This is a shadow box set in Joburg ie. Johannesburg, South Africa. The tower in the background is the Hillbrow Tower - a classic, if rather ugly, feature of the Joburg skyline. The purple flowering trees are Jacarandas. They bloom in October and since I haven't been back for an October visit since emigrating 14 years ago, I haven't seen them in all their glory in a long while. We grew up with 4 very large Jacarandas in our garden and the carpet of purple flowers on the grass was gorgeous, but if you walked on it barefoot you often got a bee sting.
Hoopoes were my mom's favorite bird - or at least I remember her painting them and being delighted at one in our grass. I think they are the prettiest of all South Africa's birds. Their orange color is so striking.
Hadeda Ibises are so common in Joburg and so noisy. They let out a very loud "Ha De Dah!" sound as the fly around at the crack of dawn. My friend Julia from Russia, who visited Joburg with me a couple years ago, asked "What was the terrible noise that woke me up this morning?" Answer: the Hadedas. They feel a bit like crows or pigeons or Mynah birds in that they are plentiful and sort of pesky but if you look at them in the light they have very pretty colored iridescent feathers. Also, they are good at keeping the Parktown Prawns - a terrible, huge orange cricket/cockroach thing - away.
Size: 25 x 13 inches