Monday, 16 September 2019

Red-billed hornbill

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


The hornbills have a rather strange system of breeding. They breed in hollows in trees. The opening is mostly blocked off with a plaster made of mud and droppings, leaving only a narrow opening through which the male feeds the female and her chicks. When the hole becomes too small for its occupants, the female breaks out; the opening is then resealed as before, and the chicks fed by both parents until they are ready to leave the nest.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Caracal

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:



I am not overly fond of painting predators. When I do, I decidedly prefer the smaller, lesser known ones, rather than the big glamorous ones like lions or leopards. Caracals are medium sized cats, and quite common throughout much of Africa, the Middle East and India, but are elusive and seldom seen.

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Monday, 9 September 2019

Three springbok

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


The name springbok is from Afrikaans, meaning "jumping antelope." These medium-sized antelope are found in suitable habitat through much of the western half of southern Africa. They get their name from a curious behaviour known as "pronking" (from the Afrikaans, meaning "to show off"), in which they jump into the air in a stiff-legged posture. It is not clear what the purpose of this behaviour is.

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Friday, 6 September 2019

Bullfrog

Acrylics on Masonite, 10 x 15 cm:


The Afrikaans name for these huge frogs is "brulpadda" ("roaring frog"), and refers to their raucous calls, which can be heard from a very long way off. It is a common night sound after good rains, when the females lay their eggs in temporary stands of water.

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

White-bellied sunbird

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


These small birds are fairly common around here where I live, in parks and gardens, as well as wooded wild areas. But they are not seen all that often because of their small size and wooded habitat. Not easy to photograph either, because they seem never to remain still for more than a fraction of a second at a time. Only the males have bright, iridescent colors; the females, like the females of other sunbirds, are drab grey-brown. They have a similar lifestyle to those of the hummingbirds of the Americas, and live on nectar, small insects and spiders.

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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Southern Red Bishop

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


The bishop birds are part of the weaver family, and like other weavers, in the breeding season the males turn into bright colors, build woven nests and engage in mating displays in an attempt to attract females. In the non-breeding season, they lose their bright feathers and turn drab like the females.

This item may be for sale on my Bid-or-Buy store