De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Saturday, January 1, 2011

De rerum

While trying to put some order into my collection of butterflies, it was my daughter Mandy who suggested  a web site about what I was actually up to while wandering off into the bush stalking something elusive with six legs and two wings. Thanks Mands, and to my family, and particularly my dear wife, Merle, for your patience with me on our walks.

All these posts are taken almost randomly from my digital collection, nearly all live in their natural habitat. Yes, I am squeamish about pinching and pinning. The "twitch" count is about 138 butterflies species. All but one or two can be found in the Pitermaritzburg (PMB) area.I have also included the odd moth. I do hope my ID's have been reasonably accurate.

About the locations most often referred to:
      Our garden was a rather large property adjacent to the KZN-NBG.
      The NBG or "Bots" refers the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanic Garden. Right in the city it consists of  the Kingfisher lake and wetland from the dammed up Dorpspruit, parkland, wooded hillside of riverine forest and grassland. It is also a haven for damsel- and dragonflies.
      Cumberland Natural Heritage site has been described as PMB's best kept secret: A spectacular gorge descending to the uMngeni river. So we have cliff face, Acacia savannah, and riverine forest biomes. We will always remember the huge python across our path on a walk down to the uMngeni.
      Bisley Nature reserve is mainly Acacia savannah with some woodland along the Foxspruit.
      The Mpushinini/ Mkondeni conservancy unfortunately does not have any public sites, but my one visit found a plethora of butterflies along the road side.
      Golden Pond is our new home in Hilton, no more than 9 km NW as the crow flies from our previous home, but 400 m higher in altitude. 

I would also like to express my indebtedness to my following sources:
- Steve Woodhall: Field guide to Butterflies of South Africa.
- Ivor Migdoll: Field Guide Butterflies of Southern Africa.
- SABCA Virtual Museum
Markku Savela's  butterfly site.
- Tree of Life Project.
- Natural History Museum 

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