I haven’t posted in a while. I could give you a thousand spurious reasons for this, but the truth is that I’ve been avoiding it because I need to do a post about birds. I’m not a birder. But if I’m trying to cover the entire ecosystem of the Lowveld, I will have to deal with the birds at some stage, because there happen to be quite a few of them.
I have managed a couple of bird posts, and now it’s time for another one. But I’m not really sure what to call these birds. Lurkers maybe. Skulkers. They are sometimes referred to as game birds, since there is a particular sort of person out there that prefers shooting them with shotguns to a nice, quiet round of Scrabble.
I can never remember… Is it pheasants or peasants that we’re after?
I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not my fault. A bird got in the way. A Francolin. Every now and then I start a post and it either doesn’t feel right or I just lose interest. This time I didn’t just start, I got two thousand words in. I was writing about game birds. I got up to the Francolins, and went off to bed. That was nearly two weeks ago. I sat down a couple of times, looked at the damn Francolins, and thought “meh”. And wrote angry diatribes about our government for a local news site instead.
I mentioned the other day that I was writing the occasional article to post on a local news site, and that if they weren’t too specific to our politics or culture(s), I might pop them onto 23thorns as well. This is one of those.
I have never understood the mechanism of something “going viral”. Why does the whole world suddenly focus on a picture of a grumpy cat, or a clip of a chubby but unexpectedly nimble Korean rapper dancing like he’s riding a horse?
We’ve got something going viral out here at the moment. Something unusual. It seems to have popped up in the UK, but I don’t know if it will reach much further than that. This charming young lady is Melissa Bachman;
Last Sunday, I nearly ran over a man from the bible. He wasn’t watching where he was going, and stepped into the road just as I rounded a corner. Luckily, he was quite easy to spot in his long, blue, flowing robes, so I managed to avoid him. It was a close run thing, but as they say; no harm, no foul. He seemed to think it was my fault, and waved his shepherds staff at me angrily. And that was it. Apart from the little spike of adrenaline, there was nothing unusual about the scene, so I forgot all about it. Until today.
Not my man from the bible. Another man from the bible, with a smaller man from the bible behind him.
No. No it is not. There is, I fear, nothing new there.
When I started 23thorns.com, all the advice I could find said that I should pick a topic or theme and stick to it, so I decided to write about as many different things as I could.
Despite my attempts to do so, the bulk of my posts seem to have been about wildlife. I’ve decided to start a new blog full of old stuff. I am reposting all of my old wildlife and Lowveld posts, just to see how this whole focussed approach thing works out. Continue reading →
Right! Here we are again! I’m never quite sure how to do this; last week, I wrote part 1 of a post about Baobabs. It had a 750 word introduction. And now I’m setting forth on Part 2, which should, I suppose, have absolutely no introduction at all. Which would just seem wrong.
So we’ll just do a quick recap and soldier on. Here goes with the recap; Baobabs are big, but not tall. They are old, but it’s hard to tell how old. And they are succulents. That’s pretty much it, except that it took me nearly 2000 words to say it, which seems, in retrospect, to be a little excessive. Oh well, let’s see if we can grind out another 2000 words.
Being an enormous succulent is not without its risks. You may have noticed that Baobabs look kind of elephantine. Which is a little ironic, because Baobabs have a mortal enemy. One that also looks a little elephantine.
My mother doesn’t like rhinos. She doesn’t actively dislike them; they just leave her cold. She’s indifferent to them. She loves wildlife just as much as the rest of my family, and will happily spend hours watching a pair of squirrels running around the stoep or haul herself out of bed in the middle of the night to watch the shifting shadow of an elephant crash its way past the house in the moonlight, but set her up in front of a prehistoric 2500kg behemoth with a pair of sharpened spikes at one end, and she will set about wondering what to cook for supper or trying to remember whether or not she turned off the lights in the bathroom that morning.
Ho hum. I wonder if there’s anything good on TV this afternoon.
I have been trawling the local news outlets for a couple of days, looking for something interesting or different to write about. It’s been a depressing exercise. I’m obviously in the throes of one of those phases which I go through every now and then when I get news overload. It’s all just the same, every day. Out in the world, it’s Syria, Syria, Syria, the economy, gay marriage in the States, gay existence in Russia, Syria. Back home it’s corruption and strikes, racism and violence against women and children.
They’re all just the same newspaper with different ads.
It is my sincerest hope that reading my blog has made at least one or two people out there think of visiting South Africa. Should such a wonderful thing come to pass, I feel that I have a bit of a responsibility. 23thorns is not a travel brochure. It is not here to create some utopian wonderland full of bunnies and people who say “Have a nice day” like they mean it.