My Olivedale Garden

Sunday 19.12.2021
Another grey, wet week in the garden but only 23mm of rain.

I noticed a mushroom starting to emerge. It looked like an old fashioned light bulb and almost that size. Once fully opened I measured the diameter of the cap at 225mm. It was identified as Termitomyces reticulatus.
It apparently associates with termites and is described by Marieka Gryzenhout (Mushrooms of South Africa) thus: "arising from white pseudorhiza/fungus comb in termite nest (therefore very long and winding through soil."

Another interesting observation was of a Jewel Beetle (Genus Anthaxia; Subfamily Haplanthaxia). I had never seen one before. The colours were beautiful; metallic green and shiny.

A Twin Dotted Border butterfly (Mylothris rueppellii ssp. haemus) ended up in the swimming pool. I rescued it and it eventually recovered and flew off.
I have found it interesting how many small critters end up trapped on/in the surface of the water. Many recover and during that recovery one has an opportunity to observe them closely. And photograph them. I think maybe it is the surface tension that traps them because on being removed from the water they almost immediately start to move and begin recovering. There is actually a South African project to cover this: Poolkill (s Afr).

This morning at about 5am I heard a Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius; also known in South Africa as the Piet-my-vrou) calling. The call was very loud and, while not in the garden, was very close. This bird is seldom seen and not very common in the urban environment. Having said that one day I happened to look out the bathroom window and there was one perched on a telephone cable completely in the open. It didn't stay long and, of course, I didn't have my camera or phone at hand.

Publicado el 19 de diciembre de 2021 a las 02:57 PM por doug263 doug263


Termitomyces is associated with fungus-culturing termites (Macrotermitinae) and produces surprisingly big mushrooms in tropical Africa (e.g. see As far as I know, all are edible.

Anotado por milewski hace 10 meses (Advertencia)

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