Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flowers galore

It's like paradise here now, thanks to the unseasonable rain.
I counted 41 species of wildflower while walking the dogs last night. I know the names of three!

I was so preoccupied peering at flowers, that I didn't watch where we were walking. Glancing up, I discovered Magic nose to nose with a huge snake. My view was obscured by the dogs, and I thought it was a puff adder (very common here and potentially lethal). Unexpectedly, I screamed (didn't think I was the screaming type) and dragged Magic away; then discovered that it was actually an African rock python. While this was a relief, it shattered my consoling belief that the local pythons would be inactive by now. After all, my resident red toad has been torpid for more than a week, tucked away inside my down sleeping bag.

Of course, all this lush growth is a nightmare for data collection. I simply can't see what the mongooses are doing. In fact, I'm having trouble finding their termite mounds, much less the mongooses themselves!


  1. Hi I found your blog from your "pole dancing" mouse comment on the codgers blog. Glad I found it because I love Meerkats and just returned from a fabulous trip to Botswana.
    I hope you are enjoying your studies and living in the Kalahari. We stayed 2 days at Deception Valley Lodge in March and loved it.

  2. Hello Lynda. It is not in my nature to be envious of people but I really do envy your lifestyle and work. I am at my happiest when I am in the bush with no one for many miles around and have become quite reclusive myself. I think all true bush people do.

    What a fantastic blog you have here. I do nee more time to go through you older articles.

  3. Owlman,
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the Kalahari, it's a very special place.
    I actually fled the desert some years ago, to take up research where the grass is always greener (the bushveld near Kruger National Park). I do miss the the sunsets and the barking geckos though, and of course the meerkats (although the dwarf mongooses are every bit as cute).

  4. Joan,
    Thank you for the compliment.
    I'm very relieved that someone understands the joys of 'reclusiveness'. I was beginning to think I was a bit of a nutter.
    What I find wonderful about the African bush, is that you're never really alone at all - there's always something pottering around.

  5. You are so right Lynda, there is never a dull moment as something of interest is always happening from the big game to the smallest insect. Being back in the city is almost killing me as I feel the walls closing in and that is besides the noise level. I miss the crickets and frogs singing me to sleep, the stars above me and the night sounds and would give almost anything to be back there.

    Are you doing a book or video on your research? I do hope so as it would be most interesting to see.

  6. Lynda, if you think you may be a nutter, it usually shows you are not one yet. The real nutters never wonder about it.

  7. Joan,
    You have my sympathy, living in the city. Maybe it's reappraisal time: you know, where your life is heading, where you want it to go, etc. It's so easy to get caught up in day to day living and not realise that your life is gradually drifting away from what you value most.
    I'm afraid you'll be spared from a 'mainly mongoose' book, video, TV series, comic strip, t-shirt, plastic toy franchise, etc. Boring scientific papers are my current limit!

    Thank you for your reassuring comment, although I find the inclusion of 'yet' a bit worrying. 'Nutterdom' here I come!

  8. I spent the weekend in Naboom/Potgietersrus and what a treat it was for me to see the mountains and bush again. I would love to go back to working in the bush again but I am afraid they want a 'young' image now and experience does not count for much anymore. :(

    If they can make a famous video of the meercat, I certainly do not see why you cannot do the same with mongoose who are every bit as interesting. :) Well okay, maybe we can do without the T-shirts. :)

  9. Lynda,
    Sorry about the "Yet" reference. I fundamentally believe we are all only a hop, skip and a jump away from that fine line between sanity and lunacy, so I speak of myself as much as anyone else when I include the "yet"...


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