Mushrooms and Birds

This morning, there was a little rondavel village of mushrooms out on the grass by our lake. The Anhinga drying its wings in the morning sunshine, seemed not to have noticed this new addition to the landscape.

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This looked to me like the royal palace, much bigger and grander than the other dwellings.

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The rest are smaller, and the smallest ones are quite minute, just humble little cottages.

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This afternoon we went for a walk around the Green Cay Wetlands, and having mushrooms on the brain, I looked across into the reeds, and thought I spotted a couple more.

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Until one of the white mounds lifted its head, to reveal a Wood Stork, foraging for food.

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Of course, we won’t be picking and eating the mushrooms, as I have no idea if they are poisonous or not. It is quite magic though, how they just pop up overnight.

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Rainbows and Waterfalls for Jake’s Challenge.

This week, Jake has asked for some Nature pics for his Sunday Post Challenge.  A few days ago, I posted pics of elephants I’d seen in Zimbabwe, and right next to those pics in my album, are some of the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. Its indigenous name is ‘Mosi-ao-Tunya’, meaning, ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, and you can see why. The roar of the water as it thunders over the falls, is quite deafening.

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This colossal masterpiece of nature is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, being twice the height of Niagara falls, and twice the width of Horseshoe Falls. It’s the world’s largest sheet of falling water, with a width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and a height of 108 metres (354 ft).

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The spray from the falls typically rises to a height of over 400 metres (1,300 ft), and sometimes even twice as high, and is visible from up to 48 km (30 mi) away. At full moon, a “moonbow” can be seen in the spray. We didn’t see it at night, but here is a daylight rainbow.

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There is a series of gorges which the Zambezi River pours through. The First Gorge is 110-meters wide (360 ft).

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David Livingstone is credited with the discovery of this amazing wonder of nature in November 1855. What a thrill it must have been to stumble upon such a find, which has since been made a World Heritage Site.

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In his writings about the Victoria Falls, he  said “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

To see more entries for Jake’s Nature Challenge, and to admire his wonderful graphics,  just click on the badge below.

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E is for Elephant

Here’s my entry for Frizz’s A-Z challenge this week. The letter ‘E has been tagged’, so here’s an elephant for you.

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The male African Elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal and can grow to a height of 4m (13ft), and weigh 7,000kg (15,000 lbs). One of the biggest threats to their continued existence, is of course the ivory trade, and sadly, these magnificent creatures are still being poached for their tusks.

On a visit to Zimbabwe a few years ago, we did a sunset cruise down the Zambezi River.  It was so exciting to see elephants on the riverbank.  Enormous herds of elephant, some up to hundred strong, are often seen at the river’s edge, although we only saw a few.

First there was one.

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Then he was joined by a couple more.

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They just kept coming. It was so special to see these gentle giants in their natural surroundings.

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To see more entries for Frizz’z ‘Tagged-E’ challenge, just click on the badge.

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WPC: A derelict object on the beach

My ‘Object’ for this week’s photo challenge, is an derelict old dugout which I saw on the beach in San Pedro, Belize. It had no plaque on it to tell me how old it was, or anything of its history, so I did a bit of research, and found that Ambergris Caye once had a thriving Maya community, and served as a trans-shipment point on the canoe route connecting the Maya and the non-Maya world. Large ocean-going dugouts made from hollowed out tree trunks, were crafted there, and used to transport salt, pottery, dried fish, sea shells and textiles here, from the northern Yucatan. These commodities were then off-loaded and taken inland in smaller canoes, probably like the one in my photo, down the shallow and quite narrow rivers and streams, to the communities in the highlands. These goods were exchanged for such things as  jade, furs, feathers and a variety of forest products, which were brought back to San Pedro for further transport to other coastal zones. I doubt that this canoe dates back to the Maya, but it does look really old. You can click on the image to enlarge.

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To see more objects for the challenge, just click on the badge below.

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