Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Local mistletoe gives beauty and life

A recent article in the Economist reports research that demonstrates the reduction in biodiversity when mistletoe is removed.  Mistletoe attracts birds and insects, but in addition the litter from its fallen leaves provides a rich home for insect life, in turn bringing in more life.
Today I photographed the local Tapinanthus growing on an Ochna Natalitia at our entrance.  It is in flower at present; visiting it is a Grey Sunbird.  I have noticed that this and other not-so-common birds, like Collared Sunbird and Red-backed Mannikin, are frequently in our Tapinanthus.  And some has spread now to my neighbour's garden, providing its riches to more life there.
This time last year the Tapinanthus was already dying back, and the Ochna itself was in spectacular yellow blossom.  So things are later this year, perhaps because of the cool weather late in July and early August.

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