I’ve been away for some months and am now happily back online and looking forward to checking in again on fellow bloggers.
A chance to revisit Namibia at a slow pace, traveling the back routes, camping mainly and stopping at destinations way off the beaten track has been a compelling experience for me. Becoming so immersed in nature – learning the scent of the land, it’s voices, the revelation of the night skies, the heart thumping exhilaration of hearing nocturnal wildlife close by adds up to a “stop-the-world-i-want-to-get off” kind of destination.
Here’s a dip into the first scenes of this immense and timeless place –
Namibia is an extraordinary country, the expanse of it’s panoramic vistas stretch way into the far distance, seductive in pastel colours, so tantalising as the horizons pleat and fold.
As we traveled through different biomes: desert, savannah, tree and shrublands, to the wetlands of the Zambezi area the contrasts in ecosystems and habitats were distinct. Hope you’ll join me as a post further stories; coming up soon …..
Feasting on pincushion blooms (Leucospermum conocarpodendron), a young juvenile baboon, while handling the flowers gets covered in pollen. As he scrambles across the bush he’ll provide a useful service of cross pollination by brushing against the pollen and spreading it to different flowers. There he is fulfilling an ecological role as a part of a functioning ecosystem.
We think of zebra in terms of black and white, but here the Cape Mountain zebra, a sub-species has a blush of brown showing up in finely aligned facial lines. The details where the exquisitely patterned lines join at the mid line along the forehead in perfect symmetry, have me ogling in awe! I described this species in an earlier post here.
This is another post on the theme of baboon foraging – whether a seafood repast, or vegetarian delight, the baboons here on the Cape Peninsula are masters at sourcing a varied diet. Though at times there are opportunities to raid for ‘human derived food’, for the most part they’re out foraging in the natural environment.
I came across this scene in the late afternoon when this troop of baboons was making it’s way to an overnight sleep-site. Most had well stocked cheek pouches but a few were still adding to this stash with a last snack or two. Of interest was a mother with a baby riding jockey-style, confidently perched atop her back, munching on a clutch of succulent grass roots. Suddenly she veered off into the bush. Aha! She’s spotted something of interest, i thought and stopped to watch. Up she jumped and junior had to react quickly, but for the arched tail (Chacma baboons belong to the Old World monkey group and do not have prehensile gripping tails), he may have slid off ignominiously. What was the prize up there in the shrubbery ….. ?
It was a surprise to find that she’d discovered a rain spider’s (Palystes superciliosus) egg sac. It appeared she was after the eggs, as I examined the image in close-up view and couldn’t make out any hatchlings. The mystery was where did Mother Rain Spider lurk, as they have a reputation for aggressively guarding their egg sacs until the spiderlings hatch?! Now where were we with that menu? A couple of weeks ago I observed this same troop sucking on condom wrappers – this incident left me wondering about the dangers of spiders and whether baboons suffer from spider bites as we humans do?