It’s Monday 28th January 2008 and Julie tests the Emerald Season


It’s Monday 28th January 2008 and Julie tests the Emerald Season

Last week we were very lucky to have Julie Bowen, from Canada visiting us. She has been a regular visitor over the past few years and visited Tena Tena and Nsefu last August. A dose of sunshine was called for in the middle of the Canadian winter and she grabbed the chance to come back and try the Emerald Season to see if it was cracked up to what people have been saying!

Big EleHippo

Upon asking how it compares to the dry season she said it was “just fantastic” and the wetness (and of course the greenness) were astounding. A few months ago it was very dry, but now almost every blade of grass hides a pool of water.

Crowned  Crane

There was also the difference in the animals – they all look glossy and healthy and there are plenty of babies, making you appreciate the more common animals like impala who are just magnificent! She also really enjoyed all the mock fighting among the bachelor herds of impala … at one point there were three in a row, starting off nose to nose staring each other in the eye, and then at the crucial moment they went into some serious head-bashing.

Zebraserious head bashing by impalas

Julie also has a fondness for photographing birds … and after getting used to all of the residents, it had been great fun trying her luck on the migrants (she had managed to see all the storks on our bird list this visit). Our guide Jacob managed to find a young Giant Eagle Owl, plaintively calling to its mother for feeding.

woodland kingfisherGiant Eagle Owl

Another change is the baobabs – most people are used to seeing them without leaves, but with leaves they do have a slight resemblance to giant broccoli (very odd).

Leafy baobab

And of course, Julie says, the magic moment happened during a rainstorm – they found a mother and baby leopard by the road that leap-frogged their way into the undergrowth – mum running first, and baby following a few seconds later … Jacob was stage whispering … “take a photo, take a photo” and Julie’s in a quandary – take the photo or keep the camera dry? She risked it in the end and came up with the goods with this slightly damp looking young leopard!

Young leopard

Thanks for all the photos Julie!

On back of house side we are still watching the river every day – last week it was dropping quite rapidly, but over the last few days we’ve had some great thunderstorms and the river has risen again. It’s been great fun watching the migration of hippos around the changing location of shallow water, and the territorial disputes that occur over the best spots. On a staff boat cruise we saw one very pregnant mother seeing off a young hippo that had strayed too close. Rather interesting, especially when the young hippo’s bottom was backed up against the bank and it had nowhere to go and big mama didn’t seem to believe that it was far enough (Emily’s picture  below).

Hippo

Cheers for now!

Fiona

Escarpment

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