I’m doing it again. Please forgive me for breaking the rules.
#47. The Eye
Our time was seriously limited and we wanted to squeeze in a little fun together, so my brother and his family and I paid a quick visit to the Bird Gardens at Montecasino in Johannesburg. It is the only bird park of its kind on the continent of Africa and offers 100 different bird species, many of which roam the grounds. Other animal species like reptiles, tamarins, lemurs, small antelope, and more inhabit the relatively small sanctuary. In addition, the gardens have the largest private collection of South African Cycads in the world, a bonus for plant lovers.
There are several species of birds which are caged and the large amber eyes of an African Scops Owl caught my attention. Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid the bars when taking my shot, but I was happily surprised with the owl’s beautiful eye captured in my image. If you look really carefully, you can see my reflection on the far left of his pupil.
What on earth makes a vividly colorful bird patriotic? If you are a citizen of Germany, Belgium, Angola, or Uganda, or belong to the Australian Aborigines, this flamboyant red, yellow and black Saddle Billed Stork would be the perfect mascot to represent your country in a flag-waving celebration of patriotism.
As it seems I’m hung up on birds, I may as well keep it going. My mother is an avid bird lover who tries never to miss feeding those that visit her garden on a daily basis unless there is some kind of emergency to divert her from her mission. She is extremely dedicated to their morning and evening feedings. In addition to the breadcrumbs and seed mixture she devotedly scatters for them, she usually leaves orange or apple halves in the branches of the trees. Mousebirds (the White-backed variety, I believe) are almost always the first on the scene when a scrumptious orange is lovingly left for their mouthwatering feast.