Monday, January 6, 2014

Mpala, the Sequel

Doctor’s Blog, Mpala date 1-6-14.

Woke up before dawn in the hope that we’ll be able to see the Hippos out of water, or at least do something more interesting than peek out of the surface, wiggle their ears and snort ever so often. They did. Sorta. They snorted more and louder, and we saw more than their ears and eyes. One of the babies actually came hallway out of the water. We do not, however, have any proof that the hippos of Mpala have legs. There was a vulture on the top of a nearby tree, where it likely spent the night. On the way back we saw some springbok, and a Cape buffalo crossed the road in front of us, which is cool.
Eva has taken to sitting on top of the Land Rovers, with her legs dangling into the opening in the roof (the one that allows us to stand up and see wildlife without getting out of the truck). We may have difficulty getting her to sit in the back seat when we get back home. Tanya and Chuck are doing computer stuff, Dan and Iain are with their course, and I’m on the veranda at the Ranch house blogging. All is right in the world.
In the afternoon, we will do baboon stuff with Meg.

On our way to the center for lunch, Jackson took us on a detour to see the hippos for the last time (they’re being tagged over the next week or so, and we cannot visit during that time). The hippos were being boring, however, there were a couple of elephants who came down to drink, a fishing eagle, a tree full of monkeys, and on the way from there to the Center, a beautiful kudu. Tanya and Chuck are trying to get as many photos of striped and spotted animals as possible. The most common phrases are “c’mon, turn”, and “Jackson, could you drive a little forward/back?” followed by the sound of multiple photos being shot.
We went to Meg’s baboon site, talked science, and then went to look for her baboons. We found them in trees. Actually it was a lot more exciting than that, since we could not see them in their regular trees from their feeding site. We did, however, find them a bit further along the river. And there was joy and rejoicing, and Meg scattered her corn, and went home secure in the knowledge that her research would proceed smoothly. Or something like that.
Then we had a nice dinner - Leslie (of Jenga-inventing fame) and Fritz came to dinner as well.

I also took photos of a gecko. 

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