My first taste of the Drakensberg, the Dragon Mountains. A long weekend of snow and sunshine, hiking between towers of rock, sleeping in caves, bouldering and climbing on sketchy sandstone (“Jack and the Beanstalk”, 5 pitches, 17/5b).
Cumberland natural reserve.
I flew to South Africa on May 6th, 2016. This is my second time in the country. The first time was back in 2014, for a short visit in the area around Cape Town and Stellenbosch. I came for a conference and I stayed a few more days, for a walk in the Fynbos, some wine tasting, a cage-dive with white sharks, a hike up Table Mountain. This time I am in Pietermaritzburg, and I will stick around for a while longer: I got a research position for three years. Continue reading
Here is a selection of pictures by Christian Ziegler, naturalist and photojournalist for National Geographic. They depict animal-flower interactions in general, not only pollination events. And porn is in the eyes of the viewer, as well as in the eye of the maker. But Plant-Pollinator Porn makes a better acronym, so I’ll stick to that.
I photographed this ant hanging on a Euphorbia flower in Bellwald, Switzerland. The ant probably belongs to the genus Formica, and the plant seems E. cyparissias.
Since my time in Madagascar I pay much more attention to flowers and pollinators than I used to do. I guessed that the ant was probably foraging on the flowers, but the pollen grains on its head and abdomen suggested that it could also act as a pollinator: what was it then, herbivore or pollinator? “Good” interactor or “bad” interactor? Continue reading