Boomslang and Fiscal Shrike in mock combat

Not a real combat, we think, but quite an annoying encounter – for the snake.

Boomslang (Afrikaans) - Dispholidus typus - highly poisonous but non-aggressive

The birds around our house continuously watch and guard us against intruders such as snakes. They make a racket and fly and flutter around it until the snake has enough of it and moves away. This time it was only one bird, a fiscal shrike which called our attention. The little raskal was attacking the snake – surely not in earnest, but with quite some dedication.

A fiscal shrike all in a flutter

Nothing much happened, but the Boomslang definitely was pretty annoyed and reared and struck again and again, to no avail, of course.

Here it notices our presence – the photographer – and considers its options.
We have had a number of encounters with boomslange – one time curled up in our bathroom among the towels. It had retreated there to moult, eyes all glazed over. We gently shoohed her (?) into a bag and let her free outside. These snakes – though highly poisonous – are non-agressive and usually retreat quietly if encountered. They are on average 1,2 m growing up to 2 m. This one we calculated to be about 1,3 m+. It seems it has been living around our house for the last three years or more.

So much for now.
With love
Colleen & Walter

Betty’s Bay, 1 Feb, 2011

Montagu Brunch

Preparing a little brunch pan
the tomatoe mix

Brunch pan for 4
5 ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into cubes (remove the green centre)
Herbs – parsley, spring onions (plus fresh finely chopped garlic and fresh garlic only) and/or dried sweet basil, sprinkled over the tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Some feta cheese, crumbled over the chopped tomatoes
All the above according to your taste – add whatever you like, such as smoked paprika powder or a handful of grated Peccorino or some other of your herb mixtures.
Eggs – 4 or five eggs, some sour cream if you have, a dash of salt and a dash of water, stir gently with a fork, just to break the yolks, no need to whisk.
Heat your pan, add a blob of butter or some olive oil or both. Add the spiced chopped tomatoes, topping it with the eggs.
Close the pan with a lid, keep it on medium heat and do not disturb for the next 15 minutes.
Serve it with finely chopped herbs (plus more fresh garlic, if you dare), rye bread on butter or toast according to your taste.

Voilà – an easy and most satisfying brunch dish for you and your friends.

With love from
Colleen & Walter

Betty’s Bay, 1 February 2011