Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers…at least that’s what they told me in kindergarten. In the Maasai Mara it seems the only thing these showers bring are mud, mud, and more mud.

While being rained in has it perks (we get to sleep in, the days are cool, the grass is greener) it also has its downfalls. When it rains it becomes hard if not impossible for us to get out of the driveway. Throughout the day we can hear other cars making their way through the territory. This symphony of car engines and sinking tires occasionally leads to us leaving our camp to investigate the commotion. Sometimes curiosity and adventure gets the best of us. At times our adventures result in us being stuck in the mud but other times we end up finding situations like this…

A tour car driver and his passengers found themselves trapped in Leopard Crossing.

Our driveway can be very treacherous especially for those who aren’t familiar with the area. You have to know which crossings to avoid and which are safe when it comes to Mara travel. Those who aren’t familiar with the territory have to learn the hard way. With a lot of teamwork and shovels we were eventually able to free this car from the trenches.

Along with bringing mud rain also brings some new visitors. I was getting ready for bed one night when I heard a tapping against my tent. I did not have to wait long to find out what that tapping was. As soon as I reached the entrance to my tent the culprit revealed itself…

I think this frog was just looking for a nice warm place to spend the night. Too bad this tent is already occupied.

Sometimes it can rain over 50mm within an hour! I recently went to my tent to take a nap and when I returned to the lab tent rested and refreshed I found large puddles waiting for me at the entrance. We keep track of the weather using a weather data spread sheet and use rain gauges to measure the amount of rain that falls per day.

Each data sheet has a column for the minimum and maximum temperature and the total amount of rain.

Our handy dandy rain gauges

After three months of dry dusty weather I was very excited when the first few drops began to fall. I decided to share my excitement by puddle jumping. Jumping in puddles in one way to keep your-self occupied during the rainy season.

Another way we keep ourselves occupied is board games.

Chief, Joseph, and Matt playing a game of cards in the kitchen tent.

Although the rainy season has been fun I'm starting to miss going on obs and seeing the hyenas. I never thought I would look forward to waking up at 5am. My fellow RAs and I are hoping to make it out of camp soon. Fingers crossed we do!


kay said...

I am SOOOO glad that car in Leopard Xing is not ours!!! Thanks for a fun post, Ashlei. Now I know what I'll be getting into in a couple of weeks.

dee said...

Great post, and I loved the photos. There is a deck of water proof cards in the cabinet by the lab tent table. And don't forget you can use my cribbage femur if you like.

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