I do this or that…isn’t that curiousity!

I do love different places…places that are different than the “normal”…I like this picture….it has some history…some character….it wants to tell you a lot of things…what is locked inside? If you unlock it, what will come out…how many stories….how many memories….

and……I do like this colour….and isn’t this flower beautiful!! Perfect!! Such beauty…how can anyone come and pick it!!


I like red…even in nature….I like watching these tiny mini-beasts…see what they are up to…..see what they wanna do! I have many red garments ….too many red…but every time I want something new…it just happens that the best one is in red…why is that!?


I love/like to be creative….I like new things…I like people trying new things ….even if it comes out rubbish….I’m using PAINT.NET..(link at the bottom of my site)….to create/enhance pictures….this one at the bottom is my version of the artist…MATISSE’s “Snail”….you can see the real “Snail” of Matisse somewhere on my blog…if you do a search…

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His book translated into Flemish here.

Read ON THIS LINK about Marais.Have you read….”The soul of the white Ant”…or…”Die siel van die Mier!” by Eugene Marais… if not….you have a gap in your culture…:))….get “The soul of the white ant..” and read it…

And……on THIS LINK you can read his poem…”Dans van die reen”…which I translated into English for my blogreaders….”Dance of the rain”…enjoy!

 

Where is the soul of a termite, or the soul of man?
“Someone once said that all behaviourism in nature could be referred to as hunger. This saying has been repeated thousands of times yet is false. Hunger itself is pain – the most severe pain in its later stages that the body knows except thirst, which is even worse. Love may be regarded as a hunger, but it is not pain.
“What protects animals, what enables them to continue living, what assures the propagation of race? A certain attribute of organic matter. As soon as one finds life, one finds this attribute. It is inherent in life; like most natural phenomena it is polarised, there is a negative and a positive pole. The negative pole is pain; the positive pole is sex. This attribute may be called the saving attribute of life; and it is here where one comes closest to what appears like a common purpose beyond nature.” (Eugène Marais, The Soul of the White Ant, 1989:261)

Eugène Nielen Marais[1] (1871-1936) was a South African lawyer, naturalist, poet, and writer. Although Marais is remembered by South Africans more for his contribution to Afrikaans literature than for science, he has been described as being a scientist far ahead of his time.

He began life after leaving college as a journalist, then studied medicine for four years, but eventually took up law and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple. He was a scholar and a man of culture.

However, it was not only as jurist that Marais distinguished himself as a brilliant (yet eccentric) character in South African history. He has been described as “… a human community in one man. He was a poet, an advocate, a journalist, a story-teller, a drug-addict, a psychologist, a natural scientist.”

In 1910, he abandoned his law practice and retreated to the remote Waterberg (‘Water Mountain) – the mountain area north-west of Pretoria. Here he studied two creatures – termites and baboons that, on the face of it, had nothing in common. Both fascinated him, as did all wild creatures.

Settling near a large group of chacma baboons, he became the first man to conduct a prolonged study of primates in the wild. It was in this period that he produced My Friends the Baboons and provided the major inspiration for The Soul of the Ape.

His studies of termites led him to the conclusion that the colony should be considered as a single organism. Although Marais could not have known it, he was anticipating some of the ideas of Richard Dawkins (1941— ). He also observed chacma baboons at length and he was the father of the scientific study of the behaviour of primates. Because Marais refused to translate his works into English, they remained almost unknown outside of southern Africa, which is the only place in the world where Afrikaans is spoken to any degree.

Termites are social insects and are most closely related to the cockroaches with which they share a close common ancestor (?). They are among the most important groups of animals on land because they play a vital role in breaking down dead plant material. They have symbiotic flagellates or bacteria in their hindguts that are able to break down plant cellulose to a digestible form and in the subfamily Macrotermitinae the termites culture and eat fungi in their nests using dead plant material.

Ants (order: Hymenoptera; family: Formicidae) are often confused with termites because they are also social, and termites are sometimes called ‘white ants’ (a confusing term). Ants, like wasps (from which they evolved (?)), have a constriction half way down their body whereas in termites the body is uniformly broad. The prominent mounds you see in the South African countryside are made by termites not ants. Whereas ant workers are all females, in termites, workers can be both male and female. In ants, mating occurs before the nest is founded and the male dies after mating – he does not become a king, and live and mate with the queen in the new colony, as in termites.

Marais published his conclusions about termites as a series of speculative articles, written entirely in Afrikaans and appearing only in local newspapers, as The Soul of the White Ant. While observing the natural behaviour of these creatures, he noticed that firstly, the whole termitary (a termite nest) had to be considered as a single organism whose organs work like those of a human being.

Termitaries, as one sees them so frequently in Central and Southern Africa, are tall, compacted columns of earth sometimes four to five metres high. Within the terminary lives the society, with its castes and its ranks, in countless numbers.

Marais concluded that all members of the colony and the terminary itself form what is essentially a single living organism. The terminary itself is the body. The various castes in the society have the functions of the body’s organs, with fungus gardens contributing the digestive tract, soldiers and workers the cells of the blood stream, the queen the brain as well as the reproductive organs, and even the sexual flight executing the function of sperm and eggs. How all communicate (pheromones, telepathy?) we do not know, but the ‘soul’ of the termite – the psyche, we should say – is the property of the entire society. He concluded secondly that the actions within the termitary were completely, instinctive.

His work on termites led him to a series of stunning discoveries. He developed a fresh and radically different view of how a termite colony works, and indeed, of what a termite colony is. This was far in advance of any contemporary work. In 1923, he began writing a series of popular articles on termites for the Afrikaans press and in 1925; he published a major article summing up his work in the Afrikaans magazine Die Huisgenoot.

He published The Soul of the White Ant (1937) and then My Friends the Baboons (1939) which was posthumously published after he had taken his life.

His book Die Siel van die Mier (The Soul of the Ant, but usually given in English as The Soul of the White Ant) was plagiarised by Nobel Laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, who published The Life of the White Ant in 1926, falsely claiming many of Marais’ revolutionary ideas as his own. Maeterlinck was able to do this because he was Flemish and therefore understood Dutch, from which Afrikaans was derived. Maeterlinck was as a consequence one of the few people in Europe who had read Marais’ original texts.

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was a leading literary figure of the time. In 1911, he won the Nobel Prize for literature following the success of his play The Bluebird. In 1901, he had written The Life of the Bee, a mixture of natural history and philosophy, but he was a dramatist and a poet, not a scientist.

In 1926, one year after Die Huisgenoot published Marais’ article, Maeterlinck stole Marais’ work and published it under his own name, without acknowledgement, in a book titled The Life of the White Ant, first published in French and soon afterwards in English and several other languages.

Maeterlinck’s book was met with outrage in South Africa. Later, in 1935, Marais wrote to Dr Winifred de Kok in London. She was beginning her English translation of The Soul of the White Ant, “You must understand that it was a theory which was not only new to science but which no man born of woman could have arrived at without a knowledge of all the facts on which it was based; and these Maeterlinck quite obviously did not possess. He even committed the faux pas of taking certain Latin scientific words invented by me to be current and generally accepted Latin terms.

“The publishers in South Africa started crying to high heaven and endeavoured to induce me to take legal action in Europe, a step for which I possessed neither the means nor inclination. The press in South Africa, however, quite valorously waved the cudgels in my behalf. The Johannesburg Star [South Africa’s biggest English-speaking daily newspaper] published plagiarised portions that left nothing to the imagination of readers.

“The Afrikaans publishers of the original articles communicated the facts to one of our ambassadorial representatives in Europe and suggested that Maeterlinck be approached. Whether or not this was done, I never ascertained. In any case, Maeterlinck, like other great ones on Olympus, maintained a mighty and dignified silence.”

Marais took legal action against Maeterlinck but gained little satisfaction.

Marais began writing Soul of the Ape in 1916, but never finished it. It was published posthumously years later. His theory was that, unlike termites, baboons – and by extension all primates – had the ability to memorise the relationship between cause and effect. They could therefore vary their behaviour voluntarily. While termites were instinctive, the mind of baboons was based on ‘causal memory’.

The reason for this difference, according to Marais, was natural selection. According to him, natural selection was not, as Darwin had insisted, ‘the survival of the fittest’, but rather ‘the line of least resistance’. Those species best able to adapt to their specific environment survived, while those not able to, would become extinct. Natural selection, therefore, had the tendency to both localise and specialise species.

The conclusions to which he came were new and radical and might well have had an influence in Europe. However, Marais was half a hemisphere away, half a century too soon and writing in a language no one could understand.

The Soul of the White Ant was brought under the attention of the world only by being seemingly plagiarised by a Belgian Nobel prize laureate, Maurice Maeterlinck. The Soul of the Ape was incomplete and originally only published in South Africa.

Maeterlinck’s The Life of the White Ant, in which he describes the organic unity of the termitary and compares it with the human body. This theory aroused great interest at the time and was generally accepted as an original one formulated by Maeterlinck. The fact that an unknown South African observer had developed the theory after many years of indefatigable labour was not generally known in Europe.

The 1927 files at The Star to which Marais referred were checked and confirmed by American author and social anthropologist Robert Ardrey (1908-1980) forty years later. “Maeterlinck’s guilt is clear”, Ardrey wrote. It is easily confirmed by a comparison of the two books. Marais’ point is indisputable: his picture of the termitary is startlingly original, it could not possibly have been hypothesised or inferred without a great deal of original research, at the very least – and yet there it is in Maeterlinck’s book.

Yet it is impossible to ignore the fact that Marais’ work is revolutionary, especially if one takes into account the time and place in which it was written. Robert Ardrey says in his introduction to Marais’ work on ants and baboons published in 1973, “As a scientist he was unique, supreme in his time, yet a worker in a science unborn.”

He was master of a science that was only invented fifty years later (ethology). It was sixty years before anyone else attempted to study what he had studied (ape societies in the wild). He described natural mechanisms and systems that were not identified by mainstream science until forty years later (pheromones), and neither science nor society has yet caught up with many of his findings and conclusions. Marais made no direct contribution to entomology, but his ghost continues to haunt the discipline.

His fourth book, The Soul of the Ape, completed in 1919, might just have made him world famous if it had been published then, but in fact half a century was to pass before it appeared in book form in 1969, thirty-three years after his death.

Their observations and the insights Marais gained from them formed the basis of a serious work later to be called The Soul of the Ape.

They also led to a more popular work, Burgers van die Berge (Citizens of the Mountains, translated as My Friends the Baboons), first published in book form in 1938, two years after Marais’ death.

In 1948, twelve years after Marais’ death, Nikolaas Tinbergen[2] (1907-1988) reformulated Marais’ extremely important concept of the phyletic (inborn) and causal (acquired) memory.

Thirteen years later, in 1961, Washburn and De Vore[3] published a lengthy article, ‘The Social Life of Baboons’, in the Scientific American. Though some of their observations were contested, they were seen as the first serious observers of baboons in the wild (meaning not in captivity), a title which surely Marais had earned fifty years before. His notes on baboon behaviour in The Soul of the Ape are regarded as honest and reliable by modern ethologists.

When The Soul of the Ape was finally published in 1969, it was too late.

Read the rest of the article….HERE on Authorsden. The link will open in a new window.

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

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I’m still sorting my holiday pictures…thousands of them!! So…be patient and don’t miss out….and if you haven’t noticed…I do like purple…my bike is purple-pinkish…it’s on my blog…find it…I do like green too…my eyes are green, I think that’s why…hahaha….and sunflower-orange…because that’s the colour in sunsets and I’m in love with sunsets…
You will notice that I like to take pictures of mountains, trees, sunsets, and then anything nature-ish. But, I’m still practising with my camera…have it almost a year…the digital one…my Chinon something something is packed away ages ago…and the video-camera is just not what I want..I actually want a better camera as the one I have…so btw…my camera is also somewhere on my blog…blogged it a few days ago, if you’re interested…
The first picture here was sent to National Geographic!! Just for fun! I really annoyed these hardworking ants…just to get them out for the picture!! They did come out themselves too, but was a bit shy…the following day the nest was completely done…I really tried to take a close-up to experiment with close-ups…I’m still not good…but.. Click on the pictures to see a larger and better view, especially the ants picture…
Gee, I do like red! Red for clothes…I’ve got loads of red clothes…too many I think..anyway..I’m really proud of the sunset pics here…thought that was good…if you don’t think so…go away! :)) I like the pink-ish colour in it! And…the branches of the tree!! Hey…my pictures are all copy-right…protected!!

Butterflies of South Africaenjoy! The link will open in a new window.



 

 

All of these pictures were taken at the “Game Reserve” where we stayed…next door to the Swadini Forever Resort!! It was a fantastic three days!! Too short!

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I love the Drakensberg mountains….did a few hiking trips there….my first was when I was 15…with a school trip….and I made it to the top of Mount Aux Sources…the highest peak in South Africa…I think it is about 4300m……there was a hut…but the roof was down!  The highest peak of the whole range is in Lesotho.

If you’re the kind of outdoor-type of person and like to go on hiking trips….you MUST go there….!! You will not regret it…be careful….you get snow in October in the Mountains and you musn’t go by yourself! On any hiking trip…always at least 3 people….I also did a couple with children…my library monitors back home…three times…good old times….In the UK I would never dream of taking children on a trip like that…”health and safety” always a big issue….what a shame, this country has really brought some problems upon themself with “health and safety”… I wonder what it is like in other parts of the world…I think that’s why our kids from SA is much more “tougher”…they can handle a lot more and cope with much more than kids in the UK….you feel like pampering them all the time…Read in English here what I’m going to write in Afrikaans…you can also see  a movie on that link.
Toe ek ‘n student was, was ek met ‘n staptoer saam met Oom Mauritz…van Centurion…hy was die hoofingenieur van die Hoogland waterskema in die Transkei en hy het die Transkei soos die palm van sy hand geken. Ons was ‘n groep van so 36 wat vanaf Port St Johns gestap het, noord na Port Edward se kant. Daar was ‘ n paar kindertjies ook van so 10-11 wat die trip bietjie moeilik gevind het, daarom het ons by Mkambati Natuurreservaat opgehou. Oom Mauritz het die bus van Margate laat kom om ons daar te kry en ons het regdeur na Margate geskiet en daar by ‘n hotel ordentlik gebad en ‘n dag daar deurgebring. Dit was heerlik!! Die roete wat ons gestap het was fantasties….soms op die strand gestap en soms op die rantjies….lees hier (gaan net af met die slider wanneer jy by die link uitgekom het) oor die roete en stappie daar… by Port St Johns het ons beeste op die strand gekry…en natuurlik anderskleuriges wat in onderklere swem…wonder hoe dit deesdae daar lyk….Oom Mauritz het ons na teeplantasies geneem…die Magwa Falle ook gaan wys….’n waterval gewys wat die enigste in SA is wat DIREK in die see val!…allerhande pragtige plekke…ek wonder of hy nog leef! Dit was regtig ‘n belewenis om saam met hom te stap…ek het dagboek gehou van letterlik alles, waar ons gestap het, hoe laat ons waar geeet het, waar ons geslaap het…een nag het ons onder ‘n oorhangende rots geslaap…genoeg slaapplek vir almal van ons!

 

Hy het ons in kookspanne in gedeel en almal het vir almal gekook, jy het jou beurt gekry om “aan diens” te wees en die gees onder die groep was fantasties…daar was twee uitruilstudente wat hulle by ons groep geskaar het, met die gevolg dit was heeltyd Engels praat terwille van hulle. Die eerste nag was nogal ‘n koue nag, ons was veronderstel om in hutte te slaap wat oom Mauritz gereel het met plaaslike bevolking wat hy geken het by Lusikisiki…hierdie spelling…weet nie meer of dit die regte spelling is nie, maar toemaar, ons weet min of meer…en toe was die hutte se dakke af en hy kon nie die mense daar kry nie. Ons het toe maar in die oopte geslaap en dit was koud…Oktober…maar die wind het gewaai! Oom Mauritz het in Hans Strydomlaan gewoon, spoor hom op en kry hom op ‘n staptoer in die Transkei!

The Chainladder that takes you to the top of the mountain…
 

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