Sunday, April 24, 2011

20 March 2011

As I may have mentioned it has been raining here quite a bit, which is fairly annoying for two reasons.  First it means that my struggling computer battery is most often left wanting in terms of power.  When not plugged in the battery dies in a matter of minutes and I am unable to send emails and otherwise stay in contact.  This coupled with the fact that we cannot go out to do our daily work do to the likelihood of damaging the roads, has admittedly, lent to some boredom. 

For example after a day of reading field protocols and some other various forms of literature, I found myself unable to pull my view from a small toad.  At around 8pm, a termite hatch had begun and seemed destine to cause some annoyance during what would soon be our dinner (the other aspect of camp that I currently most look forward too...and even in the face of events just short of apocalyptic this likely won't change; the food is great and I like to eat.) 

Anyway, the toad also arriving at the table for dinner, began a tireless effort to eat nearly a dozen or so of the flying termites, which were about 1/15 the size of the toad.  In certain order and with some patience this toad collected termites that having about as much grace as a whirly-gig (falling maple tree seeds) inevitably were stuck buzzing and crawling around on the tarp floor.  In their struggle to evade the toad I noticed that some termites were shedding their wings.  I do not know if this is to facilitate dispersal or mating or some other phenomenon.  Either way their success this particular night fell short by the efforts of the toad.  Although I can't speak to its comfort, the fattened toad slipped off into the dark, appetite satiated, sometime during which I was lost in my own gorging of a cabbage dish, chipotte, and curry (peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes, and curry sauce).

After dinner, more tired of reading than tired I made my way to my tent where I was lulled to sleep by the sound of lion roars and hyena whoops.  Today I awoke to a leopard growling in camp (they make this chugging kind of sawing sound), but there was again no chance of going into the field because of rain.  However, provided a brief spell of sunlight I have been able to write about my time the past few days at Serena Camp (located in the Masai Mara).

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