Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Nature Channel - Live

In recent days I have gained a new found respect for that 'walking frog' mentioned previously. I don't know how far alont the rest of Zambia is on the seasonal calendar, yet here in Luapula Province the rains have commenced, bringing with it the bright greenery of new life, many more insects, and lovely 'cool' evenings. I can now expect that after heavy rains the termites will emerge creating a flurry of white wings fluttering into the sky - almost as if its snowing towards the heavens. The males, small and wingless, pile around the slight opening of the earth, consoleing each other as the wave of larger females head into the open expanse of evening sky. The flight of the females not only attracts the attention of the local children, preparing now to feast on a relish other than katapa (cassava leaves), yet also floods the sky with hundreds, possible thousands, of soaring birds scavenging the easy meal. Sporadically dodging each other, pausing only for the brief second it takes to secure the next bite. Along with these akamimbi, other creatures are also dining. The village chickens are in ecstasy as their long laborious days munching in my garden seem trivial and like mere appetizors to this feast. The lizards are scampering in and out of the banana debris...preferring to collect their meal and enjoy in quiet seclusion...and the most intelligently placed meal spot of all is reserved for the slow moving walking frog. Standing on all fours and moving similarly to the macho shuffling of a bull dog - the frog makes his way to the entrance of the termite den only to sit calmly and capture the frantic unsuspecting prey upon their exit. With no energy expelled food retrieval, and ample courses to satisfy his large round body's every desire...the walking frog is brilliant!

I have finally seen some other African wildlife...only 6 months later. I visited Kasanka National Park for a couple days this week and was able to witness the amazing spectacle of millions of fruit bats passing through the evening sunset. I don't even know how to describe the sight other than saying that it was aweing to stand under and ocean of migrating flying mammals as the sun was setting behind the flat topped crowns fanned on the distant horizen. Other wildlife viewed; hippos, yellow billed kites, snake eagles, many puku, the rare water antelope creature (i'm forgetting its name), wart hogs, and some fresh elephant dung - though sadly we didn't spot the actual animals.

This month is definitely looking up in comparison to the first few at site. Work is slowly filling up the calendar more and more. Happy Thanksgiving to you all...enjoy a delicious tofurkey on my behalf!!!

- And travis ... if you are reading this...come back soon! We are missing you allready!


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Uncle Thom said...

Greetings from Maryland!
I finally found your blog site....and am trying to catch up with all of your adventures.....So far, your travels have been material for a good book....or maybe movie. I hope this finds you well. Your mother said that you're about to host Zambia's first cookie party....a Soucie tradition that should be maintained everywhere!

Life here is nowhere as exciting major troubles are traffic and gas prices....pretty boring stuff when compared to your life! Both of your cousins came home for we had a great holiday.....Everyone's back to the usual this week....I've got exams to write, give, and then grade before the end of the semester.


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