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Kathryn Kure
Works at Data Myna
Attended University of the Witwatersrand
Lives in Kloof, South Africa
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Kathryn Kure

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Drakensberg Mountains

It's really hard to take a bad picture on a misty day in the Drakensberg, or on any day, for that matter. But the alpine flowers I take are hidden amongst the green - all the more delightful for being spotted.

I know that often people get confused by the size of the flowers I take; in late summer, it's macro-mode you must use, since these are the delicate flowers that nestle amongst the grass, not the more showy bulbs of spring or the very showy bursts of winter colour that are the aloes in full bloom. 
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I think Hudson has it covered.
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It's for the birds!

Of course, one of the real reasons you plant indigenous is to support the fauna of your area, as well as the flora.

Right now, since we planted a bank that bakes in the full sun with indigenous grasses (well, actually, we let the grasses that the birds planted there naturally grow unimpeded), we have been treated to a glorious sight of little bronze mannikins visiting us daily.

Then there's the woolly stork and the hammerhead who love the pond, but have to take into account stalking by our cat and the two dogs. I heard this weird cry the other day and it was the hammerhead, frustrated, shrieking with anger at being confronted on all sides by our pets. Clearly, they've learnt to work as a team - but I must note, the hammerhead was fine, just extremely cross.

The Purple-Crested Turacos (Loeries) we see almost daily at the moment; for all their beauty and the flash of their red wings as they fly from tree to tree, they are rather large and ungainly when they hop amidst the branches, looking for fruit. There's an exotic tree of some kind with little red flowers that look a bit like eucalyptus, which makes me think it could be Australian, that is in full bloom at the moment, and visited by hordes of monkeys and loeries. I was going to replace it with something indigenous, but I've not seen another like it growing anywhere (which leads me to assume it's not invasive) and it's clearly got a role in our little ecosystem, keeping the monkeys and birds alive at the moment inbetween seasons. If it's a desert season for bees, I figure it's not so lekker (nice) for birds either.

So, not flowers today, but part of why you love to plant and grow indigenous flowers. I must say, the bird life has increased enormously since we began planting indigenous ... and gardening the old-fashioned way, with leaves being left to become leaf mould, for instance, thereby attracting the butterflies and - of course, the little Cape Robin which loves to busy itself in amongst the shrubs and leaf litter.

So, for those of you in South Africa who share the summer rainfall, look out for - and look after - your birds. They need it this time of the year. 
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blush 😊. We do have remarkable biodiversity - it is something so to be treasured. Thank you so much for your kind comments as always +Hudson Ansley​!
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Daisy!

Even in poetry and song, Daisies are invariably unassuming, but charming - and wholly to be relied upon. A humble hard-worker, but one with a good sense of balance!

Lyrics by Harry Dacre, 1892

There is a flower
Within my heart,
Daisy, Daisy!
Planted one day
By a glancing dart,
Planted by Daisy Bell!
Whether she loves me
Or loves me not,
Sometimes it's hard to tell;
Yet I am longing to share the lot -
Of beautiful Daisy Bell!

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do.
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

We will go 'tandem'
As man and wife,
Daisy, Daisy!
'Peddling' away
Down the road of life,
I and my Daisy Bell!
When the road's dark
We can both despise
P'licemen and 'lamps' as well;
There are 'bright lights'
In the dazzling eyes
Of beautiful Daisy Bell!

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
of a bicycle made for two!
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Wonderful!
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Flowers fresh-picked from your garden are such a treat.

Sometimes I just love to put together a real country feel, of clashing colours and textures, of herbs (the lemon scented verbena and peppermint mint in flower - the catmint the cat well ... ate), inca lilies, foxgloves - a pretty blue flower that's clearly invasive but at least it makes for good picking :-).

This time of year is inbetween for us flower-lovers, after the mass of spring plants and before the autumn and winter glories of the aloes in bloom. The trees are lush and green and the grasses are knee-high and full of seed. March brings plectanthrus in full bloom, right now, a few are peeking through, but they're the forward ones, the shy ones are still collecting themselves up. An occasional clivia is beaming orange amongst the green, but it's all mostly foliage at present - not even many trees are in bloom. So I'm having to make do with flowers from the vegetable garden. Though exotic, they're not invasive.

So, for all of you in northern climes, I'll try this weekend to capture some indigenous lovelies, but for the moment, here's a bouquet for you all :-)
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Thank you +Sebenzile Mazibuko-Moyo​! Your comment brightened up my day 😊
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Drosera natalensis

Today I learned that this tiny subtropical carnivorous plant is one of the easiest sundews to grow.

Here's a video if you are interested: https://goo.gl/HieMcv

While I was trawling through the Kamberg photos to find indigenous South African flowers that were seasonally appropriate, I found this shot. It looks like it is about to flower, and apparently this species flowers prolifically.

It can take the heat and is easy to grow and flowers a lot - what's not to like?

The fact that I don't have a better close-up (this was with my old camera, and I was also still learning) and I don't have a photo of its flowers.

Time, methinks, to go back to the Kamberg again.



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Kathryn Kure, que lindo cactus...
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Variagated Plectanthrus

Much-beloved by moths and butterflies, the Plectanthrus family are perfect for planting in all kinds of places, depending in the species, they can handle shade or sun and some even hack living in the mist from the sea spray.

They run the gamut from creeping ground-cover to tall, bushy shrub but most have relatively inconspicuous flowers and dark green leaves.

But this beauty is worth planting for the leaves alone. It's in a shady spot near the chicken run and though not as prolific grower as some of its cousins, it's perfect for planting in the prime front position. After all, something has to be there, it might as well be this.

Like all plectanthrus, it slips easy as pie ... even the smallest fragment just laid on top of soil will sprout roots. This was snipped from a pot at my kids' school, and while other plants taken at the same time are rather taking over the place, having sprawled magnificently, this one is neat and small and tidy but glows a faint sheen of luminous green in the undergrowth, adding that welcome bit of surprise and interest. 
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Definitely looking out for this. I have some dark red plectanthrus which i need to watch and put in its place. It's a wonderful unpretty-ground cover though and seems to 'mulch in' the water until more needy plants get going.
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Berkheya echinacea

Found throughout East Africa, this rather attractive thistle-like plant produces bright yellow flowers on the top of tall, sturdy stems that manage to peak through the tall grasses full of seed that comprise our late summer landscape.

This particular photo was taken in the Drakensberg, after a particularly moist and misty morning, and the way the flowers had managed to capture the water was wonderful to behold.

That particular morning day, every tiny tracery or filament of a spider's web, every thin filament and fine hair that is upon a flower, all were rendered prominent courtesy of a thin sun illuminating the landscape just after it had been sprinkled with a long, light drizzle so fine you could walk in it and not feel wet.

It's not often you get such mornings or such opportunities to capture the water captured by flowers. 
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I had a tall purple Berkheya, but it is one of those plants that didn't like me and sulked off. Must try again.
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South African Foxglove Ceratotheca triloba ( Bernh.) Hook.f.

I have a friend who keeps bees. She told me the other day that February is the desert month; the month you don't harvest, since they need the honey to sustain them.

It's late summer, and the grasses are swaying in the wind; small flocks of tiny birds claw onto the stems, tall and full of seed.

It's hot and humid, their air is close and sometimes it thunders. But a chill wind is beginning to arise at nights, as the sun goes down. Sunsets are shorter, in Africa the transition between day and night is usually fast, but now it's as if a curtain drops on the play.

The grasslands are a sea of green; the flowers of late summer are petite and nestle close to the ground, you have to get your macro-shots ready to take them.

We are not yet at the heady season of nectar, heavy in the throats of the leonotis, or the aloes that are yet to bloom - apart from the aloe maculata, the grass aloe whose orange head can just be espied in the tangle of grass so beloved of the seed-eaters.

The so-called European swallow (though really, it breeds in Africa) is starting to think of its northern hemisphere barns and rivers.

Planting season is almost done; when the rains dry up, not that we've had much rain this year, you stop planting except in pots which you nurture until the late November rains sweep in.

In the vegetable garden, the foxglove is blooming and in the cliffs our little African foxglove is also evident, pale and purple amidst the banks of grass.

Forgive me for not sharing as many flowers as usual, but it's a dry season for blooms right now, and I always try to be seasonally appropriate. But the plectranthus are now blooming and soon it will be aloe season.


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Beautiful flowers 
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Once, there was a gazebo. Now, it's been knocked off its feet and sent summarily down the hill by a branch of the flamboyant tree. The other branch decided the next day to fall on the roof of the garage.

So ... today was a day of tree-fellers and branch managers (as you can see from the neat stacks of soon-to-be firewood behind the branch). I'd have taken a photo of the branch over the garage but these guys are quick and courteous and neat.

Mike was the only person who picked up immediately and made a plan to get to us soonest (given it's been pouring with rain these last few days).

So: a heartfelt thanks and recommendation for: http://www.africatreefellers.co.za/Contact/
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kathryn bellisimas fotos esto si son paisajes naturales se nota que no a intervenido la mano del hombre. gracias por tan linda publicacion.
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One of the anti-vax arguments points to the drop in other deaths after measles vaccines were introduced. They use it as an argument that it wasn't that the vaccine prevented measles, it's that health care was getting better in general.

Needless to say, they're wrong. That's a factor, but not a major one. And now there's evidence that we might understand what was really happening. It looks like measles doesn't just suppress the immune system, it may cause your body to forget how to fight other diseases for several years after you get it. Stop measles, and you prevent a spate of secondary infectious diseases in the following years.
When the U.S. introduced the measles vaccine, childhood deaths from all infections plummeted. Scientists think they might know why: Benefits of the measles vaccine go way beyond the measles.
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Oxalis

Despite being easily overlooked, this species of flower never assumes a downtrodden look, but are another small, bright, compact flower that adds a little interest to your path.

In this case, the path was in the Kamberg, and the flower was growing near a small waterfall.

Its little fresh face was too sweet not to take a picture of, but since it has been (thankfully) raining a lot in my part of the world, and I've got a lot of work on my plate at present (for which one is always grateful), I went trawling through the archives to find a flower for +Peter Lindelauf in Canada, not to mention +Hudson Ansley :-).

The kids went back to school today after a very l o n g summer holiday, so at least I now have the opportunity to take photos in the Conservancy that is on their school grounds.

Until tomorrow -


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Ohh! You have very good timing. I just noticed some of these popping up in the garden and thought how lovely. Someone told me a common name was Storm Lily. So Oxalis is its true name?
Can I transplant them to a more visible place? What do they enjoy apart from soil type (as I have only red clay or matured garden bed).
They really are delightful!
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Forest hibiscus

This small tree is a real charmer, but mostly tucked away at the back of the house.

So it is a real treat to see it blooming again.
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Always a pleasure +Peter Lindelauf​
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Work
Occupation
Researcher, Data Myna
Employment
  • Data Myna
    2014 - present
  • eThekwini Community Foundation
    Director, 2012 - 2014
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Kloof, South Africa
Previously
Lake Forest, Illionois - Dhahran, Saudi Arabia - Johannesburg, South Africa - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa - Palo Alto - Dallas
Story
Tagline
It's a bad day when I don't learn something new.
Introduction
I am incorrigibly curious, adore data, love research, and thrive on stories drawn from real life. A strong grounding in data and analytics - with a particular emphasis on national geo-demographic data-sets, combined with an ability to write, has led me from human sciences research to academia (both in Arts and Sciences), to developmental work in corporate social responsibility, into direct marketing, marketing and media research, community development and back into digital marketing. I remain enamoured of dissruptive technologies, and strongly advocate sustainability, in terms of the triple bottom-line. 
Bragging rights
I led a team of six people from three companies which mapped most of the historically black suburbs and the former TBVC states in South Africa in 1999. We put 4000 suburbs onto the dataset, thereby doubling it at the time.
Education
  • University of the Witwatersrand
    MA Comparative Literature, 1990 - 1992
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
    Honours Psychology, 1988 - 1988
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
    BA, 1985 - 1987
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Birthday
May 20
Relationship
Married
Kathryn Kure's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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