My first ever sighting of a Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), yesterday. It stood in a field on the left side of the road, but upon seeing me, flew gracefully to a field on the right. There, it alighted, then slowly paced up the hillside. At 1.5 metres (approximately 40 inches) tall, it is an impressive creature both at rest and in flight!
Yet another autumn lily stolen by summer; this time, the Chandelier lily, earlier than I have ever seen it before! Like the Belladonna and Paintbrush lilies, it too emerges directly from the bulb beneath the soil, usually after the first rain of March, the beginning of the South African autumn. At this rate, there will be no lilies left come the month!
After an extended period of drought, the Western Cape province of South Africa has experienced a rainy summer. So unusual is this that wild autumn lilies have sprung from the ground a month early!1 Expected only after the first rain of March, this is the Belladonna lily (Amaryllis belladonna) blooming in early February—high summer in South Africa!
The South African autumn begins in March and ends in May.