Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunbirds Again

I finally managed to get a picture of one of my friendly local Sunbirds. This is a boy - he has a glossy blue black bib. I snapped about 30 pictures but he is so small, that the camera had trouble focusing on him and most of the photos turned out blurry. These are the best photos but he's still a little fuzzy. Still you can see how small he is - about 2 inches from beak to tail!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dr Sunbird

I wasn't feeling well today so I was lying in bed with the curtains almost fully closed, just a small bit of curtain was open at the very top. Suddenly a male yellow bellied sunbird flew and perched for a second on top of my window frame and then he disappeared. The next moment his wife flew to the same spot and sat there. She looked at me for several minutes while I held my breath in delight. She was really studying me, turning her head from side to side and peering in at me. Both my cameras were out of battery. Can you believe it?! She was so lovely with dark eyes and tiny spindly little black legs and such a bright vibrant yellow tummy. From the underside of her beak to her tail she was all bright yellow. She really cheered me up and I felt much better afterwards. The birds must have decided to pay a visit to my sickbed to check on me. Sunbirds are good medicine :)

The boy looked like this (image from here)

The girl looked like this (image from here)

This is not the first time I've had little birds come to look in my window and stare at me. I guess they find me just as interesting as I find them!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I deal the 9 of hares

I came across this collection of round playing cards on a blog and ventured over to the British Museum's website to take a look. The set of cards has five different types: parrots, hares, carnations, columbines and roses and there are ten numbers and four people: king, queen, knave and valet. They were made by the mysterious PW, a monogrammist of Cologne in around 1500. The British Museum has 39 cards of the set.

The Nine of Hares (from here)

Is that hare at the bottom about to lick his paw?

The King of Parrots (from here)

Valiant and brave, the king with his faithful parrot at his side!

The Ace of Roses (from here)

The latin inscription reads " PEPVLIT VIRES CASVS AIO Q TULIT EQVO" and says something about defeating or overthrowing your enemies with vigour and receiving a horse! Yes, this is my bad translation from a latin dictionary.

The Ten of Parrots (from here)

I like how the parrots are depicted in realistic poses such as preening their outstretched wings and biting their tail feathers.